The “Shut the Hell Up” Two-Step

It’s truly astounding how much I want to see myself fail. Whenever I gather up my will to accomplish something and make even just the tiny bit of headway in regards to my novel, my inner critic pipes in and likes to remind me how “shit” I am at writing. It happens without fail. Every time.

In the past I would inevitably listen and give up. The proof is in the fact that the last time I attempted to edit my book was 5/28/2014 (28/05/2014 for those abroad). At the very least that was the last time I opened the word documents. What’s even more excruciating is that I completed this novel length work of fiction in 2009. This December the 6th will be 10 years. That’s insane. But the delay has all been due to my submission to my self-hatred.

I wasn’t always this way. I used to be relatively confident in my ability. It wasn’t until I went to work for an office that treated me like I was a fucking moron that I started to cave so easily. “What’s the point?” Became my mantra. When those around you talk down to you, in the voice of your inner critic, you start to listen.

As of late, it usually gets the loudest after my initial read through of a chapter in “rough” condition. But I tell myself to ignore it and just keep reading. I start at the top and work my way down, and when I come across something that gives me pause I fix it immediately. The voice will chime in and I “talk over it” to myself “You can do this.” Even if I am mid-paragraph, that doesn’t need any real change, and he decides to tell me how horrible my writing is I restart at the beginning. It’s almost like learning a dance routine. If I miss a step, back to the top.

This time I absolutely refuse to give up or give in. Whenever the fucker pokes his head into my thoughts I knock him square across the jaw and then kick his dazed ass to the curb. In the words of Ms. Bianca Del Rio “Not today, Satan.”

National Novel Writing Month

This Thursday, November 1st, marks two of my favorite things. The first being my wedding anniversary (5 years) and the second being the start of National Novel Writing Month or what it is colloquially known as NaNoWriMo.

If you haven’t heard of it and are a budding/want-to-be writer, I suggest you check it out. Their website is: I went to their site to brush up on how and where it all began, (because I have this vague memory that it was started by a bunch of college students who wanted to finish their manuscripts) but I couldn’t find any sort of mission statement. So, I may have just made that shit up in my head. Who knows. If I did, that isn’t the first time I imagined reading information in regards to the event.

The idea behind it is that every day for the month of November you write a minimum of 1,667 words until the 30th when you reach the ultimate goal of 50,000, which amounts to a novel length work of fiction.

When I first participated I could have SWORN I read somewhere that you just write, you don’t ever go back and revise or re-read what you’d written, and instead charge forward until you’ve accomplished your goal. Once at the finish line you can look back and begin the process of editing. When I participated the following year that whole piece was absent from their website and, just like my fantasy of “how it started,” may have concocted the whole thing in my imagination. Regardless, that piece of advice is what I pass on to those I try to entice into the event. What I discovered is that this is EXACTLY how I like to write. In addition, I don’t like to plan that far in advance (however if that’s your process have at) because I enjoy having the story unfold for me as if I was reading the book. My good friend Matt told me that is the style in which Stephen King writes and I take that as a shining omen for my process.

The first time I participated I wrote my first ever novel and, also, the one I have since attempted to edit. (That was back in 2009, to get some perspective). It sits on my desktop taunting me. It wants to be published, but the thing I hate about writing is editing, and that is all writing is, to be quite frank.

From that first novel I wrote two subsequent sequels in the same NaNoWriMo style. One of them was absolute trash and once I was complete I ended up printing it and shoving it in some dark drawer, never to see the light of day. The one I wrote after that though was fantastic. I guess I just needed to get all the bad ideas out first.

It has been a few years since I did NaNoWriMo. Life has just gotten in the way and each year I set out with the intent to do it but ultimately told myself that I didn’t need the added stress of trying to write 1,667 words a day for an entire month added to my plate. This year is no exception. I’m just as busy (if not more) like before, which made me realize life is constant and I’ll always be “busy” but that isn’t an excuse to forego my art. Going against my better judgment, I have decided to rejoin the fun, but with an added twist. I will publish my work, to my blog, as I trudge along in all of its terrible, raw glory. (I may give each sprint a little run through the Grammarly program, but otherwise it will remain unedited.)

