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Archive for May, 2013

Today was an exceptionally difficult day to write. Sitting in one of my ‘offices’ this morning, staring at the last sentence of the my story thus far, I realized nothing intelligible was coming. I could think of nothing but sleep. Even my coffee was ineffective. I searched Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram but couldn’t find anything that could rally my concentration to a single point.

So, instead of working on my novel, I transferred some handwritten lyrics to a word document. It was important to me to write SOMETHING, even if it was something I had already thought about and written. Just the act of typing and hearing the clickity-clack of my laptop keys was enough to eek out a few ounces of creativity. After a long Memorial Day weekend of thinking in more practical terms, I had lost that momentum that I think is essential when writing something of any length. I’ve found that my motor skills are sometimes able to give me the jumpstart I need to get going. I’m hoping the small amount I did today will carry over, so when I sit down tomorrow with that cursor blinking up at me, begging me for someplace to go, I’ll be able to oblige.

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It’s sometimes hard to justify a continued presence in writing. It often feels like I’m writing to nobody, the only acknowledgement coming from the very specific spambots that latch onto hashtags I think are related to the subject and give me a very appreciated ‘like’.

At least the machines are into it.

So, it’s probably no surprise that attempting something like a novel can be a little daunting and scary. Daunting in that it is no small task to finish something of the length and complexity, scary in that what if no one reads it…how much of a waste of time it will be. Paul Giamatti’s character in Sideways, Miles, feels like the three years it took him to complete his novel was a waste of time when he finds out it won’t be getting published. And that’s only three years. Imagine five, ten, or twenty.

Yet, even when Miles thinks that his work is not appreciated, he finds someone who does take the time to read his novel and someone who appreciated the immense amount of work he put into it. Even if it never gets published and it’s never read by another person, it WAS appreciated. His work was not a waste.

It’s sometimes hard to remember that when you’re sitting in front of a computer screen, typing word after word. You wonder if it will be lost in the deluge of content out there. For me, what keeps me going is that this story, as well as others I work on, are stories that I would like to read and experience. If someone else had written them, I would see it in a book store and pick it up. And if I would be interested in it, someone else must be. I’m not that strange.

But the main reason for me to keep writing, to keep pushing forward is that I would hate myself if I gave up. My need to finish these things are so great that if I did simply stop, it would be an anchor around my neck for the rest of my life.
So if you’re out there reading this and questioning if you should finish that story, song, script, or other project, keep going. It will be appreciated.

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When I was a kid, I loved having binders full of paper. Not the three-ring kind with the endless amount of college ruled paper to refill it, but the wire-bound notebooks with a specific number of pages with which to work. I imagined the greatest stories being written down in the pages, structuring the plot so the hundred-pages would be just long enough. It was perfect.

Then I realized writing is a bitch.

Structure, plot, grammer, character development, theme, pacing, detail, logic, etc, etc, etc. These things were destroying my perfect, hundred page, handwritten stories. As a result, I never made it through all one hundred pages of any of my notebooks. At one point, I moved to ones with seventy pages but the same problems followed. The only notebook I did make it too the end was more of an idea book than a discernible story with beginnings of stories, scenes, ideas, lyrics, and lists of favorites I would do on a monthly basis.

Even with such a dismal success rate, I still enjoy notebooks and still write in them, more for notes and ideas although my lyrics have had the greatest result. I’ve since moved to my computer, finding that I can type faster than I could ever write. It’s been very helpful for my fingers to keep up with my thoughts even though the delete key gets used just as much as the e’s and t’s.

Even so, there is something romantic about writing with pen and paper, not having that cursor blinking on an empty page. Maybe when they incorporate a doodle function in MS Word I’ll be able to switch over.

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Finally summer in Seattle!!

I realize that statement is probably a little premature with our track record from previous years but with an entire weekend of sunny, warm weather and a forecast that looks like a screen shot from Pac-Man, it’s time to start thinking about summer activities. In the spirit of listing things, as many bloggers and magazines are prone to do, I’ve made a list of five things I want to do while the weather is agreeable.

1. Road Trip to Portland – My girlfriend and I have already made plans so barring any big disasters, this will happen. Food trucks and artisan ice cream shops beware.

2. Busking – I’ve done this with others but never by myself. It seems like such a scary thing to stand on the street and perform music but as long as passersby don’t pay attention, it’s not bad. I would like people to pay attention enough to like my songs but that would mean they’re looking which makes it scary which makes me wish they would turn around and not look. Just listen.

3. Ride the Ducks – I’ve lived in the Seattle area all my life and have never experienced this ride-a-long tour of the city. It’s mostly for tourists but us locals should know what visitors are learning about the town.

4. Camping – I haven’t been camping in a tent and sleeping bag since I was little and I’ve been wanting to go out again and live amongst the trees and squirrels once more. With Jiffy Pop and ipod of course 😉

5. Hang Gliding – I heard there was a place in Issaquah that does tandem jumps and it sounded like an awesome idea. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while now and I think it might be time!

I have other things I would like to do but these are the five main things. Any more interesting ideas out there? I would love to hear them.

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