Friday, March 11, 2011

Reasons to Drink

ll indications point toward one inescapable conclusion: I’m running out of reasons to drink. I suppose this is a good thing, but it’s sad to lose one of my favorite pastimes by way of lack of boredom. Whiling away an evening wandering around, drinking, thinking, turning on a voice recorder and babbling into the computer to listen to the next day, trying out new beers and more inventive mixed drinks, running out and scouring the area for more supply, crashing parties in progress through sheer charm and force of will. No! No, it’s too much to abandon. I’ll just have to make the time. So, what should I give up...

Sexy Girlfriend

Recently, my life has become more complicated in a good way, by which I mean I have a sexy girlfriend in a drama-free relationship, which situation combines all the good things about a Creative having a girl without all the weird things that Creatives get up to when they have a lame girl. So far I’ve noticed a decided improvement in my mindset, and that’s one more person who can partake of my cooking skills. Feedback is important, people.

Not Pictured
New House

I’m moving into a much better house and I’m using this opportunity to make a few changes to enhance my writing career, the most important of which is abandoning always-on Internet service in favor of an Aircard. This has the twin advantages that I can use it anywhere in the jungle that has cell phone reception and that I would have to log on specially. No longer would demon YouTube bedevil my productivity, because I know me and I won’t stand for waiting for streaming video. So too would the manic checking of social media be banished to the aether, because I’m not dedicated enough to meaningless online interaction to sit through the Aircard login process more than once or twice a day.

Steady Success

I’ve apparently cobbled together a working business plan out of sheer willpower and massive doses of research. I won’t reveal The Numbers yet since, as previously stated, Money doesn’t exist until it’s in my bank account (and I don’t have most of them in any case), but I’m seeing steady growth. I recently broke the Footprint 30 barrier (that is, at least 30 titles available for sale) and the consensus of qualified research indicates that I should see exponential growth within a couple of months. You’ll hear more about that as I do. This is an open Grand Experiment.

Journeyman Mindset

Breaking that barrier is a direct result of my struggles with mindset. Ongoing ruthless experimentation on my own brain has cleared many of the basic blocks out of the way, or, to be more specific, has reassembled the blocks into an assembly line for words instead of a wall. In the same sense as a craftsman will say “I just love working with my hands” because he’s trained his hands to do what he wants them to do, I can say that I love working with my mind because I’ve trained it to work out what I want to think about.

This is an ongoing process, in the same sense as that craftsman might not say “Sure, I can build you a cathedral” but can say with confidence “Sure, I can build you a great-looking house”. At this time, I’ve focused enough to be able to say with confidence that I can write you a great short story, without saying “I can only write you this kind of short story”. I’m still roaming the world of words, trying out new things, poking at craft and genre details, and just playing with words to see how they fit together. Call me a Short Story Journeyman.

Intermission! Creative Siphon: “Death’s Odyssey”

One of the most interesting things I discovered I have to do with my newly organized mind is have some outlets for the unfocused creativity that gets in the way of what I want to focus on. One way is to fill up outline drafts for other stories to keep those plots from distracting from the story I’m writing, but the other, more interesting, way is to run a roleplaying game. I recently started a Spirit of the Century game on the Penny Arcade forums with a bunch of my friends. The main rule, and how it works as a Motivator instead of a Distraction, is that I’m not allowed to update it on any given day until I’ve written a short story (or 4000 words). This also means that the players go crazy pushing the plot ahead by themselves, which makes it an even more fun Creative challenge to tie it all together. It’s been pretty entertaining thus far, and it can only get more entertaining from here as steampunk mingles with cosmic horror into a stew of literary pulp.

So, enough about what I’ve got, what do I need?

Serves you right

The only thing I actively worry about is Money. Whoever said Money can’t buy happiness was right, but only technically. Money can merely enhance happiness that you’ve already earned, provide the stability that is a jumping off point for the quest to happiness, or solve problems with a minimum of wasted time. Time is more valuable than Money which, in short, buys the flexibility I need to be happily free.

So, if somebody asks you: “Do you think David is in this Writing thing for the money?”, you just stamp your foot as hard as you can and say “Hell, yeah!” (I like to stamp my foot before I curse to confuse people). I have two very specific skill sets (1) Writing and (2) Not Living In Developed Nations. I rather enjoy both of them, and a decent income from the former would be incredibly helpful in support of a sustainable latter. Vice versa? Not so much, but I did say “happily free” not “happily stable”.

Monopoly sucks

Awwww. No, but seriously, I’ve got loads of friends, what I need is a group of 4-6 friends who all live within walking distance who I could play Settlers of Catan with on a regular basis while drinking beer. (Yeah! You thought I orphaned that introduction, didn’t you?)

I guess I don’t have to give anything up in pursuit of the Good Life, I just need to graft a few more things on while writing. So, friends: Come live near me. And bring money.

This version of Professional Edition will last until April 6, 2012, updating every Friday. Site design subject to change as I learn by doing. Like what you see? Spot something unprofessional? Feel free to comment!
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