Tag: May Challenge

Challenge Completed!

At the start of this month, I challenged myself to write a new 800-1650 word blog post for every day in May, by the end of the month. It is now 9:11 PM on May 31, and this will be my 31st and final blog post for this month, completing my challenge!

 

  1. May Challenges, Past and Present
  2. Where Do I Get My Wonderful Ideas
  3. So You Have An Idea
  4. A Burgundy Evening
  5. You Know The Tune
  6. Being An Invisible Writer
  7. The Nature and Nurture of Pain
  8. Twitter, Huh, What Is It Good For?
  9. Why I Don’t Write Reviews For My Fellow Erotica Authors
  10. Why He Thinks You’re Pretty
  11. Finding Words & Thoughts
  12. Got Mentioned in the “Loving BDSM” Podcast!
  13. NOT In A Single Word
  14. Why I Don’t Use Trigger Warnings
  15. In Which I Battle Myself To Write This
  16. “This Has Never Happened To Me”
  17. How To Suck Your Own Cock
  18. Rejection Letters
  19. Stop Kinkshaming Ammosexuals
  20. Aaron Gold’s “Don’t Mind If I Don’t” Podcast
  21. Myself As Well
  22. Avatars & Objects
  23. Is It Okay To Fantasize About Being Raped?
  24. Hobbies, Skills, and Passions
  25. Is It Okay To Fantasize About Raping People?
  26. Is It Okay To Write Rape Fantasies?
  27. How To Have An Orgasm (Solo)
  28. How To Have Multiple Orgasms (Males)
  29. How To Write An Orgasm
  30. Where To Start The Story
  31. Challenge Completed!

I started my Goodreads Blog (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7514047.Richard_Bacula/blog)  

on April 16, 2014. Between that day and April 30, 2018, I had managed to write a whopping FIVE blog posts:

1. Jagermeister Night

  1. How To Be As Sexy As A Dead Deer
  2. The Nature of Storytelling
  3. Size Is Everything
  4. “Amazon.Com Has Rejected Your Product Review”

 

I’ve never been good at blogging, but it’s something that one needs to do in order to create a platform and to let the world know that you exist, and that you’re interesting. So this year–after utterly failing last year’s challenge–I got the idea of writing blog posts instead of erotic stories. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been a success.

I increased my total blog content by six fold, I got to say a lot of things that I apparently wanted to say, and I had fun. I mean, I’m tired, but it’s been fun doing this! I have more of a feel for writing blogs, and I have more practice now. This makes me more likely to write more in the future.

One of the other things that makes me more likely to write more blogs in the future is that I now have a WordPress blog set up in addition to my original GoodReads blog. It’s a better website, with lots of neat features that have helped me out, and that I think will help me out in the future.

One of the problems that I’ve had as a writer became painfully clear to me this past month: I’m not a tortoise–I’m a hare. I’m not slow and steady; I’m fast and furious. I can get a lot done in a limited amount of time, but then I tire out, and I turn to other things. Usually, the chaos of my life and my Fucking Day Job take hold, and lots of time passes before I get back to whatever writing project I was on last.

When it comes to attracting blog audiences, you need to produce regular content, and getting to the keyboard on a regular basis just isn’t my thing. I’m not capable of doing that until I can write full time, and don’t have all the distractions that I have now (like paying rent). But what I can do is to, next chance I get, write a bunch of new blog posts like I’ve done this month, and to have WordPress automatically post them at regular intervals. I can sprint, then I can rest while WordPress tortoises on for me.

That makes me a LOT more enthusiastic about blogging!

Also, I live for feedback. One of the things that has kept me motivated this past month is watching all the Notifications about people around the world Liking my posts, Following my blog, and generally noticing that I exist. This hasn’t translated to sales, but enthusiasm and morale is just as important in many ways. So I say this:
If you want me to keep writing this blog regularly, give me feedback!!

I can use the help to nudge me in this direction. It doesn’t have to be Comments on my posts (although those are ideal and awesome!). You can just send me a tweet @RichardBacula, or an email RichardBacula@Gmail.Com, letting me know that you read something I wrote here, and what you thought.

At this point, 9:37 PM on May 31, everything is written. Some of it won’t get published on WordPress until tomorrow or later, and it’ll be later still before I get everything up on clunky old Goodreads. This might be my last blog post for a while, or it might not. Part of that depends on you, and part depends on me.

