Stephen King Sabotaged Me (allegedly)

Progress has been slow, but steady. The good news is that I have finally figured out where to end the memoir, which has been driving me nuts for the past 3 months. I am also now (as of yesterday) pre-editing the 3rd part of the book. Although, the task has not proved to be easy. Quite the opposite, actually.

In fact, as I stared at the screen yesterday . I could literally feel time being sucked out from underneath me as I tried to decide whether I should delete an entire chapter or add another one to a book that I already will need to cut at least 20,000 words from. I also found myself hating several of the chapter transitions, but could not come up with a solution to improve any of them.

When I first started writing the book, I thought about writing each chapter as if it were its own separate story. A series of flashbacks – since that seems to be how things come together in my memory, which would have solved that problem. Unfortunately, I had to drop the idea when I realized Stephen King wrote his memoir, On Writing, in the same style.

Dammit, Stephen!

Aside from being perturbed with Stephen King for ruining my idea by coming up with it first, I’m also struggling to retrieve important memories. There are so many conversations I’m struggling to remember 7 years later, even though they are important pieces to my story. How do I convey a feeling or mood when I have to ask myself questions like , “Why did we laugh so hard in the parking lot, again?” only to come up blank.

While we are at it, can anyone tell me why our bad memories seem to be so much easier to recall than our good memories?

I’d look it up, but I don’t have time.

I had hoped to be done with all the pre-edits by now. Sadly, however, that didn’t happen. Mostly because I forgot how grad school works while I was enjoying winter break and have been slammed for the last 2 weeks trying to adjust to a new schedule and new classes. Then, there’s that whole home school thing I’m involved in.

I suppose I can’t be too upset with myself. I’m still writing (editing) at least 3 times a week. So, I guess that’s at least some progress even if it’s much slower than I imagined. I continue to tell myself that I’d rather take my time and write something I can be proud of then rush through it because I am in a hurry and get published, especially when I don’t even know what route I’m planning on taking when that time comes. Although, I can’t help but be disappointed that my goal of releasing the book on National Coming Out day 2021 appears as though it was a far too optimistic one.

Sigh.

It would have been so poetic.

Finding Time in 2021.

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been struggling to keep updated on the blog lately. I just haven’t found the time to focus write. You see after I met my first big goal of 100,000 words, I kind of fell off the wagon. I’ve still been writing, but not nearly enough (as evidenced by the lack of posts). My inability to stay on point is less laziness and more over-ambitiousness. I tend to take on too many projects at once. When I don’t reach those goals, I give up and go home. 

I continue to work on my own expectations. However, I’m still nowhere near as productive as I want to be. The biggest barrier of which is that I have TERRIBLE time management skills. I blame it on ADHD, which is why my mind is anywhere but where it needs to be at any given moment, except when I find myself entranced with a particular task. On those occasions, I hyperfocus like nobody else’s business, completely losing track of time and the world around me. I can literally spend an entire day writing or researching without even blinking. A 5 minute conversation or a 2 minute phone call I planned to make last week? Not so much.

We all know big visions require big commitments. And, when you have several of them going on at the same time, it can be challenging to manage and prioritize all of them in the correct order. At least it is for me, anyway. So far, 2021 has already managed to teach me how much harder I need to work and how much more committed I need to be to get to where I want to be. Getting published means getting exposure, which I’m trying to prepare for by building a brand, even though it may seem strange to do so far in advance. Unfortunately, these days, publishers care more about the audience you bring to them rather than the content of your book (or so I’ve read). This represents a massive challenge for a self-diagnosed agoraphobic like myself. So, that’s where I’m at. I’m in the middle of creating a brand that may end up being a colossal waste of time in the end.

The creative part is pretty fun. The more arduous tasks, like learning the technical skills to accomplish those creative parts, are not so fun. Taking content from the original idea to the final TikTok, YouTube video, or blog post always takes much longer than I think it will. I’m talking hours, days, or even weeks in some cases. Of course, the fact that I often re-edit the same sentence 20 times, do 90 takes of a 60 second TikTok because I hate the way my face looks, or the endless hours I spend trying to learn a cool new effect for a five minute YouTube video probably doesn’t help.

I marvel at the people who tell me they can get filming and editing done in one day or a blog post written and published in an hour. I think it has to do with some sort of superpower I will never possess, or maybe they just have plenty of uppers on hand. Case in point, as of now, I’ve been writing this post since 10:30am. It’s now 12:43 pm. 

{Okay, so I did spend some time browsing the internet for some reason which I can’t even remember. But, still! That’s an awfully long time to write a simple blog post.}

Hopefully, all of these things will eventually help me reach my ultimate goal: Get the memoir I’ve been planning on writing for over 20 years to a publisher, or at least to a point where I can self-publish it by the end of 2021.

On the bright side, I have, at least, managed to nail down a planner system (consisting of four, yes four, separate planners) to help me remain on whatever path it is that I’m on. So far, it seems to help about 20-50% of the time. Probably closer to 20%, considering it is now 2:51pm. At least it’s better than 0%, I guess.