Category Archives: blog

Writing when you’re too exhausted

cat nap

Time and time again I find myself just yearning to write, but when I actually have time, my brain is shot.

Am I making excuses?  Maybe. But I also think this is a common issue among any sort of artist who desires to write, paint, or play music but just can’t physically or mentally fill more tasks in their day.

I work a very mentally straining job during the day. I stare at spreadsheets, work on formulas, write email marketing blasts for clients, prepare for meetings, conduct meetings, and so on. I am sure you as well work a job that you find either physically or mentally straining; both in which can cause your writing to be put on the back burner behind sleep, more sleep, and the occasional TV show.

There was a time that I didn’t have a mentally straining job, but a physically exhausting one instead. I thought that if I could find a job that didn’t demand me physically, I’d be ready to write when I got in front of a computer.  Wrong.

Now there is nothing physical about my job, and I feel like my energy to write is worse off yet.  Sometimes I think, “If I have to look at another document, email, or just any blank page that needs filling, I will scream.”

But then I turn on my music streaming service while I am at work.  Some of these streams I created to revolve around writing, and I get ants in my pants.

“I can’t wait to go home and write,” I nearly exclaim.

Of course often times when I actually do get home, I am once again mentally shot.

So what does one do when they’re too exhausted to write?

In some cases, I really feel it all comes down to two things: self motivation and being in love with your stories.

Self Motivation:

There are all kinds of ways to keep yourself motivated. Set goals. Make reminders for yourself. Draw your characters out. Listen to a song. Set out specific time and force yourself to write. Really, when it comes down to it, no one is going to make you write your book. You have to be self motivated to get a novel done. It’s not like your cats are going to ask you how your novel is coming.  If they do that, I am very impressed.

(I always tell my cats to get a job, but they just lay there and pass judgement.)

Being in Love with Your Stories:

Sometimes, I think this one is the most important piece of the puzzle.

Believing that the story you have to tell is important…

Having that feeling that you will burst if you don’t one day get your story out…

Talking about your made up characters to people as if they are real…

Being in love with your stories is the best self motivational tool and recipe for success you can get.  That is, of course, if you don’t bottle up your story all your life.

Uncork that story… because it matters.

What do you do when you’re too exhausted either physically or mentally, to write?

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Life can make or break your writing…

City Japan

I had all sorts of delays getting my next book out, that I had projected to finish in the Spring 2014. Between a new job, several projects I signed up for, and some event planning, I had cast my books aside.

Have you ever done that?

Life. It can make or break your writing. It is through life that you can gain wisdom, and ideas you can use towards your writing. It is through life experiences, that give you the ability to write. All writers are inspired by something. Perhaps it is through a life event, (even a very small one) that triggers an entire novel idea. Or even better yet, a series of ideas!

Life can break your writing though…but only if you let it!

My book was delayed by about 6 months. Last time I posted about the book I was working on, I felt it was 85% complete. I was thrilled to be getting some writing done. But I allowed everything else around me to take over.

Of course I could have written 30 minutes every few days to get the writing done.

I could have text myself ideas while riding along in a car (of course not texting and driving).

I could have wrote a quick 500 words to make progress in my book instead of watching that 30 minute episode on TV that wasn’t very good anyway.

But I didn’t.  And I beat myself up for it at times.

Then again, we all do that…don’t we?

The best thing to do after you go through a long period of time of not getting your writing done, is to just pick yourself back up and write.

It’s okay to take a break now and again, just don’t let it become an indefinite break. 

Life can make or break your writing…

So take what knowledge you acquired during your break, and get writing!

Who’s excited for The Sims 4?

The sad part of me being excited for The Sims 4, is that I probably won’t buy it on launch date.  I have a huge backlog of games to play, and I still haven’t played all of The Sims 3 expansions.

The Sims are one of those games that I can just easily launch up and get absorbed into for hours on end. I have played all of the main titles since the beginning, (excluding expansions) and would have to say the second one is my favorite.


The Sims 4

Nevertheless, I am excited for The Sims 4.

I just really hope that there isn’t any Spore or SimCity drama attached to it.

What game are you looking forward to within the next few months?

 

Your friendly reminder to give credit, where credit is due

quillThis is just your friendly reminder to make sure that when you are blogging to give the appropriate people credit in your posts

What kind of credit do you need to be giving?

Well, you certainly may have 100% exclusive content with photos that you own entirely.

 

But did you know that doing a Google search for photos, and hitting “Save as” doesn’t meant you necessarily have the rights to use those photos?  Just because they are there, doesn’t mean they are yours to take.  That is, if you want to do things the ethical way.

