So… Now What?– The Map

Lo and behold, the end of April! A very stressful month in more ways than one, and unfortunately not as productive as I had wanted it to be. To top it all off, I kind of fell off the project I was supposed to be working on, probably due to exhaustion caused by everything else, so the plans I devised at the beginning at the month don’t seem all that appealing right now, at least not in their current form.

So… Now what?

The Map– May 2017

I want to get back to writing regularly. Like, I don’t even care what it is– a short story, a character profile, a rambling mess– I need to write, and make a habit out of it again. Problem is, I’m kind of shit at creating habits for myself and making them stick. I’ve tried all sorts of methods and apps, all failed so far. I’ve already scrapped that schedule I created a while back, because I simply cannot stick to schedules and, anyway, life tends to throw stuff at you that end up invalidating them, so what’s the point? I don’t like micromanaging myself, though some sort of structure in my life would be nice every once in a while.

So, how am I planning on doing this?

There is a site I’ve been a part of for a few years now and that, like everything else, I have neglected. Like, a lot. That site is 750words, and I’ve had an account there since… March 2012. Wow. It still amazes me how I’ve been on my ‘becoming a writer’ journey for about six years now, it seems much longer…

My goal for the month will be to write there. I’ll be starting slow, maybe twice a week or something. And increase until I’m writing every day. This might happen this month or during the months to follow, but I think it has to be a steady progression. No rush, just increase and decrease the number of days as I see fit. One day I might even be able to write every day and take part in the site’s Monthly Challenge!

Now, I would also like to focus on a project, because it’s also an area I kind of suck at, too. It’s a big project, too, because I either don’t do anything or try to do everything at once.

Basically, when I decided to venture once more into the realm of blogs, I had this ultimate goal in mind. It was born from my desire to share my writing and improve, but it’s something slightly different, and it’s actually something that I’ve been thinking about at least since the blog I had before this one. I want to have a blog dedicated to a single world.

Not a bunch of short stories or series with no relation to each other, but an overarching thing. Maybe the stories don’t have a connection to each other, at least at first, but they all happen in the same world. I don’t know when this idea started, all I know is that I have a world in my head where I want all my stories to be in. Most of them do, others I need a way to fit them in it.

What I want to work on this month, and for the forseeable future, is just a small part of it, and not even the main part that currently resides in my brain and in numerous notes scattered along my notebooks and whatnots. It’ll be a testing ground to things to come, things that have been locked up inside me and that I want to pour out into pages and shape them into something great.

I’ll still be posting weekly updates here, not sure how much more I’ll be posting besides that, but hopefully something.

Happy holiday, and hopes for a better month!

That Tingly Sensation At The Back Of My Head

So, hey.

In case you’re wondering, I did finish that essay. It didn’t reach 8 pages and was probably one of the most embarassing things I’ve ever sent to a professor, like, ever. I’m expecting to be pulled aside next class, or whenever he manages to check my essay, and have a Conversation about it. I imagine the only thing I will be able to say in my defense is that I’ll work harder next time and that it won’t happen again. I mean, at least I sent my essay, as flawed as it was, unlike some hypothetical people who didn’t send it. B for participation?

Anyway, this week I was actually on a break, starting on Tuesday (it actually started on Wednesday but Tuesday is my free day so whoo, extra day!) and ending this Wednesday. Maybe someone out there imagines that, since I had so much free time, I would have spent it writing. Maybe even, I don’t know, studying for that test on Wednesday.

Hahaha, no.

The thing is that, given the oportunity, I’m very good at ignoring my life. I can somehow distract myself for hours and then, when I look at the time, realize that I probably should have done other things. Sure, some of the time what I do relates to subjects or activities I’m interested in and enjoy, but other times I find myself just browsing aimlessly and doing stuff I won’t even be able to recall the next day. Those are the times I later regret, when I’m rushing to finish an assignment I should have taken my time on or when I realize I didn’t publish a blog post that week. Uhh, yeah.

