Stumbling ineffectively towards goals

Life as a writer and day-to-day life typically intersect in ways that could be considered overlapping, more or less. I add “more or less” to that sentiment because there are times when those two things feel like they exist instead in parallel dimensions. I’m offered glimpses of one or the other in fleeting moments, but the two lifestyles never quite line up in the ways I hope they would. Or in the ways my delusions wish they would. I’m fully aware that I’m only 27 years old, and that great things have been accomplished later in life than that, but I’m frustrated and so I’m bemoaning my–and a common enough–fate. Deal with it.

The novel-project better known as A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders is at an unfortunate stalling point, as I have reached one of a small handful of segments of story that aren’t particularly fleshed out yet. This wouldn’t be so bad on its own, but the deeper regions of my brain feel like some sort of fictional waiting room where a number of very impatient characters are sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing while I try to resolve my combination of misplaced motivation and uncertain destinations. I’m looking at you, Tick and Tock from Joshua’s Nightmares. Only compounding upon this problem is that I have an editorial I haven’t even started yet (for shame, me) and a few short stories that keep poofing in and out of existence at odd intervals.

Not helping: this One Hundred Days of Blogging and the various other changes I’ve got going on (my tattoo not included; that was a great idea, damn it). And I keep piling on projects, which then don’t get proper attention until later. Whoops?

Mostly, when I get in moods like this one, I go from dwelling on how great it would be to write for a living–how it would be nice to do what I love as my career, and so on–to thinking it would be shocking if I could even manage to do this as part-time work. It’s not a cheerful place in my brain, to be sure, but it’s one I’ve come to terms with because that’s better than just failing to acknowledge it.

Alternatively, this and the chocolate donut I’m eating seemed to have gotten me where I need to be mentally to at least write my damn editorial, so that counts for something. Right?

A return to journal writing

Last night was riddled with technical difficulties from my laptop and a noteworthy absence of motivation to write anything at all. Let the record show that lack of motivation continues to linger tonight, which is frustrating but something I’m also pushing past. Go me (and the impressive, unstoppable power of my stubbornness). I’m presently looking forward to tomorrow, which will be partially spent getting a much-needed (and deserved) haircut and wandering around Barnes & Noble. Any suggestions for graphic novels, or novels in general, are always appreciated. One can never have too many books.

Right. So last night I found myself tremendously frustrated. Writing wasn’t happening in any way, shape, or form. I tried different approaches to A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders, hoping desperately to add to the current word count but only failing to do so. Eventually, accepting the night as a defeat, I closed Microsoft Word. It occurred to me that I’d not checked on when The Literary Hatchet‘s next deadline was, and since I planned on submitting “Cordelia’s” I figured I should check…only to discover I’d missed said deadline. While I generally try to shy from this word, my reaction was a rather loud and appropriate utterance of “Oh, fuck”.

At some point or another, right before heading to bed, I decided it would be beneficial for me to return to journal writing. Not necessarily as a nightly thing, necessarily. I also happened to have my awesome Discworld/Starry Night crossover cover notebook, which had not seen use since it’s purchase. This, in case it needs repeating, is a crime I am regularly guilty of with notebooks. Making matters worse, I plan on stopping by Barnes & Noble tomorrow. That means I could very well come home with another Moleskine notebook. The journal in question, complete with its Squishable guardian, can be seen below.

Squishthulu guards my deep, dark secrets.

Squishthulu guards my deep, dark secrets.

Not only have I forgotten how helpful keeping a journal is for venting frustrations, but I managed to forget its terrific applications as a means to remind myself of all of the positive things I have going on. Not everything in its pages has to be doom-and-gloom, cloudy-with-a-chance-of-bitching sorts of frustrations (that was a horrible joke and I’m not sorry). It’s a reminder that I’m working on more than just one project presently, and that there will be some nights when my brain simply doesn’t wish to cooperate with me in working on one project or another. Those nights are not the end of the world, nor do they render me any less of a writer.

Suffice it to say, I’m already happy with this decision after only one entry. I can only imagine how therapeutic this will prove in the long run.

How many of you write in journals? Is it on a regular basis, or more sporadic, and is there a particular topic in mind or is it more just whatever’s on your mind at the time?

