The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘writing’

Resolutions for 2017

2017! That’s nuts.

Anyway, last year wasn’t all that great for me as far as self-improvement. I have the easy and ready excuse of my wife and I moving from Texas to Colorado at the very end of  December, 2015, so 2016 was spent adjusting to a new home, and a new job (two stressful things – especially the job).

One thing that stands out is that I hardly read! I played more video games, I think, so those two things combine to show that I was choosing escape over engaging my brain in anything.

This year I’d like to get back on track.

***

I have forced my hand on the work out front by signing up for a 25 mile trail run. This will be difficult. Really difficult. You go up hills, down hills, up hills, down hills, etc … What have I done?

That’ll force me to work out the first half of the year, hopefully I’ll keep it going for the second half. Now, let’s get to brass tacks.

  • I will read at least 18 books
  • I will volunteer 12 times (once a month would work well)
  • I will do six new hikes. (Colorado, I am failing to take advantage of your beauty!)
  • I will get to know my fancy new camera and take it out and try my best to take awesome pictures

What’s that Corporate Brad, you want to talk stretch goals?

  • Because I’ll be trained up for a 25 mile trail run, it’d be nice to do a marathon, but that’ll depend on how I am feeling after the 25er
  • It would also be fun to do a relay race or a mud run kind of thing for funsies
  • I’d like to get back to writing more … I do three blog posts a week, which is nice, but it’s somewhat of a consistent low grade effort. I would like to pick up my NaNoWriMo book that I started 2 years ago and finish it, or some other book I have worked on but it could use a revisit. That’d be a good thing.
That’s it for my resolutions. How about you?

8,000 Short

My great NaNoWriMo experiment is over! The grand result, 42,000 words written in 30 days. Well, 28 days. I started a day late and I didn’t even try on the last day.

I came home to Arizona to see my family for Thanksgiving and I had to do 4,500 words a day in order to finish. Day 1? No problem! Done during the airport wait and flight! Day 2 … uh oh. Day 3 … worse. Day 4, absolutely nothing.

Despite my failure to reach the goal I am really happy I tried this. It was fun, everyone was very encouraging (I only made it to one writing event but I’m glad I went). And most importantly, it forced me to write. Even on days when I wasn’t feeling it at all I sometimes turned out material that I felt ok with. I am confident that for every 10 sentences I write, 9 are drivel. It’s only logical then for me to write a whole lot of sentences. Also, I’m pretty happy with the story I’m writing.

Bragging note: I thought of the story idea on November 1. On the 31st I thought and thought, and boom, November 1 it came to me! I didn’t start writing that day, which brings me to my next topic:

Lessons Learned/Tips for Future Self/Others

  • Sometimes I would think, “I need to do 2,000 words today … But I don’t think I can do that … I’ll make it up tomorrow.” Don’t do that! Instead write every day, even if it’s just 500 words. If I had done 500 words on the days I did 0 … That would’ve been smart.
  • If you go to a writing event, and someone tells you their plot and it sounds like humor to you, DON’T say that assumption out loud. It may lead to this hypothetical person saying, “actually it’s not humorous at all” in a very serious way. And then you have silence. Whoops.
  • Sketch out the outline as you can, and then don’t worry about it so much. I began to be frustrated that I was realizing later parts I would like to add in, make a note and move on.
  • If a part is not coming to you, make a note and move on to write the next part (this was difficult for me).

 

I fully plan to try this again next year, and in the meantime I will finish up the book I have started!

Have You Tried This?

Sometimes I come up with an idea for a post for my blog and I think, hey, this is actually pretty good. Then, this may seem confusing, I think, this is too good for my blog …

My ultimate goal is to get published (as I’ve written about a few times … here, and here for example). With that in mind, it makes sense that I would want to do something else with my occasional gems (or at least what I consider to be gems).

One complaint I have is that I wish there were more places to submit my brand of weird. I feel like I would have better luck if I was a dramatic/full of confusing symbolism short story writer, or a sci-fi writer – it seems like there’s oodles of that stuff. And poetry? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a goofball poem in a magazine, just the serious and artsy stuff. (The type that I read and say, “I really like the language in this poem but I have no idea what it’s saying.”) A number of magazines I have looked through to see if they would accept submissions from someone with my style have not panned out.

What’s My Point?

I do have a few places that I send things to. I figured I would write a post on this because it might force me to look up more magazines/popular online sources and then maybe I would quit being lazy and send more submissions out with fingers and toes crossed.

Bonus: I’ll be a kind internet neighbor to other quirky humor/oddball bloggers out there and share places that I think are a good fit for that particular category.

Here’s Where You Can Send Your Brilliant Quirky/Humor Story:

Shouts and Murmurs, New Yorker

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Mad Magazine (I have to be honest, I haven’t read one of these so I haven’t researched this … I think you need some art attached and I stink at drawing so I’ve never looked into them seriously)

Cracked.com (I’ve only read occasional things here and they haven’t been the type I write … I should look at this more though …)

McSweeney’s Quarterly (I’m reading an issue for the first time now and it seems like more literary fiction)

The Believer Magazine (I just subscribed to this so … I’ll get back to you, but I’m guessing memoir type essays)

 

If you are reading this and you know of another great source for that kind of writing, please let me know!!

If you add a good source in the comments I will be sure to link back to your blog/twitter/whatever when I add your revision to my post.

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