I suck… Writers block and not feeling to write…

There are few things that suffer so much as to admit that you suck. When it is because of evidence, failure or something you do – like sports where the feedback is instant – it sucks to suck. Devastated, sad and angry you threw perhaps a fit and try to either do better or give up.

When you admit to your inner demons that you suck, not just at a thing, but completely, totally from the fucking tip of your toenail to the topmost hair on your head, and you say to that inner voice “You’re right” it is both a relief and such a fall into a dark abyss that few can fathom it, yet far too many know exactly what it is I refer to.

So, I have come to the conclusion that my writing sucks. I lost the geist, the fuel, the fire, the ideas and the different images in my head stopped whirling, twirling and dancing for me. It feels stale, I ask myself why?
Not the why as in, why do I see it? That’s one of the questions I loved to explore which exploded into me sitting and hammering on my keyboard late into nights.
It’s not the “why?” as in why do they do as they do, why are they here – what is their meaning, their purpose their reason to be either sad, happy or angry.

No, I ask myself “why?”, as in why do I write this nonsense? Why do I sit there, alone hammering on my keyboard imagining that I will eventually feel any sort of joy over my accomplishment. What accomplishment? I write, a lot, but I can’t edit for shit. That’s the truth, the honest truth. I’m really not good at it. I have sometimes simply parked that in the back of my head with my ordinary excuses:
I’m not writing this for anyone but myself.
I’m not well yet, I’m still sick and I can edit when I recuperate.
It’s not like I’m showing anything that I write anyway.
So, you see, I have a good set of excuses and mantras I can throw at my tantrums. Does it help? Sometimes, I guess, because after a day or two of feeling like utter shit at everything, I sit there and the clock is running past any sane hour and I do hammer at it again.

Lately I have started to want things. Want is not a good thing. I want for people to read what I write. I want to break out of my shell and tell people, here, look at this, I made this. The problem is that I can’t really handle criticism either – so you see, the problems of matter of facts are sort of not in my favor here – so I can’t do it in order to actually advance in my writing either.

So, I suck at writing. I read what I write and compare to things I like to read and I realize that I suck.
It hurts.
It makes me wonder why I even write this.
It makes me wonder a damn lot of things.
I simply know that I suck and I suck at finding answers except that damn “I suck” answer to most of the questions.

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The thing that leads to another turns out – STEAM PUNK…?

So, my woes in writing is starting to get the better of me. Self doubt and anxiety is not really helping and I look at all my notes for my latest project and today I seriously had to ask myself: “Is this good for me?”

I haven’t written a line on my story for real, but already i’m penning down characters, races, the world and relations between them and trying to figure out how I should make those three short passages in my mind work.

That’s usually how it starts, I get a sort of vision, a scene that plays very vividly in my mind and my brain is off to the races and starts trying to find out why and how that scene came to be, where it will lead and how it will end.

And for what? Some megabytes of a text file on my computer, expansive ink penned into expansive books as I tell myself “it’s just for me, my own well being”. Lately I’m questioning that as well. Is this making me well, or are these dreams, fantasies and lures of writing just another way that breaks me down?
A way to beat myself up?
Shouldn’t I just quit and give up?
Maybe? I don’t know really.

All those notes...

Shattered worlds

My latest crazy idea is a mix, I love mixes by the way, between Western and fantasy. To make it all work, I had to dig into the industrial revolution and then had to start thinking about how it all came to be. That worlds shattered and tore through each other and created a new world and having suddenly dimensions. Where elves and demons actually understood each other better and evil is as evil does. And of course, steam punk dwarf’s you know, because…

 

I have had some inspiration for this one, Justina Robson’s really cool series ‘Quantum Gravity’ for one, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, Nordic faerie tales, Steam Punk in general and Arcanum. Mix it, trix it and try to find a way to fix it… Might stop at being fatigued in my hands from writing all those crazy ideas down in a journal…

Well, for now, let me leave you with a few lines from a song that is stuck in my mind which to some degree I think sums up my feelings today:
From Alice In Chains “Don in a Hole”
Down in a hole, feelin’ so small
Down in a hole, losin’ my soul
I’d like to fly, but my wings have been so denied

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A new project, fantasy and all the woes that comes with it….

