[Tripping On…] Spine Limiting Potential

Today, the day I wrote this and not the day I published this, was a day where my mind had ambitions that my physicality couldn’t act on. Will the day I publish this be any different? There are many things in life that I’d like to do, or must do, but when I have to go rest my pained spine twice or thrice daily, it’s increasingly more difficult to feel ambitious about much of anything.

Still, I try my best.

In the Twitch Retro community, many people are seeing success on small to large scales, including outliers like me. I would be lying if I didn’t say I had big dreams, but, my dreams aren’t quite in the same pathways as those who are currently seeing success through strictly gaming. I would want to have gaming, both the world-building and world-exploring bits I’ve done so far, be complementary to the writing or editing streams I want to do. In DrOrochi’s stream, we were talking about Goosebumps. Were they ghostwritten? He says no, but what if there was a way to show that writing or editing process?

People record their speedruns.

I want to do something similar, with webcams set up at the computer, keyboard, and maybe even have an eye-tracker, but when I write fiction. That will require some degree of physical equipment, a proper studio, and the lifestyle to enable that – and that could always be a few novels out, too. The thing that people often forget is that it’s OK to jump in just before you’re ready. You might get a person or two watching your first broadcast, otherwise, it’s not too big of a deal if you make mistakes even a few months in. I like to catch those mistakes, both livestreamed and in-concert, to see how people react. It’s the same as seeing typos in books; it’s a sport for me because these were professional writers and editors, and here I am reading their stuff and I found their mistakes.

I feel confident sharing this because I’m so far along.

There is a problem, and that’s my spine. I had wanted to livestream yesterday and today, and I do want to try livestreaming tomorrow and the next day – I’m having a spine injection three days from now – but the chances of that happening are slight. I ended up sleeping about three times today. I woke up early, went to sleep when my spine was too overwhelmed by life, woke up 30 minutes later, went about more of my day, slept for nearly 3 hours when my spine told me to, and now I’m awake through the last stretch of the day.

Why do I write in the last moments of each day?

I used to think I was procrastinating, but really, this is my way of distilling what I want to do in the future. Let’s say my spine heals up and I get that hypothetical livestreaming studio. When I open that door, sit down/stand at the computer, it’s go time. That’s when I perform the role of Zombiepaper the writer or the whatever-I’m-doing-at-the-moment-er, and all that means is that I’m a slightly more confident and resilient version of myself. If only because I’ve done all my previous livestreams when I’ve felt confident enough to livestream without issue.

It usually works out quite well.

It feels like wasted potential to write the novella or second novel “offline” without any kind of recording materials going on, but I’m not sure if I’d fully broadcast it, either. There are ways to lock down livestream chats, and, people do all sorts of crazy streams online like interviews or walkabouts, so it’s not like this is completely untreated territory, but I feel like it’s something new and exciting. Let’s say that some famous writer sweeps in, steals this idea or independently comes up with it, then strides their way to further success. It’s no big deal to me, in part because of the success I’ve seen in the Twitch Retro community. If you have some quality behind you, people will want to stop by and hang out, and not just out of obligation or to win something from you.

This has been the secret to my success.

Steal this advice and you will become more successful: provide value to your audience. What can you bring to the table that makes your craft unique and valuable? I meander through the many media of this world, but I return to the media that inspires me or helps me cultivate the lifestyle I want. I meander through garbage media to see if there’s anything redemptive, creative, or valuable about it, but I get bored doing so, and would rather spend my time with more inspirational or formative things. So when I go into a livestream, it is with this same idea of all-killer-no-filler, where I consider it a responsibility to entertain or educate my viewers – whether they’re live or in the future.

If I continue building on that attitude, I will win.

No matter how many “days” are lost to my spine’s pain, as long as I keep working toward my goals, I will achieve them, even if I indulge in some human pleasures. On those days where I don’t feel “on” to write, I want to have the luxury to be able to do easier things. If I were only a writer that only grinded out writing, well for one that’d be really cool, but for two that would also be exhausting. I’d like to spontaneously be able to play some games or draw art if that’s what I felt like doing – or maybe even as research. I feel like it’s possible. When I wrote the first novel, I cranked it out, but it was just unfortunate that I put too heavy of constraints on myself. Were it not for that, would I have had a better novel with fewer health problems?

Hard to say, but I’m here right now, and that’s what matters.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experience
Inspirations: Thinking about my health and livestreaming, then talking with cracky in his Discord for the second half of this essay.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2021 March 23 [11:17pm to 11:47pm]
Last Edited: 2021 March 23 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.