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Talking to Strangers Taught me Things. (Sorry, Mum)

Depending on the day, I can either be a total people person, or a real-life version of Gollum– you know, before Bilbo took the ring. On those days, I loathe anyone who makes eye contact and try not to leave the house.

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Precious doesn’t want to go outside, the sun doesn’t likes him, no it doesn’t…sss…sss

One of my goals for getting better is to tell myself on those latter sorts of days to suck it up, princess. The world goes on regardless of whether or not you’re stuck inside. Why don’t you go enjoy it? Stop missing stuff! –that type of thing.

When I was invited to check out an outdoor weekend market a few towns over last night, I said yes for two reasons: the first, because it was a family outing. I’m not going to say no to a family outing, especially if they’ve been kind enough to take me in for the summer. Second: because every fiber of my being told me that I shouldn’t go. Not because of any weird intuition, or anything telling me that we were going to crash and die on the way down (ain’t no Final Destination shit goin’ on in here, no sah), but because I did not forsee myself wanting to go out. So before I could convince myself otherwise, I said yes. And then I put my phone down so that I couldn’t pick it back up again and tell them I wasn’t coming.

I regretted it all night. Oh, there’s writing I could be doing, I didn’t have a chance to do that today, oh, I still have to do those dishes, oh I’m still not feeling too hot, sleeping in tomorrow would help me, I’m really going to need Saturday to work.

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In other words.

I regretted it when I woke up at 6:30 this morning to shower before we left at eight. And at seven, when I still hadn’t gotten out of bed.

And at twenty to eight when I– God forbid– pulled out the hairdryer to make sure I didn’t get stuck in a chilly sea-side town with frozen hair in May.

But when I got into the car and we pulled away, I was surprisingly thankful I’d made it that far. I love my family; they know the area better than I do. It was time to explore.

And you know what? When I got there, I began to–gasp– enjoy myself. Not because of all of the booths that allowed potential shopping of goods that no one was going to have, but because in taking everything in, I felt joy, and interest and curiosity and peace. I wandered around and looked at antique furniture, homemade bread, two dollar book sales (girl, you know I hit dat up), jewelry counters. I saw things and met people and not only was my creativity fed, but my soul was too. For the first time in a long time, I struck up a conversation with a woman–a complete stranger, careful kids–petting a dog outside of a little shop. We spoke about art. I told her that I was new to the area, and she gushed about its charm and warmth, and in that moment, not only did I believe her, but I saw it; I felt it. We spoke about writing, and she told me how much our county benefited creative people like me. We wandered around and looked at pottery inside the shop we stood in front of, and met the owner and maker of that pottery, and I saw just how people like me can survive in little places like this and be happy.

On the way home, I had a conversation with my aunt, who is wise and beautiful and smart and who knows the world better than I ever could. I learned things.

Also, I bought a cookie. And that cookie tasted awesome.

It’s early afternoon now, and I’m still going to write and read and do all of the things I wanted to do, but instead of moseying around the house, stopping for an hour here and there to surf the net and not change out of my pajamas (or put on pants, for that matter), I’m sitting on my couch, relaxed and thankful for a day that gave me things. Things that I never would have had had I stayed in.

And so my challenge to you is this. Go out. Go out on days where you feel like it the least. Go and find curious places with people and new things, and if you happen to stop for a moment, say hello to anyone close to you. Do not fear the crowds and public places, because even though they’re intimidating, they hold experiences that you aren’t going to get on Netflix, or going through your girlfriend’s latest vacation pics on Facebook. Talk to your family; they know things and they want to share them with you. And for the love of God, not having pants on is not an excuse to stay in. You’re missing real adventure, here.

Today, I found joy in the mundane, because I discovered that sometimes all you need to feel better is to step out the front door for something other than a big night out or a roadie with the girls. And now, as I settle myself down to write some more, I’m ready and willing to explore where this story is going to take me. To be honest, I don’t know where it would have gone had I stayed in.

I can tell you though, not as far.

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Something Beautiful: Sorry, Audience, this isn’t for you.

I discovered something recently that made me smile, and slap a palm to my forehead at the same time (could’ve had a V8, kid.)

I used to write things for the sake of getting noticed. Oh, if I write a book this way, then it’s more likely to sell and I’m more likely to be able to make a living off of something that I enjoy, awesome, whoopdedoo, and all of that fun stuff. So I would take to my laptop, or my 80-page Hilroy– which in the beginning stages of a writing project, I put my first draft in, because my words often flow easier when I feel like I’m bleeding them into paper right from my soul (yeah, morbid thought, I get it, but I’m one of those weird, creative types, remember?)–and write down the idea I thought would be the next bestseller. I would pack it full of action and romance and craziness–though I did my best to keep away from vampires, because the modern generation of that sort of literature has ruined my view of supernatural stories

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Someday, Lestat. Someday.

Seriously; Twilight scared me away from Anne Rice, and I don’t know how I feel about that–

and get to work, confident for the first three weeks that I was going to make it. Except, I would pack in things that everyone was doing. My plots became cliche, my characters bland, and I could tell what was coming next, not because my brain was running as it should, but because my muscle memory was kicking in and writing the ending to the last eight movies I’d watched. I’d get frustrated, try to change up the whole story, while still keeping the things that I thought would make it sell, and then give up because it just wasn’t working.

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If there are infographs about your story type, RUN.

It was only until I started the Gracie Project– which is what I’ll be calling my work for the next three months– that I realized what I’d been doing wrong. For the first time since I started taking writing seriously, I understood what hadn’t worked before. All of the short stories I’d written in the backs of my notebooks or on a whim in planes and cars and in class when I should have been paying attention, is that I was working on things that inspired me, not what inspired my generation to flock to a bookstore at midnight to buy the fourth book in my new, imaginary series. I began Gracie because I had been going through a rough time. She popped in at the right moment, and was doing the things that I wanted to do. She was funny, she was adventurous, and she was completely different from anything I’d ever written before. Suddenly, everything made sense. Every Pinterest quote (yeah, it’s an addiction, so sue me. I’m nineteen; it happens), every page of every author’s interview I’d scrutinized, every memoir, came flooding back to me and I got it.

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I need to tattoo this to my fingers. Seriously.

You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope in creating something beautiful.

See that gem? That came from Gustave Flaubert. I’ve read it at least fifty times over the past few years, and most of the time I agreed with it. And then I’d turn around and act as if I didn’t, even though I had completely tricked myself into writing the things I thought other people wanted. Gracie was, and is, my way of curing myself of things that got stuck in my head and made me hurt. She is my medium; she is who I have chosen to tell my truth, and you know what? Though I haven’t worked out all of the details of her adventure, more and more of them are coming to me every day, and that is exciting.

What joy it is to be invited by your own characters to explore new worlds with them. I don’t have to leave my couch to see the things she sees, and I’ve reached a point where I’m not dying to make a daily word count. Instead, I wake up wondering when I can squeeze more of her world into mine. The way I see the world is changing. I’m creating something beautiful, not for a reader (who, if, by some miracle, picks up my manuscript and falls in love with the world the way I’m beginning to, great) but for myself. How can I expect someone to read my work if I haven’t breathed whatever life I could into it?

If you’re reading this, whoever you are, whether you’re a writer, whether you’re a businessman, cab driver, chef, dancer or Office Depot clerk, my challenge to you is this: carry out your passion in such a way that you find yourself inspired. If you exist to serve the opinions– please note I said opinions; helping other people is probably something people should do a whole lot more–of others, how could you ever enjoy what you’re doing? I’m not going to tell you that happiness doesn’t take work. I can’t expect the Gracie story to be easy, but even when the going gets tough, I still want to like what I’m doing, ya feel me?

Do it for yourself. Somehow, the more your work pleases you, the happier you are, and–I swear this is a thing– others begin to see the merit in it. You’ll discover very quickly that those who don’t particularly enjoy what you have to offer don’t matter as much. If, at the end of the day, you are pleased with yourself above all, then off to bed with you, solider, you done good.

Now if you excuse me, I’ve been wanting to make stuff with words all day.

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Road Maps and Novel-Writing: Keep Me Away from Indigo.