I encourage you to follow along, because it’s interesting to see how things turn out. Full disclosure, it will also be a train wreck, which is also kind of fun to watch.

P.S. I will be saving each entry under the category “Cursed.”

Hello, Writing, My Old Friend

I have missed writing. A lot. It was something I have turned to time and time again because I have this need to emote every thought and the written word is my medium of choice. In the past it has been acting or “singing” (it’s in quotes because whether I can carry a tune is debatable) but writing has always been a constant. Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to be a writer. And to be a “writer” one has to write, so why have I been so lazy about it?

I am in a constant battle with myself over whether my anti-depressants are necessary or not. While at times they seem mandatory, there are others where it feels like in the end all they do is turn me into a zombie. I have no emotion and the things I tend to feel passion for or about dissipates and I am left with apathy. I hate it. But I have read that it is the “emotional rollercoaster” that those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder like. They like the crazy manic mood swings that typically accompany the disorders. And I may just be another statistic in that regards.

One of the biggest reasons I hate taking my meds is that I will literally be in the midst of writing, because it has called upon me, and for whatever reason the action hasn’t held my attention or I lose interest the in the thing that was ushering me to the task. So I inevitably hit “save as draft” and it sits in my blog forever unpublished because it’s unfinished. I hate that with every fiber of my being, because in my mind and in my heart I feel like this medication is taking away my personality and my voice.

However, the dark reality is that at times I need them. My emotions become to overpowering that I end up making irrational choices that from a distance are totally out of character and detrimental to my health. So it is that fear which keeps me tied to this prescription.

This never-ending battle has grown in fervor recently because of a particular episode of the “Well Red” podcast. It is episode 15 if you’re interested, which discusses the idea of dreams and dealing with the reality of achieving them. Everything they said I agreed with, which happens quite frequently with me and audio show. At one time I may not have, as I was an artistic dreamer that didn’t see the forest for the trees. Everything was possible as long as I “believed.” My husband comes along and straps blocks to my balloon. Now, that sounds harsh, and it is, but I needed it. He pushed me to think about what I wanted realistically and to not be the “head in the clouds” kind of person. At one time I resented him for it but now I love him more because of his ability to be honest with me. He wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, he was just giving me a healthy dose of the reality that it may not happen and if it doesn’t to not be destroyed because of that “failure.” (I don’t want to use failure in this instance, but until my mind comes up with another more appropriate one it will have to stay.)

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to that podcast, do yourself a favor and do it now. These gents are super intelligent and such advocates for the gay community. I couldn’t love them more than I do, without knowing them personally. I’ve been binge listening to the whole series thus far and have only come across 1 episode I didn’t like and that was because the person they were interviewing reminded me of a toxic individual I removed from my life. Other than that… they’re hilarious and I could listen to them all day, and have.

Listening to Trae’s story about holding a job during the day and doing stand-up at night, with kids, has reminded me that it is possible to try. Success, however, is all about luck and timing. And that won’t happen if I don’t keep at it or even make an attempt. And this show has reignited that spark in me.

Writing has taken a backseat lately because of my pills, as previously mentioned, but also because of my obligation to complete my appraisal courses and working to get my AA in journalism from my local college. Something had to give and it was writing blogs or working on my novel. But… as of last Monday I have completed my appraisal courses and can now get my license.

It’s funny, the first thought I had after passing my course (other than immense relief and the want to break down crying) was that I can finally get back to working on my novel. And I mean, immediately after. I was walking away from the testing center when it came rushing to my mind.

It warms my heart to know that no matter how much time passes or what obligations get in the way, the thing I return to time and again is writing. If only I could figure out this pill situation…

Attempting to be Unexpected.

