Peopling is Hard

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? I’m still stuck in a procrastination rut. I start projects, it goes well for a few days, then I just hit a wall. I try to work through it for a couple of days, but after staring at the same pages for a while, I get disgusted with it and take a few days off. It’s an endless cycle. I need to break it, but I can’t figure out how. So, I decided to try being social instead. Change up the routine. Maybe getting out of my comfort zone would help get the writing muscles going again. That was the hope, anyway. It’s not going too well.

It’s me!

I randomly joined some Facebook groups a week or so ago, mostly for pretty pictures of bats and cephalopods. Apparently, I also decided to join a couple of groups for people who are pansexual and their supporters (happy Pride!), which I never do because… well, people. One of the current fads in one of those groups are those stupid friendship application posts where newbies basically introduce themselves. I don’t do that stuff. I am horrible at peopling. Everyone knows this. I make no secret of it. But I did the thing despite my aversion to socializing.

All of the comments on the post were super sweet and accepting. Yes, I even included pictures. And, instead of being self-deprecating like I usually am, I tried very hard to just say thank you to the handful of folks who said I was pretty or whatever. It was weird. And I admit that I met a couple of people who are cool and I’ve enjoyed our conversations and will definitely keep talking to them. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t get like twenty DMs from douchenozzles (you know the ones, those who expect cyber sex or whatever it’s called nowadays without even attempting to hide it behind getting to know you) who ended up blocked. It totally reminded me of the Yahoo chat days, and not in the good way. Sifting through the asshats to find the interesting people is just not my thing anymore. I’m too lazy for all that. And way too comfortable with being alone (or talking to my current peoples) to make that effort.

Or I can be alone by myself. Either way works.

It doesn’t help that I have a lot of social anxiety. I can’t even make doctor appointments over the phone without freaking out unless I practice the conversation in my head fifty times. Goddess forbid they go off script. And even if it goes perfectly, I still feel like I screwed something up with the interaction. I’m not as bad with text based exchanges, because I can see and edit what I’m saying. Especially when it comes to professional correspondence. That, I have no problem with. As long as I can write it out, I’m okay. I really only have issues with socializing like a normal human being. I know people who I only knew by screen names for the first ten years of our friendship. That’s how horrible at peopling I am. I didn’t even think to ask for names until we’d run into each on Facebook or something. Peopling is hard.

Maybe.

But that’s enough about my lack of humaning skills. I probably should’ve thought of a better topic instead of rambling about nothing. But there you have it. As always, feel free to leave your comments or questions or whatever here or on my social media pages!

Inspiration! Does It Strike You?

Welcome!  Another question today.  My Minion (Joel Rede) asked me “What inspires you?”  Well, is “everything” an acceptable answer?  At least that’s the immediate answer that usually pops into my head.  However, the more I think about it, the more I go off on a tangent.  More often than not, I’m inspired by a multitude of things all playing off of each other, but sometimes I’m not feeling inspired at all.  So, while I’m going to talk about sources of inspiration for me, I’m also going to address what I do when nothing is striking me.

InspirationI’m easily inspired (it’s awesome, but it’s also a curse because I have SO MANY unwritten or forgotten stories).  I’d say that music has the biggest impact on my writing topics.  Sometimes, it’s a whole song that catches my attention.  A lot of the time, it’s a single line or even just a word that piques my curiosity.  I’ve written a screenplay based on a song, and I’ve written short stories that were inspired by a verse or less.  The mood of whatever music I listen to also has its fair share of influence on my writing.  It’s just one of those things.

Another source of inspiration is people.  I’m a people watcher.  If I’m obviously staring at you, chances are that you’re not even on my radar, but that guy arguing with a tree (or someone hidden by the tree) behind you definitely has my attention.  C’mon.  Who doesn’t want to know why the guy is yelling at the tree nymph?  Scenes like that, ones that probably have a completely reasonable explanation, are the best things ever!  Combine them with snippets of overheard conversations, and you’re golden.  It’s especially amusing if you’re somewhere like an anime convention where you have a lumberjack-looking guy dressed as Sailor Moon flirting with a furry.  I couldn’t make this stuff up.

cosplay-family-guy-sailor-moon-costume_jpg-demotivational-poster
There are, not they are. Yes, I correct grammar on the Interwebz.

The world is full of inspiration if you’re open to it, but what about the days it fails you?  I write anyway.  I’m not a believer in writing only when inspiration strikes, because frankly (and I’ve said this before), the muse is a fickle bitch.  If you wait for her, you’ll never get anything done.  Yeah, you might get 5000 words written one day, but then you’ll hit a month long dry spell.  What’s the good in that?  On the other hand, I don’t advocate writing every single day, so if you’re consistently inspired five days out of the week, go ahead and take those other two days off guilt free.

If you’re like me, and some days the words just won’t come, write them anyway.  It usually happens when I’m between big projects or I’ve hit a spot that I haven’t quite decided how to work my way through.  On those days, I free write.  I let my mind go blank, then write whatever pops into it.  A lot of the time, I just end up writing a three page rant about why writing/certain characters/plotting/whatever sucks.  Sometimes, a sentence will pop into my head and lead to a three page description of a new story or novel.  So, even free writing can lead to inspiration!

Hand with Reflecting Sphere
M. C. Escher

 In other words, whether you find inspiration in music or people or art (another big one for me) or in nothing at all, keep creating.  Maybe one day, you’ll be the one inspiring people.  Maybe you already are and just don’t know it.  Keep it up!