I’m Afraid

I’m afraid I’m not talented enough to succeed. I’m afraid that even though I put every fiber of my being into achieving my goal, it still won’t happen because I’m just not good enough.

I’m a writer. Out of all of my hobbies, writing is the one I have invested the greatest amount of true work hours into. Malcolm Gladwell said “… researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” That might also remind you of a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song aptly named “10,000 hours,” and for a very good reason, they are based on the same principle. To become an expert at anything according to Mr. Gladwell, you have to put 10,000 hours of practice into whatever it is. To writers, those hours can easily be translated and then subsequently measured by word counts.

So, let’s do some math! Well, I guess I’ll do some math and you just have to keep reading this. Good, I’m glad we had that talk. I am 8 days from being 26 years old and in the spirit of rounding up, let’s just say I’ve been alive for 26 years. I have been literate for 22 of those years. I have been writing stories for 10 of those years. On a weekly basis I average 800 written words, most of which are not publishable. That number includes weeks that I’ve written 20,000 words (that happened one time – it was a very good week) and others when I have written absolutely nothing.

4 x 800 = 3200 words a month

3200 x 12 = 38400 words a year

38400 x 10 years = 384000 words all time

For reference the book I just finished reading, Divergent, has 105,000 words. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is 76,944 words. Ulysses by James Joyce is 265,000 words. The longest novel ever recorded is Mission Earth by L. Ron Hubbard coming in at 1.2 million words. Granted, L. Ron Hubbard can sometimes be described as a  psychotic lunatic, but you have to give it to the dude, he wrote a whole hell of a lot of words. For even more reference, my debut novel Odessa Red (available on Amazon.com) is 45,093 words.

Now, this is not to say that the number of written words automatically equals the quality of your product. It’s just saying that as a writer, the designation I identify myself with the most, I am a relative novice. And in that light, here is the cold hard truth: I’m not good enough yet, but I’ve invested too much time and effort to stop now.

On a related note, I truly love writing and because of that love it doesn’t matter how many times I fail, I will never stop. But what you love and what you’re good at are two very different subjects. I know why I love writing. The idea that words in a particular order that did not exist previously can create entire worlds is absolutely amazing to me, and my ultimate goal is to create worlds that I love and that others can fall in love with as well.

I want that very badly, but I will never say that I want it badly enough that I will definitely succeed. I honestly don’t know if I will succeed, and I think that’s the point. I might not be good enough. I might not have the talent to describe the worlds in my dreams. But that has nothing to do with whether or not I will keep writing. I doubt myself often; mostly at night right before I fall asleep. I ask myself why I keep doing this. Why I try so hard. I read books and think that I’ll never be able to encapsulate a story like they did. But then I fall asleep, wake up, get out of bed, and do it all again. Because the elation brought on by success outweighs the misery of failure. Success hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t know if the previous statement is true or not, but I want it to be true so badly and not trying is a great way to never find out if it can be true.

Everyone has something like this in their lives. I love writing. Ask yourself what you love. I don’t know how you feel, but I know that I’m glad I’m afraid of what I love and I think you should be too. Fear drives me toward an unknown future and personally, I’d rather be afraid than be nothing at all.

Chapter 1

The usual cycle of my writing projects is that I’ll be smack dab in the middle of one when I need to start another. The “Ian and the Bishop” short film movie cast and crew are three weeks from rehearsals and then quickly after that we start shooting. There is a bunch more to do and not a whole lot of time to do it…so what do I do with some of my free time? Write something else completely different.

It drives me insane while being the only thing that genuinely keeps me sane simultaneously. I wrote the first scene of Ian and the Bishop a month before Odessa Red was finished. I wrote Odessa Red’s first chapter half way through putting together TLDNR. It’s a vicious cycle  – which by the way would be a sweet band name. So in my usual fashion I started writing something else. So far I’ve gotten good feedback besides my editor telling me I suck at the English language, which I totally do, but I like the premise so I might stick with it after the film wraps. Who knows. It doesn’t even have a working title yet – if you think of one, let me know.  I’ve written 2 chapters and you’re about to read the first. It has errors galore and according to Abigail “misplaced modifiers everywhere” whatever that witchcraft means, but the core of the first chapter is there. So, let me know what you think.