I went to write in a coffee shop today because being home meant distractions. I started to work on my book while sitting on my parent’s loveseat, but plot thread and character development were replaced every minute with imhungrymyfacehurtswhydoesmyfacestillhurtthedentistsaiditwouldonlytakeaweektohealmaybeishould

takesometylenolohtonightsepisodeofdrphillooksinterestingmaybeishouldtapethatohshitishouldprobablycheck

andseeifmylandloardpulledmyrentdoihaveunderwearfortomorroworshouldidolaundrybeforeigohomewhydidyou

evenbothergettingallfourwisdomteethoutthisissoannoyingPINTEREST

Replace a few of these with endless YouTube video mini-marathons and I lost a good two hours of writing time being home. At that point, I took a stand. I refused to lose to the curiosity of my twenty-first century teenaged brain, and so I packed up my things, left my laptop at home and headed to my local Starbucks to grab a latte, scribble out a dozen pages of draft one and praise my decision to put my Master’s degree on hold lest I join the ranks of overqualified baristas who serve people like me and wonder why they aren’t working at a job they’re qualified for.

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Sorry, Starbucks folk. Our job market is awful, but you do make a mean chai tea.

I got some pretty important work done before I realized that I needed to do some research, not necessarily for accuracy, as most of what I’m writing is indeed fiction, but to give me an idea of the sort of thing I was getting myself into, and how to write it. Most of the subject was unimportant; probably something I could look up online later, but as a kid who still can’t comprehend things unless she’s underlining them on paper, I did, in fact, need a road map. Why I needed the map isn’t really worth telling (at least right now), but I should note that I was in the perfect position to get one. See, in Canada–and I’m not sure about anywhere else, so don’t murder me for thinking we’re unique–our main bookstore chain, Indigo, and its sister stores usually come with a Starbucks on the inside. Of course, I was sitting twenty feet away to the gates of this chic and modern Heaven-on-Earth. If Indigo didn’t have a road map for the area I was looking for, then I don’t know who would.

So I wandered from the Starbucks into the main store and was immediately caught by the adorable Kate Spade collection of journals that looked like old library books. No, I didn’t buy one. But I contemplated it. Oh yes, for five minutes, actually. (Ten points for self-control, what what).

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Not for long.
Can someone freeze my credit cards, too?

No worries, my steel will didn’t hold up too long. I bought literary magazines. I bought the newest book from an author I’m going to see at the end of the month (Joseph Boyden; I first read Three Day Road, a story of two Cree friends who go off to fight in WWI, and fell in love). I bought a neat little question and answer book to fuel thought and make my evenings a little more fun. I bought a collection of C.S. Lewis essays (I love that man, impeccable genius, both as a fantasy author and Christian apologetic), and then, and only then did I reach the travel section to collect my map. They had it, just like I knew they would, but as I did the walk of shame to the cash register, I did not feel triumph, but sympathy for my debit card.

My addiction to literature– and cute things and shopping in general– is getting out of hand. I suppose it could be worse, but sending me into an Indigo is like sending a recovered drug-addict into a crack house to pick up a jacket for a friend who left it there.

If you were wondering the map did come in handy.

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Sorry, little guy.

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Down With the A Grades: I am Going to be the Right Kind of Selfish.

It’s been an interesting year. At this point, I’m not sure where to begin, and before anyone with good intentions tells me that “it’s best to start at the beginning, dear,” hear me out, because the beginning isn’t so easy to pick out. I suppose I could start with last April, but if I’ve got to jump all over a timeline, don’t start picking this apart like you would Slaughterhouse Five if you get confused, okay? Okay.
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About this time last year, I was convinced that I was stark, raving mad. Not because I’ve got a fantastic imagination– I believe everyone who writes is insane to an extent, but that’s a good kind of insane. This time, I was sure that there was something wrong with me. I’m not going to go into everything, because I haven’t quite come to terms with things yet, but to put it simply, I got sick. Not the kind of sick that you can sit in bed for a few hours on a Sunday and sleep through classes on a Monday and feel better, but the kind of sick that eats at you from the inside and since the outside is okay, then nobody knows anything is wrong until its too late.

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From the latter half of 2012, to the first four months of 2013, I suffered from something I didn’t even know I had. See, the beauty– and I mean beauty in the most sinister of ways– of mental illness is that it tricks you into thinking that the things going on in your head are your fault. You’re trapped, afraid to tell people that you need help for fear of judgement, hospitalization, the whole shebang, and so you’re stuck, until someone who’s got enough know how catches you with your guard down and convinces you that you’re OK, and that there are ways to fix what’s going on.

I got lucky. I’ve got a family that supports, loves, and knows me better than anyone on the planet, and eventually, I got the help that I needed. A year ago in May, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I began the journey towards being healthy. Let me tell you, kiddies, it ain’t as easy as it looks. There was a period after I began treatment where I did feel better. I started at a new school with a new outlook on life and a new plan to move forward with the things that I loved. Except, other stuff got in the way.

