Monday, July 25, 2016

Writing in a Fishbowl — Week Five

Nifty logo of words in a fishbowl

Week Three and Four were total busts. So embarrassing. I became sick AND had a ticking bout that lasted days. When that happens, I default to just the bare minimum: taking care of my daughters. That's my primary responsibility. Learning to squeeze blogging and writing into my life around my responsibilities is secondary.
That doesn't mean I'm pleased with the results. It just means that I chose to succeed at being a dad and fail at being a writer. And by fail, I mean not meet my unrealistic expectations.
Later in week three, I used Pokémon Go as an excuse to go outside even when sick or ticking. That was a fun distraction. Being shut inside during the summer is so depressing, but the game had definite mental health benefits. I wrote all about it for my next article.
Nevertheless, all was not lost:
  • I finished the first chapter of my new book on fighting depression. I'll be posting it later this week. I've decided to post the first draft of each chapter as an experiment. I'm hoping it will pressure me to finish the book quicker instead of dying on it. My goal was the end of this summer, but with me moving at the same time, I'm not sure that is a realistic goal anymore. I'll shoot for it anyway, then revise if necessary. I'd like to post one chapter a week at a minimum.
  • Scrivener released their iOS app. I remember in 2010 how the dev felt the iPad was not a creation device, so he publicly disavowed the iPad as a software platform. Glad he thought better of it years later. I spent a few hours streamlining my writing process, and now I'm all excited to get started.
  • My editor delivered the edits for that book I wrote last spring. I was very excited to get started on it, but too sick to do anything. I had hoped to finish it by the end of July, but that isn't likely to happen now. Now that Nintendo has announced new Pokémon games for release in the fall, however, I have to get this out the door. Then I can update it when the new games are released.
  • An interview that I did last month was recently published over at Depression Getaway, written by Wendy Love. After you check out my interview, please browse her site. There are many interesting people interviewed there as well. Inspiring stories.

Monday: Today I wrote two blogs, tweaked my blog layout, struggled with computer issues, started packing for the move, practiced my clarinet on a whim, and wasted far too much time on Facebook arguing about politics. I convinced exactly no one that they were wrong. When will I ever learn?
Friday: 8:21pm: How many times am I going to rewrite this thing this week? I have found that I put most of my work in the first chapter. Once I nail it — once I get that distinct voice and focus I'm looking for — the rest of the book flows easier. There are chapters here and there that will give me trouble, but overall the first chapter sets the difficulty of the project. I've worked on too many abandoned books where I plowed ahead hoping things get better, but they never do. Maybe somewhere down the road I will become better at establishing focus without so many rewrites, but considering how my ADHD mind makes for fractured thinking, I shouldn't be too surprised that my books have this issue. Those who write into the dark must have innate focus and vision for the work. All I do is write gobbledygook if I close my eyes and let words flow.
I'm fairly certain that the moment will be upon me soon. I realize that rewriting can steam press and fold the life out of voice on your way to perfection, but I'll accomplish nothing if I write according to the habits of others instead of myself.