 

It doesn’t mean you can’t, it just means that the original author of the photo may request you credit them in the photo.

 

So double check your work when you are blogging.

What may need to be credited on your blog:

  • The source of the information you got on your post (quotes, facts, etc)
  • The original photographer / artist of a photo you are using
  • The website, company, or person you are referencing (though not a requirement if you are simply mentioning them, it’s always nice to give them a link back.)

 

Do the right thing: give credit where credit is due. 

Wouldn’t you want your work to receive a link back?

What are some other ways you should be giving credit in your blog posts?

 

Do you ever just not have anything to write

This is not a writer’s block.

This is not me being frustrated with myself and wondering why I can’t come up with anything to write.

Sometimes, I just have nothing to write about…here anyway.

typing

I am very busy working on my books, short stories, and whatever other writing ventures I may have.

Blogging is important, and I suggest that if you are trying to build a platform that you do so.  But lately I just had nothing to write here, and I have been okay with that for the time being.

I have been an elusive hermit, churning up my pot of witch-craft.  Now that I am finally crawling out, I can make some attempts to write more here.

The point I am trying to make here though, is that it is okay to just not have anything to write sometimes.  Don’t beat yourself up if you are not writing because you don’t have anything to say.  In contrast to my other post, “Writers Have Things to Say“, sometimes you just don’t.  If you don’t, don’t feel bad to not write once in a while.  It’s good to take a break!

I have been writing, a lot….just not here.

In other news, I am about 85% done with my new book.  I am very excited about this and can’t wait to have it all done.  I will come back here for a cover reveal when it is ready.

^_^

Writers have things to say

I use to be so afraid to publish anything I had to say because I was self conscious of my writing. But being in the writer community with blogs and Twitter, I realized a thing or two.

1) Writers have things to say

We write because we HAVE to write. We have too much on our minds. And for many of us, (myself included) we are not very good speakers. Sometimes when I talk I feel like my mouth is detached from my head. My words come out funny.  I don’t always say what I mean. I even once in a while stutter, not much, but some.

2) Your writing will get better ONLY if you keep writing
If I spent my entire life waiting for that perfect best selling novel, I’d never write. It never will happen unless I write. And what’s the point of writing for 15 years to get better, and not publish one thing? Back in a previous article where I wrote, “You are your own worst critic” I truly believe that. Sometimes we look back on an old article, short story, or book and go, “What was I thinking?”

You know what you were thinking?

You were thinking the best idea possible at the time you had. You were thinking about something you were passionate about. You wrote the best way you could. And when you finished, you were a better writer for that.

Don’t be embarrassed.

3) If a writer doesn’t write, they’ll go crazy

If you don’t write out your ideas, and just let them fester in your head, you will go crazy. Trust me. I let too many ideas fester in my head and now they’re spilling out all at once. I feel like I can’t get anything done because I keep jumping projects just to keep up with the backlog of ideas.

So, dear writers, keep on writing.

Writers have things to say!  And what goes on in your head is important.

Even if it’s not the best piece of literature in the world, not only will you get better for doing…but you may still impact someone positively through your writing.

I can humbly say that I am not at the writing ability I wish I could be at.  The ideas are there, I just need to improve.

But why go the next 15 years of my life, keeping all my writings to myself?

Write on!

To end this little post, is a song I love, by Dave Matthews Band.

So Much to Say.

Songs have a different meaning to us.  However, some lyrics that are repeated are, “So much to say” and “Open up my head and let me out.”

Take out of it what you’d like.  🙂

Too Many Ads on Websites Makes This Panda Angry

There really isn’t much to this post other than a quick rant.

I am so tired of websites that have too many popups.  It makes me feel like I actually have viruses on my computer.  Legit websites that should have some level of prestige on the world wide web should be able to hold high standing ads on their site without the explosion of pop ups.

But ohhh no!  Hold on there!

I can’t even log in to my very own account, edit my own articles on some of these higher news sites without getting a pop up!

C’mon!  I write for you guys!

The price for free press?  Maybe.

(Maybe I know nothing about advertising.  Having a degree in advertising doesn’t necessarily mean I understand how web ad pricing really works.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think that was really covered in my classes.  I focused heavily on print advertisements and typography; essentially, the creation of a good ad…but I didn’t really take classes on the actual ad campaigns themselves.)

Moving on…

I just wonder if a website can just have fewer ads, that the company has to pay more for to have it on the site?

Instead of a splash ad, 2 video ads, and 2 banner ads, why not have 2 banner ads only that are worth a higher price point?

Video ads make me want to smash my computer…

There was a time I actually had 2 of the SAME ads running on opposite sides of the website at the same time.  The video was running at the top of the site, and the bottom.  When I thought I had shut off the ad, I could still hear it.

“Muahahah, got you,” the ad says to me.  “I’m also located someplace else on this website!”

You kidding me?

I always thought that the more spam ads that explode on my screen, the less legit a website is.  It seems that isn’t the case today.  With a lot of print versions of magazines and newspapers going away, it’s a company’s livelihood it seems.

But why can’t they just run less ads, and make companies pay more for a placement?

What ever happened to caring about the reader too?  Don’t websites want people to read their content?  Or are they only worried about you arriving to the site, but don’t care if you leave?

My blog will not have any pop up ads, unless WordPress does it.  I hate em.  I hate video ads, and sound, and splash ads.

Or what about ads that run across the screen and you feel like you’re playing a video game where you have to “catch” the X button to close?

“You can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!”

Photo Courtesy of: "http://shrek.wikia.com"

Photo Courtesy of: “http://shrek.wikia.com”

Argh.

I may consider light affiliate links some day, but doubtful.  Even those, people get carried away with!

My larger blogs I run on an actual domain name have 2 banner ads…and even those I’m considering is too much.

I think the faster a website loads, the better.

What is your opinion on website ads?

CAG runs a charity raffle for Child’s Play

childsplay_logo

For those of you looking on where to donate over the holidays, consider Child’s Play Charity.  According to their mission statement on their official page:

Child’s Play Charity Mission:

To improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and generosity of the gaming industry and the power of play.

It’s a great charity that helps kids in hospitals forget about their illnesses for a bit and have some fun.  I am a firm believer that if you have some happiness in your life and can forget about the stresses in life for a bit, it helps regain your strength and improve your body’s immune system.

Cheap Ass Gamer, also known as CAG is organizing everyone to donate gifts for the big charity raffle for Child’s Play.  Their goal is to reach $50,000.

Essentially it works like this:

  • Corporations or CAG community members donate game related items to the raffle.
  • Every $5 donated to Child’s Play enters you in once.  $50 donation would get you 10 raffle tickets.Everyone’s a winner since this is for charity.
  • Best of all, it’s for the kids.

This is one of those moments when I’m really proud to be a gamer, and part of the gaming community.  Though there are a lot of awful things that go on in the gaming world, there is a LOT of good out there.

This charity is just an example of the generosity that is out there.

If you are interested in the Cheap Ass Gamer Raffle, whether it be donating an unopened item or money to the charity, follow the link here.

Otherwise, you can go directly to Child’s Play.

Retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day, and why you should be upset

Okay seriously, enough is enough!

I’ve been reading a lot about stores being open on Thanksgiving now.  Last year, many stores were open at around 10pm or midnight, which was a shift to the 5 and 6am Black Friday time.

The purpose of this was because they stated it would discourage huge crowds of shoppers that were knocking each other over and using pepper spray for the latest DVD and TV deals.

First of all, this is stupid.  

Is our society really falling apart this bad, that we have to alter the way stores open and times, just to avoid people from tackling each other?

Now many stores, including Walmart and Target are said to be opening 8pm on Thanksgiving.  That’s right, ON Thanksgiving day.

Of course, I will not be partaking in these shopping festivities.  I plan to spend that day with my parents, nieces, nephews, and my siblings.  Oh yes, I even will be spending it with my uncles who will mooch all of our leftovers or pass out on our couches so we can’t watch an after Thanksgiving dinner movie with the kids.

But, that’s what it means to spend Thanksgiving with your family.  You’re spending it together, no matter how quirky or annoying your relatives may be.  It is the one time of year people take the time to be together.

Now, people are telling their employers they can’t come to work that day.  Most likely the reason is, it’s a holiday and they normally at least got that ONE day to spend it with their family as a whole.

However, there is tons of backlash all over the internet about this.

People are stating:

“They should be happy to have a job.”  
“These retail employees are disposable, they can easily find a replacement.”

While this type of thinking may be okay to an extent.  Where do we draw the line?

Government employees such as teachers, post office, DMV, etc get every major and minor holiday off, and weekends.  Most of their jobs end at around 5pm, with random exceptions.

Employees at retail and restaurants often have their hours garnished, just enough so they do not qualify for health insurance. 

Yet, those who work jobs answering phones at certain offices can have weekends off, with health insurance dental.

