About Editing

Lots of things die in the fall, will the podcast? I’m not sure. I’m thinking about the current format, wondering if it needs some change. In the meantime, I made a video. I’ve been really frustrated with my editing process, all the while pushing through. It’s sort of bubbled up to the point where I wanted to get it on video. This is part documenting, part warning, I guess?

Felt good to get it out. Felt less good to wait two hours for this to upload.

Get It Out There

No podcast this morning either; I really wanted to get the second part of 181 Wensworth Drive out there. That, and I’m hard at work on the novel, trying to get the third draft to look like something worthy of representation. It’s a difficult thing to look at what you’ve created and realized you need to chop a third of it off to rework it. But I think that’s the kind of thing that differentiates an amateur from a pro (at least in mindset). I could have easily convinced myself that the book was good enough, that I could send it out as is. I’m good at delusion. So at the very least, I’m glad I pushed myself to completely rewrite the third act of the book, even if it feels like pulling teeth. It’s just going to make for a better product overall, and even if it doesn’t get published, I can remind myself that my debut novel wasn’t actually that bad.

In the meantime, you can enjoy the next part of 181 Wensworth Drive right now. Just go over to “stories” in the navigation, and you’ll find it there.

Thank you to Malcolm for the massive props on the story (his words). You don’t know how much that means to a guy like me.

Giving Up Normal

I wanted to take the time to write a post today rather than recording an episode for the podcast. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. I didn’t feel like trying to talk over my noisy muffler (which I should be getting checked out).

  2. My girlfriend is sleeping just a few feet behind me.

  3. I spent last night painting miniatures instead of recording.

I’m a terrible human, my willpower sucks, my time-management skills swallow, blah blah blah, self-loathing and self-pity.

Now that that’s over with…

I’m feeling inspired to write about what it means to be normal, and why I have to give that up. Being a writer, I’ve learned that when inspiration strikes, you launch all your harpoons at that motherfucker, drag it back in a net, and eviscerate it until you get something useful out of it. Did you know my novel is pretty violent? Can you tell I’ve been working on it all morning?

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Making a Living

I didn't start writing because I wanted to make a living. I wasn't obsessed with dollar signs, camera flashes, and international recognition. I was an invisible kid walking through school halls where no one really liked him. Or maybe he just didn't feel liked. But when he went home, he used the internet to reach out to people like him, people who maybe didn't really feel liked in their environment either. They gathered around a common passion around a famous space fantasy saga. They created their own characters and weaved stories for them, taking them through trials and tribulations in a war-torn galaxy. The invisible kid did this most nights, in between MSN conversations with other people on the internet who didn't find him so invisible. Writing those stories was an outlet, they gave him something to put his energy into. It gave him people to connect with.

That's when I really started writing. I wrote almost every day, borrowing a universe to tell stories that mattered to me, channeling my grievances into space-faring heroes (and a scoundrel or two). Then adulthood happened, or a pseudo-version of the thing. I chose a major, went to school, got a job, and put my frustrations somewhere else. The weights, people, my work. It was downright ugly. I graduated, stuck in that job for a bit longer, then I left for promises of better work. That work never came. But I'd piled up a nice stack of savings, which let me survive for the next little while without having a job. I did just that. Then I went broke. But in the meantime, I got to try things, taste occupations and lifestyles that I'd never been exposed to before. I found writing again when I was looking for ways to make money (without having a dreaded job). I found a website called Fiverr, where freelancers sell their services for dirt cheap. I tried to find something I was good at, a service I could provide that people would actually pay for. I landed on writing because I couldn't really think of anything else.

Ironically, I sold my first story on Fiverr (it's still my only sale). It's a ghostwritten piece of erotica with...questionable themes. It sold for $120. To think that's my only sale, even now, is bittersweet. Because the thing is, I actually care about money now. I got back into writing fiction because I found a place looking to buy fiction. It was in this period of my life when I just tried whatever I could. I'd already sold a story, so I could do it again, right? It's been about a year since then. I've written most days in that year. I've been getting better. Haven't sold anything. I've got these grand plans for fame and fortune, not because they're valuable in themselves, but because they'll allow me to do certain things. Like paying back a mother who put me in a position to succeed, or being able to spend most of my days doing exactly what I want (which is writing, most of the time). The problem with setting these lofty goals; they blind me. I'm not making money yet, I don't have an audience yet, and that feels like a defeat. Nevermind that I'm writing nearly every day. Shouldn't that be a victory? A small one, but a victory nonetheless? I'm working at this thing that I love, this thing I can't really live without, every day of my life. That's a lofty, privileged position in itself.

The money makes things easier, makes me feel like what I'm doing is real and has value. I think I need to get the stars out of my eyes and focus on the stardust again.

In the spirit of that, expect a new free story next week.