Thanks for your support this past month!

(I’m gonna go drink until I pass out.)

In Which I Battle Myself to Write This

“You don’t have to write anything,” I told myself. “All you have to do is to open up a new tab with Google Docs in it.”

Yesterday, I wrote something like 4-6 blog posts, which started catching me up on my goal. I figured I could probably get ahead of schedule today, without much effort. But everything has been effort today.

It hasn’t been a bad day; it’s been an inert day.

I’m not in a bad mood; I’m just effectively paralyzed by… I don’t know what. My mind, I suppose. My ADD is full throttle, so I’m constantly distracted by stuff. I’ll sit down at the computer, and three hours will have passed. What happened during that time?

It’s a mystery.
I looked up obscure shit on Wikipedia. I argued with some twat who was wrong about something stupid, and who won’t learn anything from the experience of me walking them step by step through the echoing halls of their own ignorance. I watched some pointless videos on YouTube. I pissed most of my day away, doing nothing.

And even as I told myself that there was still time to accomplish something productive today, I told myself back that I didn’t want to do anything productive. I want to do nothing. I want to do glorious nothing all day, all week, and for the rest of my life.

It’s a trap that I’ve fallen into before, and it can be hard to get out of.

So I’ve learned to fool myself into being productive. I tell myself that I can always procrastinate later, that I need to do something, just ONE thing, then I can get back to the abyss of mindless online nonsense. Or I can watch something on Netflix. Or I can pet the dogs for an hour. Or I can stare out the window, or at a wall. But I have to do one thing first: I have to open a tab with a blank Google Document in it.

This is a trick, and I know it. Fortunately, I’m stupid enough to fall for it, and I’ve been writing non-stop for over two minutes now. I’ve battled me before, and I know a lot of my weaknesses. A blank page is one of them. I’m compulsed to put something on it, and once I have that something, I’m compulsed to add to it.

My ADD, and my OCDish tendencies can cut both ways, and against my worst judgment, I use them to cut my way slowly forward, to make myself do something productive.

My doubts kick in. Is this even a good blog post?
I parry with my own laziness: it doesn’t matter if it’s good. As I learned in school, “D” means Done.
My anxiety lashes out at me. Am I saying any of this right? What if it nobody knows what I’m talking about? What if it offends people somehow? What if….
I dodge the attacks, using my own procrastination to avoid even thinking about the questions, let alone answering them.

And here I am, 511+ words down, with a minimum goal of 800.

Things are flowing faster now, and I’m getting into the zone a bit. I’m able to type out my thoughts freely. I’m in familiar territory, because I’ve fought myself this way many, many times before. I’m fighting an enemy so familiar that we might as well share the same brain, except the enemy IS my brain, or parts of it.

I spend a few minutes trying to look up an applicable quote, something somebody once said about attaching a yoke to their own lusts. It was an eloquent idea, and a sound strategy, but all I’m getting right now are Bible quotes, and I’m pretty sure none of them are close to what I have in mind.

The point of the quote–and of this blog entry, if there is one–is that when you understand that you can be your own worst enemy, and when you study this enemy, you can adapt to an extent, and you can overcome yourself. I’ve spent depressingly close to half a century analyzing my own thoughts and actions, watching myself carefully to figure out how I’ve screwed myself up in the past, and how I’ll screw myself up in the future.
I suspect that I’m not the only one who has this kind of problem, the problem of self-sabotage, the problem of being my own enemy.

I suspect that I’m not the only one who uses this kind of solution, manipulating myself coldly toward my own agenda of self-improvement and productivity.

But I also suspect that there are many people out there that don’t have it down as well. I didn’t, decades ago. I get a little better every year. And I wish somebody had told me, had shown me, many years ago how I could fool myself into being more useful in my own life.

As a writer, the first step is always to look at a blank page.

That’s often also the hardest step, because the thought of a blank page is sometimes the scariest thing in the world, something that you’d rather kill your entire day–and even eventually your lifespan–than to face head-on.
So break it down, to the basics.
Set your goals small, starting with opening up a new document.
It’s an easy goal, and you can lie to yourself that it’s the only goal, something worth doing just for itself.

