Ambition: Sometimes it ends up feeding you to a bear

I haven’t been very successful writing lately. The Sin Eater novel is coming along, but slowly. I’m thinking of beginning work on Untrue Tales Book Three and then switching back and forth between them
when I get stuck or frustrated with one of them… I’d really like to have both books finished and in hand by the beginning of June. It isn’t strictly writer’s block that’s been slowing me down – there’s been a lot on my mind lately, especially the last week or two. Last night at the Willow House I got about 300-400 words written, most of it right after I arrived and before I switched rooms … there was something … there’s things going on … and … and it relates to why I haven’t been posting as much here.

You see, there’s a subject that I’ve agreed not to post publicly about. So … if it seems like there’s been a lack of posts here, that’s why. Most of what I have to say about my life, my mind, my heart, and what’s going on with me turns out to be unsuitable for public posting under the current agreement. And so the things that have been on my mind, the things that have been taking up enough of my thoughts to interfere with creativity, with my ability to concentrate on writing, are the same things – most of the time – as the things I can’t put here.


Well, it’s not all that. Some is work-related. I didn’t get the job I interviewed for the other day. I had a lot to say on that subject, but decided some of it wouldn’t be prudent to leave for all to see, so took it down after a couple of hours.

Some is money related, and I try not to post too much about that, since I actually get complaints about doing it too much. But it’s related to work, too, in a way. I don’t get paid enough to be as comfortable as I’d like, anymore. So … like, last night at the Willow House my choice of drinks was based first on cost and THEN on taste / desire. Which is not a good feeling to me, and I’m sure added to my anxiety.

And then there’s the search for Amanda. I’m pretty sure a lot of the initial emails I sent out were blocked or treated as SPAM because of the way it was addressed, so I’m thinking of re-sending individualized messages to each of the people I sent to before. I’m also trying to think of new ways to expand the search effectively. Last night I sent the image and a brief message to half of everyone registered on myspace who said they attended North Bend High in 1997, in case they knew her or knew of her. I’ll probably contact the other half tonight, and then maybe see if I can do the same thing on Friendster.

And then there’s Sara. That’s always a thing. Her birthday is Thursday. Except she’s in Japan, 16 hours ahead of Arizona, so her birthday actually begins at 8AM Phoenix time, Wednesday. I’ll try to call her and wish her a happy birthday after she gets out of class on Thursday (ie: Wednesday night/Thursday morning around 1:30AM my time) … though I haven’t had a lot of success with reaching her in Japan so far. I’ve been thinking that I really ought to get the address on my DL updated, and if I do, Thursday would be the day… because I’m a little crazy… Well, I’d prefer not to get it re-issued at all. Because of the craziness… but if I don’t get it re-issued Thursday, I’ll probably not. There’s a whole story. Maybe another time. But yes, this belongs in the Sara paragraph.

And then there’s the working out. As is reasonable to expect, I’ve been having difficulty keeping myself motivated and consistent with the workout routine. Especially since the full thing is expected to take two hours out of every day… and I seem to much prefer sleeping to doing hundreds of crunches. And when I think about two hours a day, or even one hour a day, my brain starts doing math, 7 to 14 hours a week, 28 to 56 hours (or so) a month… If I spent 60 hours a month writing, that would be a new short book every month… And that thought, while it somewhat discourages me from working out, does not encourage me to write during the same period, and I know it. So I’ve been resisting that line of thought.

And actually, I’ve only skipped one day of working out since I turned my plan into short, alternating daily workouts. Which is not unreasonable. Though I have not actually begun doing the vaguely planned “cardio” section of the daily workouts yet… I’ve been tossing around a few different ideas about how to do that, maybe mixing things up… Like, the original idea was just 20-30 minutes of bicycling, a couple miles out, a couple miles back. And then I also thought that doing one of the six 20-minute Yoga routines I have on DVD would be good, too… not exactly cardio, but a good warmup, stretching, and would work parts of my body not covered by my strength training or bike riding. So maybe I’ll alternate those. I’ve been doing my abdominal and back work in the room with the bowflex, so I know there enough room for my body to stretch out in there, all I have to do is use my laptop to run the Yoga DVDs and I should be good to go.

But that’s been on my mind, too. And sometimes draining my energy or time. I’m supposed to work out as soon as I get up in the morning, but I keep checking my email and surfing around before I start, and then I don’t have time to do the cardio and … yeah, I’m a slacker. But also: if I’m supposed to be doing something else, and I know it, I have trouble being creative. (In fact, last night at the Willow House I kept thinking about having to get home to unload the dishwasher, reload it, clean the counters, and maybe start some laundry, not to mention try to do a couple hundred crunches. I’m confident it helped prevent me from writing much.) So the mornings have been lost, and the nights (because I’d been trying to split up the workout into more manageable chunks – that’s out for now, I think), because I was supposed to be working out first, THEN maybe writing, and usually after working out I was too tired to concentrate. Which is reasonable. But I’m figuring it out. I’m sticking to it pretty well, doing at least a LITTLE work every day. Even Friday, when I didn’t work out, I did the Art Walk, which consists of walking pretty continuously for four or more hours.

But the results have not been the most outwardly encouraging. I don’t feel like I look any thinner or more muscular. My weight has gone UP five pounds from where it has remained pretty steadily for several years, last I checked. And my belt is two holes tighter. That is, my waist IS actually getting smaller. Actually, if my $100 Tanita body-fat-measuring scale is to be believed, I’ve put on 6lbs of muscle and lost about 1lb of fat. Plus, I don’t feel exhausted all the time. So, in actuality, good. Probably if I keep this up real well for several months I’ll continue to have good results and they’ll add up to clear outward changes. That’s a big part of my goal. Losing weight isn’t exactly it, losing fat is; I’d like to get my body fat percentage down into at most the low teens. It’ll be a while.

All these things and more. Like, I think I finally found something to motivate me to learn to read Japanese… We’ll see how that goes. I’ll have to buy a book or two on Kanji, plus the Manga I’m interested in, plus maybe another japanese-english dictionary, in case the one I have is insufficient. Oh, and then spend hours and hours working on reading it, of course. Like video games, and trying to get my money’s worth out of them. Like art projects and art practice and art study and so on.

I was explaining to someone the other day about how I make my plans and goals and to-do-lists… I like to aim to do a lot, much more than seems reasonable. I like big, vague projects that allow wiggle room but have a definite conclusion to tell when they’re done, mostly, but I also like little projects mixed in. I like to try my best to do everything I set out to do, and to do it to my semi-perfectionist standards. And I like to do it knowing full well that it was too much to really expect to get done, so that when I am unable to do a couple of the things I tried, I don’t feel so bad – I just put them in with the next set of big goals, perhaps in a modified format, but I still try to get them done. So if it seems like I try to do too much, I know it. But here’s the results: By setting my goals WAY too high, by chasing ideals, what I actually accomplish is much greater than what I would have accomplished with more conservative or realistic goals. Try it.

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

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