Concept envy, and feeling defeated

This is the sort of confessional post that I feel iffy about writing, because it betrays my well-established gruff and grumbly persona and exposes my soft, vulnerable under-belly. All right. Let’s get this out of the way so I can get some actual sleep tonight, and then maybe try to see where my brain goes with writing tomorrow.

Lately, and by lately I mean for quite a few months now, I have felt defeated. I haven’t had ideas popping into my thoughts like before. My projects have been gathering cobwebs like it’s their job. As I said earlier today: I feel less like a writer as of lately and more like someone who wrote here and there. I feel defeated.  Continue reading

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Motivation from procrastination

This week is proving to be a perfect foil to my vacation last week, and that’s all I’ll say on the matter as just thinking about the past couple days stresses me out in ways that are probably entirely unhealthy. Alternatively, the weather’s been really fantastic this week, to the point that I’m actually not too upset that I’l have to return to mowing the lawn soon. Give it a few weeks and I’m sure I’ll change my tune on that comment (especially since my yard is one giant slope broken up by sporadically placed retaining walls).

Fun fact: this post isn’t really the highest priority I have right now. There’s some cleaning I need to tend to, and there’s the small problem of needing to stop letting my brain turn in on itself in its standard patterns of worrying. There’s also the small problem of me still having an extraordinary lack of motivation to do much writing lately, which continues to feel awful. That needs addressed sooner than later, by the way, but this isn’t really the post for that. See, I have cleaning and other things to tend to, and so suddenly I feel hugely motivated to write tonight’s blog post…about how having other things to do and putting them off are such an impressive driving force in terms of getting other things done.

Seriously. The best motivation for everything else will happen when there’s at least one more pressing thing to do. Especially if that pressing thing has a deadline and the other ideas don’t.

Or you could have the realization that you have several hours before work the next day, that you’re stressing over nothing like usual, and that you should probably be in bed because you’re still starting to get sick (this is a note to self, by the way, but if it’s applicable to any of you go the **** to sleep and feel better).

The dangers of repetition leading to babbling

I feel 100% better about writing this post now, as I’m doing so with a glass of rye whiskey. If anything is t be written about degenerating into babbling, it should be done with the company of a good spirit. I’m half-joking, and I must once again clarify that I only occasionally indulge in drinking alcohol as I have apparently caused people to believe I have alcoholic tendencies. Good god. Pardon the slightly grumpy tone, as I spent a good portion of my day cleaning, yet I feel there’s still infinitely more to do somehow.

Fun, well-known fact: if you repeat a word enough times it eventually loses its meaning and degenerates into nonsense. Babble. Or, if you’re stupid enough to prove this point to yourself by repeating the word repetition, as I did earlier, it becomes a tongue-twister. It makes sense, really, because you’re essentially reiterating the same piece of data over and over to the point where it stops holding a meaning and just becomes noise.

I would argue that the same could be said about approaching a task the same way. The act of repeating one thing over and over again, such as writing, eventually causes it to become noise. Babbling. However you want to put it. What if, however, there was just a little bit of a change to the repetition so it’s not quite repetition but a variation on the same thing? Take, for instance, the verb forms of to be. It’s not quite repeating, but it’s still the same thing in essence, and so instead of saying “I am” ad nauseam I would be going down a list of permutations (I am, you are, we are, they are, he is, she is, and so on and so on). The point is that changing things up, in probability, helps prevent from reaching that babble point.

This was actually going to be two separate topics, but I felt it might work better to combine the two. Topic one was about repetition, its impact on regular tasks, and how to potentially avoid that.

The other half is how I’m going to try switching things up in a big way next month, hopefully to the benefit of my focus as a writer. One of the biggest problems I have, and one that I’ve not really addressed any way, is my frequent use of social media as a distraction. To put it bluntly: I spend too much time dicking around on Facebook, Twitter, and other web sites when I could be writing, proofreading, editing, coming up with ideas, and so on. April showers bring May flowers, and for me they will also somehow bring a self-imposed month-long ban from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. The one exception I will be making to this is Instagram, as I don’t follow a tremendous number of people and it’s far less of a time-sink than the others. I only make this small concession as I will be going on vacation at the end of May, and I know myself well enough to know if I ban myself from EVERYTHING I’ll manage to shit it up. This, of course, also means I’ll need to uninstall the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone at the start of May, so that should be interesting.

Admittedly, I still need to hash out details like if I’ll allow myself to use Messenger or not, as what few social interactions I have take place on there and via text message, but those are details that can wait. There’s still plenty of April left.

I’m curious to see how a lack of Facebook and Twitter will impact my time management, my writing process, and how I handle my computer time.

