Today I find myself having the same argument I’ve had with myself hundreds of times before. Art or money? In other words; Do I work on writing something reasonably marketable that appeals to a wide audience or do I spend my time working on something more literary and artistic that probably only a handful of people will ever read until long after I’m dead, if then? Is it possible to do both at the same time either in the same book or by writing two separate books simultaneously?
More importantly, am I a fool to think I’m even capable of writing something truly artistic?
I enjoy writing genre fiction. It’s like playing for me. As a matter of fact that’s exactly what it is. When I’m writing that sort of thing I’m once again the kid on the playground, stick in hand, pretending I’m the knight in shining armor.
It’s just that I would like to leave something more meaningful behind as my legacy. The literary stuff is where I really bare my soul. It’s that sort of writing I want to be remembered for. The question is whether I’ll actually be remembered even if I do write something great. I guess I’m still trying to find out who I am. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m just a hack that will never write anything anybody wants to read anyway so it really doesn’t matter. Hopefully I’m right in thinking that most writers, even successful ones, think that from time to time.
I know what my writing idols would say. “Just write the damned thing and let others worry about what it is or isn’t. By that time you should be well on your way to finishing the next one anyway.”
In closing, I’ll leave you with a quote that I find inspiring when I’m questioning my validity as an artist.
Everyone enjoy your weekend. Since I missed a couple this week I will try to post over the weeekend. No promises though. I’m wildly unreliable.
First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy Valentine’s day. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, I’m sending you my love.
Now that that’s out of the way I have a question for the single people. Why so much hate for Valentine’s day? Is it really that bad? I spent many many years single and it just never bothered me. The only difference from most other days was the knowledge that my friends that were in relationships wouldn’t be able to come over for a beer. It never even occurred to me to begrudge them that one day.
Maybe it’s because Valentine’s day just isn’t that big of a deal to me even when i am in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, my girlfriend will be getting the usual flowers and candy and such. Because of our work schedules we will have to wait until the weekend to do dinner but still, we will do something. It’s just that I try to make her feel special every day so it’s not so important that I go crazy on V day.
So I suppose my message is this; If you’re in a relationship, try to show your loved one they’re special every day so there’s not so much pressure on this one day. If you’re not, why not show the most important person how much you love them? Yourself. That’s right, go crazy. Eat what you want, pamper yourself, watch that T.V. show you’d never admit to any one you watch without guilt. After all, you can’t love someone else until you love yourself. Besides, chances are you don’t show yourself how much you love you nearly as much as you should.
P.S. Sorry about the lack of posts this week. Monday and Tuesday were pure laziness that I blame on my birthday having been on Monday. Yesterday however was a different story. I wrote a post and thought I uploaded it, but when I checked this morning it was gone. It’s probably for the best anyway. It was mostly me whining about how much my birthday sucked, mainly because of my job. Point taken, no whining or the gods will delete my posts.
Whenever I look at the writers that truly inspire me, they all seem to have one thing in common; they are extremely bad influences. Drinkers, drug abusers, womanizers, cheaters, brawlers. Even fictional writers like Hank Moody in Californication and Zach Hutton in Skin Deep are drunken womanizers. The sad part is, even though I know deep down that it would in the end be a terrible way to live, a part of me still wants it. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve learned to think that is how a writer’s life is supposed to be but there it is. I know not all writers live this way, in fact, most probably don’t but it seems the ones I truly look up to all lived that way. Maybe that means there’s something wrong with me.
Truth be told, I have given up most of my bad habits. I quit smoking. I don’t drink very much anymore. I still overeat but hey, I’m trying. Sometimes I think maybe I should try drinking a little more. I’m not talking about getting falling down drunk mind you, just a little grease for the wheels so I’m not worrying so much about every word I write. It does seem my writing comes a bit more smoothly when I’ve had a drink or two.
Is this why so many writers drink so much or does writing tend to attract a certain type of person? Perhaps a writer needs the liquor as a buffer for dealing with emotions most people keep hidden. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. What do you think?
Sorry for the short post today. I am about to start my weekend which is good because I am just worn out from the week. I feel like I never fully woke up for work last night. I’m going to be very upset if I wake up and find out it was actually a dream and I still have to go in. You may laugh but it’s happened to me before. It felt like I worked a double shift.
On a side note, I have a question. Do any of you use Google+? I have had an account for awhile but never used it because I already use Facebook but I attened my first hangout last night and it was pretty cool talking to a bunch of people all over the country face to face. I was just wondering what you think about it.
Don’t worry, this post has nothing to do with Ke$ha. I said tech TALK.
Yesterday I decided to do something smart with my tax return before I blow it all on things best left to the imagination. I decided that the time had come to buy a desktop computer specifically for my writing. I use a laptop as my daily computer and my tablet when I’m at work but I have a nice desk that is the perfect writing station save for the fact that it didn’t have a dedicated computer. It had a monitor, keyboard, etc. so I could hook up my laptop whenever I wanted. Unfortunately, I’m a lazy person so I rarely ever wanted. Thus, my desk mostly just collected dust and clutter.
So, as I left work yesterday morning I was on a quest. After stopping by several places and not seeing much, I finally found it. I wish I could say I bought the biggest, most powerful beast available and the male in me screamed this was exactly what I must do.
Reality, on the other hand, dictates that at this point in my career I need to save money whenever possible, at least until my writing starts paying for itself. If I was truly being honest with myself about why I wanted this computer then I didn’t need some monster. What I really needed was the cheapest computer that would do what I needed it to. The one I found fit the bill perfectly.
I bought the HP p2 1322. It has 4 gb of ram and a 500 gb hdd. Truthfully, I was hoping for something with just a bit more power but at $250 OTD I just couldn’t resist the price and it should be plenty for basic word processing and research.
