Making room in my brain

A couple of years ago I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was only to be kinder. Not nicer, kinder. It worked out well. Or that’s what I tell myself. If I’m an asshole, no one is telling me that to my face so… thanks, guys.

I’ve stuck with that as an ongoing resolution and life mantra ever since. Am I a pro at it? No. I still hate shitty people and I still think plenty of people are the worst. But that’s life. Not everyone is as awesome as me and I need to accept that.

I haven’t made any new resolutions since then. Partially because I’m perfect (duh) but partially because something like 110% of people give up on new year’s resolutions within three months. This past December however, I made a secret resolution to write more. I didn’t really settle on what exactly to write or how to write “more”. I thought about writing some more blogs (obviously didn’t happen), writing in a diary before bed each night (empty journal still on my nightstand), finally ironing out the children’s books I want to write (didn’t even begin to start this one), and writing greeting cards (started this, abandoned ship). All of which, more than two months into the new year, have yet to come to fruition.

You see, the best worst tricky part about a secret resolution is the lack of accountability. I didn’t have anyone checking in to see if I was following through on anything, which means I didn’t have to even consider following through.

It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s just that I have to catch up on Teen Mom and Grey’s Anatomy.

When given the choice lately between choosing to do something creative and productive that brings me joy, or shutting my brain off and zoning out in front of a screen, I choose zoning out. I’m a damn zombie. Give me your brains y’all.

Hey, has anyone noticed that modern zombies don’t eat just brains? When did zombies stop caring about only eating our brains? When did they branch out into eating the rest of us? I can’t be the only one that noticed. I mean, I guess it makes sense, it’s hard to be discerning when you’re a zombie.

I ended up going into another paragraph about zombies but it was dumb and tangential so I abandoned it. THIS IS MY PROBLEM. I CAN’T EVEN BRAIN ANYMORE.

I don’t know what is happening inside my noggin, but it is not productive. Hell, I don’t even know where I’m going with this post. I thought it was about making a resolution. Then I thought it was about writing more. Then it just kind of turned into a flood of confusing ass thoughts that don’t really make for good storytelling or a good blog post.

I’ve wanted to write, but I often feel like I have nothing interesting or unique or compelling to say. Then I don’t write because I think no one would want to read it, which is dumb because I should be writing for myself, not for you weirdos. I let the fear of not entertaining other people keep me from doing something I really enjoy doing. And then I end up with shitty posts like this where my brain is so excited to words again that it can barely form full sentences.

So what I’m saying is, this post is all your fault.

I guess the point of this entire post, for me (god only knows what’s in it for you), is a release of pent up fear, anxiety, and writer’s energy. This post is a spring cleaning of my brain. It may not make sense, and that’s fine, but hopefully it will make some space inside my brainhole for something better. I’m not even going to bother rereading this before I post. This post needs to exist just as weird and confusing as it is. Because that’s what it looks like inside my brain right now and that’s what I’m trying to conquer. So TAKE THAT, Brain!

I’ve succumbed to writer’s block, and the only way to fix it is to acknowledge and write shit anyway. Whether you or I like it or not. Well, not “write shit” as in write things that suck. I mean “write shit” as in write stuff. I’m not going to purposely write things that are horrible. That would be weird. Or maybe it wouldn’t be weird. It could be very hip. I could purposely write horribly while I wear my black rim glasses and my flannel t-shirt. I would be so cutting edge and I would never have to write anything good for the rest of my life. Pressure’s off!

Okay, that particular plan might be a little convoluted.

I just have to write more. I need to let go of the fear, remember that I’m amazing, and write whatever the hell I want to write, whenever the hell I want to write it. And it will make my heart happy.

It’s that simple.

And I need to step away from the DVR. Before it eats my soul.

 

 

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I have a plan

cal1You might have noticed that my blog – while I usually attempt to write regularly  – gets a little up and down sometimes.

Two posts one week, no posts the next. Two weeks on, one week off.

It’s pretty unacceptable if you ask me (but you didn’t) and it’s time for a change. I love my bloggypoo and it’s a great creative outlet. I write about what I want. I draw what I want. I feel good afterwards.

When the blog goes unupdated (just made that word happen) it’s not because I have no material. I have an entire iPhone note dedicated to blog ideas. I have things I want to write but I can’t seem to get my own ass in gear long enough to sit down and write them. No more! I am committing to a blogging schedule – like most normal bloggers. Yea okay, it shouldn’t be that exciting or epic of a discussion because other people are just dandy at it but cut me some slack.

The MS paint drawings of wonderment will be a little bit more difficult for me since those are more spur of the moment ideas. I walk around thinking “What can I write about?” but I still am not in the mindset of “What can I draw horribly?” so that particular inspiration will need to be born from my motivation itself. I will do. Because I must.

I think every writer knows the old tool to just start writing. Can’t think of what to write? Just start writing. Stuck on a particular part of a story? Just start writing. Write whatever you are thinking or feeling and let it all out. Eventually, somewhere in the stream of consciousness you will find your story again. So I’m doing that (moreso with my crappy drawings).

Summation: I have a schedule and I’m going to do my very best to stick to it. I mean, I really don’t have any excuses, what with the magic of post-dating articles and all eh?

Let’s start with two. I can handle two. One drawing. One blog. Thursday and Tuesday respectively. I can do this!

