Tuesday, March 15, 2016

State of the Blog
 my writing system

Aand that brings us back to Shark Week! Which this month I'm trying out starting with a lil state of the blog address, just because I have lil something to say this month. Which is, I have a good writing system now! I mean, it has worked for one month; it might be a little early to unfurl the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner just yet. But speaking of banners, you should see my 750 Words banner for last month, wait, I can show it to you:

february words

Tch, have these screenshots always been this grainy?

I do love a tidy pattern: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday like clockwork. One of my minor bosses at work just said that about my work, like clockwork, I was like ::deadpan:: how else does it work? But also, pleased. Clockwork is the best. But anyway, this is working for me for writing! Which means, for blogging. But then again, blogging is what works for me for writing. Like there is no writing, only Blog. And facebook statuses. Do you know what I'm saying? Like if I were to sit down to write a novel, or a story, or a poem, well I could do the sit down part. The words only come out if I'm talking to somebody, that's how it works. Well back it up, that's how facebook statuses work. For me. Those are the little thoughts that pop up in my head that I would tell you if you were walking to work with me or sitting in the cube next to mine. Though if you were actually walking with me, we would be having an awkward silence while I struggle to think of anything to say. Unless you're the kind of person who can always think of something to say, which is my favorite kind of person to walk with. Unless you're der schweetums whom I can walk with without saying anything, making him my #1 favorite person to walk with. Though truthfully I usually talk his ear off; but if I ever ran out, I COULD walk with him without saying anything. Is all I'm saying. Though I think what I'm saying is, I think of things to talk to people about when I'm by myself, except for when I'm with der schweetums, which is like being by myself, which is sort of a form of love. WHICH IS HOW THIS SYSTEM WORKS, the point for the love of god: I basically trick myself into writing by tricking myself into blogging by telling myself that I'm just talking to myself.

And, certain tools help with this:

750 Words

750 Words is my shitty first draft space. Half of it is the app itself—the big white page, the big font, the wackadoodle retroformatting even—totally encourages word vomit, which is essential if you ask me. More than half the time I have no idea what's going to come out, and then BARF. The other half is the system that I built around the app, on the days that I don't work: I wake up, drink my water, and then fire up 750 Words. I do a little bit of walking myself through the day, and then I have a list of subjects that I'm supposed to write about for my blog—whatever list I'm on, my shark posse, my monthly review— and I just work on whatever's up on the list, but like, in Blogger, I work on it a bit in Blogger and then copy and ::splat:: paste it back into 750 Words for counting. Four days a week, like clockwork; the only iffy part is that I could be in bed all day like this, so lately I'm trying to call TIME GENTLEMEN PLEASE at 10:00 and be satisfied with how much I've written, as long as it's more than 750 words, which it always is, and more like 2,000 words.

Power 30

Power 30 was my muse, maybe my guru. Power 30 focused me on self-care, maybe by caring about me? Self-care is turning into what this blog is about this year, I'd actually been wanting to write about these self-care topics for some time, but I think I was stuck because I didn't know who I would be talking to about these topics, hellooo, it's self care, you're talking to yourself! But I got started by talking to my Power 30 group, forever grateful. You know what I think I got out of Power 30 last year was, you're looking for a good person to talk you... what's wrong with yourself? You're a good person, people like to talk to you. Why don't you talk to yourself? Why don't you talk to yourself like you talk to other people—you know, nicely. And I don't mean nod and say, yeah, I get it, I'm nicer to other people than I am to myself. I mean, say something to yourself RIGHT NOW. SAY SOMETHING. NOW. SOMETHING NICE. It's like the thing with the yoga, omggggg why will you not just try the thing.

That said, I don't present this to bemoan that my process would be so much faster if I could get unblocked sooner. Being blocked is part of the process, you don't get the lovely feeling being unblocked unless you've been blocked in the first place. Which is the same reason I don't change my sheets every week, life is contrasts! I mean, maybe next time I could be convinced to come up off my heel in a little less than eight weeks. Maybe change my sheets a leetle more often.


It seems uncool to talk about Facebook like it's a force for good, but it is good for me. I mean, see above. Facebook is where I practice both self-expression and connection, I guess the social equivalent of assisted pushups. I don't want to overemphasize that the idea is to progress to real pushups, because if you ask me the problem is that idea gets too much emphasis and people don't think to do the assisted pushups. And the assisted pushups is where the magic happens, that's where it happened for me. Maybe there's some trick to how you think about practice, with enjoyment and awareness, like they say about deliberate practice. Maybe all I'm saying is mindfulness, maybe that's the force for good underneath it all.


Last but not least and maybe not last even, I think Blogger or blogs in general are thought to be where you make yourself visible to others, but it's where I make myself visible to me. Like I have this very simple design that I hope to never change, right? The words go into the machine and the machine rolls them out in this very simple design, which gives them a finished look to me. Well, finished in the sense that cloth is finished thread but not yet finished clothing. "Finished" is what triggers the brain cookie. I definitely mean with the scare quotes, it doesn't have to be all the way finished. The game in a sense is to identify the points along that way that give you a feeling of "finished," thus triggering the cookie and then fueled by the cookie you can go a little farther. Blogger is one of these points for me. There may or may not be a point beyond Blogger, I haven't explored that. Filling up my pockets with cookies! Though my pockets are getting full, it might be time to plot a course and trek to the next cookie station.