Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Being More Effective, Split the time up between activities: new material, submission of work, networking, etc.

In my mind, it's still the late months of 2000. It's late 2000 and people are bitching about Florida fucking up the election. It's late 2000 and there are a few people lamenting the fact that the world did not end at the onset of the new year. It's the year 2000, and there is a real reason why I'm there in my mind.

It's also the searing hot summer of Tucson, Arizona, 2005. The heat of the summer is oppressive, especially in Tucson. The heat waves will obscure the city even if you're a few blocks away from it. It's hot, yes, but you're still outside because smoking cigarettes is more of a comfort than the air conditioning. It's so hot that the asphalt melts under your feet. It's hot enough that you could, should you feel inclined, cook food on the steel rails of the 32nd parallel line. It's hot, 2005 in Tucson, Arizona and there is a reason why I'm there in my mind.

It's 2009. I'm a recent graduate of the Goddard College MFA program. It's 2009 and I have just quit my job as a restaurant manager and I've just sold my house. It's 2009 and I'm suddenly homeless, jobless and writing for the cartoons. It's 2009 and I'm still stuck there a little bit too, just like 2000 and 2005.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Being More Effective, The Writer's Plan

I have always been an incessant list maker. I think it must be because I have enjoyed crossing things off the list. I don't altogether know where this started, but it has been my experience for most of my life. I think the list can go either one of two ways when you write one down. The first way is the impossible list and the second is the “see I told you I got shit done” list.

With the first list, the impossible list, the tasks never seem to end. This list is a list of big chores that seem to mount up to a lifetime sentence of things to do. On this list: 1) write a novel, 2) find an agent, 3) procure the film rights, 4) pay off student loans. This list, I suspect, will be the constant reminder of what a failure the life of a writer truly can be.

On the second list, the list maker will add at least three or four items that are already completed: 1) clean house, 2) organize desk, 3) update computer software, 4) start writing novel. With this list, it's easy to get the first three items done and the fourth, well, we got three of the four done.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Being More Effective, the preamble

It's a vast amount of hours gone. It happens very slowly, or it seems to. What happens is this: it's dark here very early in the evening now, and it stays dark all night. It's quiet, or relatively, where I live. Almost all my memories over the entire course of my life have happened at night. I have never liked the morning, I've liked the afternoon only slightly more. I am a pasty and pale dude. And when the night comes on, the world stills, the place quiets and my entire family goes to bed. Then, I am alone. This is all I want, all I want all day long is the peace and quiet and to be alone. These hours are vast, and they go by fast. I have all night.

In my youth, and I suspect everyone can say this, I became a different person at night. The rake came out, or at least the hedonist. Again, the world is quiet at night and so this sort of behavior is reserved for the few night dwellers. For many years of my life I would not write at night, I would not read at night. No, night was, for well over twenty years, reserved for gaining experiences. Many of my experiences I have fictionalized in most of my short stories and some of my novels. I think all writers do this. During these years of nightlife, I wrote, read, worked, studied, and otherwise did what I had to do during the day. I have been a morning writer for most of my life. I mean, during the morning I am resentful and peevish, so I should spend my time writing.