The good, the bad, and the ugly of down-time

Well-known fact: I have poor time-management skills for someone who works a 40+ hour a week job but also wants to become a relatively well-known writer. Or maybe it’s a little-known fact for some of you, in which case I’ll take a moment and appreciate my good fortune that not all of my readers readily identify me as a terrible, lazy slacker.

Let me ruin that for you. I came home from my first day back at work and napped, off and on, for about two hours. My body doesn’t always appreciate naps, but it seemed like a particularly necessary evil tonight for some reason. Probably because not being at work for eleven days and then returning after a day of furniture shopping makes for a rather tired person who can’t stop thinking “I need a vacation”. During my vacation, which had been filled with plans of creative time while Jason worked and potentially drunken shenanigans while we hung out, I accomplished far less than I had hoped to during my plotting of said vacation. My world-building for the still-unnamed novel project found some good points here and there, and a couple characters were really fleshed out more than I could have hoped. However, this was not nearly what I envisioned myself getting done.

I’m only somewhat okay with calling this more of a success than a failure, if only because failure seems to indicate there was absolutely no movement towards my goals (which included writing multiple short stories, sending them off for consideration, and accomplishing a great deal towards the page count of the previously mentioned novel project). I can’t, even in my magnificent self-loathing, call last week a complete failure, anyway.  Continue reading

Accepting small failures, and moving on

Or “I’ll admit I’m not some sort of superhero, even if I’m an infallible, god-like being who knows no parallels.” As a related point of interest to this sub-title: when I claim to be infallible in front of my Grandma June, she typically responds by calling me a shithead. If that doesn’t merit sharing, I don’t know what does.

This goes back to my last post a little, and by a little I mean a good bit. I’m not sorry. It’s been a long, tiring day, and my internal clock is telling me to go to bed.

My creative process is far from complex, and will probably sound fairly familiar to some of you. There are days when I’ll manage to churn out pages upon pages of material. I won’t take breaks, not even for food or sleep. Sometimes, I end those days feeling immensely proud of the work I’ve done, and other times I’ll go to bed knowing I’ll spend a good deal of the next writing session pressing down the Backspace key. Regardless, those days are full of creativity, and so they make me undeniably happy. Continue reading

Slowly escaping a writing funk

I am, at least in my own mind, very good at coming up with excuses for things.  There are times in college when I couldn’t go to the bar because I had some big writing project due and I’d not started on it, which often involved a raid in World of Warcraft that required my attention.  I’ve excused myself from social obligations with some groups of friends to make my way to other ones in similar ways.

Lately I’ve been making excuses for not writing.  Work has me so tired, and I just can’t get my brain out of this fog.  My days off are so full of errands and household chores, and I do want to relax a little.  To properly appreciate those last couple sentences, imagine how hard I was kicking myself while I wrote them.  They’re lousy excuses, and they make me feel lousy.  Hell, even as I type this I’m trying to not say how being all tired and foggy after work is totally a legitimate excuse, and I shouldn’t feel as bad about it, which is and isn’t true in equal parts.

I bring these things up because, and I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, I have publishing envy as of late.  Two of my good friends are published authors, and I know more people than that who have been published in the past.  On its own, that feeling of envy is bad enough (only made worse by how annoyed I become with myself for feeling such jealousy).  And then there’s my magnificent, well-known tendency to be my own worst critic.  Yes.  Just like every other person who creates.  I’m aware.  I look at my writing, then at the works of other writers (published or not).  I get that feeling of never being quite as good with the written word, or a sense of how the stench of my overwhelming mediocrity could easily be used to fumigate a medium-sized house on a good day, and an opulent mansion on some of my worse ones.

The plan is to stop.  Stop with the envy, and the days of fretting my writing being bad.  Definitely the excuses (I mean, in regards to writing; no promises elsewhere).  At the very least, I’m going to work on remedying these things.  On a related note: I have what I think is a pretty cool idea for a scary story.  It’s almost October, which means I need to get ready for my usual month-long celebration of all things Halloween (read as I will be eating so much candy corn and caramel apple lollipops that all dentists within a five mile radius of my house will feel a sense of overwhelming dread).  What better way to get in the Halloween spirit than scary stories?

And other story and writing ideas have cropped up, too.  In short: onwards to MS Word!