I’ve Been Doing This For A Year Now

When this post goes up, it will be the last main post of July. There will be one more “Recorded and Reposted” poem going up tomorrow, but that’s been scheduled for well over a month now. More than a couple months, actually, come to think of it. My next post will be the first post of August, which will mean I’ve been doing this for a year. One whole year passed since I started updating this blog again and I did over three hundred new posts. With a few reposts of update poems with attached audio clips. Looking back at 2021, I feel like I’ve made progress in some areas but lost progress in others, but I am fairly certain that’s just my perception tainted by my anxiety.

I would be lying if I said that I don’t feel different. I feel incredibly different. Some of that is just due to my perception of the passage of time. Though it was only about a year ago that I started updating this blog again, it feels like several years have passed. I’m pretty sure I’ve aged five years in the one that passed, thanks to the stress of living in modern US society as our rights are slowly eroded, income equality worsens, and the entire planet continues to glide toward fascism and collapse. Most of the improvements have been in my personal life. I’ve finally started exploring an aspect of my identity that I’ve known about my entire life after finally being able to silence the voices in my head (my parents’ voices) that told me nothing mattered except being the person they’d taught me to be. Aside from one poem I wrote in high school, I’d never expressed any of this stuff to anyone else and barely even allowed myself to think it.

I’m still not sure I’m ready to write about all that any more specifically on my blog, all of the stuff behind why I am to be referred to using they/them pronouns and my explorations of my own identity, but I’m doing a lot of work on that. It’s been nice to take a break from processing trauma in every therapy session to focus on exploring who I am to myself and talk through how to reconcile the first thirty years of my life with my life after that. After all, my sort of blind acceptance of the person I was (as dictated by my parents) also meant that I was able to accept everything I went through in a way I’m struggling to now that I finally FEEL that what my brother and my parents did to me was unacceptable.

I think that working through all of that again is going to be ultimately helpful, since I’ll be properly processing it and accepting myself as having lived through that stuff rather than just accepting that it happened. The former is critical and doesn’t let anyone off the hook while the latter is unquestioning and lets everyone off the hook. Not that it matters much since there’s little that can be done in terms of accountability other than preventing any of them from being a part of my life going forward.

So a lot has happened. I’ve grown a bunch. I hate myself less frequently and while I’m not quite to the point of liking myself that much, I do accept myself most of the time, now. And I’m getting better at speaking up, though the events of the last few days prove that I still have work to do. I need to get better at correcting people. Though I’ve spoken up in a few incredibly difficult situations at work, I’m still having a hard time doing that around my friends. I know they don’t mean it, you know? And I don’t want to make it a thing when most of the time I’m just so damn tired. Still, it’s worth doing and only by correcting people will the need to correct people eventually disappear. After that, anyone using the wrong pronouns in reference to me will be doing it on purpose and I’ll know what kind of person they are as a result. Good stuff.

I still struggle to stick to my creative goals from one week to the next, but I’m defintely more creatively active than I used to. I still actually make monthly progress on my main projects rather than having to speak about yearly progress since I used to go multiple months in a row with no progress. I’m going to keep working on that and hopefully some continued focus on rest and careful spoon management will get me in a position to create more. Or maybe I’ll win the lottery, quit my job, and just create all the time non-stop. What a life that would be.

Anyway, I’ve reflected and muttered on long enough. Here’s to one year completed and the start of a new year after. After all, regardless of everything else that has happened in my life, one of my core character traits has been and will always be a refusal to actually give up. Stop, yes. Give up, no. A small distinction to some people, but an incredibly important one to me.

NaNoWriMo Day 2 (11/02)

Yesterday, I began writing. I was up late, into the early hours of yesterday, getting my community all set up and wound up feeling exhausted all day because I’m apparently an old man who can barely function on 4-5 hours of sleep. As a result, I’m a little behind where I’d like to be in terms of word count. Not too far, maybe 500 words, but far enough that I really had to struggle to decided whether going to bed was a better decision than just powering though until I reached 1,666 words. Unfortunately, the decision was taken out of my hands once I started dozing off around 11:30pm. Sometimes, I can write quite proficiently when I’m dozing off. Last night was not one of those nights.

That being said, it still felt delightful to be getting back to writing, even if I’m still not sure where my story is going or what it’s really going to wind up being about. The verb tense and narrator have changed twice so far. The person (as in, first person or third person) has only changed once so far, but I wouldn’t bet against it happening again. I’m excited to get home from work and get back to writing this story! I hope your writing efforts are starting off well!

Daily Prompt

As writers, or creators in general, we often feel we do our best work in a safe space we’ve identified. Be it a quiet office, the privacy of our bedroom, or the bubbly atmosphere of our favorite coffee shop, we all have a place we feel is key to doing our best work (or maybe even key to doing any work at all). What places does your character have that make them feel comfortable like this? How do they handle when one of these spaces is invaded? When one of these spaces is taken from them? Write a scene about your character dealing with the loss of one of their favorite places and how they try to protect or reclaim it.

 

Sharing Inspiration

I am a giant nerd. There’s no pretending that’s not true and I like to embrace it when I can. If this case, I embrace video game music from games I’ve enjoyed. Good video game music is obtrusive enough to be noticed, but not so much that it demands focus until you actively put the game aside to listen to it, at which point it reveals its hidden depths. This makes it ideal for me when it comes to writing or focusing on a difficult task. One of my favorite collects (partially for nostalgia and partially because of the variation in the music) is a one-hour video of route music from various Pokemon games. Check it out and see if it helps you buckle down and focus when your mind begins to wander away from your writing.

 

Helpful Tips

The best trick I have up my sleeve is perseverance. Write every day, even if it’s not a “full” amount. Sit down, open your notebook or word document or whatever, take a look at what you’ve got so far, and add to it. Repetition is the key to building a good habit and even a few minutes here or there is enough to keep it up. Write every day and write everywhere. Don’t skip a day because you’re busy. Bring a notebook with you or find a way to get your document onto your phone (google drive is excellent for mobile document editing) so you can write on the go. Write on breaks, between meetings, and while waiting for the bus (I don’t think any of you take the bus, but you know what I mean). Just write. As Shia Lebeouf famously said, “Just DO IT.” Or, if you’d prefer, as every author I’ve ever asked for their best advice has said: “WRITE!”