So it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog…which always seems to be the case lately.
I’ve been busy with being tired and self doubt, but I’ve found new motivation. That motivation is the motivation to not suck.
You see, I don’t want to suck; therefore, I shan’t. It’s a new philosophy I’ve decided to live by. Though, my philosophies change so often that even I get tired of listening to myself. But, anyway…the new philosophy is Just Do It. I realize this is highly original and groundbreaking, and, now that I’ve written it, I dare say that the saying is synonymous with victory! Like old school victory. Greek victory. Well, I take pride in being the first person to have thought of this philosophy…wait…
I’m just getting word that Nike trademarked this slogan in 1988. So, when I was a toddler. Damn it, all of the good ideas are already taken. But, this doesn’t take away from my philosophy. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I aim to ignore the tired, to clarify, me being tired. I aim to make myself have the habits that I desire, not the ones that please me in the moment. I want to eat healthy, workout, write, talk to people, and feel good about my decisions. No instant gratification, because, honestly, the gratification that you have to work for is the sweetest.
I mean, there’s a reason that we always want gratification and want it instantly…it just feels so damn good. So, I will make my healthy food on a schedule, whether I feel like doing it or not. I will work out at the gym and work out hard, whether I feel like it or not. And I will sit down and write, whe…you get it. Because, in the end, I will get results. Good or average, I will be making progress, which is more than I will ever make only doing things when I feel like it.
So, I haven’t written a blog in a couple of weeks…it’s time.
First off, I think that dating the updates is more efficient or practical than numbering them, specifically because now I don’t have to look back and see what number of Update I’m on.
I’ve started reading again, so I’ll have NPR list blogs up next week and I’ll keep with my once a week method.
There really isn’t much I have to say here. I guess I could say I’ve written out a five year plan for my writing. I know it probably doesn’t mean anything but it helps me stay motivated. The plan is to get published within five years. Of course, it’s more in-depth, but I’ll save you the boring details.
Things are good. This update seems more upbeat than usual and I guess that’s a good thing.
I guess I’ll go ahead and post a secret here since I doubt anyone will ever read it (there’s that Brick pessimism).
I, one day, hope to have to this blog as my author’s homepage. A place where I discuss my writing, daily musings, promote, and of course, take down best of lists. I think it would be fun.
So there it is. The last blog ever… for May 2014.
I meant to sit down and type this update so many times before. I don’t even remember the original content that I was going to have in it. But, let’s see if I can outline it here…
My new job is currently kicking my ass, I guess I can talk about that a little bit. Um, my reading has slowed down quite a bit, but again, that is due to my ass getting kicked on the reggie. Hm…I know there was another thing, aha! I have developed a method of ranking the books that I have read for NPR’s top 100 list. It is a ranking system of over 20 categories which I rank from 1 to 10 and then average out the scores. I wanted to be able to recreate the top 100 list in the order that I believed it should be in, and I had to have as many categories as possible so I wouldn’t have any ties. It seems to be working out nicely so far and I think I’ll post the scores either at the end or in intervals.
I guess I don’t have to talk about the ranking system now. I do plan on getting back to my reading, but as for right now I’m doing good just making it home, sleeping, and heading back to work. Man is my body sore. I love the physicality of the job, but my body is so out of shape. Four years ago I quit a well-paying warehouse job to go to school, and I then proceeded to do nothing but write and do homework and sit on my ass for those four years until now. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m lazy. Very lazy, that is, when it comes to pushing myself to work out just for the sake of working out. I grew up as an athlete, you see, so my body remembers what it was like to feel strong. That’s why I really like the warehouse job. It’s physical and it pays well, but damn it is it hard getting back into shape. It’s what I needed though. I wouldn’t have had the heart to push myself in to getting back into shape any other way. But, now I get paid to get in shape and I have time to write, once I’m not overcome with writhing pain.
I expected my new job to be like my old one, but it’s not in so many different ways. It’s a bigger warehouse, so there is a disconnect between the management and the regular associates which makes me uncomfortable. It’s strange really. I mean at my old job there were biweekly meetings to assess how we were doing and there was a before and after work meeting, and nobody left work until everything was done. This new job is something of an every person for themselves type of vibe. There is a pre-work meeting to tell us where to be, but then once we are done with what we are doing we leave. No goodbye. No pat on the back at the end of a hard day. Just, get out of here so we don’t have to pay you. And I guess I’m fine with that, but the thing that makes it weird is that the people in HR and management talk the same as the people at my old job. They talk about team work and communication and working hard toward a similar goal, but where my old job walk the walk, so to say, this new job talks a big game and then just ignores it.
Oh, and the last thing…I’ve started writing again. It seems I couldn’t keep up with my goal of not writing for a year. I have Mondays all to myself and I’m going to take advantage of them. I have a book written that needs editing. I have another completely outlined that needs written, and I have a couple others that have some extensive writing already done on them. The hard part is getting myself organized and figuring out what I want to write. It feels good.
I feel happy. Who knew I could be happy being nearly exactly where I was four years ago? I guess it’s all about perspective. I needed to know more about myself and now I have, and now I just need to prove to myself that I can keep accomplishing my goals.
