Off

For my entire life, I have been inspired by those who didn’t take the predictable course. Those who didn’t go in pre-planned order to achieve what they said they were going to do. That paradigm never rang true for me. Only until recently did it become clear exactly why.

You learn to walk, ride a bike, go to school, get into college, fall in love, get a job, get married, get get get get get. You’re always getting things. You’re stacking things onto each other. Do you want all of these things in a prescribed order? Yeah, sure, let’s get things and spread the peanut butter to all sides of the toast, cool. (I think purging once in a while is a great thing, too.) I speak for only myself when I say that where I am now could never have been gotten to in any kind of order.

August 1st is the day that I’m deleting social media apps from my phone and browser bookmarks. Not forever, but until the morning of September 8th, right after Labor Day. I’m inspired by a few people in my life who have broken themselves away from the hourly onslaught of this information injection. Some have done it for a week, others as long as three and four months. The challenge to myself is to see if I can make it through those five weeks.

I don’t know if my creative productivity will increase or take me places that I didn’t know were possible, but it’s certainly a desired outcome of this. It should weed away a few of the more banal aspects of the Internet. As nice as it really is to have the convenience of being able to know pretty much anything, I do miss the moderation and attention of life that not having this readily available. The kind of thing like being able to read 100 pages of a book at one time, while only doing that. Writing for more than 20 minutes at a clip before focus is completely lost. I want to regain the muscle memory of that focus energy.

Maybe a different type of inspiration will get between my ears. New story ideas. Better story paths for the projects that I’m in. Another unpredictable course. The way I see it, if I can glean one new solid character arc from this different type of adventure, how could this not be worth doing?

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Salt

Any writer worth their own salt will always have numerous projects going at the same time, or at least in the back of their work-filled brainspace ready to go at any moment. That’s the thing about salt, though…sometimes there isn’t a decent spice to be found at the table. So you’ve got to go shopping.

It’s rare, but it does exist that you will have no projects going at all for a brief period in your writing life. I’ve had it happen before, but it’s important to know that you always have two choices when such an thing occurs:

  1. Quickly find some way to be creative.
  2. Pull that eager revolver out of your desk drawer and do some serious thinking.

I hardly recommend the second option, and you’ll never use it unless you have other major issues at hand that are even making you consider that as a minute possibility. Live, dammit. Live, and create!

Personally, I’ve figured a way to always have two projects going simultaneously. Pivoting to a second project for any number of reasons has been both fruitful and a welcome break from what can end up as the being encumbered by the monotony of being emerged in a single project. These reasons can be and are not limited to:

  1. You hate the current trajectory of your output on the first project.
  2. It’s hard to figure out all the plot points of your story.
  3. One or a few of your characters are just outright dickholes.
  4. You’re trying to figure out how to kill off the dickholes but are just not sure.

One of the best things about creating things is that there’s always something to create. And if you’re hard up for an idea, try doing what filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson does: have two characters sit in a diner drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and build a scene from there. I love this because the two characters could be anyone, and be talking about anything…or they could just be staring at each other with incredible tension and not uttering a single damn word.

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I’m finishing up working on American Sag, out in October. Regular posts to @drewisawriter resume on September 8th. Thanks again for your readership.

Questions/Comments? Write me: drew@drewisawriter.com

Moves

I find myself still being surprised at others’ choices of inaction. These are the same people who constantly gripe why their own lives are not going the direction that they want to. This is the problem with being inside your own head.

If it wasn’t for a few smart decisions, I’d be sweating it out in a one-bedroom in Lake Oswego, Oregon, pondering exactly what to do next. Instead, there is clarity, and I’m lucky to have it. None of this is about me. It’s about motivation, and further that that motivation, it’s about action.

Oh, here’s a big douchebag looking to talk at me, saying how to do everything.

Yeah, maybe that’s what this is going to end up being. I can’t begin to describe the type of familiar desperation that I’ve been around in the last decade with people my age and even with those a few years younger.

But what do I do with my life? I don’t want to feel this miserable!

You’ve got to get out of your own head. There’s any number of ways to do so. This isn’t news to anyone, and I’m hardly Tom Brokaw over here making fingerlove to my Kensington while you have 19 tabs open and 16 of them are old Buzzfeed listicles. Shut the Internet off for a few hours and go do anything outside. ANYTHING. It’s Summer. You’ve got to be kidding me if you’re still complaining about needing something to do.

I’ve made a few smart moves in the last year that have yielded me incredible happiness that I really thought I’d never have. On the whole, making a move will usually upset about half of the people in your life, and make the other half jarred in some respect. Try to pay little attention to most or all of these people.

You made a bold move, and congratulations are yours from yours truly. With this bold move, you make another bold move and then you see some of the results. Oh, what, did those moves alienate some of your closest, or at least who you thought were your closest? Really think about how those who are complaining at you deal with you in your daily life. Reflect on that for about two days and then understand that the loud, distracting voices who may disagree with your bold moves actually aren’t that distracting and loud in the first place.

And then shut up and make your next bold move. Be fierce about it, and keep up this momentum that you’ve given yourself. I’m proud of you.

Now shut the Internet off and go outside already.

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The Release Date, Part 1

May 26 is finally here. I knew it’d come more quickly than anticipated, but Jesus Christ, it got here very fast.

I made an executive decision about This Was The Beginning, and that is to release it in two volumes. The first volume is out today, the second on June 30th. I edited the fresh hell out of the entire thing and saw that many jokes in the latter half of the book needed work. So my June will be dedicated to making this second volume the very best it can be.

THIS WAS THE BEGINNING is now available:  AMAZON  |  SMASHWORDS

I’m my own worst critic, this is abundantly clear. I’m also not going to put out a piece of shit book, that’s just not who I am as a writer. Sure, it’s an e-book and ten nuns could give a damn and the whole thing, but I’m making certain that this book is fully realized when it goes to print in June. And after June 30, it’ll be done and out there where I want it to be.

In other happenings, May was really a busy month in my life. I finished moving in to my new place in Oregon with my fiancee and we’re nesting while we plan for our wedding. She’s great, and I really am a lucky sonofabitch to have her in my life. Mush mush mush, I know. She’s my muse, and I love her. Moving right along…

American Sag is coming out in October, and I’ll be starting on a new draft of that on July 6th after the long weekend of celebrating America and punch and pie and those types of things. Making that book be the very best it can be will be the main writing thing I do over the months of July, August, and September…all while not being a cranky person.

Publishing a book or getting a creative work of any sort out there really drains a person. Anxiety gets the best of you in anything you do. I accept it, though. Making my second book publishing experience better than my first was the main goal when I set out to write This Was The Beginning. I did better than the first time, that’s for certain. There’s always things to improve upon:

1. Having a consistent writing schedule

2. Small goals that can be completed on a regular basis

3. Getting promotional materials figured out ahead of time so that the final edit can be concentrated upon to the very best of my abilities

I’ll go into these three items in a later post. It’s just a lot of work. And when giant life things get added to your daily schedule, juggling everything becomes a job that ensconces your entire life. And I’d have it no other way.

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