Quote Monday

Today’s dose of inspiration is not so much a quote, but words of encouragement to find that “thing”.

warmglow

I hope you have all been so lucky and are fanning the flames!

Have a great week everyone!

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Quote Monday

In light of my last post, I’m having to give myself daily pep talks in order to keep moving forward.  It’s a struggle all creatives must endure, and if you’re like me at the moment, know that you aren’t alone.

GentleReminder

We can do this!  We can overcome our fears and achieve what we want in life, we just have to be brave!

Wishing you all the very best!

Fear of Success

QuestionMarksI’m certain I’ve talked about this subject in the past – the idea that even if our lives are chaotic and unsatisfying, we’re comfortable with what’s familiar, what we know.  Sometimes while striving towards a goal, the unknown can be cause for fear, even if subconsciously.

How do I know this?

I’m pretty sure I created an act of self-sabotage this week, of course without any thought.

I wrote an original TV pilot to add to my portfolio, and I have to say, I’m proud of it.  It took some time to get everything in order, it’s sci-fi with aliens and distant worlds, etc. but when I got into it, I had tons of ideas and I really wanted to spend more time with these characters.

Writing the pilot is among the most satisfying writing I’ve done.  I had a clear image in my head and I wrote it.  I made minor adjustments, but honestly, within five drafts I felt it was ready to be seen.

I sent it to my readers, got positive feedback, and then found a contest to submit it to.  I wasn’t looking for any contests, it was my plan to get everything in order for the beginning of the year, but there was a pilot launch contest from Screencraft and the deadline was fast approaching.

So, why not?!

The Sis went through the script with a fine tooth comb and found all my little grammatical errors and one thing she thought needed changing – the name of a fairly inconsequential character.  Agent Six as he had been called, reminded her of something, and it was my goal to not have anything (names, places, expletives) sound too similar to those things I had been inspired by.  If that makes sense.

I had named him Six in honor of my favorite Cylon, but upon a search, Agent Six is a pretty big character on a current running TV series, so I felt it should be changed.  I didn’t have a lot of time to make the change and I got sidetracked during the process…I’m sure you can guess what happened.

I hit submit, got ready for work, and an hour later on my drive it hit me – I hadn’t caught them all.

The Beastie Boys song “Sabotage” has been playing on repeat in my head for days now. (The fan made Rogue One trailer hasn’t helped matters.)

Was this an act of self-sabotage?  Am I afraid of getting what I want?  For all my talk about going after your dreams, am I just putting on a façade?

I am so angry with myself, still.  Yes, it’s a small error, but when you’re hoping to be a professional, the best, most perfect representation of your work should go out into the world.  Does this error deter from the story?  No.  It’s near the end and takes up a fraction of the page, but it’s there, and I know it, and I know they’ll see it.

Sigh.

And now a new deadline lingers on the horizon, and in the back of my mind I have to wonder, am I capable of setting myself up again?  I truly hope not.

I’m not sure how to spin this to be helpful, except maybe to say, “make sure you have the time and focus to rewrite your work.”  Deadlines are great motivators, but let me be an example of what not to do.  Don’t wait until the last minute.  Don’t worry about something inconsequential – it can be changed later if there’s concern.  Plan ahead.  And, I suppose, this quote sums it up perfectly:

Don't be too hard on yourself

Wishing you all the very best in your endeavors!

How to Recover from Burnout

SherlockBoredAs many of you are aware, I like my routine, but something about it recently has created the side effect of “burnout”.  I’ve had little motivation to do much beyond what is absolutely necessary, and even those things have taken great effort.

I’ve been tired.  I don’t feel compelled to write anything.  I haven’t done those responsible things you’re supposed to as a grown up, and it sort of came out of nowhere.

I feel that some of the blame can be placed on the vicarious living I’ve been doing through books and gaming, even my own stories.  All these characters are having adventures, meeting new people, and are seeing amazing sights, while I sit on my butt.  The other day at work, it was yet another slow night and I was writing notes for my fanfiction when the cook asked me if I was writing about my own life.

I couldn’t help but laugh, like a big hearty laugh.