But today I want to focus on another aspect of my life, besides the fact that it’s a slowly progressing trainwreck. I spent a few days watching a series some friends of mine recommended, and I really enjoyed it! In fact, it has been a long time since I took the time to actually watch a series, even ones I’m a big fan of. Hell, I haven’t even read much these days, but I chalk it up to University. The only things I’ve been following are webcomics and podcasts, but I figure that’s because they update regularly and I’m too emotionally invested at this point to just give them up. In the case of series, there’s the effort of finding out if they’re even airing here at all, and if they aren’t I have to use certain… means to watch them, which is a whole other effort I mostly am not willing to make unless I am very motivated to do so. And even if I do start a series, I need to make watching it a routine (if I don’t binge watch it in three days) or else I just kind of… stop. This happens to other things as well, which is why I have to keep a webcomic/article/story open in my browser or else I’ll abandon it.

The point is that, I need this. I need the time to immerse myself in stories. It’s what gets my imagination going, it’s what gives it fuel. And it has been that way since I was little and spent the day watching cartoons and making up stories in my head based on them. I always read about how I need to find the things that give me inspiration to write, and one of the things for me is stories, whether they’re fictional or real, written or told or filmed or drawn.

When I finished the series, I felt a buzz, a tingly sensation at the back of my head. I knew what it was. It was that sensation that comes when I really need to write. It wasn’t even inspiration, or a specific idea, it was just a need to write. I guess this post is just me scratching that itch, but I still want to write a short story soon. Dunno when that’ll happen though, but it will.

And now back to catching-up-with-uni-stuff-and-what-do-you-mean-I-still-have-to-study-for-that-test hell.

Why You Shouldn’t Leave an 8-page Essay for the Last Day…

… Especially if you never wrote an 8-page essay before.

At least I have the introduction, which took up most of the first page… And I have an idea of what I want to write… But it’s just so much stuff, so much information, and I have no idea how to start structuring it. I’m using information from a book, from which I didn’t take notes because I read it on my phone, since I’m through with printing entire books (maybe one day I will express my complete loathing for printers, and it’s not like I’m made of money and can go print it somewhere), and taking notes was never really my thing/wasn’t really practical at the time, anyway (try taking notes while on the train/bus). I’m also using information from a documentary, which I actually rewatched yesterday AND took notes of, so that will probably help (never used documentaries for papers, fyi, so I have no idea what I’m doing here). I also have to use an article, which isn’t so bad since it’s relatively shorter than the other two sources, and there’s an actual specific part where I know I’m going to use it. The others are to be used in the essay in general.

Now, I only have to take all of this and answer the prompt questions the professor sent, which I have actually done, for the most part. Where I’m stuck at is developing that into a coherent text, and making sure it lasts 8 fucking pages. My problem with this is that I know that I’ll have to go in circles, and explain stuff I normally wouldn’t feel the need to explain. When writing this sort of thing, my natural method is to synthesize. Broad images, specify and explain where necessary, no repetitions or filler. This is how, during tests, I can answer a question in one page or less and have a good score, while some take up an entire test sheet and end up with the same score. I have never been good with writing a specific number of pages, and when it comes to a specific amount of words I sometimes have to drag it out beyond what I would consider necessary.

There’s also the fact that I had to come up with an “original argument”. This was difficult, because my essay’s subject, while we have been studying it since the beginning of the semester, is a bit too far removed from me. It’s not that I don’t understand it or empathize with the people involved, I just think that, since I’ve never gone through the situation, I don’t feel like I have the authority to opine on it and can’t come up with something more coherent than “I can’t believe people can do this to others, seriously fuck this, if the world ended it would be a favor for everyone because, honestly, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” I want to point out that I, usually, am a pretty idealistic person. It’s just that I somehow managed to reconcile “people are good” with “people are assholes” in my mind. Still, I eventually managed to come up with something, so that’s out of the way.