Ahh, the age old excuse. “Life got in the way.” It’s like you’re sixteen with stars in your eyes, ready to take on the world, and suddenly ten years pass and you’re working at an entry level office job with a degree you busted your butt for, hoping for a promotion and wondering why you didn’t pursue marine biology like you had hoped. And almost every person who asks this question to themselves comes up with an answer that directly translates to “life got in the way.”

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Old friend #1: “What ever happened to that detailing business you were going to set up?”

Old friend #2: “Ahh, man, I got offered this summer job at the firm, and they keep asking me back. It’s money, and a stable job, so why not? Besides, I have Dad’s old T-Bird in the garage; I’ll fiddle with it on my spare time. Next week, they’re thinking of moving me to head office.”

Dude, it would have saved you like, five breaths had you only said “life got in the way.”

As I was working on healing myself, without realizing it, I had fallen into the same old routine of working as hard as I could to get straight A’s, and nail all of the extra-curricular activities, working on massive projects because I had myself convinced that I was doing good things for people who deserved it. I’ve got OCD. I’m a perfectionist. If I don’t have all of the best grades, the best body, the best of myself, then I feel like a failure. It’s a messed up cycle of hope, trying to put too much on my plate to achieve my dreams, and then a full-on crash where I lose all energy and motivation and sit depressed for three weeks. Then the whole thing begins again. The sad thing about the cycle I’ve been in since I realized that good grades and involvement got you stickers and certificates, is that it draws me further and further away from the things that make me happy. I lose sight of me, tricked into thinking whatever I’m succeeding at is going to help me be happy and healthy and free.

I think I realized that something had to change after my adviser for Honours History told me my thesis topic was a one way ticket to Law School. Well wouldn’t you bet I took to the internet, had my mum buy me LSAT books (which I still do for fun, because, man, those brain puzzles are addicting), researched different programs and had my bearings set for a new adventure. Of course I had to tell everyone, and they were all so proud. Not to mention that this happened after I made the decision to stop writing for my school newspaper, something that gave me great joy, because I didn’t have enough time.

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That’s it. I’m done. I’m not even proud to say I pulled straight A’s this semester, yet again, and have a GPA of a 3.97. Why? For awhile it was because it wasn’t a 4.0. Is that not sick? Does that not make you want to slap me? If I were into violence, I’d totally give my ears a box. No, right now, I’m not proud of that because I finished out my year unhappy. I finished out my year lost, and unsure of where to go. So I turned to the only thing that I knew would make me happy and healthy. I turned to the bare-boned, base level of anything that has ever made my heart swell: my God, my writing, my books, my runs, and my want for adventure. The only thing that will make me happy is a day of sitting in my little sunny nook writing my stories and my poems and my scripts and my skits and scribbling out the tickles of my imagination until I’m empty for the day. Then, I would get up from my chair and making myself a meal of fruit, water and other cool, juicy, simple things that you can get at a store down the road. I’d go for a run to clear my head and drum up new ideas for the next day. I’d meet up with friends and laugh until my belly hurt, and then go home, read a book, pray and thank God for giving me another day, and then sleep so I could do it all again tomorrow. There will be curve balls, as there always are, but I’ll be able to take them on, because I’ll be on the right track, and when you’re on the right track, you’re motivated to take on things as they happen.

This summer, I can do these things. I’m still pushing myself to get up and start my day and do the things that I love. It’s hard, but I’m doing it. And then come September, I’m going to say no. To everything. To things that I don’t want to do. No more head of societies, no more tutoring sessions (though most likely I’ll keep doing those; I love watching people learn), no more staying up till three to finish a paper two weeks before it’s due. No more straight A’s. If I can pull off a year where I feel good about myself, where I sleep, where I have my disorder under control, where I write and read what I love and still manage to keep my grades, fantastic. If not, it’s not a big deal. I’d rather peace of mind and my imagination intact than letters of congratulations from the Dean.

I’m going to write for the newspaper. That’s it. I’m going to go for my runs, and take creative writing classes. I’m going to sing in the shower again. I’m going to like getting up at eight, just to see the sun. I’m going to fall in love with my degree, and eventually get a job that I love, without sacrificing my need to write. And I’m not going to law school. Then, I’m going to get published. I’m going to get published so much that I’m going to be able to quit that job and write for myself. I’ll write what makes me happy, and I’ll feed my family and I’ll love everyone and everything with the passion of a child, because even though this sounds way too pretty to be a plausible goal, it’s mine, and I’m going to get there because I owe it to my brain and my body to do something for them for once.

