Forcing My Work

Well, I just got back from a little Thanksgiving vacation where I also sold some of my books at the Artwalk event in Alpine, Texas. Now that I’m back, I actually have to do work again, like this article. And after reviewing my list of articles to write, I realized I didn’t feel like writing any of them.

I realize that I have a list so that I can write things, not so that I can muse on what I want to write. If I don’t know what to write about, I go to the list and select one. That’s the way I can get things done. And it might be the only way for me. Everyone has a different method for writing, and mine is quite “brute force”. If I have an idea floating around, I write the idea down, and then I pick it up later in time for my deadline. This works most of the time. Except this time, because I have missed my deadline even as I write this. Still, it does work quite often.

I have no idea why that is. It never seems like just sitting in front of a computer screen or staring at a blank piece of paper and saying to myself ‘be creative’ would work. But it does for me, and I know that for the vast majority of people it doesn’t. And it’s weird that it only works for creative things: in school I got things done early. I never worried about studying because I never needed to. And in what work I have done I get it done at a good time, or sometimes never if I don’t want to. In any of those cases I don’t ever have to force myself. I will either do it or not.

Creativity does come easy for me, but not the creation of a finished product. I can’t tell you how many book synopses I have written and scattered about that could only possibly be made into books if I spent the rest of my life writing. I love ideas and doing different and new things, which is why I have so many comic strips, but also why I have a problem with them.

I just have to sit down and force myself to make them every week. And that’s something I couldn’t do with a lot of other things (like empty the dishwasher). I guess that’s a good thing(?) But here I am writing about this, instead of one of the many things on my list which I now think will require quite a bit more research than initially anticipated. Or I could just wing it.

My experience has shown me that whatever the case, I won’t do fun things for fun. I have to force myself to create. Then, sitting back, and looking at all I’ve done makes it worth having forced myself to go through it.

Where to Start…

So… I’m gonna talk… About stuff…

But seriously, this article isn’t going to be my usual article (is it too late to say I’m mainly a humor writer? My latest blog/article posts make me think it’s too late.) Not that this’ll be sad or anything, just different.

Now, I’ll be the second to tell you I’m not the smartest in the world (the people I know who are in school would be the first), but I think I can be a reasonably insightful person. And when I start writing I can write (type) like there’s no tomorrow (but there are hand cramps). The real problem is knowing where to start. Over the years I’ve developed many theories and views that intertwine to the extent that I have no idea where to even begin to explain them, because each piece requires another piece to fully comprehend. The ideal “book” in that case would be circular, one where it simply starts somewhere and then ends in that same place. Even more ideally, the language and concepts would be simple enough that one could simply jump in anywhere and start reading until they looped back around to that point.

Unfortunately, due to the very reason that so many things relate to each other, a book like this would end up being much less like a circle and more like a choose-your-own-adventure book, or a food web, with many complex ideas growing from or branching off of smaller “stepping-stone” or “building-block” ideas.

But what are these ideas that form the basis of all other ideas? Is the idea of a language to communicate ideas the basic idea, or merely a tangential one? And there are even more basic ideas even further down. And higher “ranking” ideas are necessary to understand the smaller ones. We’d need a word made up of letters to express the idea that perhaps a letter is the smallest idea. It isn’t, but that’s what we’d need. The problem here is that new ideas are infinitely majuscule and miniscule. In science (or all of the physical world, really) a Planck-length is the shortest measurable distance, there is nothing smaller, nothing ever gets smaller or acts over a smaller distance. But in our minds we can easily imagine something say… Half the size.

Now what does this have to do with my inability to figure out where to start? Well, first off, it showcases my ability to write something completely tangential to what I intended to talk about whenever I feel I am unable to start something. It also really means that there is no good place to start anything. There are an infinite amount of topics to discuss that could lead to greater understanding of the central (undefined at the moment) topic. Of course, this also means there are an infinite amount of topics that could lead to misunderstanding of the topic as well, and that infinity is likely larger.

Now looking at what I have just written, infinity seems quite large, and diving into something that could lead to infinity seems quite daunting. But I find that the projects I simply start end up being better than all other projects (mainly in that they aren’t really projects until they’re started). So, I guess that’s really the answer: just start, start anywhere, you don’t need a good place, and if you find the “best” place retroactively, place it in front. Make things better, work at them, but start anywhere. Starting is better than staring at the monolith of work in your mind and doing nothing.