A desire for endless creativity meets a finite capacity for ideas

Or, more accurately, “the point where I want to keep creating fresh content forever but can’t do so without some level of planning ahead”. You get the idea. This is totally a post complaining about One Hundred Days of Fiction 2.0, the ill-planned idea that I had when I realized my blogging was falling by the wayside as I continued to try writing every day, but it also has more valid points to it. Promise. It’s not just a glorified rant (though it definitely is also a glorified rant, just so we’re entirely clear on that point).

Ask any creative person when they get their ideas. The answer, barring a particularly nasty creative block, will likely be some variation of “all of the time”. There’s no off switch on that stuff, people. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in a day to always tackle every idea and so things get put on backburners, where they are left to either wait impatiently or gradually wither, die, and find themselves recycled in the great mess of other ideas.

There’s a lot to be said about maintaining consistent, good writing habits (or, really, consistent good habits). Writing a little every day, for instance, is a good thing. Forcing a structure to it for the sake of making sure writing happens? Probably not ideal for everyone. On the plus side, when I take the actual one-month hiatus from blogging that follows this, I’ll appreciate it that much more. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ll be on a strict fiction-and-editorial diet for a bit. That should surprise no one.

I’m starting to feel sick, which is unacceptable, so I’m calling it a night here before I get too much more into writing this post. I refuse to not feel well for my vacation.

Writer seeks good reading

Today was a good day, more or less, and the less parts will be left out for the sake of not ruining a perfectly good post. Ahem.

I met an old high school friend for lunch, as he happened to be in the area for work (which I assume means his company also employs yetis as there are an abundance of those living in these here mountains). We had relatively tasty food and caught up, talking about nothing and everything just as people who haven’t seen each other for greatly extended periods of time often will. It was an enjoyable time that, in hindsight, seems to have gone by too quickly. I’m immensely fond of visitors as well as lunch outings, even if they contribute to my financial stress more than they alleviate it. Instead of heading home immediately after lunch I stopped by Barnes & Noble. I had nothing in mind in terms of purchases, but I hadn’t wandered around a bookstore in far longer than I care to admit and so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I ran into the problem I often run into at Barnes & Noble, or any other bookstore for that matter. I had an idea of the kind of book I’d like to buy, if I were to end up buying something, but I couldn’t quite put a name or specific author to it. The end result involved a fair bit of wandering around the store without aim or idea of where I should be looking. I eventually left without buying anything, which is just as well as I shouldn’t be buying too much for myself. I’ve been given the dreaded pre-birthday warning, and god help me if I choose to ignore that.

Part of the problem is this: as a writer, I have stories I’d like to read, and I know I’d like to read them, but some of them are stories I just haven’t written yet. Looking for some sort of comparable tale only works so well, especially when I can’t think of an author or title or genre even. It’s a big part of what drives me to continue writing. So I can one day hope such a story sits among the shelves of a bookstore, waiting to meet the expectations of a story-hungry reader.

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Thirty

Remember back when One Hundred Days had only just turned twenty-one. Its whole life was ahead of it, full of promise and potential (and alcohol). And then it hit thirty, which is practically over-the-hill by today’s standards. New technology frightens it. Younger blog posts just don’t seem to make sense, and One Hundred Days doesn’t quite get their strange choice in language.

That’s why I’m a night-blogger, people. Because I’m usually awake enough to filter shit like that out. Even though other, just-as-ridiculous things take the place of passages like the one above. Just observe the strange behavior from afar and appreciate knowing you probably aren’t one of the unlucky people who has to spend family dinners with me.

I’m writing this post early on for two reasons. Reason number one is that I have to work mid-shift today, thanks to my own scheduling, and so I won’t want to do much of anything by the time I get home. Reason two is that even in the event I did want to do anything once I get home, I’ve decided tonight will be spent enjoying a little World of Warcraft. My Shaman needs some attention, and I have to get ready for the excitement Blizzard promised with its 10th Anniversary business. The level of enthusiasm I still feel for this game disgusts me a little. Tomorrow, though my day off, will be spent resurrecting Thanatos into Wheatley, which means transferring several hundred gigs of data from my external hard drive, and writing. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Eleven

Today’s post is certainly cutting it close to the deadline, but I’m mostly okay with that. Probably. Maybe freaking out a little. However, this late posting is partially thanks to going out for ice cream and watching unexpected fireworks, and suddenly I have an unexpected lead-in to the topic I’d wanted to write about.

The Universe works in mysterious ways, while I speak this rhyme of clichés? Yeah. Let’s go ahead and wipe that last sentence from our collective memory. No looking back. Don’t you dare, damn it. Continue reading