Confession time again. Must be the daily blog schedule.
Ever since I was in high school I’ve been building up addictions that, despite not seeming particularly unhealthy, and not even being illegal, have been consistently hurting me. My number one addiction? Talk show-type podcasts, especially those about writing.
The first podcast I found when I was starting out as a writer was Michael Stackpole’s “The Secrets”. The information in that show provided my basis for my knowledge of writing, but I never quite got most of it until I reached a parallel phase of learning, usually years after listening to the relevant episode. After “The Secrets” it was “I Should Be Writing” by Mur Lafferty, which I still listen to and really like. Then I started listening to Writing Excuses (With its four professional writer-hosts) and the Roundtable Podcast (Dave Robison, Brion Humphrey), which are still amazing. But the problem isn’t the content of these shows.
The problem is that I got addicted. I spend so much time listening to these and other shows (Most recently it’s the Dead Robots’ Society Podcast) that I don’t spend as much time in my own empty head as I used to endure. Music adds to the affliction in a similar way. I need more quiet in my life in a serious way.
I’ve heard often that the time one spends thinking about the story is as important as the time spent actually writing. If that’s the case I’ve lost perhaps thousands of hours of forward momentum over the course of the past ten years. I know this is my problem, and when I look at the reason I became so addicted initially it seems obvious.
As a teenager I was a really miserable kid. I had few friends and those I had I didn’t see often. More importantly I was reclusive and had been beating up on myself mentally since childhood. Perhaps I embraced these other voices in my ears because I was sick of my own.
Since then I’ve gotten past most of my self-beatdown habits. It wasn’t easy, but here I am. Now its time for me to throw off this crutch and spend more time with myself, in my own mind with my own thoughts.
And you know how I figured this out this morning? I don’t really know. A bunch of crazy dreams and time setting up a new computer and then some cleaning. It’s time not to set goals of how much to write, but to set goals of how little to listen to other people.
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Thought for the day: The more you relax your grip on your mind, the more risks you assume in losing control.
Animal of the day: Catfish
Because sticking your arm down a thorny monster’s throat sounds like a bad idea and people do it anyway.