Of course you might like to start at the monolith.

Reaching Milestones

Reaching Milestones is a strange feeling. I’m just never sure how to react. Last week I reached 2,000 posts on the main Dragon Company site (as well as 1337 posts on Tumblr, but that’s just kinda funny)(and yes, that was all me so far). And just yesterday I reached 400 Walking the Roosters comics, out of over a thousand total comics, which I can’t even believe I did.

2000 Posts on my website

I definitely (I’m glad that didn’t autocorrect there) feel grateful to the people who encouraged me to work at this thing that I enjoy doing; blogging/comics etc. But I almost just don’t believe I did it. It’s almost like when I turned 18, which happened fairly recently as well. Suddenly you expect something to happen, and nothing happens. Everything feels the same but it feels like it shouldn’t feel the same.

My followers are still low on Tumblr

My followers are still low on Tumblr

But nothing incredible and major happened when I reached a large number of posts. Instead, the amazing thing is that I can look back and see all of the Likes, and Comments, and Followers I’ve built up over the time it took to get that many posts. All those people (hopefully you), though not as numerous as other followings, made my posts an achievement. People enjoying them, hopefully, is what makes them worth doing as opposed to reaching a nice-looking number for their total. The fact that even on my posts that get one Like, one person enjoyed that enough to like it makes me feel more accomplished than any number does. (And since I have to be cynical at least once here: I don’t have the potential to make some money if no one likes it.)

So thank you, everyone who has read and will read my various internet material. I hope to see you at the next milestone.

Different Sameness

So I have been working, and I wasn’t. What was I doing instead? Playing a game. On my phone in this case, but it was a deep phone game. Anyway it got me thinking about some things. Like why I wasn’t working, that was a problem. What made playing this game better than working for me?  And when I say work I don’t mean boring office job: I actually enjoy doing my work. I don’t know why some games just grab me and make me an unproductive zombie. Good thing I’m me and can turn it around into a blog post, right? (Didn’t think so)

Anyway, I was thinking about why some things make me distracted and it occurred to me that it may be a different kind of mental stimulus, like my brain needs to focus on something different so I play a game. But then I was wondering why some people who have boring jobs chose to play boring, simple phone games, like Fruit Ninja or something like that? After thinking about that for a while what I’ve come to believe is that we as humans want something different, but not too different. I play games that involve lots of strategy and planning, which is similar to what I do, but different enough to be interesting. I think it’s fascinating how things like this work in my head. Like I want something that is the same, but will make me think the same is not boring.

I guess that’s the way we do everything. It’s the reason we don’t like change or end up branching out too much in life. We specialize in what we enjoy, or learn to “enjoy” (Read: tolerate) what we do. And we don’t want to do something different, but we get bored, so we yearn for something else. And something very similar is still something else.

At least this is my theory for the time being. I’m sure it will evolve with time, but now that’s what I’m thinking.  If you have any ideas similar or contrary I’d like to hear them. I could just be completely wrong.

I Don’t Get Much Sleep

So I think I’m writing this at an appropriate time, by that I mean when I should be sleeping. I don’t sleep well, I don’t know why that is, but I don’t. My sleep schedule is better since I stopped drinking soft drinks, but it’s still pretty bad. I often find myself up in the midnight hours, working furiously to finish my work for the night. Though much of my work gets interrupted by my need for organization, last minute small projects, and the general distractions of the internet that we all experience.

It isn’t as if I wake up late. I wake up at eight every morning, sometimes as late as nine or nine thirty. At that moment I don’t really have to ‘go’ to work, but then I start working. I work, take walks, and do things on the internet the rest of the day. And then I still have to sit up to one in the morning finishing everything. I don’t know why, I don’t think I’ve ever thought I had the reason pinned down.

And I love sleep, I wish I could sleep forever, but I guess I wish I would get more done more. It just seems strange to me how I wake up tired and go to bed wide awake. Do other people feel this way? I mean I think most of the people I know go to bed sleepy and then wake up sleepy. Some people don’t even seem to wake up ever. I don’t drink caffeine (very often) and the sugar content of what I drink is, I believe, very low.

I know a lot of people are sleep deprived nowadays. But do they stay up late every night and get up early every day? (I should mention that I work every day of the week and only sleep in once a week on Saturday or Sunday) It doesn’t seem right, and though it does affect my work some it really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, except to my mind which keeps telling me to get to sleep earlier.

It’s just strange.