In a way, working myself sick for the wrong things is selfish. I think I was heading down a path I shouldn’t have been on because people told me I was good at it, and since I didn’t feel good about myself, I lived for praise like that. I told myself I was doing it for other people, but I think it was justification for something that made me feel less… gross. The high, however, is only temporary. It’s time to do the things I should have done all along.

Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I asked my friends what they would do with their lives if nothing stood in their way. The response was staggering. I know so many inspiring people; and I hope that someday, they will push life to the side of the road and start living. I hope that they get to do the things they told me they’d do, and I hope it makes them happy. Until then, I’m going to work on getting my happy back. And you know what? It’s going to be difficult, but it’s also going to be lovely.

I have my parents, my little sister, my loved ones and friends to thank for helping me get here.

So here’s to another April to April year mark. This one, I’d grade a C.

Let’s push for the only A that matters, shall we?

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Now that’s the kind of high I’m looking for.

 

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The Second Someday

I’ve spent most of the last four months wishing that I could blow the dust off of this corner of the internet so I could put some sort of effort into my blog– poor, lonely, little blog– but you know what they say about good intentions: you can wish to do something all you want, but if you don’t actually start it then–

Though there hasn’t been much in the way of updates since August, I’ve lived a life worthy of posting; I just spent more time doing than I did recording. Which, if you’re like me, is positively depressing. But what would a good story be without some sort of experience behind it, right? In the four months since I unintentionally left my internet footprint alone, I’ve learned quite a few things about what it means to be me, some wonderful, some uncomfortable, but regardless of the nature of the whats, whos, and whys I discovered on this mini adventure, I have not escaped unchanged. I am now more sure about who I am than I have ever been before, and I know exactly where I want to be. Between new friends, learning to live on my own, and an existential crisis (the ghosts of which still haunt me), I think I can honestly say I’m okay with where I’m at. It’s the “get up, get going” part that scares me.

It’s easy to have goals. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Paediatric Cardiologist (say that five times fast, Mum); the idea of it gave me such a thrill that I could barely contain myself if someone ever made the mistake of bringing it up. I told anyone who would listen that I was going to get there someday. 

Someday. What a funny word. Based on my experiences, it can have one or two meanings depending on the context that it is used. In the first instance, it appears with a positive connotation; it is chalk full of childlike optimism, and hints toward a successful outcome. The second situation comes with a similar tinge of yes, but often results in the disappointment of those silly enough to wait for it to happen– for example’s sake, it’s used most frequently by one too scared to say no.

ex: “Daddy? Dad? Can I have a pony? It’ll make me the happiest girl in the world                        andifyoudontillscreamuntilyoucaveandbringonehome.”

“I’m not so sure about right now, babydoll, but someday, for sure.”

Nice save, Dad. In the short term, that someday” might soothe some inner desire, but, in the case of the pony example, unless Pa decides to save up, buy a bigger house, build a barn and actually make the effort to look for and purchase a horse good enough for his little princess, then babydoll can hope for the pony ’til she’s blue in the face, but she’ll never get it.

As you can probably tell from all previous posts, the Cardiologist dream was lost amidst the waters of the second someday example, and I’m completely okay with that. For one, I’m not a fan of blood, or Chemistry, and as I found out rather quickly, I lack the emotional blockades to deal with sick children calmly in dire situations. And, of course, I realized that I’d rather swallow a live jellyfish every day for the rest of my life than support myself with something that doesn’t involve writing creatively.

And here we have the problem that I’ve been trying to combat since I left for school in August. With classes and committees and scholarship work and volunteer hours and exams, my dream is in danger of being trapped in the dangerous web of the second someday. Of course, with dreams like this, it’s all a matter of knowing what you want, and believe me, I know what I want.  But I figured out pretty quick that I can talk about it, dream about it, and dabble with it all I want, but just thinking about it all the time isn’t going to get me any closer to doing anything about it. I’d be lying if I said I’ve picked up a pen to write anything creative since I’ve last been home, and I’d be two seconds away from burnt legs if I said it didn’t bother me.

