The Future?

Writing group last night felt better than last time I attended one of them about a month ago.

I was a little intrigued and befuddled by a comment that if I spruced up the story I’d sent the others for this week I should try submitting it to Writers of the Future.

Now, I don’t know about this, but I was intrigued because it looks like there’s no reason why not. Except possibly for the Scientology connection, which I could live with personally.

However, I was a bit befuddled because I doubt very much I’ll even get an honorable mention at a contest with thousands of submissions each quarter. I thought this story was good, but its not THAT good. I’m not trying to humble-brag. This story still needs plenty of work, whether I straight self-publish it or submit it somewhere.

I already have the story for the most part. Most of the work is already there. And Writers of the Future would be a good excuse to practice my polishing skills.

I guess I was a bit taken aback. That’s all. Writing group always gives me a lot to think about.

Better thoughts than I’d get on my own, for sure.

Games Abound

I very much enjoyed running a game of FATE Accelerated Edition last night over skype.

A few things struck me about the experience.

First and foremoset, I’ve been out pretty long from being a game master. My improvisational skills were rusty last night. Still, I pulled off a pretty good bait and switch opening after throwing out the wrong initial hook.

Let me tell you, it’s pretty exhausting to run a game session with virtually no combat in it, especially when one needs to be prepared for combat to occur at any point for almost the whole time.

I enjoyed the effort immensely. That enjoyment of effort is a great sign for me. After all, it takes effort to work or play. I need to get more accustomed to putting forth more effort than I have in the recent past.

Time to focus. Have a great day, everyone!

Misconceived Friendships

For a long several years I had assumed I was an introvert, but it recently occured to me that in the isolated place that I am, I may be shy but I require social interaction for energy. That makes me an extrovert I think.

Semantics aside, I think this is an important distinction to make. I can’t simply cloister myself alone and be happy. Nothing gets done if I don’t do that.

I think this explains my lack of energy. I’m not terribly depressed. But I’m starved for social energy.

Yet, I’m very much fine where I’m at in a lot of ways.

In addition to that, I think writing can be a social activity if seen as a conversation.

So I have concieved a challenge to find a way to make writing fill some of that social void.

The challenge is simple:

Treat the book like a friendship.

I prefer spending time with friends one or two at a time, so one book at a time. But I’m always eager to talk with my friends.

That’s the core idea. I know it sounds pretty strange. Now I’m off. Got work to do, and books to hang out in.

Justified Confidence

I’ve been rereading some recent parts of my current work in progress in an attempt to resynchronize with the story. So far, the most recent readthroughs are really pretty good. And my confidence needs to see stuff like this to keep growing.

I’m not a very a brave individual if you ask me. At one point, however, I paid virtually no heed to the idea that I could mess up. That could be construed as courage, but in hindsight it was probably courage combined with ignorance. Without knowing how bad I could mess up, and how bad I really was, I was able to get work written quite quickly. I got a lot of practice.

The failing of my present is overthinking, rather than my past problem of general underthinking. Since I read this recent material that made me feel like I’ve done pretty well, I realized I didn’t benefit from overthinking any of this stuff. But I still have more knowledge and skill than I once did, and that is very evident in my latest prose.

But prose is only half of the reason I got a confidence boost from these little successes. The other half of the reason is that the story seems clearer than almost anything I’ve ever written over the past 10 years.

Progress makes me confident. I’m not bashing my head into a brickwall, no matter how much I feel like that sometimes.

So have a great day.

I’m going back to work.

Sloth

A furry animal that moves extremely slowly. An animal probably named after one of the so-called seven deady sins.

Sloth.

I am not paralyzed. I am slothful, in all of the four main activities I really need to be engaged in at the moment.

These four activities are:
1 – Writing (Or other mentally focused work, because this is my job and when I’m not fooling myself this is also my passion)
2 – Reading (Because a reader must read)
3 – Exercising (Because I need to be healthy)
4 – Painting Miniatures (Because it kinda hurts to have so many unfinished)

These four activities are in no real order, though painting is by far the lowest in priority. The two in the middle equal in priority. And Writing/Work is the most pressing concern of mine.

So I can’t afford to be a sloth.

I can’t afford to play videogames all day.

I can’t afford time staring into space like some kind of catatonic, which I still sometimes do.

I can’t afford time on social media such as facebook when I need to be working.

When I say “I can’t afford” I mean it literally. I don’t have income without work. Time to get to it.

Today may be Sunday, but I am not resting.

Time to Heat Up, Not Burn Out

My vacation is just about over, and I’ll soon be back to more regular posts and more regular writing and freelancing.

I have a certain amount of trepidation at the incoming pressures of ghostwriting and fact-checking because I also don’t want to lose my sense of progress on the current book. But I think I can handle the stress with some of the thought techniques I’ve been working on.

First and foremost of these techniques is the reminder to ‘play’ in the process of work.

It won’t matter for the fact-checking, but that’s fine. I just need to play in the course of writing to keep from burning out. Ideally playing around while I write will give me more than stamina. It could give me enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is, in my experience, far more powerful than endurance. If one is enduring one still often being worked down little by little. But if one is enthusiastic and finds ways to enjoy the task then it should be not problem to work six, eight, ten hours a day.

I have enthusiasm to tap into, yet I’ve frequently made mistakes in thinking I can only work when excited. That’s foolish and nothing gets done when I make that mistake. No, I should work even when I don’t want to, and then find a way to enjoy the work.

Writing, especially, is not a fight to the finish. It is my career, so it isn’t knocking down a mountain, it is building one.

So there I go, but I think I may be onto something with the plan.

Could you tell I thought I had nothing to write about when I started this post?

Strangers

In my time I’ve mentally downplayed how well I know certain people. I like to think I’m an open book as far as my thoughts go, but I’m not great at judging the level of friendship I have with particular people.

I mention this because I frequently feel this deficiency both when writing relationships and when simply trying to live my life. Call it autism if you like, because I certainly have been diagnosed. Call it simple social ineptitude and you wouldn’t be far off either.

The term doesn’t really matter as much as the effort I put in to doing better.

I can’t let myself feel as awkward as I briefly did during a trip to the movie theater to see the wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy. In all ways, feeling unhappy at being around so many people I didn’t know makes no sense.

Even when I took my seat I had a moment when I though how annoying it would be if someone wouldn’t stop talking during the movie. It didn’t happen, and only rarely has in my life of going to movies. Why did I worry?

I think I worried because I’ve grown used to worrying about everything. Most of my worries are baseless, but I have seen how bad social screw ups can be, because I made tons of them as a kid. Even more of them as a teenager. And plenty as a young man.

I’ve never been good at it. So the pressure is on when I interact with strangers, the simple pressure not to be rude and jerky. It’s an endless struggle for me, right up there with self-confidence in my writing.

Speaking of… I think I have a few minutes to get back to the book.

Hope you all have a good day!