Friday, October 12, 2018

What vacation?

I was on vacation this last Monday through Thursday. You would have never have known it if you had followed me around. I was insanely busy. There was not one day, not one waking hour, without something that needed to be done. I'm actually thankful to be at work today so I can take a break from my vacation.

Remember the excellent movie "What About Bob?"

Dr. Catherine Tomsky: Relax, Leo.
Dr. Leo Marvin: I'm relaxed!
Dr. Catherine Tomsky: Take a vacation.
Dr. Leo Marvin: I'M ON VACATION!

That's about what it was like.

And I see NaNoWriMo looming in just over two weeks and I wonder how on Earth I will have enough free time to do it.

I did finish a book I was reading this week and I am not going to start another one. That will save me some time.

And, marching season ends on the last Saturday of the month so I won't be gone all day on Saturdays once November rolls around.

Time will slowly free up.

It's just hectic right now. Mighty hectic.

Monday, October 8, 2018

A lesson learned from stepping back a bit from podcasting

Once I stopped the weekly podcast, I realized that the nice gift of not having to analyze my daily life in order to pull out the "good parts" to share. By the "good parts," I mean the entertaining or opinionated little snippets from an otherwise average, mundane life.

This is why in podcasting weekly and mainly about my own life, I felt the need to present the exaggerated parts of myself and got quite frustrated when my days were routine and not productive for material.

No one wants to hear a line by line analysis of my grocery list compared to a line by line analysis of the receipt showing what I actually bought versus what I went into the store to buy.

OK. Maybe there is a weirdo or two that would find that fascinating. I started to find it fascinating just writing that out but, of course, I am also a weirdo.

I know that people do enjoy the exaggerated, irregular parts of life such as stories from my Taco Bell days or the guy that spun around in the department store bathroom stall while peeing and laughing. But, these are not normal occurrences and they are finite.

There is not enough material in my life to sustain a weekly podcast of just the exaggerated.

So, I go through most of my week now thinking occasionally about the next show (the next one is already planned but nothing has been done yet) but not fixating about which snippets of my daily life will or will not make the cut and that is how I had been living my life for most of the last five years.

A Harlan Ellison quote about cop shows applies perfectly to how I now feel about the grind of weekly, personal podcasting: "It just gets to be a drag after a while."

Friday, October 5, 2018

Split online personality

What is a split online personality?

This blog was once titled "Up In This Brain" but I wanted to use that name for the podcast in 2013. So, this site became "Up In This Blog" just on the basis of keeping it similar. It sounds a lot like this is the colonoscopy of blogging which as true as that might seem was not my intention.

Both sites have separate Twitters because, as I mentioned Wednesday, I got into my head that sharing everything in one place was sort of spammy. I don't know why I felt that way but I did. So I have two Twitters to maintain which seems dumber and dumber as I go along.

I've also had websites, blogs, Tumblrs, podcasts, etc. all under separate names. Sometimes the names have changed right in the middle of doing something. URL's have been bought and cancelled. It's all confusing.

I don't know why I did it. I think that I sometimes hide my creative projects in different places, maybe afraid to truly be who I am to everyone all at once. I control who sees what by keeping things separate. It certainly has to do with self-esteem or lack thereof. It also has to do with worrying too much about what other people think.

However, I am slowly getting my act together. I moved my NaNoWriMo account back to upinthisbrain this week and I have a request pending with Instagram to get my user id there corrected back to upinthisbrain.

Symmetry? Cohesiveness? I don't know. I do know that slowing down the podcast and stepping back a bit has given me the chance to do some in-depth observations about who I am as a creator and who I want to end up being.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

It’s so busy

After yesterday’s post, I was looking at Tumblr and, like Twitter, it’s just busy - non-stop streams of information assaulting your senses. It’s also a fantastic way to do no work at all. Just scroll through posts all day and avoid doing what you are researching to do.

All in and zero out.

I was thinking about the olden days when we didn’t have the constant stream of information, we had to purposely seek the information we needed. That typically meant a trip to the library or the bookstore or even taking classes. These were accessible things but not so accessible that the inflow of knowledge could lead us down endless rabbit holes and result in us wasting hours and hours.

I guess I am saying there must be a better way.

I guess I am admitting that I learned a bit more about how to outline a novel today but produced zero actual work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I have figured out what is missing on Blogger

Community.

Writing on Blogger is like yelling into a closed department store. There's plenty of those around. Go try it.

I have a Twitter for this site with a handful of followers and maybe one will see a post about an entry and come here. My tweet about the entry prior to this one had a whopping 4 engagements. 4! And, only 1 link click. 1!

I assume the rest of the visitors are bots or are lost, sent here by Google while looking for something else.

Sure, it's a lot my fault. I've quit blogging, resumed blogging, quit, resumed, changed the name of the site, etc. I think I've done all of that because it's so quiet here - creepy quiet.

Is it the lack of interaction that is frustrating? I don't know. I don't really need interaction. I am writing to write. I think it's the lack of possibility of interaction. I write something here and I know that most likely no one will see what I wrote even before I click on publish.

Blogging is certainly not what it once was but Blogger is the Blockbuster Video of blogging sites. There are no community building tools at all. You publish it and you try to grow a following on a site like Twitter which has plenty of its own problems.

And, I've done myself no favors on Twitter by not sharing my blog to my main account. I feel, maybe stupidly, like I would be spamming people if I did.

So, what are my options?

With Wordpress, you get a built-in community but a lot of the interaction there was spam when I was on there in the past.

With Tumblr, well, let's face it - they're not much better off than Blogger but it doesn't feel as empty as this place does.

So, then what? Do I pick up this site and head off somewhere else or do I keep plodding along and maybe if I build it, they will come?


Who knows. I'm just starting to get tired of standing out in this cornfield all by myself.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Desperately seeking structure

I am thinking about NaNoWriMo a whole month ahead this year. In fact, I thought about it during most of September also but I haven't done a bit of what I would call real preparation. All I have done is worry myself in the realization that I know zip about how to structure a 50,000 word story.

I've "won" once, way back in 2014 and I put that in quotes because the story that came out of that was 100% crap. OK, maybe 90% crap. 10% of it was acceptable.

I would like to go in this time with an idea (I have a basic one) and an outline (I am nowhere near even beginning that at the moment).

I need some structure!

I like structure - lists, index cards, something!
Some of my actual index cards patiently awaiting my story ideas once I figure out how to organize them

Without structure, I feel listless (no pun intended at first but then I went with it) and I think that's why my NaNoWriMo attempts start strong and then end up feeling like an out of control battery-operated scooter that is about to burst into flames.

So, I'm searching for some basic structure or outline that I can use to start organizing my thoughts.

It's already October 2nd so time is ticking down.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Getting out of the house for NaNoWriMo

If I'm going to be successful at NaNoWriMo next month, I'm going to have to leave the house to write.

Part of it is there is no place in this house where I can hide from interruptions, mainly the three four-legged interruptions that constantly need things such as attention (usually involving tennis balls) or passage in and out of the house. Also, they each have different levels of sonic hearing which can cause barking outbursts at any random moment depending on who hears what.

I'll be saying this a lot in November!

The big problem is my never-ending, self-replicating to-do list. I just got up to fix toast and noticed two other things that need to be done this morning. Yesterday was a day of to-do's - one to-do leading to another and no time to slow down, just go, go, go.

That's not going to work when I've trying to type out hundreds of words of nonsense every day for a month. That's why I'll be in coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, parks - you name it - all through the month of November.

Dogs and to-do's out of sight, out of mind.