Creative vexations

February is almost over. As far as I can tell, it has been a month of those days for quite a few people, and so I can’t think of anyone who will be particularly sad to see March begin. Except Julius Caesar’s ghost, of course, who will have to endure constant reminders of that one time he ignored advice and got stabbed to death by a roomful of his best pals. The point is that February, chocolates and candy hearts and overpriced dinners aside (or maybe as a contributing factor), performed poorly. I suggest removal from the schedule, effective immediately, replacing it with a month that has its shit together. Honestly, what kind of proper month only has twenty-eight days most of the time?

Tonight’s post was off to about five false-starts. Unlike yesterday’s, the idea didn’t just magic into existence; it’s still putting up one Hell of a fight. Suffice it to say, I am already celebrating scheduling my first week of vacation time, as I think I’ve reached a point where my sanity is questionable on good days and prone to scattering itself via a strong breeze on the bad days. Whatever, right? Moving on.

One thing I’ve noticed recently is that many of the walls we creative types seem to encounter are ones of our own building. This is by no means a revolutionary line of thinking so much as a clumsy personal revelation, so please be patient in entertaining me here.  Continue reading

The thousand-hour Saturday

It’s only nine o’clock at night, I’m tired enough that it feels like it’s after midnight, and I had no real game plan going into this post. I realize that’s a little counter-intuitive, especially since I planned out each day’s topic before diving into this fiasco. My defense doesn’t even feel valid at this point because it seems like everyone had a horrible week this week. If you’re one of those people, I’m sorry. If it’s any consolation, I would have brought about the End of Days but I’ve not become at least semi-famous and beloved by fans of the fantasy genre. My delusions got in the way of my other delusions. That’s what my life has become.

On a related note, I am at least somewhat happy that I will likely never see even a moderate level of fame as I’ve recently gotten to see how people interact with celebrities on Instagram. I don’t feel I’m ready for those levels of insanity on a regular basis.

Today’s been less of a writing marathon as it’s been a writing struggle-to-the-finish. I have short story ideas I need to give attention to, still, and progress on A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders has been painfully slow-moving at best. If it weren’t for the occasional moments where I manage to continue along with it, I’d say it’s sitting still. The level of frustration I have regarding this semi-stagnation fluctuates. Thankfully.

Not helping, and not fully expounded upon for obvious reasons: life, work, and so on.

On the plus side, I have written a few pages since starting this blog post, although that speaks volumes about my capacity to maintain a state of distraction and less about my ability to work on one project at any given time. Womp womp?

Alternatively, three or more stand-up comedy specials have played in the background, courtesy of Brianne and Netflix.

Tomorrow’s recap will probably be about as exciting as tonight’s post, and so I conclude by saying I hope to make next week a little less dull.

Winter: nature’s freeze on creativity

I wanted so badly to call this “The Season of the Nap”, but I’d be lying to myself because I take naps regardless of what season it is.

There’s something about single digit temperatures and exceedingly bad weeks at work (the details of which I cannot, and wouldn’t want to, go into here) that come together and make me want to hibernate forever. Take today as a strong example. Work happened in the most glorious, horrible, unfortunate way any work-day could. Lousy, near-but-not-quite white-out conditions started up before my drive home, during which I slid down most of the one bridge-hill that makes up part of 17th Street (who thought this was a good idea, because it was the opposite of a good idea), and my nap that I shouldn’t have taken (I admit this) left me feeling worse than before I went to sleep. However, I’m still writing words on my blog so I feel validated in my decision to go forward with this Hundred Days of Blogging 2.0, before I start work on a new short story idea.

I actually considered updating my LinkedIn account because that’s how unmotivated I am to focus on creating stories right now. I have a novel-in-progress, multiple novels on hold, and several short story ideas that deserve attention. The litter boxes also require my attention, but there has never been a point when I sprang from the comfort of my chair to take care of such a chore. Anyway, here we are. With me not giving a single damn about tonight. Harrumph grumble complain.

How do you folks deal with nights like this one? Or do you just accept that the Winter infects all it touches with the bitterness of its icy tendrils, wrap yourselves in blankets, and refuse to emerge until the warmth of Spring?

