Sunday, February 28, 2010

I've been dehermitized

For one day at least I got out and went to a gathering of old friends I hadn't seen for awhile and new people that I didn't know but are friends with the friends I hadn't seen in awhile. It wasn't so bad. I of course stayed pretty quiet at first and stuck to just talking to a few old friends but I eventually talked to almost everyone I think. The event was Molly's baby shower, so some of Chad's family was there too but I never got around to talking to them at all.

We did silly little baby shower things and ate some food and then watched Molly open all the presents. Mostly we sat around talking and stuff. It's been a long long time since I sat around and talked with people outside of work really. I mean a few times of hanging out with Chad and Molly aside, I hadn't really done anything with anyone outside of work or family events for a couple of years.

Part of the problem was my nights working 3rd shift meant I was always tired when I wasn't at work and never felt like doing anything, assuming it was at a time I was even awake to do anything anyway. And then after a year of working all night and sleeping all day I just got used to not doing anything and I just kept doing what I was used to.

Part of that was the apathetic nature I had to adopt to stay sane at work. I'm not going to go into the details of why apathy is required at work to stay sane, but that same apathy bled over into the rest of my life too unfortunately. So I'd spend my days sitting at my computer doing nothing or would sit in front of the TV just watching whatever.

This same apathy I think is one of the things keeping me from really writing any of the ideas I constantly have flowing through my head. I might say to myself this is what I want to write and I will go do it now, but my not so carefully cultivate sanity safety net of apathy kicks in and says why the hell bother? So there I am, left with the great idea trapped in my brain where it erodes away and nothing is ever heard from it again and I just continue to sit there bored because I never feel like doing anything.

And on a different note I recently purchased "The No Plot? No Problem! novel-writing kit" by Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month. It had some great ideas I might try to use next time I try to write something. It's designed to help someone write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel, and admirable goal, but not one I'm aiming for right now so I don't want to ruin it by reading all the stuff but want to leave it intact for some later date when I do want to start such a month long journey.

One of the little tips it said in the parts I can read before kicking of the grueling month long novel writing adventure is to turn off the spell checker and don't go back and revise anything. Just get through the month writing a first draft from start to finish, and then go back and edit it as needed. It's a good idea I think. I know I always seem to stop after a certain point and start rereading and then rewriting some of the earlier stuff. Now armed with this tip I might actually make it to the end of a story sometime.

I have other pitfalls that catch me sometimes, like after stopping my first writing session, usually from finger cramps not lack of ideas, I can never seem to get the ideas to start flowing again. This is something that maybe the novel writing kit has an answer to but like I said before I don't want to ruin the kit by reading ahead when I'm not ready to start that adventure just yet.

Anyway that's enough for one day.

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