This is going to be extremely unfocused and it’s really just about various things I’ve been thinking about lately. Not sure of the point of it yet, i just have a lot of feelings and want to write about them.
One thing I’ve always liked about myself is my enthusiasm for things, and my ability to get enthusiastic about things, and like things unapologetically even if they weren’t cool or they were too “mainstream” or unintellectual. I’ve always unabashedly liked the things that I liked and critics be damned. This includes music and books and movies and everything. I can’t stand people who are snobs about media.
If someone likes something and it makes them happy and you come along and the only thing you have to say about it is how it’s rubbish and they should be consuming this other, better thing, then I don’t have time for you and you need to find better things to do with your time. You need to gain your self esteem in places other than lording your superior taste in entertainment over people.
I’ve drawn this conclusion purely because I grew up in a very conservative home with extremely right wing, extremely homophobic parents. i was convinced i was asexual for the longest time because I never had any interest in boys. It dawned on me when I was about 15 or 16 that it might be because I actually like girls and in my little teenaged heart I was a lesbian. (I’m not. I’m bisexual. But I did identify as lesbian for a few years). When you’re a young lesbian at school and you can’t come out to anyone, you tend to form these really intense relationships with other (usually straight) girls. Which I did. With one girl in particular. You always hope they’ll like you the way you like them, but they never do. They like boys. They talk about boys, and you can’t understand why because teenaged boys are the absolute dregs of humanity. They are crude and rude and stupid and it baffles you why your lovely, sweet, interesting friends want anything to do with them.
Anyway, when you’re always rejected and no one you want ever wants you back and you have to watch people love things and people that you don’t, you learn very quickly, that there is no point in trying to make people like things they don’t. And that it’s stupid to try, because you wouldn’t want them trying to change you either.
And it happens so often with the things that young women love. The things that are popular with young women are so often devalued and seen as inferior. There is a simple reason for this: young women and girls are not valued in society. So the things that they love are not valued.
no no. That’s not the point. ugh. This went in a different direction to where I wanted it to go, but I promised myself that this blog was not about perfection, it was only about writing and I’ve written it now so now you have to deal with it. Later when I have a message more clearly formulated I’ll try to write another thing.
Today’s exercise is about creating writing habits. The assignment is to write about 3 songs that mean a lot to me and to write non-stop for 15 minutes.
if you had asked me to do this 10 years ago there would have been 3 songs and they would have meant a great deal to me. These days I have the Breaking Bad soundtracks, Grimes’ discography, Muse’s discography, 2 Janelle Monae Albums and one Jeff buckle album on my computer and that is it. Not a whole lot of music for a 29 year old, but i’ll try.
1. Crystal Ball by Grimes. This song means a lot to me because I can put it on and write or do anything productive and not be distracted. This is true of a lot of Grimes’ music because she very rarely has lyrics worth listening to. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an insult. She sings indistinctly and usually quite softly so there’s not much to really sing along to. i appreciate that.
2. City of Delusion by Muse. This song is important because whenever I listen to it, I feel very triumphant and it’s one of the few Muse songs that make me want to dance. There are other, better Muse songs, but this is the one I’m listening to at the moment so there you go.
3. Lover, you should have come over by Jeff Buckley. This is arguably the greatest love song ever written. “My kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder” is the greatest line ever written in any song and I will fight anyone who thinks I’m wrong. I have listened to this song and cried so many times because I know that no one will ever think about me the way Jeff Buckley thought about the woman he wrote this for. He was 20-something and in love and waiting by the phone for her to call. She never did.
That’s it. I’m not deep I guess. This is the bane of my existence. It reminds me of what happened last weekend when I was attempting to pick up a German chick. I noticed she had a tattoo on her foot and I told her it was really beautiful and she explained to me how different elements of it represented different family members of hers. I showed her the turtle tattoo on my wrist and she went “that’s cute, what does it represent?” and I said “I like turtles”
The assignment for today is to describe a place you want to be.
Now I’ve only been back at work for a few weeks and i by no means have the worlds most stressful job, but I’m exhausted. it’s only Wednesday and I spent all day thinking it was Friday and when I realized the truth i wanted to cry.
The only place I want to be is 30 m under water, near a reef, looking at fish. I love diving. I miss it so much when I can’t do it. I live in land so that means literally all the time I’m not on holiday.
I remember when I was last in the Philippines and we went diving at 6 in the morning so we could see the thresher sharks come up for cleaning. The little cleaning wrasses live in much shallower water than the sharks do and every morning they come up and get cleaned. The dive master took us down to 29 m and we sat on the edge of a really steep wall and waited.
Usually, when you’re down there you think you can only hear the sounds of your own breathing, but if you listen carefully you can hear the coral crackle. it sounds like rice krispies. Everything looks kind of blue because colors disappear along with light penetration. You move slowly, underwater. You want to conserve air. Move too fast and you breathe too fast and you can cut your dive time in half. My ex used to swim around like a maniac and our 50 minute dives would be reduced to 30 minute dives. Diving is expensive but they don’t charge you by the minute. This means that it’s probably one of the most stress free leisurely activities you can undertake in the ocean.