CLICK THIS FIRST PAGE TO OPEN THE PDF DUDES

HB2

More Things to Say When You Get Injured

When you get injured in any way you are always asked the question, “How did that happen?” After the 20th time you get the question it starts to become taxing to say the same thing over and over again…so….you start to make things up. A lot of people have the default made up answer of, “I fought a bear…and you should see the bear.”

Vicious creatures.

Sometimes I add on, “You can’t see the bear though, because due to my undying respect for animals I gave him a proper burial.” Then I watch as laughs turn to groans and it’s awesome (for me.)

But I think there needs to be way more answer options to have in our arsenals when we are injured and get that question. You can’t say you fought a bear every time, because then even THAT will get boring. So I decided to sit down and think of some more things to say…and here they are:

  • I was vaulted into the future and took part in a robot vs. human’s war where a giant mechanic version of Osama Bin Laden fell on me after I stabbed him in the face with an ice pick.
  • I was racing Koala bears in South America when all of a sudden poachers stormed in and I got this wound from hacking and slashing my own bull knife that was given to me by the local chieftain after I saved his daughter from a forest fire.
  • Cage Match with Carrot Top
  • A school of midgets attacked me from all sides like a pack of tiny awkward werewolves.
  • I burnt myself with coffee…that was brewed on the god damn sun…it was Sun coffee.
  • Oh this? Got this on my trip to the arctic – My partner fell through the ice and I pulled her to safety and to save her from hypothermia I wrapped my body around her like a man cocoon.
  • I Twittered way too hard last night.
  • Freak Violin accident
  • I high-fived the hulk.
  • Got caught up in an Ugg fire. I was burning all of the Uggs. Now I have this scar. Totally worth it.
  • I saw a woman with her feet up on the passenger dashboard of a car across the highway so I jumped the divider and then one thing lead to another and now I need all of the surgeries.
  • I broke up a fight between Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. It was boss.
  • Reinjured it while in Retail Physical Therapy
  • Some dude was all like, “You can’t put shrapnel in the microwave!” and then I was all like, “WANNA BET BRO?!” so yeah, no more face.
  • She broke my heart man…and then my leg.
  • Remember when I died for like 3 minutes? Completely Unresponsive. Brain dead, really. Yeah, well I guess I was in heaven for a bit and randomly met up with Macho Man Randy Savage. The dude dropped a bow on me. It was great.
  • I didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since this world has been turning. Either way though, smoke inhalation is a real bitch.
  • Entered a boxing match against a bull with red shorts on.
  • Flash Gordon scissor kicked me.
  • I was Tubthumping.
  • I was on the red carpet when Joan Rivers called Adele fat and me and Ryan Seacrest were the first to try and break up the fight…Adele has a mean haymaker.
  • How many bullets where inside 50 cent? Well whatever, it was a bunch more than that. While on an erupting volcano.
  • Tom Cruise electrocuted me.
  • I was on this juice cleanse diet and my insides drowned themselves.
  • I was singing a cover of La Roux’s “Bulletproof” on the street and then some vagrant was all like, “Wanna bet?!”
  • Yeah, turns out I’m The Last Airbender.
  • Got this one when I rode that Eagle to the world fair in 1930. Also I’m immortal, so, not a big deal.
  • Battle Royale: Me vs. M. Night Shama-lama-dingdong. The twist ending was me pushing him off a cliff into a dark abyss.
  • Got shot out of a cannon at clown school
  • An onslaught of Corgis happened. I don’t want to talk about it!
  • I was reading YouTube comments where Atheists and Christians were ripping into each other and then I proceeded to slam my face into the keyboard.
  • I played Baskiceball with the Erickson brothers. It was a total blood bath.
  • I hopped aboard the murder train.
  • I had to get down on Friday.
  • Bit too hard into my 8 candy necklaces.
  • The door knob shocked me while I was standing in water and using a blender to chop up old hard drives and stray pieces of glass.
  • Gravity is a bitch.
  • I French fried when I should have pizza’d.
  • …it was that stupid blue shell again.
  • This? You don’t even wanna know…oh you do? Well…okay. So I was looking towards the sky as a shooting star threw itself across my vision like cotton on a breezy day – I looked around me and saw a long stretch of rope. Picked that shit up, tied a few knots, and starting whipping it around my head. As it got faster and faster the star got further and further away – and at just the right time I hurled the rope as fast as my arms would let me – and it flew across the horizon, out of this world, light years away until it wrapped tightly around that beast of a star. Before the rope pulled tight I wrapped it around my waist – and then WOOSH I went flying up into the sky – just before I hit the top of the atmosphere I took one last breath and waved goodbye to the Earth. The Star was headed out of our solar system, it had seen all it needed to see and picked up a passenger in the meantime so it decided to move on – I passed Mars and ate it like a candy bar, I dodged asteroids while fixing my belt, I rode the storm on Jupiter like Pecos Bill in the Tall Tales, I river danced across the rings of Saturn, held my laughing back on Uranus, took a picture of Neptune to send to Poseidon (we have fun), and softly pet Pluto for old time sake.  For years and years we traveled, boldly going where no man riding a star had gone before. Met an Extra Terrestrial, who when he found out we called them that he that said, “I mean, I might have gained a little weight over this past cosmological decade, but not enough to call me extra.” Then he cried. It was sweet. Then an immense amount of time passed, but I did not age at all. Until one day while sitting on a planet light years away from home I looked up to the star and said, “You know what. I know when I go back no one I knew will be alive…hell, the earth might not even be there. But I think the end of my story is me knowing what happened to where I came from, because without that land to stand on I could have never caught a star.” The star looked down upon me, obviously disappointed, but she understood. When we finally got back to Earth it was a little rustier than before and the O-Zone was all but gone – but it still had that green and blue I missed so much. The star set me down where my home used to be; now a field of a plant I did not recognize. As I waved good bye to the star I turned to see what was ahead of me. I had ridden around the universe – to the edge of it and back – but I didn’t do the one thing I had always wanted to do. Have an adventure on a land I called my home. Oh, also there was some time travel involved somewhere…not a big deal…and I tripped over a rock and scraped my knee. Wanna grab me that ointment? Cool, thanks.

