Well, I’m officially further behind now. Another evening of video games (Destiny 2 and Overwatch) means little writing was done. I did a bit, thankfully, so I’ve managed to hold on to my “write every day” goal, but tonight looks like it won’t be any more productive. I’ve got D&D this evening and I realized this morning that I never actually prepared the dungeon my players are investigating. Sure, they started it last session (which was a while ago), but starting a dungeon is WAY easier to wing than doing a whole dungeon.
Because of my daily blog updates, I’m guaranteed to get writing in every day. That’s certainly helpful, but it also means that I need to write 2200 words a day to stay on schedule. More, now that I need to catch up. Given that I’ve got a lot of commitments coming up, I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to take much time on the weekend to catch up either. Part of me wants to give in because, even after 5500 words, I’m still kind of hating my story, not mention the whole “half the words I should have written by now” thing.
That being said, I feel its important to acknowledge that I hate my story because it’s about aspects of life that I find challenging. All of my reading and video game escapism is to escape exactly the things that I’m writing about. I have to go into my head, where all my worst problems exist in their strongest forms, and get close enough to them to write about them without getting so close that I get caught up by them. It’s a very fine line and, as I found out Sunday, getting caught in them has consequences that last for days.
Writing can be dangerous. I can’t try to ignore my problems if I have to walk among them. My mind is my strongest ally and my most dangerous foe. It provides me the weapons to fight back while supplying the energy my problems need to wear me down. I am my biggest problem.
This reflection on living with mental illness has been brought to you by National Novel Writing Month: “an incessant reminder that everything has a cost.”
Gee, this would up being way more maudlin than I intended.
Most people enjoy action. A good action sequence can take place in almost any kind of story because there’s so much than can cause an action sequence to unfold. Chase scenes, fight scenes, races of all kinds, sports, shootouts, head-to-head combat via video games, and more! Write an action scene for your character today. They don’t need to be the primary actor in the sequence, but they should be observing it.
As a not-typically-cheerful person, I’ve often struggled with our culture’s focus on the common interpretation of what the founding fathers called “the pursuit of happiness.” As creators in general, we’re often not prone to being the most cheerful sorts. We all have our bouts of melancholy or severe/crippling periods of depression (Ha ha ha…). When I start to feel like the pressure to embrace this undefinable idea of “being happy,” I often turn toward The Oatmeal for my dose of cynical–often scatological–humor to remind me that life isn’t always about being happy and that, sometimes, all that matters is to feel energized and content. I suggest you check it out (this comic, specifically) if you’re struggling to feel alright with being unhappy.
Writing can be a difficult task when so much competes for our attention every time we sit down at our computers. If you’re having trouble focusing, I definitely recommend turning off the internet for a while. Disconnect your computer from the wi-fi or landline, turn your phone on airplane mode, and turn off any other devices. Turn off your second monitor (if you’ve got one), load up some CDs or setup your iPod, and then just get to work. Eliminating distractions can help you push to reach higher word count goals in less time.