I don’t need inspiration; that stuff is everywhere. I don’t need drive; I’ve got lots of that, too. I’ve just been pushing to move forward in the wrong areas. Maybe it’s time to stop striving for classroom praise and scholarship winnings; maybe it’s time to do what makes me happy. And so I’ve promised myself that I shall. Hell, I’ve even moved a step further than that, and started doing it. The next challenge is keeping it up, but that’s a story for another time. I’ll tell you when I get there.

If you’re reading this, and you’ve found yourself in the same boat that I’ve just docked and climbed out of, whatever your dream is, don’t let it disappear into the vault of lost somedays. Work for it, grab onto it, and get going. Make someday today; it’s possible, and with a little elbow grease, it’s probable. You’ve just got to move.

So get going.

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” — Stephen King.

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Productivity: How to Stay Motivated When it Just Ain’t Happening.

I’ve decided that summer is an awful time to decide to finish your book. I made the decision to put it on hold a few weeks ago to work on my other projects– which are going along swimmingly, thankyouverymuch– but when I do actually have time to sit down and tackle a very large plot chunk, there are a billion things I find that I want to do instead.

For example:
Just yesterday I sat down to write one of my favourite scenes in the entire novel– I’ve been waiting to hash that sucker out for months and realized that I had to go pick up some interview equipment for work. So I hopped in my car, and ran that errand, excited to get back home and finish ‘er up.

But on my way out of the office, I passed by my gym. The call of the treadmill was too loud to resist. Already in a pair of trainers and yoga pants, I sneaked in for a quick workout.

And then it went downhill from there.

Got home, ate some yogurt. And some toast. And some cereal. In otherwords, the workout was totally useless.

Looked through some old photographs with my grandmother.

Helped clean out my basement.

Went to see a really bad movie with a really good friend.

Put all my laundry away.

Read a book.

And by the time all that was finished, it was one o’clock in the morning, and the scene I have waited forever to write is still locked away in the corners of my brain. I knew that when I started this blog I was going to record triumphs and failures. And though this isn’t quite a failure, it is a minor annoyance, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s experienced things like this before.

In the end, I’ve just got to remind myself that this is what I want most in the world, and if I want it, I’ve got to work on it as hard as I can. I’ll just start waking up super early to tackle a couple thousand words or so. Kind of like Stephen King.

A novel can’t be written in a month. Or rather, a good, full-sized one can’t be written in a month (sorry Nanowrimo people). I’m going to write it, and I’m going to write it as well as I can, and if it takes me a year, then it takes me a year. Patience is key. Either way, I will finish it. It is only a matter of when I’ll type the last sentence.

Editing though, that’s a whole other matter.

Those be some waters I’m ‘fraid to tread in, son.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated.

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Flash Decisions

I had a good writing day today. I made it to my word-quota in a flash and I can’t tell if it was the fact that I was running on coffee and good intentions or that I had just managed to make the biggest decision of my short life in under twenty four hours. Adrenaline is a beautiful thing, though–very much in the manner that my coffee does– after the effects wear off, you crash hard, which is what I’ll probably find has happened when I sit to write again.

I’m at that stage in my life where each fork I meet on the road to tomorrow could change the course of everything– whether for better or worse is irrelevant; the idea is that there’s no going back. I got lucky; I have a pretty stable home life, and the milestones that everyone says are the stepping stones to adulthood have passed by without so much as a flicker of excitement. I did what I was supposed to do, and that was that.

Except what I was supposed to do apparently wasn’t what I had chosen. And so over french toast and fruit at a lovely restaurant with my dad, the infamous fork appeared on the horizon, and though there were a few trees in the way, by that afternoon the forest had cleared and BAM, there it was. It wasn’t that there was anything chasing me; there was no reason to jump into things, but a combination of anxiety and elation at the opportunity led me to making one of my first ever “rash” decisions. (You know, because writing books for a living is a sensible choice, right?)

It doesn’t matter what the choice was, but I’m still riding on its high. I’m sure it’ll pass when everything I forgot to take into account floods in to my head, but for right now, it makes for some great writing inspiration, or rather, motivation at least.

Writing tip #1: Make big decisions quickly. Then, pop open your laptop before you calm down and work on whatever projects you have going. Great progress is made when the mind is busy, or at least in my situation.

I’ll let you know how much I get done when I start wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Don’t try this at home, kids.

I feel another story coming on.