To write now, or to hold off in hopes of a better idea later

I’m trying very hard to actually utilize WordPress’ new-ish post creator, but it’s off to a rocky start as I’m already not fond of it. Something about typing into a tiny rectangle while everything else sits off to the left of the screen is frustrating for reasons I can’t properly verbalize, a problem which only further feeds my lack of joy in using this interface instead of clumsily wandering over to my Dashboard, then hovering over the Posts option to get to New Post. Or whatever it actually says.

Tonight’s post will be a split affair, starting now (with now being defined as approximately 7p.m. Eastern Standard Time) and finishing it after 11p.m. because I have to go back to work shortly. It’s also a short experiment to see if any ideas occur to me in the time between now and when I return home. The reality of writing blog posts, such as this one, on a daily basis without really giving them much prior planning (having a theme for each day panned out only so well) is that the ideas will eventually run out. Either that or you’re some sort of creative deity of sorts and you should be sharing your gift with other creative-types, as we need all the help we can get. Seriously. The point I’m getting at here is this: with time-sensitive posting, such as daily blog entries, it can be tempting to put off writing a post until later. Sure, I may have other obligations such as work, but if the idea for a solid post isn’t there and I just don’t feel like rambling pointlessly, well, the temptation to put the post off becomes far greater. However, there’s also never the guarantee that an idea, or a better idea, will materialize during the procrastination time, and so there’s always the chance I’ll just end up too tired and frustrated by the time midnight rolls around and just post another cat picture or something.

This raises the question: is it worth it to put off writing a blog post because you don’t have what you consider a strong enough topic? Or is it better to force a post to happen as soon as possible so as to not fall prey to later-laziness? We’ll see what my brain has to say once I get back later this evening. I’ve got to get to work in enough time to grab something to snack on.

It’s almost midnight and I want to sleep forever. Keeping in mind that I just worked almost twelve hours today, I’d say I made some more progress? Mind you, I have some fictional business floating around in my brain now, but I won’t disclose that here because it’s top-secret.

Goodnight, folks. Happy writing.

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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

Writing hangovers, and other tragedies

I spent much of today with a strong understanding as to why some animals hibernate. I mean, sleep is pretty fantastic, even though there are plenty of things I could be doing instead of sleeping (like tweeting, obviously). What I’m trying to say is that I’m still very tired from my marathon-writing event to complete Cordelia’s, and so this post is going to be a bit of a mixed bag. There’s also some frustration regarding the lack of new ideas now that one of the short stories is written. Time and patience will hopefully fix that much, even if my patience is a bit iffy at best.

Writing Hangovers

It’s been a while since I’ve really felt a full-on writing hangover. Probably not since I finished working on Joshua Harkin and the Novel-Length Title around this time last year (it was actually in March, but close enough). My brain is semi-willing and eager to make writing happen, but it also wants about a month worth of naps. That being said, I’m still getting a lot of very kind, positive, and helpful feedback for A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders that has me feeling very motivated. Friday is already set aside as an Authonomy and writing catch-up day, so hopefully that goes as planned.

Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show

God damn it. This, coupled with the end of The Colbert Report, effectively prevents me from ever achieving my dream of being interviewed by Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert (I have delusions of grandeur, but even my delusions are smart enough to know I’ll never be interviewed by Stephen Colbert at his new show…whatever that thing’s called). More importantly, this marks the end of an era in fake-but-not-fake TV news. Jon Stewart helped bring something better to television, and though I’ve not always been the most dedicated viewer I will still miss his wit and wisdom on Comedy Central. That said, I am willing to keep it 100 on The Nightly Show, even if my opinions on major issues are only slightly less worthless than all of Fox News on its best days.

Book Addictions

It’s not exactly a secret that I buy books faster than I can read them. Christmas did me no favors there, as I received quite a few books as gifts. Naturally, my moratorium on buying new books ended almost as soon as it began (I have, however, been very good about not buying new video games; so sorry, Majora’s Mask remake). Today’s purchase is Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I considered getting Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman, but I’m sad to say I’ve never been as disinterested in a book by one of my favorite authors as I found myself with this particular title. Apologies to In Some Other World, Maybe, which is still a read-in-progress that I owe a proper review.

Red Velvet Oreos

I’m sorry, but these things are just awful. Bring back the non-trademarked crispy treat Oreos, please, and my inner (and outer) fat kid will forgive this failure.

Time Management

I am terrible at managing my time well. I’m prone to naps, distractions, more naps, more distractions, and so on. My workplace obligations extend well past when I leave the office for the day, so there are surprises here and there of the work-related variety (Worth mentioning: I welcome those surprises as challenges, and am happy enough to have a job that it’s not really an issue except in regards to eating time). Some days I spend too much time focused on writing and not enough on editing. Or too much time on social media and not enough on writing. The combinations of frustration seem to be endless.

What tragedies, minor or major, do you folks find yourself facing this week?

Standard New Year Hullabaloo

Happy New Year! To those of you reading this in the year 2015, on January 1st, in a world that hasn’t devolved into some sort of post-apocalyptic Hellscape, I bid you good tidings. To those of you who are in such situations: best of luck, and embrace your new robotic/insectoid/alien overlords in hopes that good behavior will be rewarded.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day mean a number of different things to a number of different people, of course. That’s a fairly obvious statement, I should think. There’s the easy way of viewing New Year’s Day as the start of a new calendar year. Another day that will, in all probability, be followed by three-hundred-sixty-four similar days. It’s a series of weeks in which the previous year sneaks into dates on virtually every document until, damn it, those guilty of such forgetfulness finally move forward and accept not being time-travelers. Some people view this as a time to enact change, small or large in their lives via resolutions while others view it as a time to continue with more of the same. Neither of those options is particularly bad on its own. It’s all a matter of how the resolutions or staying the same (which, in itself, is a resolution of sorts) are carried out. I’ve established I prefer to set goals that feel more achievable and moving forward from there. Such behaviors, I feel, were instrumental in the completion of my first novel, achieving my first paid publication (upcoming at a presently-unknown date), and surviving one hundred consecutive days of blogging, among other victories. However, I did allow myself a fair few more naps than I care to admit, more cheat-days with my writing, and other grievous creative and personal sins. However, I aim to make gradual, and hopefully very productive, changes this year. My goals for the year, as of now, will follow. Before that, I’d like to encourage the sharing of goals in the comments as well as the sharing of encouragement. 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

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