Archive: February 7, 2019

February 7

Writer’s Block And Social Impact

Writer’s block is another name for performance anxiety. Heard this little line today and it hit a chord. I think of writer’s block as being sourced in perfectionism, but I didn’t connect perfectionism to performance anxiety. I should have.

I like to tell myself I’m in this unique circumstance, right? Losing brain cells, dopamine receptors, etc, from low dopamine, and then getting the opportunity to grow them back. The giant amounts of inflammation creating pressure on my brain from mold toxicity and allergies suddenly alleviated. It’s a freaking rebirth in a lot of ways. But did I come out of all that struggle better? What about more secure? I mean, I can actually measure my ability as being improved, my understanding, my cognitive function and skills all improved, but am I acting like someone secure in that knowledge? No.

I’m afraid. It’s such a foreign fear compared to the physiological signs of anxiety I lived with for so long. Allergies, inflammation, even the Parkinson’s all gave my these chemical and physical feelings of anxiety. Lol, not to mention the PTSD (apparently even after 30 years of having it, once cured you can forget it even had a damn impact!) What I feel when it comes to perfectionism doesn’t feel like fear, but depression. Like a dark wall that makes me reluctant, that steals my energy and tries to distract me with anything but the truth of what I want to be focused on. My circumstances might be justified as unique–I can rationalize why I’m in this place–but the reality is far more mundane.

I don’t know who I’m supposed to be. I don’t know how my writing will reflect on me as a person: if I’m good at it does that give me value? I mean, seriously, it’s like being back in grade school. Earn a gold star and you’ll be worthy of love and praise, right? I don’t know if I’m good enough to convey what I want to convey as a writer. I don’t know if I’m wasting my life. I don’t know if I’m taking the right path. I don’t know–fuck, I don’t know a lot of shit.

Ultimately, none of these questions really matter. It’s just the brain seeking a point of reference and wanting to compare, to judge, to weigh for the sake of doing it. When you realize you’re on a planet in a universe that is likely infinite in scale and therefore you will never have an actual point of reference because there is no static place, you realize this is just something the brain does to help you feel secure. They’re just concepts in my head trying to define the thing I do every single day to be something else, something heavy and weighted with meaning that only exists in my brain. Insecurity defines life with pointless meaning to help us feel secure. It is shit when you’re unaware and that meaning becomes toxic, such as deciding if you don’t write 8,000 words a day, you’re a horrible writer who doesn’t deserve to succeed. This is the dark side of human evolution. What allows us to conceptualize things such as quantum mechanics and have deep psychological thoughts is also what traps us into pointless, neurotic exercises placed on daily activity. It leads to depression and dissatisfaction when surrounded in perfect beauty.

I think I understand why the people who appear to get past this problem are very focused on a social impact to what they do. When I first observed this, I assumed it was marketing, branding, etc, and it turned me off because of it. I saw creators pushing these ideas of social uplift but I didn’t believe it came from a place of genuineness but just a sale’s pitch. Now–at least, with certain individuals–I see how wrong that is. Social value helps to drown out the inner insecurities that can plague a mind.

When I talk about censorship, it’s not from a place of anger because my livelihood is threatened and it feels like the world is unfair (although those feelings are there and very real) but from this place of compassion for the world and people in it. I understand 100% how damaging shame is, how detrimental to emotional and mental well being, and I see how censorship and banning of erotica leads to shame, to self hate, to very normal, healthy individuals left to feel like outsiders and freaks because of something as basic as their fantasies not being accepted in the consumer market on major book platforms. When books are banned, it’s not just the authors of those books, but the readers being told ‘what you like is not acceptable. Go away. You don’t belong here.’

When I focus on the cruelty and pain such a message sends, do you think the petty, pointless insecurities in my head can stand a fucking chance? No. My waffling, gotta be good at what I do or I haven’t earned my gold star doesn’t fucking matter at all. Does it break through my fears that my readers won’t enjoy what I’m writing if I don’t take the most amount of time to make it as perfect as possible? Eh… I wish. I really do. I’m working on it.

It is a place of insecurity I have found myself in as my health returns, and I’m still running down all the damn paths as to why and how to break through. But I have faith I’m going to get there eventually because if there’s one thing I know about myself, I will face the darkest corners of my psyche until I get all the blocks out. I am committed to growth, to joy, to fun, and to creating as much as I can and helping people feel comfortable in their own brains and bodies no matter how fucking wrong, and cruel, and dickish society and the many systems in there can be. No one should want to kill themselves over a sex fantasy. No one should fear losing their jobs, their houses, their families, their lives over the things they fantasize about. No one should be exiled from the world be it the Internet or their personal little bubble over the shit in their heads.