I love fantasy, I always have. Since the days I first found that there were fairy tales for grown ups, my life suddenly didn’t look so bleak no more. There would be escapes from the life that I couldn’t quite fit into. Ursula Le Guin was one of the first authors I found, then Tolkien, than Fantasy and Science Fiction books with many short stories from authors from all over the world.

Then one day, I learned English, and my world exploded.

I try to keep notes… and such…

So, when sitting here and wondering if I would ever write again, since I have been struggling lately, a story sort of attacked me. That’s usually how it is for me. It’s not an urge, it’s an idea or a figment of something which my mind sort of says “That be kinda cool” and I allow time and energy to expand on the idea and if it grips me, it becomes an obsession and then instead of anything, I hammer away in a maniac’s tempo on my keyboard. I don’t really call this being, you know, an author or anything. This is fun and as such I was slightly taken back when I realized that in under three weeks, it’s vacation, I have written a full length book. How the heck did that happen?

A half elf, you know because elves are hot and sometimes humans too, or something…

A Dwarf, with Scottish accent and a name with thunder. Sure, why not?

Now, book, let’s take it easy. It’s the first write through, you know the thing that breaks Word as you open it because Word says there are too many errors of, well, everything. And being fantasy, there are words that Word never heard about. Still, it’s there. It is on my computer and I’m starting book two. This is fun for me. A way to write about the same characters in a new light it appears. Because I tend to stick to certain archetypes, and even if I wanted to get some fresh perspectives, misery, woe, anguish and pain and melancholy spiced with a certain unhappiness and characters still trying to get on with life. So, enjoy some scribbled unreadable notes about two of the characters in the last book.

Fantasy. It’s a weird one isn’t it? I am writing my own fantasy in Swedish, a book which I’m trying to do more, what I believe authors do, like real ones; like check things, add small notes and read chapter by chapter and so on. This book is not so fun all the time, but more work. This is simply borrowing loads of stuff and just dive into int.

Or is it? No. Even though I was planning on making it a more or less Dungeon and Dragon settings type of fantasy, using Psionics, Drow, elves, Eldarins, Dwarfs, Halflings etc, you always end up in, How much can I borrow? How much can I change before people get lost in the excisting preconceptions of what these names should mean? Can I use something and then slightly alter it?

GAH!

Well, I’m not minding too much of it now since I am writing mostly for the fun of it, and might even post the first thing in its entirety here, once its edited. Got it? It’s a joke. In a few months I will hardly remember this. It will be an obscure thing of the past that just happened. In the meantime, a few glimpses of the process and the things my damn brain makes me do, just because, that one scene of a Drow fighting a Wood elf, talking about what good and evil is.

I don’t always write fantasy, but when I do, I draw maps…

Still, I don’t know about you, but fantasy always ends up with you making maps. Why? Because fantasy is really one long journey from here to there. Why? Because they are adventuring. No one in fantasy are just this guy, sitting at home and adventure comes to his door knocking. Unless your a monster then…
Oh no.
No more ideas!
It’s summer for F’s sake! 😉

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A new way to write…

Why is it sometimes so hard to write? How come that the demon inside my head telling me that every little word I write down is just another word in a long line of wasted energy in something nobody will read anyway? Because sometimes, I believe that demon. And by sometimes I mean most of the times. Still, I get something out of my little hobby. I get to do some self-surfing. Try out ideas, make a stand on things I haven’t entirely taken a stand on as of yet and challenge many of my ideas and views.

Too bad, I come out of it as feeling a freak lost on an island and the party is on the other side.

But I do write, and I love to begin sentences with but, though you shouldn’t. OK, I try not to do it when writing my books. So, to lessen my self-inflicted burdens, I have made two changes in my routines.