Thresher sharks live deep, and they’re long – up to 6 m long – and graceful and elegant. They move slowly up out of the depths and when you see them you can hardly believe that you are that close to something so beautiful. We sat on the edge of the wall, 29 m under water and watched 9 of them swim up and circle above our heads while the little cleaner wrasses did their jobs.
if I had a choice, that is where I’d be, watching the sharks.
i got busy with life stuff and forgot i had this blog. I think I’ll make it a policy to update every Friday.
Things that happened in the interim:
1. I made some progress studying up on stuff i have no vested interest in so I can get to the interesting stuff I actually need to know so I can do my book’s premise justice. Which is a sign of maturity I think.
2. i discovered that if i write an outline at the op of the page, i can write like 3000 words an hour as opposed to my usual 500 words of absolute crap when i try to write without an outline.
3. My cat thinks that if i sit in any chair and then get up that it turns into his chair and he is very offended if i try to move him OR sit in any other chair because then the new chair becomes his chair, and HOW VERY DARE I sit in his chair.
Some more links I found useful. (I’m a baby writer. These won’t be useful for you if you are already established)
1. Another writing 101 guide (I love reading these for some reason)
2. A “how to get published” guide.
3. More on proposals and outlines and stuff.
4. Writing and publishing nonfiction (link to amazon page. not an article.)
5. Website to help you publish independently.
I realised I hadn’t posted anything here for a while so I thought I should update.
Did you know: if you go out with your friends and have a couple of whiskeys, writing is way easier than when you’re sober.
I know a lot of writers in real life. Most of them have day jobs which are not related to writing. Most are teachers in some capacity or another. One is an animator of how-to videos. Only one is a full time writer, but she’s also a cartoonist and painter and sells her art along with her stories and graphic novels.
I admire her. I really admire anyone who is willing to take the risk and rely on something like writing or art to support themselves. i think it must take either supreme self confidence and confidence in your abilities or a bravery I can’t even imagine.
I have a day job too. It’s pretty cushy. It’s easy and enjoyable and the hours are not too long or arduous. If I had it my way, I would have a flat in Paris or Barcelona or somewhere else really beautiful and take walks and drink wine and write when inspiration struck. I don’t have the balls to do anything like that though. To write full time.
I grew up in a house where my parents fought constantly about money. If there was tension in the house it was probably because they were fighting about money. I swore that I would never let myself worry about money, so I’ve always had a job and I’ve always made sure that I was never in debt for very long and I’ve always chosen security over trying anything risky.
I don’t regret these decisions. I’ve chosen my life. But I realize that I’m probably in quite a privileged position to be able to choose security, when there are tons of people who would love to be able to be financially secure the way I am.
But I still really admire the people who have taken the difficult route of dedicating themselves wholly to their art.
(I predict having many posts with this title so I should probably number them)
It turns out that I really have no idea what I’m doing with this novel writing malarkey. i have this really cool idea but I’m really going to have to research way more to do it justice. I’ve been procrastinating researching it because it seems like a huge mountain to climb since my knowledge base is so thin. This has resulted in me doing basically anything but writing/researching and while procrastinating, I decided to clean up my hard-drives.
I have a 3 different computers that I use on a regular basis – work computer, home computer, iPad – and I have written various short stories on all of them. so I decided that this weekend was the weekend to organize my writing and put all of them in one place. And it turns out I have about 15 unfinished short stories. I read through a few of them and some of them seem really promising and they’ve really lit a fire under me,
Since I’ve hit a wall with my novel anyway, it seems like finishing a couple of these is a good way to inspire myself again. I read through a few of them and it’s nice to do that after a few months away from them, because it’s given me some distance from them and, actually, I’m not a terrible writer. I’m actually quite witty and clever on occasion.
So my weekend plans are to just revisit some of my older pieces and try to turn them into something substantial. I’m really excited. I think it’ll be fun.
Just some articles I found interesting:
1. On self-publishing
2. 2013’s best books on creativity
3. Advice on writing
4. Comic Neue – new take on comic sans. Quite attractive.
5. Novel writing 101
Okay. That’s it for today. Not much of a post, but I had a busy day.
I’m part of a writer’s group. There are about 5 of us who show up every week and there are a few more who come every now and then. We get a prompt every week and we have to write a short story or essay or article and incorporate the prompt – be it a word or picture or concept – into the piece.
I always leave the meetings really inspired but then when I sit down and start to write, I feel really deflated. I have to really work myself up to actually writing anything because I always feel like I’m not a good enough writer to really tell the story I want to tell.
I usually need a glass of wine before I can really get into it. When I’m trying to write something I always have the same feeling I get when I’m trying to impress a date or do well on an interview, which is stupid because my friends in the group have been so supportive and positive about my submissions so far and we’ve been meeting every week for six months or so.
I just wish I didn’t constantly feel like such a fraud. I have real trouble calling myself a writer, even though I spend most of my free time writing or thinking about writing or reading or reading about writing and it’s the only thing that really makes me feel motivated lately.
…you need a lot of structure in your writing.
I just found this site today and I’ve signed up and it’s super fun to do all the activities.
I like it because it has a progress bar and there’s nothing more satisfying than progress bars.