Phil’s Official Writing Challenge Guidelines

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

A notebook in need

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

The thousand-hour Saturday

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.

My pledge to no longer be bored

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.

louis-ck-im-bored-useless-world-endless

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

A case of reality versus expectations

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.