Writing

National Novel Writing Month, or Something.

It’s National Novel Writing Month. Or National Poetry Writing Month. Or National Blog Writing Month. Or whatever it is your writing month. I don’t even know anymore. People have so many ways of writing it’s not even funny.

I thought about it last night briefly. I don’t think I’ll participate in it, though I did write a poem in its honor. I don’t think I could write 30 poems. Or 50,000 words. Or even 30 blog posts. It just doesn’t seem logical. I like the idea of it–it doesn’t matter what you’re writing as long as you’re writing but when did we stop caring about quality in favor of quantity? Maybe quantity yields to quality? I don’t know.

I have this crisis every year. Should I participate? Is it worth it? I want to participate!

…and then I don’t because I’m lazy.

Maybe I just never understood why people would want to do it. I just think it’s weird. I tried writing a blog post every day once. That was weird. And hard. And annoying. I can’t even do it for a week. Because it’s dumb and takes away from everything else. That’s all.

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Life, Writing

In This Together.

There’s something that I’ve learned about bloggers over the years:

We’re all a little insecure.

We want to be authentic, but we’re afraid of opening ourselves up because we’re afraid that someone’s going to take a stake to our heart.

We stop writing because we’re afraid that our writing is not good enough and then come groveling back because we can’t stand not writing anymore.

We try to rationalize our feelings, swinging from one branch of feeling to another, as if we need to justify to others why we aren’t writing. Or painting. Or creating in some way or another.

We go from writing too much, to not writing at all. And yet we still write.

We still write because we want to be heard. We want someone to tell us that we’re alright.

And we are alright. We are still here, you and I.

We are here together.

If you need to take a break, I’ll still be there. I didn’t come this far with you just to come this far. I will still read your writing even if you need some time off to focus on yourself. Because God knows we all need to boost our morale.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be uncertain. It’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling. I’ll waiting for you, for that next post. I followed you because you write quality, not quantity. You find the words to describe how I’m feeling in just a way.

I feel the insecurity. I’ll write and write and write. And then I’ll stop because I’m feeling insecure. I’ll then write and write and write about how insecure I’m feeling about my writing and obsess over why I’m not as good as any others. People actually have things to write about, I say, and then pull back. They travel, they cook, they get involved with their communities.

I just live an average life.

An ordinary life, you would say.

I wanted to show that living an ordinary life could be extraordinary. You didn’t need to travel extensively or cook fancy meals every day or be especially literary with fancy words. I wanted to show that a small, normal, ordinary life could be just as worthy as any other blogger, writer, x successful person.

And yet I got sucked into the belief that I need to be something in order to write about it. I needed to do things, be extraordinary. And yet–

And yet that was tiring.

It was boring. I’m not that sort of person to put myself out there underneath the spotlight all the time.

I am quiet. I can be weird around people that I most want to talk to. I get awkward. I’m by no means as confident as I make myself out to be.

And yet here I am…still writing. And people are still following.

Thank you.

Thank you for following me. And if you write a blog, thank you for writing. We’ll find our footing. We’ll get to the other side.

We’re in this together.

This is partially inspired by Chris Nicholas’ post “Epoch” which you can read here if you’re so inclined. Give him some love, he deserves it, I’ve never met a bad piece of writing from him.

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Writing

Some Music.

There’s something magical about seeing a band play live.

Warm bodies before you, coaxing music out of complicated instruments with expert hands. Their bodies, rocking to the rhythm of their music, speak of passion for their music. The audience puts hands together, encouraging them to continue on. Sway, dance, laugh. Some even close their eyes and drift off into the thoughts and memories that music brings them.

This band I saw had charisma. They had passion. They had intensity. They had stories weaved in between the songs that brought reality and explanation to the songs they made. Cuig is their name, and though they are young, they have the talent in becoming more. Being a casual fan of Irish music, even I could tell that they could go far if they have the gumption to make it to the next level.

I wish I had the knowledge and the words to describe them to you. But sometimes words aren’t enough to tell you how it felt to be a member of the audience.

Their music was poetry. Their music was memory.

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Writing

Words I Hate.

There are two words that absolutely irritate me:

    Chat
    Pass away (and it’s variants of passes/passing away/passed away, etc)

For some reasons, the word “chat” never seems like a real word to me. Whenever I hear it I want to tear my ear drums out and never hear it again. I feel like it’s a word that people use to show they’re more educated or are superior to other low life, every day people. You’re not special just because you’re prettying up a word. If you want to talk to me use the word “talk,” for crying out loud. You’re still giving me information. I’m still hearing it. Don’t “chat” at me about it, or I’m going to tell you how I really feel. (Or just look at you passively aggressively.)