  1.  I stopped my ongoing books that I wrote in English, and begun a new book. It was an idea that I have had going in the back of my head for a long time.
  2. I allowed myself to explore the idea before manically starting to type away at it. The concept, the idea changed drastically over a week or a ten-days period. From being sort of a teenage book with a more humorous take, it turned into a rather dark and bleak modern magicians and alternate realities sort of book.  It’s still not entirely set though, so I am tweaking it.
  3. I’m no longer writing linear. I instead do my .4 on this list, so well, eh, none linear it was. I allow myself to skip back and forth in the story, writing episodes, chapters etc before and after each other depending more on my mood. This makes it a bit difficult and I have to go back and forth changing things, but it makes it easier to write because some days I can allow myself not just a sweet to the coffee, but also write a part in the book that I have a craving for.
  4. I’m writing down my ideas and support not on the computer, but by hand, in a notebook. Totally nerdy and totally Neil Gaiman’s fault. 😉 It does feel pretty good though. Some days I don’t feel like starting the computer up to type just a few phrases. I then write them by hand and let them sit there, next to my keyboard waiting for me to get inspired.

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  5. Writing on the go. A Cherry MX Red split keyboard. mmmm…..

    Admit your taste for Cherry Mx Switches. OK, nerdy I know, but I do love keyboards. For some time I have been typing on mechanical ones, exclusively  and I do love them. I do like the Blue, but more as a notion rather than for typing. Something about the sound and the feel reminds me of the old school typing machines. Still, my absolute favorite to type with are the Cherry MX Red switches.  So, I now switched back to those instead of trying to get to enjoy my latest investment in a Cherry MX Brown keyboard (the thing so to say in between Cherry Blue and Cherry red switches.)

I don’t have a real passage for you now, and I realize that few, if any, of the very few visitors I have aren’t from Sweden so the next thing published would probably mean nothing, or something chaotic auto translated by Google.

Inspiration from my new book comes from Dark Souls 3, Jim Butcher, Justina Robson, Robert Jordan and well, all things Fantasy and magically heavily mashed up in a blender and sifted through moi’s twisted brain.

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Lexical density, Gunning Fog, Hard words and low self esteem – perils of writing

I haven’t posted much lately. Truthfully I haven’t written as much either. Having all kinds of problems with things sort of puts a dent in your hopes and wishes. Being low, usually means being insecure and being insecure leads to questioning and right now, seeing the progress bar of my work I see the lexical density, the gunning fog and hard word use etc and then I check what it means and i feel like I should just quit.

This makes Panda sad...

Progress of writing

 

 

I mean, how much more abuse should I put my self through, for something that will most likely never leave my own desk? Doubt, fear, anxiety, shame and feeling inadequate in all ways possible, are really not traits that will ease the procedures to actually even try to send any of this anywhere. Too many good authors and writers are failing already, why add to that pile? For the love of the craft? Seriously, it’s not a craft for me. It is escapism, the stories and vivid images invading my head and my mind that I tried to tell myself could be of interest to put down. Sort of a weird idea of documenting the return of creativity.

At first I was happy to have an outlet again. But outlet’s sometimes become too much and sitting here with text amassing to several books in length so far, and realizing that what it represents are simply hours most likely wasted. I even start several sentences with ‘And’ and that despite me learning early that only Stephen King gets away with that. So, should I simply give up? Or try to stick to my native language? Should I keep pushing, or should I simply keep this in the obscurity of my own head, and never ever mention a word of it ever again to anyone?

All these options have merits, and tomorrow I may look upon them in a differnt light. I fear though that for me, I will always come back to this, my own cross-road in my own hell. Standing there with the Deja Vu of my misery and low self esteem wondering which damn road at least won’t lead me back to that damned cross road. The obvious answer is to take the dead end way, but that one is not for me. Only the dark inside me suggest it, teases it and the finality of it bores me. I want so much more. I need something else, but right now, I’m stuck sitting at this cross-road again, not knowing where to turn or where my next step should take me.