I told him I write fantasy and science fiction, so that didn’t really apply, and then I waved my hand about the bar/restaurant as an explanation.  This is my life, well, my working life any way, and it blows.

We moved back to a city I don’t like to get back on our feet, and all we’ve done is struggle.  I was unemployed in LA for two years, and since taking this current job a year ago, all I’ve done is job hunt, so I feel like I’ve been perpetually searching and sending out resumes for a good job (to no avail) forever.  This in turn affects my writing.

I think it’s this cycle that has caused the burnout.  I’m just frustrated and bored with my life.

Falkor2014Luckily, I do have one thing to look forward to, and it couldn’t be more timely, Gishwhes is upon us.

The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen begins tomorrow morning.  This will be the fourth year The Sis and I take part on Team Falkor.  It is a crazy week of creative endeavors, acts of kindness, nearly impossible tasks, and sometimes utter nonsense that brings together a group of people from around the world with one purpose – to make a change – for ourselves and for others.

So, what does this have to do with recovering from burnout?

The routines we rely on, the normal day to day that sometimes wears us down is something we occasionally need a break from.  This is why vacations are so important for overall well being – they tend to relieve all those internal and external pressures we put upon ourselves and bring us back to our equilibrium while reinvigorating our passions.

But…sometimes we are constrained by our circumstances, and yet we need to find avenues we can explore that inspire and invigorate us.  Gishwhes, for me, is the perfect example of that.  It’s challenging and creative, makes you think outside the box, and for the most part, costs very little to be a part of.  Also, the feelings of creativity, inspiration, and kindness last long after the hunt is over.

I’ve been trying to find inexpensive means of enjoying things in my current city, and you’d be surprised what you can do as a local.  Often times museums, shows, even restaurants offer special deals for locals.  Some movie theaters offer specials on a certain day of the week – here in Vegas we have $5 Tuesdays.  Some communities offer a number of free events through the county government, the library, or the arts district, you just have to do a little searching.

It’s no vacation to a tropical island or London, but it’s a step in the direction of doing something different.

If you’d like to a little break from the monotony, and maybe escape the threat of burnout, Team Falkor is always looking for unofficial team members.  Sometimes, an item calls for a specific landmark somewhere in the world, or the use of technology most of us don’t have access to, or something so random we have no idea how we’ll accomplish it, and yet, you could be the answer.

Next week will be a little unconventional, so keep an eye out for the unusual requests, and if you’d like to help, let me know, and join me in saying goodbye to burnout!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Quote Monday

On my days off, I had planned to write a couple of blog posts, but instead I did some cleaning, I applied for yet more jobs, started a rewrite, and did lots of reading.  Lots and lots of reading.

It was nice to give over half a day to the enjoyment of a good book.  I haven’t done that in a while.  So my apologies for a lack of interesting things this past week.  I’ll do my best to make up for it!

I saw this quote and felt it was apropos, and yet, I do not regret my time invested in reading.  It’s really research for a writer. 😉  I do sometimes find myself wasting time and energy on things I know I shouldn’t, so this is a helpful reminder:

Price

Have a great week everyone!  Keep striving towards those goals!

Quote Monday

When I started this blog, I wanted to have a clear focus as to what I wanted it to be.  I wanted to share my journey towards becoming a professional writer, I wanted to help other writers find inspiration and useful advice, and I wanted to share a few of the things I get excited about…you know, my geek side.

I did not want this to be a platform to share political, societal, or religious ideology.  I may be frustrated at the state of things, but I always want this to be a place for creatives to escape to, so to speak, a place of positivity and encouragement for the creative path we have been called to follow.

As writers, we hold a great deal of power, and it is with that voice we can do great things!  Use them wisely. 😉

*It is in light of everything, events in my own life and those surrounding us (and in spite of my earlier comments), that this rang true:

Persevere

I wish you all the very best in both your “real” life and creative one.

xx, Rach

*Updated multiple times because, despite being a writer, I could not find the right words to express my feelings correctly…

Goal Review

set and reach goal concept

It’s June 21st.  Can you believe it?!

We’re about midway through another year, and it’s probably time to reexamine our goals and see what needs tweaking.

