“To all my overachievers out there: Who out there puts a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed? Why do you do this? Have you learned to not do it so much?” In my response, I talked about differentiating between “overachieving,” “laziness,” and “can’t.” Each day, I wake up and can decide if I want to work toward writing “The Story.” It doesn’t have to be big, but if I don’t, then that’s almost regression…
Spoilers?: Minor [today’s storytelling tasks]
Taken too far, it’s easy to burn out wanting to achieve any big goal.
I am closer to the perspective that it’s better to push yourself to achieve your goals than to not, but, there needs to be a built-in balance to that. I didn’t do much directly toward telling “The Story” today, but indirectly today and over the past week, I’ve done quite a lot. It’s been a difficult week for me, overall, so I haven’t had much luxurious opportunities to think at length about challenging or cool scenes, but where my mind always goes toward is the relationship between John and Trishna. Is their relationship an ideal based on the flawed and fractured life I live and of those around me?
I don’t think it’s that simple.
Some of the deeper thoughts I’ve had over the past week have taken place in Zdiscord’s #gender channel. I shared quite a lot about my own inner working feelings about this topic there, and others have shared or found our conversations helpful, so I feel like I’m serving “my community,” if I can feel so bold and overcome the sort of imposter syndrome over that, that I feel by being a sort of community leader. It’s been a difficult week not so much on that front but in other areas, so it’s been nice to have a space where everyone is generally empathetic toward each other. Other places can be more harmful toward each other, but the way I guide Zdiscord, it’s more of a place for self-improvement – like what I do with these essays.
The big drawing I’m doing doesn’t directly help me write “The Story.”
But it does indirectly in many ways. Each of these drawings is a casual way for me to “give back” to the people that I appreciate in myriad ways through the Twitch platform that’s enabled me to meet so many wonderful people. Each character drawing is a casual way for me to practice the drawing process for both the fourth-wall-breaking guests of Zeal, the setting of the novella that will be my return to fiction writing, and the characters that will exist within the novels. Once I’m done with this big drawing, I’ll definitely work on less complicated drawings – I believe this drawing is 35+ hours in the making and there are probably still 15 hours left before the drawing feels “done.”
I added a spot for John and Trishna in the 10th draft of the drawing.
The way I’ve imagined it, John and Trishna somewhat co-inhabit each other’s dreams. It’s not super obvious to them at all times, like, they don’t have the exact same dream, but from when they first meet online until well after they meet in-person, they’ll occasionally have dreams where they might meet in the same location and do the same things. Since I added them in, and found a place for Trishna’s sister Sammohini who will be the main character of the novella, it makes sense that they’d be in the background along with any of the wild people I meet along the way. In that way, everyone gets a spot that’s helped me out along my journey, and, in a sense, I can bring these characters to life through various drawings.
Will John and Trishna interact with some of the Twitch broadcasters I hang out with?
Maybe – it depends on people’s levels of interests. If someone shows interest, then it’s more likely I would do something like that, but many of these drawings are meant to show various points of Zeal that I might want to figure out first before I write. The battle arena is something that might only take up a paragraph of text, but in spending over 40 hours thinking or building this one space, it can feel much more real. Or if not, then that time could help in other areas, too. It’s not all about productivity when it comes to productivity. That’s kind of the weird thing about achieving a long-term goal like writing “The Story” in whatever manner it manifests – doing livestreams, podcasts, or hanging out with friends can all contribute in their own meaningful ways.
What I try to avoid is wasting time needlessly.
So if Trishna or John, for example, weren’t feeling well – or they got into a rare argument – what would they do? They’d probably rest up. Most of their arguments, from what I’ve imagined, were more about one overextending themself, which upset the other more than any sort of deep misunderstanding. I feel like they were able to iron out many of their conversational quirks early into their friendship just by talking for hours, and, having Trishna’s parents around as people that both could talk to if they ever got mad at the other.
Of course, this sort of relationship might be dramatically lazy to some or most.
Most of the friendships or relationships I’ve been in have had dramatic tension because of differing perspectives without a willingness to compromise. I’m just as guilty as other people in these situations, so I’m no saint. The communication I’ve had where these tensions are low are typically the sort of high-empathy, low-stakes situations where both parties understand each other and the stakes for disagreeing aren’t high. If, say, Trishna wakes up with a bad spine problem, the stakes aren’t high for John to accept that he’s going to be more of a caretaker than when she wakes up well enough to move around.
Overachieving when you “can’t” is a recipe for disaster.
|Quotes:  Ron The Pharaoh, formerly Raijin Dragon, appears in the drawing next to where I think I’ll put Trishna and John. It might seem easier to put them at the corner, but the corners are already filled, and moving people around might be tricky.|
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: This tweet along with having reorganized my writing calendar, I can now use these weekly essays as almost like a weekly round-up for things I did to help me write “The Story,” whether directly or indirectly.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2021 May 23 [8:22pm to 8:53pm]|
|Last Edited: 2021 May 23 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|