Retail and restaurant employees have a hard job, constantly catering to unappreciative people who are demanding and cheap.  You are always required to smile, and be pleasant.  Yes, this is your job.  Yes, it should be expected that you always treat customers well.

These employees also have to answer phones, and direct people to where they need to be, just like any school desk position or dental office.

Whatever made one person who answers the phone in their fancy slacks, and manicured nails more deserving to get health insurance and holidays off?  Why do people feel the employee answering the phones at Target is less of a human being, and is less deserving to spend Thanksgiving with their family than the person who answers the phones at a dental office?

Oh, well they chose that job so…

Yes, that’s always the argument; the whole, “if you don’t like it, then quit”.

Yet those are the very same people who complain about the unemployment rate.

The problem is, society is so quick to rank who is deserving of time off, health insurance, or just a holiday with their family.  What ever made a retail employee looked down on so much?  Do you even realize how mentally exhausting it is to deal with unique personality after personality for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week….all while keeping the same smile?

Sure there are better jobs out there, but if no one was taking those serving or cashiering jobs, then who would serve you and your family dinner when you don’t feel like cooking?  Who would stock the shelves of those cheap DVDs you beat each other up over?

Then we go on about how Denny’s is adding a 5% surcharge to the meals for ObamaCare.  I’m sorry, but there’s so many problems with this.

1) Denny’s food actually is pretty awful.  I’ve been there twice, unfortunately.  And it was pretty bad.  And no, I don’t have a sofisticated, elite taste buds.  I just don’t eat cardboard.

2) Restaurant employees deserve health care anyway.  They are on their feet a lot, and it’s a very exhausting job.  This absolutely cannot be done by just anyone.  You have to have patience for customers, the mental capacity to always be happy and bubbly no matter what, be physically fit for the position, be able to lift heavy objects, and multitask in an extremely high paced environment.

3) This surcharge is not hurting the consumers, it’s hurting the dedicated, loyal employees.

Yep, it’s hurting the person who chose to GO TO WORK, instead of sit at home and claim unemployment.

By not allowing your employees, who work 30 – 40 hours a week, rightful health care just because of the “type” of job they have is unfair.

So because someone works a “service” job, they don’t deserve health care?

Who put you on your high horse?

A lot of jobs out there are less labor intensive.  You get to sit in a cushy chair, have pre-determined lunch breaks, make enough money for your family trip to Disney Land, all the while getting your Thanksgiving off.  And you, the one who makes enough money to pay $9.99 for that DVD, expects someone who is fresh out of college, or a retired veteran who is just trying to make ends meet, to leave their family on Thanksgiving, just so you can purchase that very same DVD for $6.99.

All the while, you mumble, “If they don’t like it, they can get a new job.”

If no one is doing that job, who would sell you that DVD?

How do you know the intelligence or worth of that person?  Does the blue vest label that employee, a worthless human being to you?  Not worth insurance?  Not worth time with their family, their children?

What kind of society do we live in?

I got lucky.  And yes, lucky.  It has nothing to do with my intelligence or worth that I am work in the service industry.  I don’t mind working with people.

I am lucky to have found a job that at least lets Thanksgiving and Christmas be the one day we all can have off.  I work every Memorial Day, Labor Day, or whatever other holiday out there…but Thanksgiving and Christmas is still meant for family time.

So, would it be right of me to take that one day my employer let me have that day off…to go shopping instead, forcing others to work?  No.

I haven’t seen my sister in a year.  Why the hell would I go shopping to save money on stuff I don’t need, instead of spending time with her on Thanksgiving?

There’s nothing little ole me can do to change this.  It’s nothing 2 people can do by walking out of their job.

Society, as a whole, needs to get real and prioritize better.

Sometimes it seems like we’re born so we can work an unsatisfying job, to pay for plastic garbage we don’t need, and then tell other people they better work hard so they can make more plastic garbage.

I hope you do the right thing, and spend time with your family during the holiday season.  Or, at least stay home and watch a good Holiday movie, like Home Alone.

You are your own worst critic

So after completing my book a couple days ago, I went back and read through it.

ARGH.

Do I rewrite it?  Did I say what I really wanted to say?

Do I sound too whiney?  Not informative enough?  

I could criticize and doubt myself for hours.

I try to remind myself how we are all our own worst critic.  The most important thing is to only doubt yourself enough to analyze yourself.  But, remind yourself that you’re always going to be hard on yourself.

Overly editing or thinking too hard could just make a book lose its voice.

I do plan on going through extensive edits, but I need to keep reminding myself,

“You are your own worst critic.”