I rushed home with it and couldn’t wait to start playing with it. The computer I mean. Pervs.
The first thing I did was remove the side cover so I could take a peek inside. The case is almost empty. Motherboard, HD, DVD drive , and plenty of air. It almost looks as if someone gutted a laptop and put it into a tower.
No matter. Time to set it up. One problem. I had to go back out and buy an internet cable long enough to reach.
Finally I got everything set up and turned it on, just itching to start playing with windows 8.
I was decidedly underwhelmed.
While I’m not completely against the idea of apps on a computer, I think they are unnecessary and in this case, need a lot more development. Apps are great on a phone, but why bother with them at all when you can run full programs? I quickly shut the apps window or “start” menu as they call it and went to the desktop.
“Ahhh,” I thought “Finally something familiar. Wait, where’s my start button?”
I guess I’m old fashioned, but I prefer to have a menu to access all my programs rather than cluttering my desktop with icons for everything I use. More importantly, why would you leave something like that out after getting people familiar with it for the last twenty years? Luckily, after a little help from google, I discovered several third party add-ons that let you add something resembling the old start menu. It was easy to do but I just don’t understand why I had to.
Also, every time you download a program it adds an icon (or twenty, depending on the program) to the new “start menu” which then has to be unpinned from the menu. Again, not a huge deal, just a PITA.
In short, while it’s usable, windows 8 is completely counterintuitive for someone who has been trained to do things a certain way for the past twenty years or so.
Oh, a couple more gripes regarding the apps. Why no intuitive way to close an app when you’re in it? You have to bring up the popup menu and select the start menu. Was it too hard to code in a little red X?
Also, why would you force me to merge my Skype with MSN messenger to be able to use it? There’s a good reason I stopped using messenger in the first place. I was tired of constantly getting invitations from fake women who want to let me see them naked and probably give me a virus in return. (Reminds me of that trip to… uh, never mind). Anyway, that’s the end of this old man ranting about new tech. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but I definitely don’t consider it an upgrade.
On a side note, I was considering doing Tech Talk Thursdays (or maybe Tuesdays) but the fact of the matter is that while I love tech and would love to do regular reviews, I just don’t have all that much of it, nor do I have the money to buy it and what I do have is outdated. However, if any of my readers work for tech companies, I would be happy to review any free samples they want to send me. ;~}
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said; “Writers aren’t exactly people… They’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.”
Boy is that statement ever true with me. Growing up, it seemed most of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up. Most of them were wrong. Still, they knew. Me? It seemed I changed my mind on a daily basis. Some days I wanted to be a scientist. (Physicist actually but back then I didn’t know there were different types). Other days, I thought it would be awesome to be a katate master, or a fighter pilot, or a race car driver. I think I even once wanted to be a lumberjack. And that’s okay. I just couldn’t decide.
And so, I became a writer. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Most of my protagonists, (hell, most of my characters,) are versions of me. Being a writer lets me step into the shoes of a spy, or a soldier, or a barbarian warrior. The decisions my character makes are the decisions I would make. I put my character in mortal peril so I can figure out how I would get out of it.
Even now, I go back and forth about who I really am. Sometimes I’m a biker, some times I’m a hippie, sometimes I’m a jazz singer. But through it all, I know what I really am.
Okay folks. I’m finally back, I promise. I really mean it this time. I swear. So I’m not sure if anyone even checks this blog anymore. God knows I don’t. But again, that’s going to change.
Anyway, part of the problem is that I’ve been trying to keep things focused on my career as a writer. Unfortunately, so far I only have variations on two themes. Either I’m working really hard on writing and things are coming along swimmingly or alternatively, I haven’t written a damn thing lately and here are my whiny excuses why. Either of these can get very boring when I type them over and over again. Not just for you but for me as well. Especially when as of late it would mostly be the latter.
So here are the changes. First, I’m going to make a serious effort to write a blog every day. Well, Monday through Friday. Well, most of the time. I’m only human after all. Don’t yell at me.
Second, I’m not going to limit things to just my career as a wannabe writer. I have other hobbies and interests and will be on the lookout for cool things that appeal to my geeky nature or really just anything that catches my interest. I will do my best to keep things light when it comes to things like religion and politics. I do have views on both subjects, some of them very strong, but in my experience arguing about those things never accomplishes anything but hurting feelings.
In short, this will become my public journal. A peek into the madness that is being a writer. If there are topics you would like me to weigh in on, feel free to comment and suggest them. If they don’t violate my personal rules I probably will.
Oh yeah, I will still update you on my life as a writer. I just hope there will be something notable to report soon.
I’ve slowly started breaking my bad habits. I gave up smoking, even my beloved pipe. I’ve started getting exercise in the form of walking every day. Now I just need to break the worst habit of all. I need to stop not writing every day. I honestly can’t explain why it’s such a struggle to make myself do something I love so much, but there it is. I need ot force myself to do it every day until not writing feels strange to me.
Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection of writing accoutrements. Typewriters, computers, smart phones, tablets. Each of them promising to make my life as a writer easier. Each time I find myself going back to my old standby, a good fountain pen and a notebook. Maybe I’m just nostalgic, but I think it’s something more than that. Computers come with myriad distractions built in. Even typewriters make it too easy to spend my time editing what I’ve just written rather than just writing. With a pen, I can just flow. I don’t even edit as I go so much (partly because I have to make an effort to read what I’ve written). Also, a pen and a notebook are infinitely portable and never run out of batteries.
Apologies to all my fans for the recent lack of updates. There hasn’t been much to tell lately because I haven’t been able to do much writing lately. I have been dealing with a back injury and have been in too much pain to think, let alone tell a story. The good news is, I have gotten the pain back to a manageable level and have resumed writing. I promise more frequent updates in the future.