But when you get there, and you’re looking at that big, white Empty, push yourself to go just one step further, just one tiny step, and
Write.

One.

Word.
If you’re like me, that’s the hardest part, the biggest demon you have to slay.
It’s a deceptively complex project (but don’t let yourself catch on to that!), because in order to write that one word, you have to have a sentence or a half-sentence ready. And once you have that first word written, it’s easier to finish that sentence than not. It’s easier to finish that half-sentence than not, and if you have half a sentence, it’s usually easier to finish that sentence than to not.
And once you have that first sentence down, the second sentence will come pretty easily, as will the one after that.
And before you know it, you’re at 1056 words, and even a D means Done.

Finding Words And Thoughts

It’s the 19th of May, and my challenge this year is to write a new blog post for each day of the month. So far, I’ve written only TEN blog posts! That’s not great. I need to catch up, and I need to do it fast. I’ve set an 800 word minimum for my posts this month, so if you’re following my blog you should probably expect to see a number of upcoming posts that are short and hopefully sweet, things that I churn out quickly in order to get to the next post.

I’ve gotten quite good at doing that kind of thing with short stories, but blog posts are a different kettle of fish. With writing short erotic fiction, especially stuff in the 800-word range, the only thing to focus on is the sex itself. There’s no time to say much else in that kind of project, although other stuff can be squeezed in. With blog posts, it’s all saying other stuff, which is less in my area of expertise than with writing highly-detailed sex scenes.

As I’ve mentioned before, the key to cranking out a lot of writing fast is learning to get out of your own way. You have to push all of your doubts aside, shove your insecurities into the basement and lock the door. You can’t spend time second-guessing or third-guessing everything that you type, because you’ve got to get through the word-count and move on to the next project, then the one after that, and so forth.

This is also where it becomes important to be what they call “fluent in writing.” Writing is a kind of language all its own, different from and more difficult than speech. Being fluent in writing means that the time it takes to translate the thoughts in your head onto the page are minimal. Ideally, you can more or less type out your thoughts as quickly as they occur.

Learning fluency in writing takes time and effort, which is why most writers hand out advice like “write every day” or “keep a daily journal” or so forth, because learning fluency takes a lot of practice. When you first start writing, it’s difficult because you have all this stuff in your head, and it’s hard to get it onto the page properly.
You might envision a tall, muscular, dark-haired man with a mustache, with a basket-hilted longsword on his hip, a cloak on his shoulders, and a top hat on his head, riding a black seventeen-hand Shire stallion with lovely brown eyes that match his light brown leather horse tack. This man is riding quickly, but not at a full gallop, and he’s in a forest of Scotch pine. The full moon is high in the sky, but the forest is still dark. He’s in a hurry to reach his true love, but he’s wary of the bandits that sometimes set upon unwary travelers in this forest.

You might, in your early years of writing, write that down as “James rode Augustus through the woods,” and then be completely puzzled why your friends and family aren’t blown away by what is–in your imagination–a very powerful scene. That’s because you haven’t learned the language of writing yet, so important details were lost in translation.

Fortunately for me, I have wasted decades of my life arguing meaningless minutia with people on online message forums. I started out on dial-up Bulletin Boards, and continue to some degree to this day. More fortunately for me, I have always had in my head an inkling that I wanted to be a writer someday, so as I was typing furiously back and forth with all those people online, I tried to use it as practice. I put forth some level of effort in everything I wrote, trying to make sure that things were well-spelled, well-punctuated, and whenever possible cleverly phrased. The net result of all this is that I am fairly fluent in the language of writing, to the point where I can usually write rather smoothly, with little to no need for serious editing or rewrites. Usually.

Another helpful factor is that I have always been a big reader, and it is always helpful when learning a new language–such as the language of writing–to immerse yourself in that language. The more you drink in, the easier it is to spit back out. You can subconsciously learn all sorts of rules and subtleties of the language that aren’t taught in school, and you find it easier to think in that language as well, minimizing the translation required to put your thoughts to paper.

All of which is to say that when it comes to blog posts, I know that I’m capable of the speed which will be required for me to catch up to my goal, and to complete my May Challenge for this year. The main obstacle will be finding enough material to write about. All the fluency in the world is of absolutely no avail when one runs out of things to say.