For the new year I listed four things I wanted to accomplish, let’s see where I’m at…

  • I’d like to get my screenwriting portfolio in order…finally.  This, as always, will be a work in progress, but I’ve set myself up for the next 6 months with calendars on my wall for visual goal keeping.  This, unfortunately, has been tweaked a few times already, but, I am happy to report that I’ve completed the pilot and written tons of new fan fiction* (the first three chapters are up now, if you’ve been following along, here).  I’ve made notes for the rewrites, and hopefully by the end of the year, it’ll all come together.
  • I’d like to learn to sew in order to make my first cosplay outfit.  I looked into classes, but haven’t made the effort…yet.  I still have 6 months to accomplish this. 😉
  • I’d like to travel somewhere new.  I still, yes, still haven’t found a new job.  It’s getting kind of ridiculous at this point, so vacation having will have to wait.
  • I’d like to read more.  As I shamefully admitted previously, I didn’t read a single book last year.  How did that happen?  No idea.  I accepted a challenge through Goodreads to read at least 12 books this year (a modest goal) and I’m happy to say I’m nearly done with #9.  I’m ahead of schedule!

Besides finding a new job, I wanted to lose 10 lbs. I don’t have a scale, but I fit in my clothes again, so mission accomplished!  I’ve been working out regularly for the past 6 months, something I haven’t done since my 20s, so there’s that.

All creatives learn that accomplishing our goals does not come easy, nor quickly.  We have to put in a lot of time and effort to reap any reward, but if we keep persevering, we’ll get there!

Goals are meant to be changeable and attainable, so if you accomplish even a small goal, celebrate it and keep up that momentum!  If you need to make alterations, make adjustments that best fit your schedule, but keep going.  Achievements need to be recognized to keep us sane and motivated, so if you want to do a little dance or need some words of encouragement, let me know in the comments and I’ll dance with you!

Wishing you all the very best in your endeavors!  Keep your chin up!

*You may be wondering how the fanfic works into my portfolio as a screenwriter, but for those of you who have been following me for a while now know, I want a job at Bioware! 😉

The Burden of Being Single

SingleNotAvailThere’s this weird thing that happens when you find yourself as one of the last single people among your friends, or when you reach a certain age and are shockingly, still unmarried.  Suddenly there’s something wrong with you.  There’s a huge hole in your life.  You’re now being judged by the person that five minutes ago found someone not completely repulsive on a dating website.

There’s this weird thing that happens when people couple up.  They discover they have a pitying facial expression that automatically pops up when they meet a singleton.  They develop this superior attitude as if they’ve discovered some ultimate secret and are now determined to “help” you.

The other night, I had these two older male diners making small talk, asking if I was married, blah blah blah, and when I said I wasn’t seeing anyone, one of them had the audacity to ask what was wrong with me.  The other asked if I was happy.

Really?!

Yes, I am happy, as surprising as that may be.  I’m content being on my own at this point in my life.  I don’t need a man to feel complete and fulfilled, etc.  But clearly you’re just looking for some explanation as to why you’re not, as you’ve made multiple comments about being unhappy in your 25 years of marriage.  Honestly, I was a bit put off by the whole exchange and was happy to see them leave.  Why do people, strangers even, think it’s okay to say something they have absolutely no right or knowledge to comment on?  Side note, this is the same problem I have with social media and the lack of filter most people seem to possess nowadays.

WalkThisWorldAlone

Two of my heroines never married – Elizabeth I and Jane Austen.  Both were single in a time when it wasn’t exactly acceptable for a woman to be, and yet here they are, hundreds of years later, respected and revered for such brave decisions.  So why in this day and age is my choice to not enter into a time sucking and emotionally draining relationship so unusual?

My last serious relationship was with a deceitful, manipulative philanderer.  After a physical confrontation of a break up, I was turned off by the whole idea of dating, and for a while after, it made me reflect on my own faults at having been so twisted to suit his will.  I didn’t think I could be so easily swayed, but clearly that’s what had happened and I doubted myself for some time afterward.