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The murder mystery of inspiration

Can’t rightly say why I tended to come back to this place. It was a place where I like to go, despite how it makes me feel. The dim lit locale has this wonderful bar, brass and gold with dark velvet and a big old tree surface. You can see how time of service had broken into the surface. Like this bar had its own story, its own scars and love marks. My glass of red wine was set down in front of me. The bartender looked at me, his eyes asking “Anything else?”  My shake told him “No, I’m good”. I took a sip, felt relaxation settling into my weary body and bones. My mind started that journey where it probed outside my own personal sphere, drinking greedily from everything out of the surroundings. Was this the place that would help me find out the perfect murder mystery? The next great big title? Hmm, I looked around.

Don’t ask me why I picked this place to begin with. The music? Perhaps. The black guy standing on the small stage is moving perfectly to a rhythm building up. Bass and drums and then a piano slowly build up a slow heavy rhythm. It’s fucking perfect. So, I take up my notebook, take my pen out and start by writing a big fucking question mark as the starting point for my new book. A murder mystery about a…?  Something something that gets killed by a…. thingy majong? Yeah, questions.  The guy makes a few noises in the microphone and I know I will lose my concentration. He is hmm:ing in that way only someone really good do.

Recall that I said this place, I don’t know why I picked it? Double that hesitation as to why I’m such a masochist. The guy takes a few topics from the audience and then starts. This MC is rapping like a submachine gun with just a few lines and the flow of words that builds up to the slow rhythm, makes my own efforts look like that of an ant tying to move a leaf as on stage. Like a bull rushing up against the misery, the injustice and how it is to be black in today’s society. I sigh, take another sip, my head moves in that white way, but fuck that. This is so good I just sit and listen. I bite back my thoughts about not being privileged as the words hits a nerve. It’s a consideration of where you are standing when you are saying it. We all look up, and nobody likes being called privileged. It takes away our own struggle, and it makes a mockery of our own misfortunes and more so, our achievements. But here? It’s not the time nor the place to bitch about it. I just enjoy the stream of words complimenting the music.

I look down at my notepad, I have written a few things. Black detective. A singer. A club. All generic and so cliché. I sigh. I also have a big ‘DOUBT’ written at the side. Can I, as a white guy, write about a black detective? I want to. The guy on stage would be my mental image. He looks fit, he is quick and he laughs and still he moves in a powerful way. Probably a boxer, maybe martial artist. He catches enough eyes of the women on the dance floor to fit in the generic role model of a detective. So, is the generic really ready for yet another detective story?

A quick search on Amazon gives me the answer and I toss away the paper with notes. I order more wine, and some peanuts – please. It’s all there, like magic. I make a note to tip well. The guy on stage leaves to applause and people calling out loudly just how good he were. A woman comes out from the room behind the scene. She hugs the guy, steps up to the mic and nods to the drummer, who starts another rhythm. Harder, harsher and angrier. More aggressive, and he hit’s the cymbals with a frenzy. The woman bites in. No words from the crowd, no help. She just bites away, and I put down my pen again. This time I feel shame creeping up from the floor, clings to my leg and slowly claws its way up to take a cold grip of my scalp. So being white is not bad enough. I had to be a man too. I sigh and my character is a strong small woman who is strong and… Another paper flies through the air. I look at the red wine, it’s almost empty. Again? Shit, I know why all characters are white, drunk and miserable now. They are the ego of me, the author. And me the author is like a magnet. Attracting thoughts from the surroundings. It’s just that some things, I simply can’t write down, some things are worse than how I can phrase it. I try to take look at my self in the mirror. I see nothing. I try to open, but I have no filters. It’s all or nothing, and this night? This night, it’s too much. Some things… some things, are just the way they are. The newspapers and Twitter makes you consider suicide at least twenty times before I even consider to write another book, another tweet or even updating your Facebook page. Fuck it. I’m just filled with doubt and having that sensitive vibe going.

I shut my note-book, orders a whisky and the guy gives me a wry grin. It’s not an unusual ritual.

“Having a rough night John?” He asks with a smile and pours me a triple, cheap blend with ice and a small lemon twist and a coke on the side.

“Yeah, every night Damon” I say and nods my thanks. “Shit is real and stuff you know.” I say.

“Yeah, I hear you bro” he says and scopes up the money I laid down for the drinks.

As he reaches for the change in the cash register, I stop him with a gesture.

