gridlore: Old manual typewriter with a blank sheet of paper inserted. (Writing)
[personal profile] gridlore
Kirsten pointed me to 750 Words. This is my first try.

Testing one, two, three... I'm starting this as an exercise in getting words on the page, so to speak. Procrastination is my biggest foe. I find excuses to do anything but write. I need to check Facebook, I've got a good game of Civilization 6 going, whatever. The point is I want to write, and I want to get published.

One of the highlights of my life was writing GURPS Traveller: Ground Forces. It was a struggle, and Having someone like Steve Jackson, a legend in the gaming industry, write "STUPID, remove this" on your draft submission was not encouraging. But I soldiered on, pushing myself to make this book, the one I was destined to write, the best book I could.

And it paid off. Ground Forces was well received and I'm shocked at how people consistently rate it as one of the best Traveller products ever. I've had people come up to me and ask for autographs. At the 2014 Burning Man, I actually met a fan of my work in the plaza at the base of the Man. It's rather strange but satisfying.

That was 17 years ago. Oh, I have my excuses. I was working as a truck driver and was too tired to write. No gaming company wanted what I was offering. I was too sick to write, or had too much to do. The simple fact is that I was putting things off because as usual, my fear of failure was pushing me to not even try. This is a problem I've dealt with all my life. Rather than attempt something and accept failure, I've avoided the possibility of being embarrassed by my failures.

But now I'm running out of excuses. I'm also running out of time. In 2013 I suffered a stroke. That, and my other copious health problems, have made me aware of my own mortality. I need to do the work so I can say "I am a published science fiction/fantasy author" before I die. Just like holding that first copy of Ground Forces in my hands was magical, I expect that seeing my name on table of contents for a magazine like Analog or Strange Horizons would be equally amazing.

A Hugo Award wouldn't hurt, either. Just saying.

So, I'm going to write daily. Much of it will be gibberish. Much of it will suck rocks through a bendy straw. No matter. The stuff I like will be shared on my Dreamwidth. The other stuff . . . well, let's just say I'm happy that 750 words is private. This will also be useful for my writing group, as I'm expected to show up at each session with something to read. This will let me keep up with my amazing friend Rafael, a 93 year old USMC veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, who never fired a shot in anger in his career. The Marines found out he could type when he entered the service in 1943, and that sealed his fate. Rafael shows up every week with multiple pieces, sometimes as many as eight or nine, that he types out on an old typewriter. Surely I can keep up with him! Maybe.

What am I going to write about here? Some of it will be stuff like this, stream of consciousness thoughts and ideas. I'll be doing some world building for a setting I'm working on. I might review books and movies. Sometimes, I'll just rant about something. Most of the time I'll be trying to hone my story-telling skills. I need to work getting my words to paint a picture. I know I can do it. When Ground Forces came out there was one piece of art that made me squeal with joy. i had written a description of how prospective Imperial Marines began their combat training with spears and knives, to hone their awareness of their surroundings and build a hunter's instincts. One of the artist drew two marines pushing through thorny vines with spear, and the sheer look of exhaustion on their faces was *exactly* what I was going for. I believe I pointed at the picture and said "those are my words!"

This is the challenge I set for myself. A daily ritual of getting words out of my damaged brain through to my blazing two-fingered typing and onto the screen. I honestly don't know where this will lead. I do get badges for keeping up the work, and National Novel Writing Month is coming up again in November, so maybe this year I'll see it through.

As always, I'm thinking of it as an adventure.
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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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