Now, I’m looking for something extraordinary.  I don’t want to just date randoms.  A) I don’t have time for that, and B) Take this as you will, I want more.  You’re probably thinking, but how will you find that “one” if you’re not dating?  Like I said, I’m okay building the kind of life I want on my own.  I’m not high maintenance, but at this stage in my life, I am who I am, and it would take someone with a particular understanding of this to add to my life, and I haven’t met the one that offers that.  This is probably why I write romance – so I can live vicariously through my characters.

This is a post of solidarity to my fellow singletons and a message to those of you who have coupled up and feel it your obligation to pair off everyone you know:  Unless we say otherwise, we’re okay on our own…

Although, I am tempted to get some sort of sign for future reference – #TallGirlProblems 😉

TallSign

Have a great weekend!

Quote Monday, Sort Of…

NonAdultingMinionSome days I long for my childhood.  Some days.  Remember there was that thing…what was it called again?  Oh, yes.  Ignorant bliss.  Our biggest concerns were homework and whether we were getting together with our friends on the weekend, or what have you.  High school, and even college, were supposed to prepare us for adulthood, but honestly, I don’t think either of those institutions did their job properly.

I should demand a refund.

When you leave home for the first time, there’s this excitement (and delusion) about having newfound freedom, only to learn shortly thereafter that maybe, the whole adult thing, isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be.

In my college anthropology class, eons ago, I wrote a paper about how Western civilization doesn’t really have a “right of passage” for its youth.  Yes, there are the time honored marks at 16, 18, and 21, but which of any of these offer you life lessons for your future?  Where are our elders ushering us into this new phase of our lives?  I proposed a class called Life 101 where you get an overall scope of the challenges you may encounter and how to deal with them.

Perhaps if I had taken such a class I wouldn’t be in debt.  Maybe I wouldn’t procrastinate until there were (sometimes literally) minutes to spare.  Maybe as an introvert, I wouldn’t exhaust myself trying to be an extrovert because I would have learned about my options, rather than finding myself cornered into my current situation.

Maybe.

AdultierAdultIt’s all just theory, isn’t it?  Wishing that maybe we had been given the tools to live our lives better instead of just blindly meandering?  How many of those things we’d like to change are just built into our DNA?  Sometimes I look at some of my friends and wonder how they pulled themselves together.  They were once like I was.  What changed?  Maybe they haven’t.  Maybe they’re doing what I am – putting on a good show.

Sometimes I think of my life as a book someone is reading.  We’re all stories, after all.  They probably found the cover intriguing, but now, having forced themselves halfway through, they’re wishing they could put it down, but they just have to know how it ends.  They’ve probably exclaimed aloud a number of times, wishing they could just slap the protagonist, but they can’t abandon such a tale after so much time invested.

My apologies.

I’ve written about this in the past, and I’m bringing it up again because despite my efforts, it seems I can’t make any head way.  I’m still, months later, at that same impasse.  I’m not one to wallow, I try to remain positive, but after a while, that becomes an exhausting endeavor when there is little evidence that change is on the horizon.

So I send this out into the world and hope for the best.

DifficultRoads

And I send this out to you, my friends:  If you’ve ever made some big changes, how did you go about it?  How do you stay positive?  How do you “adult”?

Quote Monday (on a Tuesday)

I’m not really sure what happened to last week.  I was here.  I was up and mobile, but somehow, my computer remained in a dormant state.  The room which houses it remained dark and almost imperceptible – like that thing you see out of the corner of your eye, and yet when you turn to view it fully, it disappears.  My office was sort of like that, evidently.

And here I am, starting the new week off a day late.  Sheesh.  I think there’s an actual medical term for the state of permanent behind-ness.  If there’s not, there will be one soon, and Marek will be somewhere embedded within that 10-syllable phrase with a picture beside it of me rolling my eyes.  Maybe it will be slightly blurred from me shaking my head…I sometimes like to think it’s Fate’s way of keeping me out of harm’s way.  Eh, it’s as good an explanation as any, I suppose.

YourJourney

Along our journey, we may find it hard not to compare our lives with other, sometimes more successful, or more put together, counterparts.  In turn, there are those who may not grasp what it is we’re chasing.  The above quote is a great reminder that we each have our own path (but may be a little late in getting there).

Don’t let the naysayers derail you from what you truly want to do.  Dream big!

Have a great week!