If this weren’t enough, my parents failed to tell me family would be visiting today, so I’m also distracted because of that. I’m also having a test tomorrow, which is going to be fun. At this point, I’m entering the stage when I just stop caring whether I’m doing it right or not, when I just do whatever bullshit crosses my mind and hope for the best. Right now, I just want to finish this and move on. Still… It’s just not me. I like to make an effort and put my best into my work, even if it turns out to not be exactly what I had envisioned or what my professor wanted. At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m not reaching the 8 page mark, no matter how hard I try. Honestly, the length of a paper is never the priority for me. My priority is always the content, if it is clear and correct and if I’m using the proper citations. Then I’ll think of length.

(And this is how you write a blog post longer than what you wrote for your paper, and in less time :P)

Marching on When Things Don’t Go to Plan + Plans for April

So… yeah.

It’s April 2, and tomorrow I have a test I really need to study for. I have an 8-page essay I need to deliver on the 10th, and a test on the same day. On the 19th I have two tests, and on the 23rd I have something I need to deliver and that I’ve been postponing since at least January, or something. Not to mention my responsibilities to my course’s Commission, which I joined because I can be an impulsive idiot when I want to. Basically, what you need to know is that this semester was specifically designed to spite me, and that if a teacher warns you that he will be giving out a lot of classwork, DO NOT TAKE IT AS A CHALLENGE. Seriously, it seems like my stubbornness only comes in situations when it will only harm me. Why can’t it come when I’m trying to improve my writing life, or when I’m trying to stand up for myself?

Also I turned 21 two weeks ago. Yay, me?

I don’t mean this to be an excuse, or anything. It’s just that I feel swamped right now, and kind of disappointed because I’ve decided to not join Camp NaNo this month after all. And I’m glad I’ve decided not to, because it means that I’m actually sane and that I remember what happened last November– complete disaster, as I was super busy back then as well. I don’t remember if I even got halfway through or not. Probably not.

Like, part of me insists that I could achieve something, at least during Easter break, which to me will happen from the 12th to the 18th. And, sure, I have two tests on the 19th, but only one of them requires real study (the other requires me to stay awake, since it’s at 6pm and my classes start at 10am and I have no breaks, so that’ll be fun). Oh yeah, and there’s that little detail that I probably wouldn’t be able to write every day, anyway.

The problem is that I haven’t even finished the outline, yet. I reached the Character Summary part, but even that is unfinished. I could try doing it without the outline, but the story is a bit too jumbled right now, even for me, and I really want some extra time to work on it.

Despite all of this, I would still like to do something this month. I thought about taking a break until my life isn’t a complete disaster, but I still want to keep working on my writing. Hell, I even bought two more books on Creative Writing and I’m dying to get to them. I won’t be able to do so for now, though, since I already have enough to worry about, but there’s that to look forward to!

So, I came up with a plan.

Plans for April

This is a bit different from a Map, because a Map generally has a clear path that I want to take. This is just me stranded in the middle of the sea and trying to find a way back on track. So, what am I doing in April?

I would like to keep working on the story outline. I don’t know if I’ll reach the end this month, and I won’t force myself to do so in detriment of everything else I have going on and the story’s quality, just for the sake of completing the outline. I would like to get it done before Camp NaNo in July, when I can finally work on it without worrying (unless I have to go somewhere, but I won’t know until then because no one ever tells me anything). If I do manage to complete the outline this month, which I think is unlikely, I’ll do an improvised Camp NaNo in May and use the July Camp for editing.

I won’t be updating the project page, in fact I’m going to hide it after publishing this post. This is for personal reasons, really, though I will keep updating on my progress. I’m also planning on making at least one post a week, like I used to, for the simple reason that I feel that I’ve been neglecting the blog. The whole point of this was to make me feel comfortable posting to a personal blog, so I’m kind of failing in that regard, though I do feel more confident as time passes.

These posts won’t have a specific publishing day, because my real life schedule is wild right now. They can be about anything, from my life or a subject that I care about, or even a short story if I feel up to it. That’s something I should start considering doing again, I do miss writing short stories.

That’s it from me. Now, I’m going to get ready for the day, study a little and see if my grandma can offer me lunch.