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.

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

Post-travel, pre-travel lull

I’m back in Carnegie after having a fantastic weekend at Intervention, and I’ve got enough down-time to prepare myself for the trip to Chicago. Sort of. I’m still screaming like Hell on the inside, as I’ve never driven that far before. Ever.

I consider it a great adventure, but I also know it’s probably going to be pretty taxing. What I do know is I have an abundance of hope for my time in Chicago in terms of how much creative stuff I’ll get accomplished. We’ll see how much I accomplish versus how much more self-loathing I’ve banked by the end of the week. Continue reading

Failure and rejection aren’t always that bad

Oh, hey. A second post today, and it’s not even Christmas. Conversely, I think this is a topic I’ve touched on in the past. It just won’t stop nagging me, so I wanted to give it some time anyway. It ties in with the earlier post, which you should definitely check out if you’ve not seen it. Possibly one of my best ones yet.

Before I dreamed of becoming a published writer, but after wanting to become a mad scientist and take over the world (yes, that was a thing that actually happened), I wanted to be an actor. That’s a bit of an understatement. I dreamed of being the next go-to actor for all of the best, most terrifying villains. Surprise. I wanted to play the role of the evil guy for a living, which was a step down from actually taking over the world and being a proper evil genius.

However, I had no idea where to start. How would I become the next big villain in the next big movie? Who would I have to contact to make this happen? I knew there would have to be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears shed, but I felt like had the necessary potential to make this dream a reality. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twenty-Seven

My laptop returned home today, and the actual problems were far worse than initially thought. Instead of my graphics card being dead, it was apparently a bad motherboard and hard drive disk. The BestBuy employee asked if I had an unexpected power outage or something, but it was just my laptop very suddenly and violently shitting the bed. Yikes.

Thanatos has been renamed Wheatley because 1) it better fits the Portal and Portal 2 themed names I have for my Surface 2 (Aperture Surface) and my desktop (GLADESKTOP) and 2) it’s a more fitting name given how derp my laptop has been so soon. I’m not looking forward to resurrecting all of the files from my external hard drive, and I’m fairly certain I lost a couple short stories and other projects forever. Like my forever-backburnered first episode of the Misadventures in Podcasting podcast.

As a quick aside: it’s very difficult to type when a small kitten keeps hopping onto the couch and dancing across my laptop keyboard. She wandered back into the living room just as I was typing that and did it again. Precious little bundle of mischief.

Anyway, time to get moving on this. I’ve got my standard Monday headache, like clockwork. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twenty-Four

There has to be some universal threshold for too much bad news in a day, and today crossed it. I acknowledge that it’s pretty easy to argue that I don’t handle bad news very well. I’m willing to accept that. It was a lot of work woes, none of which will be mentioned here.

One of my stories I sent out yesterday was already rejected. It’s a little disheartening, especially on top of bad news, but these things happen. On top of the rest of my day, it was more of a blow to my mood than I care to admit.

After work, I could have written stories or worked on other projects, or a number of other things. I didn’t. Today’s post is about why I’m okay with Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twenty

Today marks my conscious uncoupling with Monday, because Monday is a big bag of shit. Seriously. These past few Mondays have been riddled with all sorts of bad nonsense, and I’ll have no more of it.

However, this evening brought plenty of positive, too. Brianne and I are discussing a possible third cat, at which point we would be outnumbered by our soon-to-be feline overlords. Leftover smoked ribs from yesterday with this snazzy, semi-spicy barbeque sauce? Hell yes. Brianne and I finished building the desk I’ll be using as my work-station, too, and it’s good she helped me because I really managed to shit that up like a pro.

I’m polluting my brain with The Bachelorette right now, so I’m going to keep this as brief as I can so I can focus on writing a short story instead of this (this being the brain-garbage on my TV). Continue reading

This Week in Misadventures…and procrastination

Or “Let’s try this again from my laptop so it doesn’t keep breaking WordPress,” and “there was a topically appropriate subtitle but backspace kept deleting everything on my Surface”.

This week has spanned the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of motivation and productivity. I could easily say I accomplished a lot of what I’d wanted to, but the comparison of completed planned things versus completed unplanned ones is a bit askew in favor of the unplanned. Hooray, things got done. Boo, lack of discipline and being easily distracted. In light of this post being “This Week in Misadventures…and procrastination” (we’ll get to the procrastination part because I’m not letting myself off the hook there), I suppose I should get to the actual misadventures from my week. Continue reading

Seven Deadly Sins applied to Writing – Sloth

Well, this is awkward.

I was going to write about Gluttony applied to writing next, but then I bought a couple of Indie games on Steam and, you know, played them for a couple hours straight.

Then I was going to write about Envy applied to writing.  Work got me tired and grumpy, then I needed a nap.  Of course, I had to make some food for myself, and after that I didn’t really feel like doing much of anything.  That’s when it occurred to me just how ridiculously easy it is to just put off writing (just like anything else) with other distractions under the pretense you’ll get around to it later.  And later.  And later still.

Thankfully, I’ve fed my face with enough caffeine to power a small industrial complex for a week (and maybe cause my heart to leap out through the top of my head a few times; I’m not completely sure), and so I’m ready to tackle the sin of Sloth as applied to writing. Continue reading