Well look at that, I made it to day two.  Give it a couple more days and I’ll peter out.  I always do.  I think it’s because I become so concerned with my writing style and technique.  Basically I think it’s shit.  And I let that negativity bounce around in my brain until every part of it is now dented or bruised.  Ultimately forcing myself to give up because I’m believing that voice.

Strangely I don’t feel that way yet.  I’m oddly calm and somewhat positive.  Again, just a fluke.  I’ll beat myself into submission and give up, claiming I’m shit.

(That’s the way to go about it, Josh, with sarcasm and negativitiy! Good Job.)

Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 2nd
High Stakes Holidays
“That’s not a New Year’s Resolution.  That’s a death wish.” Use this as a first line and run with it!

“So, basically,” Anthony said, stuffing another crème puff into his mouth, “I’m going to just say fuck it and gain as much weight as I can.  I call it my ‘Don’t fear what you’ll gain in a year.'”

“That’s not a New Year’s resolution, Tone,” Becka said, “That’s a death wish. Do you realize how unhealthy that is.  Well,” she paused, craning her head back and blinking furiously,”or do you mean you’ll eat whatever you want, but mainly vegetables.  Or is it an atkins thing?”

Tony shook his head, while devouring another puff in one bite.

“No.  This isn’t a weightloss journey, beck.  This is I’m going to eat whatever the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want to.  Screw diets and working out.  That’s for the birds.  I’m just going to live my life and eat whatever I want.”

Becka stared slack jawed.

Tony popped his eyebrows and smiled. “Jealous.”

“No. No I’m not. You’re tying to kill yourself.”

“Why does everyone always say that.  I’m not killing myself.  I would be if I was intentionally trying to get fat.  That would mean I was bed ridden and could never leave the house or have to work…”

“No! Tony, don’t you go there! I see those wheels spinning.  Just take it back to eating whatever you want.  But to intention-”

“Are you kidding! I wouldn’t have to work! I could stay at home and play my xbox all day.” Tony looked off into the middle distance. A grin played about his lips.

In his moment of distracted contemplation Becka hurriedly seized her moment.  She shoved her hand into her coach bag and produced a pair of fuzzy handcuffs hich she proceeded to lock around Tony’s wrist and her dining room chair.

The people packed into her apartment carried on without a second glance.

“What the hell,” Tony said, “Beck, where did you get these?”

“Tony, I’m doing this for your own good.”

Tony opened his mouth to speak but when becka promptly turned to a pair of muscly gentlemen standing in her kitchen he didn’t respond. They exchanged a few words as becka pointed over her shoulder. The two men laughed and walked around her and strutted over to Tony.  He watched confused as the men picked up the chair and carried him with it down the hall and into the spare room.

“Sleep tight, bud,” one of them said.

They left the room, shutting the door behind them.

Little did they know that Becka had tricked them and Tony into a scheme she had concocted on the fly.  For the next three weeks she kept her friend hostage in her spare room.  She would visit nightly to feed him and bathe any exposed skin.

“Becka, you’re insane, let me go.”

She pressed herfinger to his lips.

“I’m crazy? You’re the one who wanted to get fat on purpose.  I am saving you from yourself. ”

“Please! Somebody help me!” Tony screamed.

Becka grabbed the ballgag and put it back into his mouth.

“Naughty, naughty,” She said. “Remember we talked about that.”

Tony groaned behind the red rubber gag.

It wasn’t until the next day that Tony knew what he had to do.

Becka entered the room backwards, carrying a tray of sour dough bread and vegetable soup.

“I made it myself!”

With nimble fingers she removed the ball and prepared to spoon feed him, even though he had a free hand.

“Beck, I have finally realized the error of my ways.”

Sitting up straight she lowered the spoon back to the bowl.  Her blue doe eyes fixed with his.

“What is it darling?”

“It is obvious that you care so much for me.  I want you to marry me and care for me this way always.”


“Yes. I must have you.”

Becka frowned and put the tray on the floor to the side of her chair.  With liquid motions she pulled the key from her pocket and unlocked Tony from his restraints.

“I’d rather you get fat.”