Best intentions meeting the worst outcome

Tonight’s post is a somewhat grumpy one, as it’s fueled by the frustration brought on by not meeting goals I set for myself.

Tomorrow needs to include two Screen Robot drafts. Tonight, however, will continue involving a cruel and brain-rattling headache, among other things.

On the plus side: I chose to treat myself to the new Smash Bros game. After the madness this past week blessed me with, I figured I may as well. Horrible reasoning, I’m sure.

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Flying the right path

I’ve noticed the myth of Icarus popping up a fair bit lately, and I couldn’t help but think about it in my own dopey sort of way. Most everyone has some sort of ultimate dream-goal they’d like to achieve (so says the guy who wants to become a relatively well-known author), and I think it’s safe to say those dream-goals usually exist at some sort of lofty heights and require a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. It’s Obvious Day here at Misadventures in Fiction, in case anyone hasn’t noticed.

To recap briefly: Icarus soared too high, the sun melted the wax binding his wings together, and he fell to his death. A cautionary tale, no doubt, of how dangerous pride can be. As dangerous as sweeping generalizations may be, I think it’s safe to say Icarus’ fall is the most well-remembered detail. But what about the rest of Daedalus’ warning? He also warned Icarus to not fly too low. In order to escape successfully, Icarus would have to find the perfect height at which to fly; not proud and close to the sun, but without holding his head low so as to not be swallowed up by the sea. Finding such a balance is something that can be applied to pretty much anything in life, but we can safely say I’ll be focusing on finding that balance in creative adventures (and misadventures). I’m not speaking as an expert on the topic, as I was accused of being my own worst enemy yet again tonight. Whoops. Continue reading

A vexing night

This is going to be short, sweet, to the point, and a pretty healthy dose of “get your head out of your ass and move on already” for myself. That last bit’s kind of important, even if it’s a little selfish. It’s been a weird night of running into walls, struggling with inner demons, and other meaningful cliches for the headaches I associate with dwelling on the gap between where I’d like to be and where I presently feel I am.

Warning: There be some f-bombs a-lurkin’ in this here post.

I could easily put together a post on how many creative-types are weighed down by their own doubt, fear, self-loathing, and so much more (I came way too close to listing the various Sha there, and I’m not sorry to point that out). That’s very nearly what this would have been, but I couldn’t. It felt wrong and unpleasant. Plus it was the last thing I needed to read in the mood I’m in, and so I doubt it’s the sort of thing anyone else would want to read if they’re trying to muster up the energy to get back to work.

Here’s what I’d like this post to be instead. The instructions for myself and any other creative folks, or really anyone, who find themselves frustrated and feeling stuck.

Create. Don’t force it because it’ll only end in regret, but create as often and as passionately as possible. Build amazing, awe-inspiring worlds and populate them with characters both sympathetic and heroic as well as ones who are irredeemably loathsome. Let them move through lives that are only somewhat guided by the art you create and enjoy where things go. Don’t let the goddamn what-ifs and why-nots, the feelings of doubt and failure, all of the shit that makes creative types like myself into their own worst enemies. It accomplishes no good, and only results in nights spent after long days at work only thinking of the things you’ve not accomplished. What you haven’t done or where you think you should be. All of this instead of celebrating where you are and what you’ve accomplished.

I say this as someone who won a book contract, which should be a big deal for me as a writer. I’ve been so busy worrying about never managing to create something that big again and dwelling on how people will perceive my book being published not based on its merit but because of a contest victory.

Screw that.

There’s a reason the saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” has endured the test of time. My schedule may be a bit all over the place, and I may question my merit as a writer a good deal. I don’t have a five year plan or a ten year plan. Hell, I don’t even have a particularly well-assembled one year plan. While I recognize such things as long-term planning are crucial to being a successful artist, I’m pretty sure there’s more than one way to handle them.

Most importantly, and veering a little bit back from the rather self-centric post we have here, I hope any artist who finds this gets enough of a boost to keep going if that’s what they need at the time.

Going back to my post about almost being to Pumpkin Spice Season/Hot Apple Cider Season – I need to just focus on finding time to create, not worrying about the outcome. Far easier said than done, especially when every fiber of my being is saying to just go to sleep. What’s the point in busting my ass at a 9 to 5 if I’m not going to find time and energy to do what I love most (hint: I’m talking about writing).

So I end with a challenge to anyone who reads this. Create, with or without a plan, but with all of your heart and soul. Make something you think is awesome, even if upon editing you decide it’s not the best thing ever. At the end of the day, you’ve still made something new that wasn’t in the world before that point, and that’s pretty fucking rad.

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

Fifty days in, and fifty to go

Has it really been fifty days already? Because it feels like it’s been about a thousand. While I may not have created a fully-fledged blog post for each day, I’m still breaking my brain for content that isn’t entirely recycled and stale.

This was not an easy challenge, and I think I’m going to need to sit myself down and have a long, very serious monologue in my own general direction about why this would’ve probably been a hair easier if it were planned out a little more. It has definitely had its fun moments, though, and this has been enough hard work to make me appreciate the fact that I need to keep moving as a writer no matter how lazy or tired I’m feeling. Even if it’s just a little bit of work for the day, I still end up feeling better than I would had I just done absolutely nothing.

Standard warning: this is a very introspective post, which no doubt happened because I’ve had too much time alone with my thoughts (and they’re treacherous little bastards).  Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Fifteen

Today was a really productive day for me, especially for a day off of work. I didn’t really plan on it being productive in the way it was, either. Writing and WoW were my agenda, and to that extent I have failed miserably. It started last night, when I noticed a fly or two in my living room…and then about ten of the little bastards in the kitchen. Nope. Unacceptable.

I ended up deep-cleaning and reorganizing the entire kitchen, chasing down every damn fly in my house and giving them all nice, well-deserved Raid-baths. The kitchen, I dare say at the risk of sounding braggy, looks a hell of a lot better. I also discovered one of my cats has taken to shitting in the one cooler we had, so that was unfortunate. More surprising was that the cooler masked the stench, but I’m grateful for that all the same.

This post is planned, believe it or not, and I forget what the inspiration was by now (I cleaned my house for six hours today, so I’ll ask for a small break here). No witty transition. I’m sleepy, damn it. Continue reading

This Week in Misadventures – A Self-Intervention

Oh, hey. It’s Sunday, which normally means it’s time for me to stumble through all of the writing, reading, and other nutty antics I’ve gotten into throughout the past week, highlighting both victories and failures alike. I enjoy those posts, because they were a start to me making sure I was regular (toilet humor goes here) with posting to Misadventures In Fiction while also making sure I kept up with my writing, reading, and…miscellaneous antics? Whatever. Continue reading