8 Recommendations for Every Day Life

I’m always looking for products and entertainment that will make my life more awesome, because without new stuff how will I know if my old stuff sucks or not? Exactly, I won’t.

I am by no means qualified to review products but I don’t actually believe anyone is so screw it; I’ll throw myself into the ring and see how it goes. I’ll try to pick things I don’t think most people have and or have seen/owned, and if it so happens you have already graced these objects or products with your presence or even worse, you hate them, then I don’t care and shut your face.

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

It didn’t do well in the box office and it has a generally annoying star (Michael Cera) but the director (Edgar Wright who also directed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) is balls to the wall good at his job. I bought this blu-ray 30 minutes into watching someone else’s blu-ray instead of illegally downloading it so…yeah…pretty big stuff.

TV Show: Sherlock (BBC)

CBS recently premiered a show called Elementary based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes. I watched it. It was okay. You know what’s not okay because it’s some of the greatest writing and acting to ever be put into the television format? The same god damn show that the BBC premiered in 2010.

Benedict Cumberbatch has the best name ever and plays Sherlock, an on and off addict and full time sociopath who solves the shit out of mysteries using deductive reasoning while his mistakenly homo life partner Dr. John Watson played by Martin Freeman gets dragged around and is charming in a best sidekick ever sort of way.

Also did I mention Martin Freeman is going to be fuckin’ Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit and Benedict Cumberbatch is slated to be both Kahn in the new Star Trek and Smaug in The Hobbit? I didn’t until right now? Crazy…SEE THIS SHOW

Food: Bacon and Meatloaf Wrap

If you’re a vegetarian I respect your decision but that sucks because this wrap is awesome. I’m not going to get into measurements because the only true way to measure during the food making process if with your eyes and your mouth. Also sometimes teaspoons.