(A note on this blogs artwork: normally I would like for the pieces used in the blog to fit thematically with what I’m writing, but I just ran into a lot of artwork that I really enjoyed. I tried to make it fit the best I could, but really I just liked the pictures.)
There are a lot of topics that I want to cover in this update. I recently took a break from the blog. I started a new television series. I changed my life’s plan, and I came to the conclusion that sometimes failure is okay. And I’ve also listed those in order of importance. Ha, I kid, or do I…
Shuu Transformation WIP by deviant art artist ChuuStar (get it? adapting and changing? Metaphored!)
So, let’s see. Right. I took a break from not only the blog, but from everything. I’ve found that I’m really good at stressing myself out, so I sat my ass in front of the TV and had a good ol’ fashioned TV show binge (Amazon Prime not Netflix). It was a comedy consisting of nearly 5 seasons, and I’ll write more about it in a new category I’m going to start, entitled “Literary Television” or maybe I’ll title it something catching. Or maybe I won’t. Actually, does it matter?
OK. Next on the list. I quit graduate school. This is something I think that I wanted to do since last semester, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit it yet. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed school because I thought it was helping me improve my writing, but once I discovered it was only a hindrance, my joy of school plummeted. I switched to business, which is far from my favorite subject, and doing homework just made me feel sick. I began to apply to jobs and I got a job offer making 35K a year, so I took it. It is physical work, something that I enjoy, and it is only 40 hours a week (I say only because there was a potential for jobs with a lot of mandatory overtime), four days a week. This means that I’ll have a kid-free day in the week where I can write, read, draw, and just fulfill my creativity quota. This is actually what I wanted all along. I want a job that doesn’t challenge me mentally. I want to work out while I’m getting paid and then in my free time I want to be able to write and really enjoy it.
I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I didn’t realize how angry I was all the time before. School was just grinding on me, and I was putting expectation on myself that I knew I didn’t really want to meet. I thought I had to make a lot of money and that I had to finish graduate school or I was a failure, but then I realized that it’s OK to be a failure.
How many people actually accomplish every goal they’ve ever set? I’ve mentioned before that I’m shit at setting goals and this is just another revelation and a chance to grow and learn at setting goals. It’s OK to fail. Sure it sucks. It forces you to rethink plans and to come up with an alternate route. I discovered that graduate school isn’t for me and also, neither is a corporate job. As long as I keep pushing I’ll keep discovering my boundaries and limits and fulfill my potential.
I’m going to get back to blogging again. I kind of took a break from reading as well, but don’t worry, I’m way ahead of where I am on the blog.
I’m going to write about movies and TV on the blog because if I learned anything getting my English degree, it’s that all of the teachers in the English department want desperately for film to be in the literary canon so that they can watch TV during class time. It’s makes sense, but more on that in a different blog.
I would like to once again thank the void. Thank you for being infinite and for consuming any possibility of potential readers.
I hate school.
There…I’ve said it.
I truly hate it.
When I went back to school four years ago I was convinced that I was going to be a better person. I wanted to be a different person. A person that made a goal and accomplished that goal. A person that enjoyed accomplishing the goal, and I thought that I had done that. I didn’t procrastinate. I studied and got good grades. I struggled with calculus (back in the day when I wanted to be a CS major), despite it being five years since I had any algebra…The point is that I was persistent and I kept pushing myself.
But, the thing that I think kept me going was the fact that I wanted to be a writer and I was convinced that school would get me to where I wanted to go. The truth is that school didn’t do much for my writing. The couple creative writing classes I took were full of students that really didn’t care about writing. It felt like I was the only one reading other’s work and giving heart felt criticism. Most of the time my own stuff wasn’t read (based on the little participation during seminars) and the participation that was there was usually unhelpful. I don’t mean to bash them. I was mostly just unsatisfied.
And then the other classes were just filler. I was forced to read what I didn’t want and I had to stumble onto different revelations when it came to my writing. I am grateful for those revelations, but it’s hard not to think that I would have come across them if I hadn’t gone to school. You see, before I began school, I was writing a lot and I had a hunger for it. I was reading fiction like crazy and also books on writing and the rest of the time I was writing.
I was forced to stop that when school began, because I had to concentrate on what they wanted me to do. I’m the type of person that has trouble giving a shit about something that I’m not enthralled with at the time. I would have learned so much more if my thirst for knowledge was quenched on my own instead of with school. I feel like I just wasted my time, and worst of all, I fooled myself into thinking I was a different person.
I only thought that I was changed, and I’ve just recently learned that I was only a good student because of my drive to want to be an author. It was that goal that was keeping me going, and it is a testament to how bad I wanted to be an author that I even graduated at all.
I couldn’t stand English Graduate school and I think it was because I was getting burnt out because I was trying to write my own stuff while doing everything else, and I wasn’t getting to read what I wanted and I got to the point where I thought everything I wrote and turned in had to be brilliant. So, you can imagine the stress.
