Thursday, July 27, 2006

Internalized Barriers to Accomplishment

I started writing again last week and here I sit, after stringing together three days of work on a story, I ran into a big honking roadblock, me.

When you read about writing (something I do way too much of) one of the cardinal tenets of the faith is that you have to write something every day, no excuses. The reason for this bit of dogma is two-fold. First, writing everyday develops a habit. If you write everyday, not only does the quality of your writing improve (theoretically), you are more likely to brush aside the transient distractions of the moment to sit down and start typing. The second reason is that it's harder to get back into the groove if you skip a day.

So what's the deal? Why have I honked off the past couple of days and gotten out of my little groove? I'd like to think that it was because life got in the way, but that wouldn't be the truth. The only real thing I've had to do this summer was show up at eight a.m. for a two hour calculus class.

Why am I sitting here typing this out for free when I could be putting some work in on a story that could be sold?

Why do I sit at the computer and create an excel spreadsheet to track what work I've done like record ideas, keep tabs on my progress on those ideas and hopefully track submissions down the line? I could be working on one of two stories that are already open in Word.

Why do I sit down and cruise the internet, reading message boards and blogs that I'm only marginally interested in?

Why do I continue to sabotage myself? Why do I consistently step on the little seedling of writing aspiration that pops up from time to time?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Interesting Quotable

I saw Clerks II yesterday. Overall a good flick which I think might actually be the best one yet. I was worried that the fat guy who made Clerks back in '94 wasn't going to be able to make a movie in the same spirit because he was so far removed from the place where his main characters were at. I was wrong, he did a good job, but I still don't know how the fuck that movie made it past the MPAA.

Anyway, I was reading his blog and went backwards a ways until I came across an entry about all the good ideas he had, but never acted on. This quote jumped out at me:

"When you’ve got what you feel is a cool, original story to tell… fucking tell it quick. Because if you don’t, sooner or later, someone else will."

"Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis"

One of the things that annoys me about the True Believers (tm) is their insistence that any criticism of their religion (fuck the other ones) is somehow an attack, even when it's a legitimate criticism. "How can you be so cruel as to say that religion may not be the best thing to ever happen to humanity?" they wail and cry, gnashing their teeth for theatrical effect. Instead of taking a critical look at their religion (both the tenets of their faith AND the history of their respective institutions) they just piss and moan about always being under attack by the moral degenerates who don't agree with their particular brand of superstition. All the while, they remain blissfully ignorant of the real reason they piss a lot of people off.

If you are a True Believer (tm), I'd like you to lean in closer and read the following very carefully. I'm about to lay some wisdom on you. Take this information to heart, and you may no longer get the eye-roll from many of the people that you talk to. This could lead to a much healthier social life that expands beyond your fellow Sunday morning faith warriors. Get ready, here it comes:

Some people aren't interested in your god.

There it is. Now go ye forth and cease to annoy.

BTW, check this little ditty out. I think it sums up pretty well how most people feel about the True Believers (tm) and their insistence that everyone else play by their rules. (First time I've tried to embed a YouTube. Hope it works.)

**Disclaimer: Many religious people are perfectly content to keep their religion to themselves and go about their business without being an annoyance (as far as religion goes, anyway.) If you are one of this seemingly vast, silent majority, I'm not talking about you. You're fine, go forth and leave me the fuck alone.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Let's try this again

So I started writing again. I've been playing with it on and off since I was in high school, but was never able to keep it up long enough to get published. Oh shit, who am I kidding? I haven't been able to finish a story yet.

Why the change now? I finally got the DVD for American Splendor a couple of weeks ago and it may seem strange, but it kind of inspired me. Yeah, Harvey Pekar may not be a paragon of publishing success like the Harry Potter chick, but he was able to get off his ass and DO something instead of spending his life as a down in the heels government file clerk flunkie.

I guess that means that I will maybe start writing about my writing as an exercise and maybe even post updates about my progress. Maybe that would actually be a decent motivator, who knows? Probably also add some links to writers resources I will find down the road.

Wish me luck, fellow ponderers.

BTW, 401 words.

Friday, July 07, 2006

In Dishoner of Ken Lay

The motherfucker should have died in a cage, not a soft bed at his palatial Colorado vacation home.

In Dishoner of a Real and True Son of a Bitch:

Mr. Bad Example
by Warren Zevon

I started as an alter boy, working at the church
Learning all my holy moves, doing some research
Which led me to a cash box, labeled "Children's Fund"
I'd leave the change, and tuck the bills inside my cummerbund

I got a part-time job at my father's carpet store
Laying tackless stripping, and housewives by the score
I loaded up their furniture, and took it to Spokane
And auctioned off every last naugahyde divan

I'm very well aquainted with the seven deadly sins
I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in
I'm proud to be a glutton, and I don't have time for sloth
I'm greedy, and I'm angry, and I don't care who I cross

I'm Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don't care who gets hurt
I'm Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I'll live to be a hundred, and go down in infamy

Of course I went to law school and took a law degree
And counseled all my clients to plead insanity
Then worked in hair replacement, swindling the bald
Where very few are chosen, and fewer still are called

Then on to Monte Carlo to play chemin de fer
I threw away the fortune I made transplanting hair
I put my last few francs down on a prostitute
Who took me up to her room to perform the flag salute

Whereupon I stole her passport and her wig
And headed for the airport and the midnight flight, you dig?
And fourteen hours later I was down in Adelaide
Looking through the want ads sipping Fosters in the shade

I opened up an agency somewhere down the line
To hire aboriginals to work the opal mines
But I attached their wages and took a whopping cut
And whisked away their workman's comp and pauperized the lot

I'm Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don't care who gets hurt
I'm Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I'll live to be a hundred and go down in infamy

I bought a first class ticket on Malaysian Air
And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear
I'm thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals
I'll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals