More Book Stuff…
So, for the first time in a while, I haven’t had a schedule crushing down on me and three or four different things to do. By no means am I out of work at the moment (landed another very small job on Saturday – great way to wake up, BTW – and supposedly I’ve got a couple more small gigs coming up in the near future), but my schedule was a little more open than it has been.
I decided I’d try something new – normally, I write on The Story whenever the muse strikes. Usually around midnight it seems. Instead, I thought I’d wake up in the morning, sit down, and write for four or five hours straight. The idea was to see if I could actually write that long in a single sitting, and how much I’d actually accomplish.
Sat down, checked my email. Hm – bit hungry. Made breakfast.
Rearranged part of my bookshelves. Then the phone rang, talked with Dad for a while. Then checked my email again. Then Brandon called – it was already lunchtime by then.
Mopped the bedroom floor and re-treated it with Solid Gold. Re-arranged part of the bookshelves again. Organized my music collection. Did some work around the house. Read a couple of chapters out of a Stephen King book. Played with the cats. Loaded a couple of utilities on my iPhone so I could record the cats chasing a laser pointer.
Eventually Maha called (to say she wasn’t going to call today) and asked how my day was. I laughed like hell – not only did I not manage to write ANYTHING, I managed to blow the entire day, including working on the other projects I’ve got going.
So, apparently, not only can I not write on demand at the moment, attempting to do so will completely fuck my day up! 🙂 I figure it’s a practice thing – my buddy David “RM” manages to do it on a schedule, but he’s been doing it a while now. I’ll probably start setting a “realistic” writing schedule type thing, and see if I can follow it: probably set an alarm for 2 PM, write for an hour, then go back to the other stuff I’ve got going on. I figure if I can learn some discipline on this subject, well, it could help in other areas too.
I keep getting email from people about The Story. I’m always a bit surprised anyone reads it in the first place, but, it’s following continues to grow. And all of them have been supportive, telling me to keep going (I’ve yet to ever indicate I was going to stop!), or that I’m doing a good thing detailing out a failure so others can learn from it (Hehehe – including someone telling me I was doing an Honorable thing with it.) It’s so bizarre really – a failure of mine could result in a totally different sort of success. How messed up is that?
But it’s not done yet, so I’m not going to call it a success. I hit a “hump” for a while – I had two sections that were REALLY hard to write from an emotional standpoint, and that slowed me way the hell down. Even though things don’t have to fall in a perfect chronological order (I can scoot things around at will), there’s a sort of… flow I have to follow.
And really, there’s more than one potential level of success to it. First level of success is to complete it. If I never write another thing in my life (doubtful – I enjoy it), I will have succeeded in doing something not a whole lot of people pull off: write a lousy book (considerably more people manage to write lousy books than good books obviously, but still, not a whole lot of people manage to even write a lousy book.)
The next level of success would be publication, even if it’s just self published. I find that to also be a reasonable goal – even if I don’t get a big publisher to handle it, selling finished copies via a print on demand service off of the website would be just fine with me. I’ll order myself a copy and put it up on the shelf. One step better than getting one of my “TShirts” 🙂
The final level of success it the one I won’t reach with this project, and that’s perfectly OK with me. That’s making money off of it, and – this is the most important part of this level of success – going down to Barnes & Nobles with a pen, snagging a copy, signing it, and putting it back on the shelf for the next person who picks it up. Even if a publisher does pick it up, it’s a pretty odd subject, so I highly fucking doubt it gets any sort of wide spread distribution. Hey, it’s a first effort – I’m just fine with that 🙂
Of course, The Story of Gamer Zone will be the only thing like it I ever write. Unless I start another business, have it fail, and survive the process physically and emotionally, I can’t write another story like it. And even then – from birth to now, it’s been 4 years. A long time between books 🙂
David “RM” has been helping me to understand what I need to do to handle publishing it, and how to edit it without the edit insanity killing the whole project. David managed to pull off the process with “The Indie Game Developer’s Survival Guide” and later “Serious Games” – about the best expert I know.
As I write this, a quick story about David comes to mind. We were speaking together at IGC ’03, and a reporter comes up and starts chatting with us. He recognized me from something or other, but didn’t recognize David. So he asks “What’s your involvement in Indie game development.” David shrugs: “I wrote the book.” The expression on the reporters face was priceless – complete confusion.
Unfortunately, there’s no conferences on failures. I won’t get to pull off any similarly witty lines from a book on business failure.
…But I’m Feeling Much Better Now.
— Harry’s father Buddy, from Night Court
So, I’m feeling a hell of a lot better. the anxiety thing is taking a while to go away, but the depression is dead and buried.
What’s fucked up about it is well… it appears to be some sort of vitamin deficiency. I started mapping in my head the “ups and downs” I was experiencing, comparing them to various factors such as when I wrote on the book, etc. Because I wasn’t ALWAYS down, so something somewhere was affecting my moods pretty radically.
Well, I’m a complete tightass these days, so I do things like take my vitamins, oh… once a week. I’d take a dose, feel a bit better, then two days later I didn’t want to do anything that involved doing much more than setting in my room.
Don’t skimp on vitamins apparently. I’m taking them daily now, and I’ve been fine. I have NO idea what it is I’m not getting in my diet that’s causing this (and I probably should be a bit concerned), but taking them daily does the trick. Go fig.