Now I’m in Business school, going for my MBA, and I’m learning that I’m still the same person I was before I started school. I’m procrastinating and I just don’t give a shit. I know I’m making a better decision, overall, for my future and my family, but damn it, does it have to be so boring? So bland? I want to read good books and write about them. I want to write good books and still have money to support my family.
I want everything to be stress free…but therein lies my problem. I have never been realistic, with anything. When reality hits me, I shift and juke and try to hide my ignorance somewhere else where reality is still unknown to me. The older I get the more depressing everything gets.
So, that’s how I’m doing now. I go to school and do homework. I read books and think about a time when I was a better father. Wow, this got bleak. Oh well, I know you won’t judge me.
As always, thank you, nobody, for reading this. I think it helps.
Everything is going well. I’m still excited about reading these books even though very few have them have been worth my time. I like having to read out of my comfort zone and I’m sure a few of these will be brilliant. I have read and written a couple of blogs that I haven’t posted yet on books that I was surprised to find decent reads, but I won’t be posting them until there book comes along in the order. I have fallen behind in posting because it took me a long time to get Gone (Number 96), but I now have it. Another problem I am going to face is that school starts next week, so my reading will slow down quite a bit, but I will try to get a book done every few weeks.
There are times when I think that maybe I am being too critical toward certain books, but then I pick up a book and the narration flows perfectly and the story falls into place before I’m even aware that I should be critical it reasserts my view of books and expectations. Its times like that that I know there are authors out there that are worth my time. I know that I am kind of being an ass about it, but it takes several hours to read a book. at least a two days, or even a week in some cases if it is the only thing that I am doing. It is different from a movie that is only a couple of hours and even if it isn’t perfect, it can still be fun. But, for a book to be worth my time it needs to be 90 percent amazing and 10 percent good, all of it; the writing, the story, the creativity, the characters, the dialogue. I have to be blown away, and I don’t think that is asking for too much.
As far as my own writing, I’m still not doing it, but I am craving it (which is the goal). It feels good to brainstorm and think of stories and dialogue and possible situations all of the time and with no expectations. Though, ideas were never my problem, it was mainly me just giving a shit. I got to the point where I would sit down and write and just not give a shit about what I was doing. I have four different novels that I would like to write and I have worked on all of them over the last few years, and I was to the point with each of them where I didn’t know if they were good anymore. I forgot what I was doing. I didn’t think they were worth it. With distance, my view of those stories have clarified what I want from those stories, but I am still not going to write. No yet. I am going to concentrate on school and keep from stressing myself out. I am confident that my love for writing will return to me. I was concerned there for a while that I would never write again. I thought that it was just another thing that I tried and failed and would never pick up again.
I’m not sure how much my reading will slow down, because I’ve switched graduate schools so I’m not sure how easily I’ll pick up the new material. It should be easier than what I was doing, but it is graduate school, so it should still take up quite a bit of my time.
This is hopefully one of many updates, and hopefully they come weekly. I’d like to call it a weekly update but I’m not sure how consistent I will be once school starts back up again. So, let us get right to it…
Despite reading three books that I would have not read, I am really enjoying this challenge of reading NPR’s top 100 books for teens EVER. I’m excited about reading once again, which is nice, but also I have felt my craving to write something of my own growing. But, I’m still resolute in my decision not to write the entire year, and I am hoping by doing that that I will explode with creativity once this is all over and I get back my relentlessness. For about five years my only goal was to get published and I decided to put everything I had into it, and I did, except I did it wrong. You see, I changed my major to English, and instead of throwing myself into my writing, I had actually thrown myself into school thinking that I would be working on my writing and improving my writing by studying literature and all that. I was mistaken. I believe that if I had not gone to school and just wrote, I would have a couple of fairly decent books written and I may even be published. I mean published with a novel. I have won a couple of short fiction contests and I have about six short stories published and a poem. So, I want that relentlessness back, and I’m sure I will.
The reading is going well. I am reading a couple of books out of order, but I am trying to stay within five on the ranking scale. So, if I am on number 97 on the NPR top 100, I cannot read further than number 92. I would prefer to read them all in order, but I have to work with the library. Sometimes it takes longer to get certain books. It is helpful that I am working with two different libraries at the same time, so I should always be able to have a book in my hand. So far I would say that I am unimpressed with NPR’s list, but if they are right in calling these books the best for teens ever then I’m disappointed in everybody. I expect better from the human race. I am not going out of order too far, because I expect to see an improvement from number 100 to number 1, and it is easier to notice and analyze if I read them somewhat in order.
I hope to put up blogs consistently, both for the NPR list and for a couple of other things. I really like doing this blog. It is liberating for me to be able to write and put what I say out into the abyss that is the internet and feel confident about it. I was beginning to question myself too much, and what I liked most about writing was the creative process. The on a whim brilliance that I found in what I happened to say. Of course, it was most likely just brilliance that I saw, but if I see it, it must be real on some level, right? I realize that no one is going to read this blog, but that doesn’t diminish my putting myself out there for others to see. It’s the act of it more than anything. Maybe that makes me crazy, but I’m OK with that.
Thank you, nobody, for reading. I’ll keep you up to date.