 

Starting next week because obviously today is Wednesday and that ruins everything.

My parents made me do it

note: I have had serious internal struggles trying to decide if I want my blog to run titles using sentence case or title case and I’ve finally settled on sentence. This is a new take on capitalization for me so bare with me as I come to terms with the lack-of-symmetry feeling sentence case gives me. Also, if you have no idea what I’m talking about I forgive you; also, you can ignore this note entirely and it will never have any effect on your reading experience here.

 

I’ve had people ask me before why I feel comfortable writing and how I’m able to write about myself without feeling weird or self-conscious. Informal, personal writing is where I feel most comfortable. I write like I speak and for the longest time I didn’t think there was any magic in this until people started asking me how they too could learn how to write the way they converse. I have legitimately zero ideas.

Well okay not zero ideas, more like two really unhelpful ideas.

1) Type fast. I grew up around computers (Tandy, hollaback!) so I developed my own way of typing before I even set foot in a middle school keyboarding class. I was allowed to have a broke ass computer in my room when I was younger because it made me feel special and all it did was black screen/ white type word processing  I’m pretty sure it did more than that at one point in it’s  little computer life but my parents were smart enough to only give me the already broken computer to play with.

When I did reach that keyboarding class in middle school my teacher made me sit in the back of the room near the window so none of my classmates could see me. After the first week she realized that I had horrible and incorrect typing form but I was typing faster than everyone else in the class and with great accuracy. So she made a deal with me: I could type as wonky as I wanted as long as I didn’t point out to any of my classmates that I didn’t have to type properly and they did. With my equally as wonky and still accurate typing best friend Mikey beside me, we had our special secret and we gladly kept it. We also both got straight A’s in that class. Huzzah.

It’s easier to write conversationally when your hands can follow along. Typing fast allows me to get my words down almost as quickly as I can think them so everything flows together that little bit easier.

2) Just do it. I like writing so I’ve written for fun as long as I can remember. Short stories, crappy teenage poetry, diary entries, plays, crappy blogs, not so crappy blogs – I have always been writing. I still write letters to friends occasionally too; it’s a lost art and if you wrote me a letter I would jump to reply back in kind.

I also happened to have parents that encouraged me to write. I’m not sure whether they did this because they saw that I liked writing, because they thought I was good and wanting to encourage me, or thought I was bad and wanted me to get better, or just enjoyed the entertainment of it all – but they were always giving my opportunities to write.

myfamilyoldSomewhere along the line in my childhood my parents decided that if I wanted something they didn’t fully support then I needed to explain myself. I needed to write an essay; a convincing argument. Essay topics were far and wide including explaining how getting my belly button pierced would not make me promiscuous or make others thing less of me, and even one on why I should be allowed to study under a rabbi**. I’m sure there are examples of essays I wrote that did not persuade my parents to agree with me (or at least appease me for my hard work) but I can’t remember any. I have a selective memory in which I am a consummate rock star.

It also helped that I was a huge nerd too because up through middle school (not high school, I was too cool) I would randomly ask my parents to give me writing assignments on the books I was reading. Or I had to make a shoe box diorama about the book I was reading. Or I had to make a poster about the book I was reading. You guys, when I tell you that I am – at the very core of my being – a super nerd, this is not an exaggeration.

I don’t know if my brother had to convince my parents to let him do things via written word but I should ask him; although he might have been too busy being grounded all the time to really have a leg to stand on in arguing for things he wanted. He also has more of a strong suit in math so maybe he was secretly doing math textbook assignments for privileges and I never knew.  Or maybe he just wasn’t as lame as me and didn’t care as much.

I digress. The point is that I wrote a lot and when I was writing it was about how I felt 99% of the time. I wrote about my experiences and opinions. I became really comfortable with expressing myself if given a pencil or a keyboard and I don’t know for certain  because it’s been so long but I believe that this can be credited in large part simply to the volume of introspective writing I was exposed to.

Just try to remember: writing about yourself requires certain levels of introspection and narcissism that not everyone is capable of or comfortable with and that’s okay too.

I write about my life because it’s what I know. What do you know? Go on, start writing. Right now. Write now (ha!). Okay not right this second because there’s still more to this blog entry but maybe, ya know, when you’re done reading…

Do kids still write notes to each other or do they only text now? Note folding is a lost art form. I was a pro at the triangle but I also  liked the break out the fold that had the pull tab to open the note on special occasions. I’m going to start passing notes around the office, all folded up with hearts and stars decorating them so I can relive the good ol’ days.

 

 

In my life recently…
Now that The Hobbit is coming out I’ve finally decided to read Lord of the Rings. Yes, I’m aware that’s backwards but whatever, I do what I want. For example: I talk to my books. Or if David is around I’ll be like YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY BOOK RIGHT NOW THESE PEOPLE ARE RIDICULOUS. I’m certain he finds it all sorts of endearing.

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Oh and if you’re not following me on twitter, you’re missing gems like this one, celebrating my 1,000th tweet:

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@fitlaughlove for all of your important Sabrina updates.

**Yes, in middle school I started studying religion on my own and wanted to find out more about Judaism so I specifically asked if I could find a rabbi to study with, to teach me. I studied with him for quite a long time actually and learned a lot but this is another [long] story for another day.

Okay, you’re free to go write now.