Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad; whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
- John le Carre
- John le Carre
No, I'm not talking about dressing up like a G.I. Joe, a Ninja Turtle or a Power Ranger and kicking some supervillain ass. And I'm not talking about slipping on a spandex suit and running around with a cape either like these guys -
(hey, what you do in your own time is your business, I'm not judging).
It's about keeping the fire alive, the passion, that thing that keeps you working on your top secret project of revolutionary proportions when nobody but your significant other and your mom seems to give two bits about it. Everyone's got something that they're working on, creating. If not, maybe you should - it's good for you.
These days it's so easy to start something, anything. The actual challenge is in following through. And that's really what I meant by Action Figure.
Action Figure = Follow Through
So how do you follow through? When you're dead tired from your day job, you get home and all you want to do is write/paint/compose/cook or whatever the hell it is that get's you excited.
It takes discipline to stick to something especially when the speed in which modern life carries us is a dizzying pace. Surely there's people out there who are masters at juggling a 100 things in the speed of light then blog about it and still have time to eat dinner and watch a movie. Damned freaks.
What about the rest of us everyday Joes and Janes? The dayjobbers slash writers slash comic book artists slash (fill in the blank).
I don't know about you but this is how I roll. You wanna know my secret?
Keep it fun
Your definition of fun will vary from mine. Fun for me is trying new things and experimenting. Fun for me is challenging myself. Fun for me is messing with technology. Fun for me is watching movies, cooking, eating, hanging out with the family and the pets, goofing off, reading, having a good laugh - sometimes at the expense of those unfortunate enough to be in my line of target.
Without the fun factor, this site will cease to be. Completely obliterated from the face of the interwebs (This is a lie thanks to cached sites and the almighty power of the Google master).
Take the fun out of writing and blogging and trying out new tools then I'm gone baby gone. This is why I post random photos and random info over at the production journal. This is the kind of activity that keeps me stoked about dedicating most of my downtime working on the author platform deal. When I get an idea in my head there's no stopping me from trying to get that done. It's about being proactive and not sitting around waiting for people to find you and to figure out what it is you do. For me being proactive also means treating yourself well. It means surrounding yourself with people and things that inspire you.
How I prepare for a writing session.
Feed your head - with music and images and short film clips to get the wheels spinning (I usually limit to 15 minutes, otherwise it's a time-suck)
Eat right - I'm not even close to being a health nut but you won't find me eating anything too heavy before a writing session. I'll end up too sluggish and groggy. Usually a sandwich and juice is just right. And equally light snacks during quick breaks.
Take a walk - writing is a sedentary activity, a short walk usually gets the blood pumping and the mind active. Plus my dog loves me more for it.
I change into something comfy and I put my writing cap on. No really, I have a beat up black baseball cap that I put on before writing. It's turned into a weird superstition thing.
And then off I go to StoryLand.
Reward yourself for the hard work
I also reward myself for following through and getting things done. My rewards vary from - having a cigar (saved for especially big projects), an hour of goofing off in the game room playing pool or video games and drinking beer, eating junk food, taking a nap, or better yet a giant noodle bowl, mmmm, noodles.
In doing so, I've basically conditioned my brain to buckle down, focus, and produce.
The comment monster is hungry. It's your turn: What do you think? Got any personal tips and tricks you care to share? Go for it.