For this wrap you’ll need:

Smoked Baconcooked crispy and ground up into small pieces

Meatloaf – cook in bacon grease if possible; sooo good.  You can also add stuff like onions, garlic, oregano, 3 tablespoons of extra prude olive oil, and black pepper

Cheddar Cheese– Melt that shit on top of the meatloaf

Russian Dressing– Oh my gawww soooo gooood. Basically it’s Mayo, Ketchup, and throw some horseradish, chives, and other shit in there. Or just buy it from the store like a normal human being. Thousand Island dressing is a decent backup in a pinch but just know that using it is total failure and you should reevaluate your poor life choices.

Caramelized OnionsPossibly the greatest invention since forever everything, read about making the tummy equivalent of striking oil here

Apple/Android Game: The Simpsons Tapped Out

               So okay, The Simpsons tricked me into playing Farmville, but this game got me through Super Nintendo Storm Sandy so I owe it an everlasting debt of gratitude.

Youtube Channels: Daily Grace, Mike Falzone, and VSauce

               For this I broke it into 2 categories which are comedy and learning shit. For Comedy check out Daily Grace and Mike Falzone and for accidental learning check out VSauce.

Grace, as her vlogs name suggests, makes a video every weekday and she is a lady who is just awkward enough to laugh with and not so awkward that you feel as though you should call the cops.

Mike Falzone is from the state I’m from and gives great advice that I wish I had said first.

VSauce tricks you into learning things and the guy who narrates the videos has the voice of a sex angel if you are into dudes who have cool voices.

Website: Rainy Mood

Have you ever thought the insanely generic thought, “Gosh I love thunder storms.” Well then you’re in luck! This website is a 20 minute loop of a fantastic rain and thunder track that you can play at different volumes! Ambient noise, guys! This is some highbrow shit!

If you want to take the experience from epic to super epic go to the bottom of the page and click the song choice that changes every time you visit the site. Personally I refresh the page until Bon Iver – Perth comes up but you can do whatever floats your metaphorical boat.

Book: Mine

There’s no way I wasn’t going to plug my own book. It’s sort of the entire point of this blog.

Music: Agnes Obel

Welcome to most relaxing shit of all time playa. This lady is straight outta Copenhagen, like a true Danish gangster. She plays piano and has a voice that could easily be put over every Indie movie you’ve ever seen. I highly recommend her for your ears. Also if you wanna get your funk in medium amounts of motion, check out the remix of her song Riverside.

So that’s it for my recommendations for now. If you guys liked it I’ll do it again, if you hate it we will never speak of it and it will hang an eerie awkwardness over our internet relationships for pretty much infinity. Sound good?

Good.

Current Project Updates

Sup Internet?

If you are a close friend of mine you already know all of this because I bring it up in conversation as much as possible to be annoying and also it makes me proud of myself which doesn’t happen often. Or ever.

After I found out you can self publish on Amazon.com I immediately started working on publishing my first book of Essays: Too Long Did Not Read: A Book of Essays for your Face to Ingest (TLDNR). I knew a very small amount of people would buy it but in all reality I didn’t write it because I was looking for a get rich quick scheme. I wrote it because I love writing and I wanted to create a packaged product that I could be proud of and show to the important people in my life.

When I got that book in my hands it was all over. I wanted more immediately. Luckily, the first book I published was actually not the first one I started writing. TLDNR was a distraction book. I had hit writers block on a Fiction project I am still working on and TLDNR jostled my brain just enough in another direction that it got me out of my funk.

As of right now I am 5 or 6 chapters from being done with my Fiction project and have started my second Essay collection book. I have a few separate ideas for what the Essay project will be called and when it’s about half way done I’ll announce it here.

The fiction project is at a point where I am looking for publishers just for kicks. If no one picks it up (very likely) I will sell it for cheap on Amazon myself in Kindle and Paperback. Here is the book summary:

“Loner High School Senior Grant Nichols finds himself in the middle of an Odessa, Texas street with a knife in his hand, a pile of unidentifiable corpses behind him, and enough policemen with cowboy hats pointing their guns at him to cause at least a little bit of concern.

As Grant chooses to run, he brings the reader up to date through flash backs as to why he might not be as bad as the people with guns think he is, how his dream girl might not be so dreamy, and why he is not even close to the biggest problem the town of Odessa will be facing in the foreseeable future. “

As I gain progress on both of these projects I’ll let everyone know what’s up here.

Later Days, Internet.