“We’re good Damon” I say with a thankful nod and sips my abhorrent whisky, that would probably make a Scottish distillery worker cry. I know Damon charged me a single anyway, so a healthy tip is alright.

I turn around and another guy comes up on stage. Same little ritual: he hugs the woman, gives the drummer a nod and a slower heavy beat is starting. He starts slowly, forcefully and build up as the other instruments fill in the void. His voice gives place to the music and goes back to small rhymes, some short lines and the music is tripping all over the place. I do that white man digging again, but with a grin. So fuck ‘em, I like this shit. It’s good and I don’t have to solve the biggest mystery for a detective story tonight, what the fuck to write. Tonight, I just know that music killed the inspiration for murder.

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I as in I as in Introvert but mostly just an Individual…

The last days, a word has started to pop-up and mess around in my head. Introvert. The name isn’t exactly a diagnose, nor is it easily put on somebody as a label. Some people have it but far from all. The label can do more harm than good however since it can turn out to be a fulfilling prophecy of sorts. I.E you start to live like it because you heard it, or were called it.

img_20170207_093022For me, it means that I feel uncomfortable with things like “27 things only introverts understand” etc. i do understand a lot of them, but not all. My Psychiatrist said that’s because everybody are introvert and extrovert. Only those with other diagnoses usually tend to have the diagnosis of being an introvert. Still, in my case, having fatigue syndrome, the introvert aspects of my life will get sort of enhanced due to the side effects of my other illness. Being also a bit of a loner and not the happiest fella in on the block sure does put a damper on things. So, understanding those things are another thing. Being introvert and having the need to recharge after long, or even short, instances of social living or being in a room or place with lots of other beings makes sense. So, I may be or may not be it.

That however makes more sense. The ‘not knowing’ have been my signum comment since after puberty. I just don’t know. I’m a living dadaist waiting for opportunities to fall down on me and I roll with them. Great, some of you might think. Not so great, I have to admit. It works when you are in the right areas, the right fields, with the right people but when you are not? Not so damn good. For me, the best things in life have just happened, they turned up and I said more or less, well OK, let’s go with that. When I have had to strive, worked or fought my ass off to get something I want? Well, disaster might not be the word for it, but not far from it. I don’t think that I have really succeeded in pursuing any goals that I have felt determined or have longed for really. Not purposefully, achieving them. Not one. And if I did, I mean, there may be a few that’s on the fence, I haven’t felt happy or that exhilarating feeling of success. Exhilaration is a feeling I haven’t felt often at all really.

So, I as in I am an Individual, one that just happens to be is frustrating because I try to tell myself I have no dreams, no goals. And truthfully, they are not really there. The ones that may come up? Oh, I squash those ones, quickly and purposefully. And that, I’m, very good at. Sort of the quality you shouldn’t be cheerful for possessing. Anyone needs a demotivator? Anyone too happy? I can help.

So introvert? Yeah, I do have a strong part of that right now. Helps in a way when I try to write. I do write. A lot, I just don’t post it for anyone to see, because, you know, it’s most likely rubbish and nobody going to read it anyway. Oh, did I tell you that I also suffer from a life long low self-esteem? Well, I do. Doubt is strong in this one. But I do write, and type and do my little mind-maps – which I to some degrees caught up ion my own little world put no heed to. I do try to keep all the names there and connections and stuff so that I get at least that correct.

Tips on writing? I have only two: Find out who you are writing for. Yourself? An audience or to get rich and famous or for who? The other is the standard boring answer, but always write. Make it a habit. If you want to make it, I guess you have to become anti-me, you have to learn the business, you must have a really nice unique lovable idea, a good language, a damn good self-esteem, handle critique very well, have an agent, be great at correcting and writing proper grammar or the one thing I don’t have at all: Lucky.
For me, I’m lucky I have decided that I wrote for me. I do fear to delve into that reason though since the quick questions that follows are of course, why? Is it to keep my latest escape make up world come alive and swallow me up from trying to get an ordinary life? Do I escape the hell around me already? Yeah, about that… I’ll have a cup of the, and might be back on that later on…

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