I would have titled this “How to Write In Ways That Will Make You Feel Like Your Soul is Dying”, but I realized that might be a hair melodramatic. Special thanks go to my college pal Andrew Webb for texting me last night with the following texts, as he was inadvertently responsible for this topic.
Phil, I have done a terrible job with writing since I stared working full time, how do you do it?”
I responded by saying I force myself to find time every day to write, even if it’s just a little. If I get stuck working on one thing, I focus on something else. Above all else, it’s important to find time for writing. That resulted in this response:
Do you force yourself to a genre or anything goes including journaling?
My phone had conveniently been switched to Do Not Disturb mode by that point, however, because I had to be awake at 6a.m. and those texts first arrived after 12:30 last night. Feeling somewhat guilty for not answering, and finding this to be a good blogging opportunity, I decided to give a long-form answer in the form of a proper writing challenge anyone can hold themselves to (for the sake of self-destruction, really). Keep in mind that I may be a subject matter expert of sorts, but I am by no means a be-all, end-all source of wisdom on writing and so this is mostly just issuing a challenge to help writing in the same way I’ve been keeping up with my writing. Feel free to adjust it in ways, and let me know what works best for you in the comments below. It can be a sort of note-comparing among creative folks who also like finding their limits and then using those limits to inflict torment upon themselves. I’m joking, mostly.
Also, I really should note how much of a gigantic ego-boost it is to have people asking me advice on writing. Holy shit, folks, that is awesome. Right. Moving on… Continue reading
Today was a remarkably good day off. I accomplished everything I planned on accomplishing, got a bit of rest and relaxation in, and had a generally fantastic day. Not even the smallest level of stress registered in my brain, which is a rarity anymore. A new episode of Elementary starts in twenty minutes, and I’ve got some cooking to do for people who are blackmailing me (nothing actually serious, so don’t rush to alert the authorities), so it looks like my evening will end pretty nicely as well. The only thing that wasn’t entirely perfect is this weird fascination I’ve developed with the creepy, cheesy nonsense that is Five Nights At Freddy’s and its sequels.
Damn you, Springtrap. Stop haunting my every waking moment. Continue reading
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.
Today was all about errands and whatnot for tomorrow, what with tomorrow being Valentine’s Day and so forth, and so tonight is all about watching Legend of Korra book 4 and being lazy.
Marceline will keep you all company in my absence.
I think it’s safe to say that one of the most commonly heard phrases, especially in people around my age group and younger folks (You dern whipper-snappers and your selfie-sticks), is “I’m bored”. Earlier today, after having completed my tasks for the day and then-some, I found myself thinking exactly that. I’m bored.
Somewhere between stopping at the liquor store to purchase the other ingredients required to make a Blood & Sand–a decision I entirely support, especially after making one and enjoying it quite thoroughly–and contemplating dinner, it occurred to me just how awful saying “I’m bored” is given just how much I could be doing with my time. I’m not talking about endless writing or spending hours promoting things on social media, interspersed with the conversations I’ve grown famous/infamous/unknown for having. Louis C.K. said it better than I ever could, in fact, and so I found a convenient image on the internet with his words placed on it to share to make my point here.
There’s a lot of fantastic truth in this quote, and it got me thinking even further. There is, at no point, really a good reason to be bored. I’m not going to preach about the miracle of consciousness. I think it’s more about finding the things that matter most in this sea of constant information and distractions. Continue reading
Today has been a special kind of infuriating, so I’m giving myself the night off. Instead of the regularly scheduled post, here’s me enjoying a glass of Glenlivet 18 Years Of Age single malt scotch.
Dripping with snark and looking vaguely of a young Patton Oswalt.
Cheers. Tomorrow had better plan on being less awful.
Today was meant to be a big day for revising, writing, and so on. However, that didn’t account for a much-needed Walmart run (which included a stop for dinner, naturally). I’m also fairly sure all of this not-resting-my-sprained-ankle business has finally caught up with me.
On the plus side, I’m not too disappointed with my perceived failures. Largely because tomorrow is a new day. There will be plenty of time before Patch 6.0.2 is live and the servers are up.
I may even treat myself to a Doctor Who marathon while I write, rewrite, and rest my damn leg. And unpack a bit, which kind of goes against everything else I just said.
Watching Hannibal while getting a couple articles written or rewritten. Marceline decided the TV needed more cats.
Today turned out to be one of the more pleasant Mondays in recent memory, and I think it may be because I found out I have thirty-two unused hours of vacation time. I’m ignoring how such knowledge would have been valuable around the time of my move as I don’t want to defile such a good thing.
Perhaps the wonderful nap I took earlier (I know, I know, I said I needed to stop doing that, but sleep is just so nice after being so busy with something like moving while still working a forty-hour-a-week job). Or the dinner Brianne made.
Beginning to play catch-up on NBC’s Hannibal isn’t hurting, although I will admit that it’s not the best dinner accompaniment in terms of TV shows. I’m only about seven episodes into it, give or take a few (I actually can’t remember at the moment as a lot of things are just sort of blending together lately). I’m trying to remember why I stopped watching it for as long as I did, especially since I have such easy access to season one on DVD.
Admittedly, Monday and I don’t always get along and so having such a laid-back, relaxing start to the week is almost unsettling. I realize there’s something genuinely ridiculous in saying Monday is an inherently bad thing, especially given the number of people who no longer find their work-weeks confined to the Monday-through-Friday nine-to-five. This isn’t a post about “Well, it’s all a matter of how you look at something” or blah blah blah positivity. Nope. Just enjoying a particularly pleasant Monday just a little more before I head off to bed and prepare myself for…well, another day at work.
How did everyone else find this Monday? Hopefully it wasn’t too unpleasant.
Today was a suitable counter-balance to yesterday, I think. I cut the grass at my new apartment, moved a good deal of things in (though there are still many box-loads to go, I’m afraid), and decorated a little. It certainly was no day of playing World of Warcraft and relaxing in my current home, but not every day can be like that (I mean, they could but I would end up very unemployed, very fat, and quite unhappy, among other things), and so the work was both a necessary evil and a nice change of pace.
However, as far as daily balances of work and play (or leisure or whatever) go, I am not particularly good at finding such a nice equilibrium. Some days are very work-oriented, with me accomplishing a great deal of productive tasks. By nighttime on those days, I am tired but I feel fulfilled. It’s all very positive, really, ignoring the exhaustion and that there are some such days I still feel like I fell short of where I should have been. There are other, very similar days, when I have shirked responsibility in favor of relaxing and recovering. Days filled with video games, movies, books, and so on. They don’t really serve a practical purpose, but they leave me feeling rejuvenated and prepared for the next day of hard work.
It’s very possible to make those two days into a daily thing. I realize this is all very “hey, that’s obvious” territory, but I excel at the obvious.
What I’m talking about in this case is a total revamp of my schedule as I know it. It’s probably going to be Hell for a while, but I think if I can pull it off that it will provide me with tremendous benefits. That’s what I’m going for here, by the way. A Phil who can find a daily balance of hard work and relaxation time in the face of working eight hours five days a week and trying to become a writer, all while pretending very well at being a responsible adult. A lot of this will revolve around me making a number of relatively large changes over however long it takes, and I imagine it will involve a great deal of swearing along the way. Continue reading