Overcoming the allure of insobrieties, in many ways, taught me the discipline I needed to start pursuing what I love doing. When you’re stuck in misery, the natural inclination is to let that beast take its way with your emotions or physicality. However, when you look at that challenge to work even though you’re exhausted the same way you look at not drinking, it’s easy to just say: Alright, let’s suck it up and go!
I’ve spent weeks recycling old projects. These were time-sensitive, context-specific, or otherwise projects I procrastinated on and now they’re in the recycle bin. It’s unfortunate. Some of these ideas were cool, but now that I’m moving and focusing my life’s interests, there’s no point in experimentally building any of these now. I am becoming more careful about auditing my excitement over starting new projects. I won’t loaf over completing boring, old projects. Complete or scrap!
Writing is easier for me than breathing, sometimes. Not just when dealing with stress, but in general, I can write for hours at a time without thinking, only stopping when I’m distracted by biological functions. Editing, however, is where the writing can really shine. Sometimes, it’s not needed, but most people enjoy “polished stone” writing. Collecting stuff is, similarly, as easy as writing, but organizing, decluttering, and curation? That’s the same as a well-polished essay.
Critiques on your work shouldn’t manifest in your mind as bruises. The redlines may feel like cuts against your writing. The comments may seem like scars. These are just your insecurities. Those same insecurities will coax you into skipping social events or embarrass you with memories of mistakes. Rather than silencing that internal critic of yours, calm yourself down, then get in that document, familiarize yourself with the edits, make the changes, and then proceed.
I realized a problem with my writing: I’ve reached a soft limit of how I can communicate. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s analogize with my cheap “pawn shop special” bass: it fulfills all my limited needs when it comes to learning the basics. I can pluck strings and learn chord progression. I don’t mind tuning it whenever I’m serious about playing it. Now if I wanted to play with others or even professionally…
Oops! Forgot about publishing this. Well, plenty has changed over the past 13 weeks and 92 publications. I originally made these “Betzom check-ins” primarily to comment on how I’ve evolved as a writer, with a slight convenience being something easy to write about. These past 92 days have seen my biggest launching in success yet, and I’m only poised to go succeed more from here… so much so that I didn’t even need the crutch of this essay.
World-building is merely window-dressing for storytelling. While it certainly is important to loosely understand genealogical, socio-political, and geographical backgrounds within our stories, we are telling stories via subjectively relaying communication rather than objectively deducing science, so the focus should be on the point of these stories. My ambitious project, “The Story,” is about a few topics including overcoming adversities. Considering this more specific topic, would one of Trishna’s great-great-great-grandparents be thematically relevant to the narrative?
Spoilers?: Minor (just an essay…?)
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Every short story or essay I publish here gets added to the “Betzom,” or, a comprehensive calendar that helps me summarize the past – 13 weeks, 92 publications, and over 46,000 words – into a singular idea that I can digest before moving on. We shouldn’t hold onto our past mistakes or achievements. Everything is a stepping stone toward something better. Rather than consider specific passages, let’s broadly consider how three months of effort can lead to improvement on change.
I’ve been writing and rewriting “The Story,” scene after stochastic scene, for as long as I can remember. An idea will pop up while I’m riding the bus, talking to someone, or reading a book. I’ll see a couple on the bus and think about John [left] and Trishna [right]. Better than stressing about work! In these situations, memories, or maybe more, I wonder: how much of “The Story” will be based on real people?
I realized a problem with myself: I wasn’t writing daily. Even though I was publishing essays daily, there were days I’d only write a few hundred words, so I agreed to dedicate myself to writing at least 500 words daily. If you want to be something, do it daily. This dedication has taken discipline, sacrifice, and stress. There are still days where I don’t write 500 words. Through all that, here are 425 words on what I learned: