Writer’s Apathy

I think the last time I had a true writer’s block was back in my early twenties when I was transitioning from writing mostly fanfiction to writing mostly original stuff. As the fanfiction ideas disappeared, the original ideas weren’t quite there, and there was a time when I didn’t write anything at all. There was a certain amount of anxiety preventing me from trying. I wasn’t sure that I could write anything if I wasn’t writing fanfiction and I wasn’t sure I was good enough to even bother trying.

But, I got passed that. Obviously.

What I have now isn’t writer’s block. It’s writer’s apathy.

It’s like having writer’s block, but instead of being unable to write, I don’t know what to write because I kind of don’t care.

I mean I do, but I don’t.

I’ve got my projects list and I’m currently revising (Vampires) Made in America again, but it’s more for something to do -to say that I’m writing- rather than because I really want to.

It’s been a little while since I’ve really wanted to write anything. I thought that much of my problem had to do with my depressive episode earlier this year. But that’s abated and the apathy remains. No matter how many times I ask myself “What do you really want to work on? What do you really want to write?”, my answer is always “I don’t know.” I look at my projects list, I look at my idea notebook, and nothing really jazzes me so much that I feel like I have to work on it right now.

I’m hoping that NaNo helps snap me out of this. I like the project that I picked (even if I don’t have that feeling of urgency to do it), so I’m hoping that it will re-energize my writing mojo. Otherwise I’m going to have to start asking myself some really uncomfortable existential questions like “Do I still want to be a writer?” and “Who am I if I’m not one?” And frankly, I’m just too shallow for those kinds of questions.

The question that I need to answer is “What do I really want to write now?” because “I don’t know” isn’t cutting it as an answer. I need to keep asking until I get an answer because I think that there is one. I’m avoiding it for some reason. Maybe because I know I won’t like the answer. Or maybe because I know that the answer will take me out of my comfort zone.

Whatever it is, I need to do myself a favor, stop dodging the question, and just answer it.

Time for a resolution.

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Book ’em, Danno–Episode 5

Episode 5 of Book ’em, Danno is all about “The Ways of Love” and “No Blue Skies”. Dating men with criminal tendencies turns out to be hazardous to your health and theirs. Who knew, right? Steve goes undercover for the first time and we’ve got a singing cat burglar. It’s a real good time.

Listen on Soundcloud and iTunes (link coming soon).

I don’t have any pictures that go with this specific episode, so here’s a picture of Danno. He goes with every episode.

October Writing Projects

It’s NaNo time!

Yes, it’s October and October means NaNoWriMo prep. I’ve known what I want to write for NaNo for months and I already have a reasonable outline available (I’ll reveal the project next month as usual). What’s left is refining the plan and outline I have. I’m a little bit ahead of the game this year, so I hope it bodes well.

I’m also going to continue revising (Vampires) Made in America. I’ve been taking my time with it because after I rewrote the beginning and got rid of the first chapter, I realized that it wasn’t another point of view that I needed, but another personality. Trust me when I say that makes sense. I’m not sure I’ll get done with it this month, but now that I know what I’m doing and I got through that initial first chapter rewrite, things are moving along much faster.

I’m also going to try to be a bit more productive with Book ’em, Danno this month. I’ve gotten a little behind in my recording and I really need to get my pineapples picked before NaNo, so to speak.

As for Book ’em, Danno, episode 4 went live last month on Soundcloud and iTunes for your listening enjoyment. Episode 5 will be available for your ears later this week. Do listen, like, subscribe, review, recommend, force upon friends, family, and strangers, etc. That sort of support is very much appreciated.

Now is a great time to become a Murderville patron because the Season 4 preview episode goes live on October 8th and you can read that for as little as $1 an episode. If you go for $2 or more, you get a sweet bonus every other month, including this month, which happens on October 22nd. Season 4 starts January 14th of 2020!

The Purge, But for My Stuff

Image by drewplaysdrums from pixbayAt the day job, sometimes we get projects. My first project involved going through the mess of empty DVD cases we have (they’re used for the collection of movies, TV shows, and games we have to loan out), weeding out the bad ones, and organizing the rest. It took a couple of weeks, but I got it done.

For an organizer like me, the project was great. For a pack rat like me, it was a challenge.

I’m the person that will hang onto the most random, useless things just in case. I will attempt to salvage things that can’t or shouldn’t be salvaged. It was tricky for me to get through that part of the project, but I eventually got the hang of it.

Then I brought it home.

I have a several To Do Lists. I have the writing To Do List of Doom. I have daily/weekly To Do Lists. And I have the To Do List of the Year. Stuff that needs to be done, but I don’t have a time limit on them. It covers things like getting new glasses (when I have the money), getting a tattoo cover-up (when I have the money), finishing sewing projects, transferring pictures from my phone to my computer. Stuff like that.