As for “passing away,” I never understood why people prettied up death. Everybody dies, why are you making it sound like the person’s merely falling asleep? The person has died, therefore you need to tell other people that this particular person has “died” or is “dead.” He’s dead. Leave him dead. That’s all there is to it.

There’s a saying in the writing world that basically states that if you keep using extraordinary words, then you won’t have any words left when you see or hear something truly extraordinary. Say things simply without dressing it up too much. And that’s how I want to try and keep it.

Let’s talk about it. What are your thoughts?

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Life

Balance and Art.

I’ve got seven pages left in my journal. I decided to end it there.

It’s no secret that I journal. It’s been happening since I’ve been about eleven or twelve. Rarely, though, have I written on a daily basis for any length of time. In the last year or so, I’ve made more of an effort to write daily and it’s been taking a toll on me recently.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of writing daily. I feel like I’ve run out of things to say and now I’m just randomly saying things just to fill the pages and meet my quota. I’m not progressing with my written word and I’m tired of pushing myself when writing is boring.

If you don’t read and write daily then you don’t improve yourself as a writer.

But does too much effort make you burn out? Do you get tired of pushing yourself to improve? Is rest just as valid as work?

When I’m not writing or reading, I feel guilty for not doing so. But when I am, I’m thinking of all these other things that I’d rather be doing. This is normal of course, but how much is too much?

This is probably why I haven’t been reading much this year. I don’t want to read because people are expecting me to read. I want to read because I love to read and lately that’s become a chore. Same with writing.

I don’t have anything else to say to that effect. Rest is rest. I go over the same things because I need to validate myself and comfort myself in the fact that what I’m doing is the right thing. I’ve gotten back into blogging though and I think I’ll always enjoy my blog. But like all things, I don’t want to burn myself out over it.

I read about the big YouTube burnout. All the successful YouTubers have been pushing themselves so much to get the next video out and earn money that they’ve dropped everything else about themselves in pursuit of keeping their channel going. Phillip DeFranco made a point when he stated that there’s nothing wrong with hustling hard and pursuing you’re dreams, but don’t push yourself to the brink of exhaustion where you realize you’re forgetting the rest of your life. If you need to take a week’s vacation and lose a week’s views, it’s better to do that than keep pushing until you break and then you’re channel falls apart because of it.

The moral of the story:

Learn to balance. Find a schedule you can work with. Experiment if it gets too much. But make sure it’s a schedule that you can work with and learn to step away at times in order to become more creative. Life is balance.

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Writing

The Tools to Write.

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~Stephen King

I’ve been meditating on this line from Stephen King today. If you don’t give yourself time to read and write daily, then you’re just not going to write (or write well) at all. I’m not sure how I feel about this to be honest. I don’t exactly write daily (though I have done so more in the past couple months than I have in the past couple of years.) If Stephen King saw me slacking, he would tell me that I’m just not cut out to be a writer.

It’s important to read and write regularly, this I’m fairly sure of. If you don’t read regularly, then you’re not expanding your mind to new ways of writing and new ideas that could be expressed. And if you’re not writing regularly, you’re not improving the way you write whatsoever.

But when you think about all the things you have to do in your life: working, paying bills and gas and spending time with friends occasionally, it’s a wonder you go at all. Stephen King was able to do it. So has any number of writers who have become successful.

It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around trying to set a routine for writing so that I can improve myself. And read. And go to work. And exercise.

It’s hard.

How do you balance everything? Maybe writing daily isn’t the answer for me. I’m sure it works for some, but maybe three times a week? This seems reasonable write?

I contemplate this, but in the end, I’ll just do what I want. I always do.

And this is probably why I haven’t become a famous writer yet.

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Writing

All the Time.

I think about writing all the time, and yet I don’t always write. Sometimes I can go for weeks and months (even, dare I say–years) without writing. I think it bothers some people that I don’t actively write, that I’m more passive about writing and not making something more of it. But I don’t really care. I don’t always write because I don’t always want to. Nor do I want to share my thoughts or have a lot to say about whatever it is that I’m writing. That’s why my blog posts are so short sometimes–I’ve run out of things to say about it.

I was listening to an Irish vlogger tonight and her accent was real thick. I’ve listened to other Irish tubers and met Irish people in real life and I’ve never had a problem understanding what they were saying. But with this girl I had to sit there and listen to her real close. It made me feel real dumb because I thought I could understand the Irish. Clearly I’m losing touch. Or I’m just not as good as I thought I was, which bites real hard.

Just when you think you’re on top, life comes back thunks you on the head to remind you that you suck.

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