Writerly woes: the frustration of stagnating

WordPress didn’t feel like cooperating with me tonight, and I had a few other issues to hash out so I’m not about to penalize myself for this one being a bit late. Yes, that might be cheating a little and I would feel terribly guilty if I hadn’t posted something every day for nearly the past hundred days.

One of the key reasons I’ve bowed out of the yearly torture-disguised-as-working-on-my-craft known as NaNoWriMo is because I seem to have hit a brick wall. A quick about-face and I discovered another wall. The short of it is I, through some weirdness that happens to comprise part of my creative whims, have found myself quite thoroughly stuck. It’s not for lack of ideas or lack of motivation so much as it is a complete lack of want to write while still wanting to write.

It’s just as annoying as it sounds, and it should be something I can push past…but no luck. So each day I try again with renewed resolve. For now, it’s time to get some sleep. I need to actually post something of substance tomorrow or I’ll be damning myself up and down.

Sleepy, sleepy Sunday

The fog plaguing my brain seems to be dissipating. Finally. Bonus: I have four days off this week as well, thanks to spending some vacation time.

There are several better posts brewing in my brain right now, and most of them are fragments of ideas regarding (surprise) villains. I’d like to say that’s a little something different, but it’s mostly just fluffy silliness while I try to refocus my brain on other writing. Like the half-finished, half-rewritten Screen Robot post I’m doing a positively horrible job on finishing. There are only so many cheap shots one can make at the expense of crossover events (I’m looking at you, Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe you colossal piece of shit).

However, it’s about time for a late-ish dinner and at least one episode of Hannibal season 2 (there will also be posts about Hannibal, if only because I have limited patience for how oblivious the FBI characters seem to be to Hannibal HARVESTING AND EATING PEOPLE’S ORGANS).

Running into a wall (until the damn thing breaks)

I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk this past week or so. Blame it on me not feeling quite 100% or perhaps on the sleep deprivation, but I’ve not really felt like doing much writing. This would be less of a problem if I didn’t have two things I need to finish within a reasonable amount of time (read as about a week ago, probably).

Naturally, I sit down at my desktop, I open Microsoft Word, and then I sit here and stare at the blank document as I become increasingly frustrated with not being able to string words together effectively. Given that I’m working on a post for Screen Robot and a guest post for Onezumi, I want these pieces to be perfect. My current mindset says give up, and there were a couple times today when I considered contacting the respective folks necessary and apologetically bowing out. Obviously bad decision-making on my part resulted in taking on more than I can handle writing-wise, right?

Except I don’t. I can’t, in fact. Just because I can’t force myself into a motivated state doesn’t mean I won’t damn well try as hard as I can until I want to smash my computer (the good news there being I wouldn’t smash this computer because it is a magnificent beast of a machine, courtesy of Jason’s hard work and computer wizardry).

A rather unwelcome guest has arrived, in the form of sleepiness, and so it’s time I turn my attention where it needs to be. If I finish one of my drafts for the night I’ll be pretty content. Two would be better, but the sleepies weighing my eyelids down seem to disagree with the possibility of that happening.

An off-day day off

Today was a monster, and so I’m recovering by doing some cleaning (yes, recovering by doing some cleaning; that’s a bit sad). I know I should do some creative writing, but my brain is a stagnant pool of disappointment. There is some good news, however, in the form of having a super-huge, super-secret project…that I can’t talk about because it’s a secret. It is, however, related to tomorrow’s planned post about making gifts out of creative stuff (writing, drawings, whatever). Serious business. Tonight, however, can be a small failure, no thanks to my mood and my laptop being an uncooperative assclown. Alternatively, I budgeted for days like this in my Hundred Days of Blogging madness.

Instead of enjoying my writing (hey, I can hope), here’s some music that helps me along as I write (and through life in general). Naturally, I claim no ownership of any of this music. It just helps keep me sane on days like today (when the internet apparently only works on devices I DON’T NEED THE INTERNET TO WORK ON; I’m looking at you, Wheatley, you lazy piece of circuitry). Anyway, onto the good stuff.

Coldplay – Viva la Vida

St. Vincent – Psychopath

Metric – Speed the Collapse

MSMR – Fantasy

(This one’s a bit trippy, but I love the song all the same.)

Delerium – Stargazing