Many of the items currently sitting on that list involve getting rid of things. Cleaning out my writing drawer, cleaning out art drawer, cleaning out my make-up, cleaning out my nail polish, cleaning out my bookcases, cleaning out my email folders. Purging. Getting rid of that which no longer serves me.

This past week I brought my work home with me, so to speak. I’ve started going through my To Do List of the Year, accomplishing a couple of smaller tasks before setting my sights on the things that need to go. I’ve cleaned out all of my email folders. (Who the hell saves four year old coupon offers? Me. That’s who.) I’ve thrown out some nail polish. The make-up is next.

You see, not only do I have to seize these productive moods, but I also have to go with the pitch it flow. I’ve been throwing things out for two weeks now. I’m in the rhythm. I can carry that rhythm to moisturizer I’m never going to use and I know I’m never going to use. It’s okay for me to get rid of those things and create that much needed space.

I need to lighten my load, so to speak.

So if anyone needs any barely used eyeshadow, let me know. I might have your shade.

“I Have a Blood Pressure Situation.”

“If I ever let myself go…SPLAT!” -Frank Burns, M*A*S*H

Turns out that Frank Burns and I have that in common. A blood pressure situation, that is.

My blood pressure was fine in my twenties, back when I smoked and live on fast food and Hot Pockets. Then I quit smoking and started eating better, cooking actual meals, eating fast food only sometimes, and giving up Hot Pockets all together.

And my blood pressure started running a little high.

I will go to my grave pissed about that.

That grudge is probably one of the reasons why my blood pressure has recently gotten worse.

I would wager that my health problems over the past couple of years are probably a contributing factor as well. Stress can play hell with the blood pressure and even though I’m a year removed from that situation, it’s not hard to believe that some effects might still linger. I mean, it did take forever for my hair to start to grow back.

And frankly, my diet hasn’t been the greatest lately.

Though I haven’t gone back to Hot Pockets, and fast food is still an occasional thing, a little analysis of my diet has shown that sodium has still crept in and is probably the main culprit from my blood pressure situation getting worse.

Someone pointed out that age might also be a contributing factor and to them I say –That negativity is not helping.

So this month, I’m monitoring my sodium intake by logging all of my food (which I hate) and making some dietary changes in an attempt to reduce my saltiness. (In this case the literal. The figurative is just a personality quirk.) Maybe, possibly, perhaps a little less sodium will make a big difference.

I’m also going back to exercising first thing in the morning. Yes, I exercise most days of the week and exercise is good for the blood pressure, but I think going back to morning workouts will give this whole lifestyle tweak an extra boost. And I need a boost right now.

Hopefully, all of this will be enough to get my blood pressure back to reasonable levels.

I’d like to avoid a splat situation.

September Writing Projects

I am totally finished with Murderville. The last two seasons are written, revised, polished, scheduled, ebooked, teased, promo-ed, everything. I am done with it. All that’s left is to manage the little details as the rest of this Patreon project plays out.

As happy as I am to be done with this project that I’ve been working on for years, I feel a little lost without it. I spent half of August trying to decide what to work on next.

I’ve decided to go back to the Outskirts. That’s right. I’m revising (Vampires) Made in America. Again.

Last year when my goal was to submit the book to agents, I realized after the first few rejections that it needed more work, but I wasn’t sure what it needed.

Earlier this year, I realized that I was starting the book in the wrong place. I needed to get rid of the first chapter and start with the second. Which is easy enough to do. Yes, I lose some stuff I really love, but that’s the nature of the writing beast. You can’t keep everything you love if it doesn’t serve the story. The first chapter really doesn’t serve it.

But that didn’t feel like the only change that I needed to make. There was something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on yet.

I had my epiphany about two weeks ago. In an after-shower moment (all of those best ideas happening while I shower, after my shower, or while I do laundry), the theme of the novel fully clarified itself to me and I realized I needed to add another viewpoint. That’s what’s been missing this whole time.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing this month.

Maybe I can finally get this book right.

Episode 3 of Book ’em, Danno is out. Also worth noting that the podcast is now on iTunes, though I don’t officially say anything about that until the fifth episode because that’s what happens when I try to stay an episode or two ahead. But you don’t have to wait until then to subscribe and listen.

Episode 4 should be coming out shortly.

Murderville patrons, brace yourselves. The ebook of Murderville: Rounds of Luck will be going live on September 10th.

Yes, I might be done with the project on my end, but the goodies will keep on coming for quite a while.