So, yeah, I gotta get the fuck over my own mental stuff so I can help with that, ya know? Plenty of people think this stuff, they know it’s commonsense to not discriminate against sexual fantasies, etc, but few are in a place to make any kind of a difference. Instead we’re seeing people in places of power who are censoring away any mention of sexual fantasies they don’t feel should be allowed to exist. The wrong voices are being heard even if they’re not the most prevalent. I am an anomaly and for whatever reason, here I am at the age of 36 after years of health problems finding myself with a platform, a reader base, a brain that’s actually working properly, and the compassion and fearlessness to take this shit on. So yeah, I have goals. Goals bigger than me even if right now it feels like I’m battling myself more than anything else.

There’s no point wishing for the world to change. If you want a better world, you gotta put the work in and help to recreate it as an accepting, loving, compassionate place. You can’t change society if you’re not being a voice in society. Society is just every single one of us with only a few speaking their truth. And shit, yeah, I guess at this point in my life, this is the way I’m hoping to change the voice of society: with dirty, naughty, rough, dark and taboo sexual fantasies. I know there will be plenty of people who don’t understand it, who will only see what’s on the surface. But I’m here to save the world with sin. Sexy, freeing, SIN.

Rigid rules and shame have no place in the mind and body. Until we can free ourselves from the mental prisons society and we ourselves have put us in, humanity can’t move forward. There are too many giant problems we’re facing on a global scale to allow ourselves to be frozen any longer over such basic, primitive things such as how we perceive our sexual urges in our minds and bodies and if they’re ‘acceptable.’ It’s actually crazy to think we’re still fighting this when we as human beings have had these fantasies since the dawning of our species. What a waste when we could have been enjoying these aspects of our minds from the very beginning. What a waste to have the modern world embrace it only to have a few repressed, frightened, judgemental voices censoring the very Internet to try and ensure people stay broken and ashamed and unaccepting of their very bodies.

Someone has to say enough. Someone has to be willing to be loud and normalize what is already normal in every psyche out there. So, yeah. Goals, babes. Who I’m going to have to be to reach those goals isn’t fully formed yet, but I’m working on it. I’m pretty sure she’ll be kickass and loud once she gets her shit together. XD


February 6

Hiccups… maybe?

So, transferring the membership site is going to be a fuck ton more work than previously expected. Mostly because the current software refuses to export to a CSV properly and they have little to no info about how to fix it. Which means making everything by hand, including user profiles. =_= Fuck me.

I gave myself a deadline this time around because this shit has to get done. I’ve put it off too long and I’m unwilling to subject any more members to this bullshit. So yeah, I’m hoping to allow this to go as smoothly as possible, but I suspect once everything is switched over (hoping within the week but that might be really fucking optimistic) everyone is going to be sent a new password.


February 5

Fear Of Loss. Fear Of Love.

I was watching a video—I want to say the speaker was a negotiator—and he said this in passing. When trying to understand what a person wants, some people are afraid of loss, and some people are afraid of love. It was this blip of a sentence he didn’t really go into, and yet so freaking profound. It’s also very interesting in the case of character development in stories.

In romance, there are a few types of stories out there, some that never really made sense to me personally even as I could readily accept they were well accepted within their community of like minded readers. I couldn’t understand the appeal. As a reader first, I never felt anything for these characters, which was partly why I turned to writing. I wanted to create characters who reflected an internal psyche I understood. I think at the core, all my characters fear love.

Fearing love requires a different character dynamic. Romance is not necessarily fun, a gift, soul mates meeting and everything sunshine and roses. It’s not even a focus on the quirk of falling in love with cutesy setups like buying a date for charity or a genie granting a love wish. These types of characters don’t want love. They’re not hanging out waiting for cupid to strike—if it’s a meat market, they are aware and miles away. Love and/or human connection is actually rather terrible, something to be avoided at all costs.

Dark romance is a safe genre to explore this kind of dynamic. There is less expectation of vulnerability. Opening this type of character’s heart is like opening a damn safe, and there will be blood, sweat, and tears to get there. It doesn’t fit well with normal romance where the characters are usually seeking love, desperate for it, so welcoming and open. For those who fear love it is the most sickly-sweet display and just doesn’t ‘feel’ right. These sweet characters fear losing love and are willing to cling so damn tight it’s just offensive to the sensibilities of someone who fears being clung too.

It’s intriguing the psyche reflected in the dynamic between characters. It varies author to author. I think for some authors to even know they’re seen in their characters could be reason enough for them to run and never share a story again. It’s why writing can be so difficult for some, especially erotica. It’s an exposure. Even if the readers don’t understand what they’re seeing, an author reveals a lot of self in the most mundane of words. Which is why as much as I don’t get characters who so readily, openly rush toward love, I also don’t understand the books where they are turned into objects incapable of love.

I see it a lot in very dark BDSM, where relationships become roles instead of connections. I look at these stories and see so much detachment from the body, from the soul, from the emotional center of self so greatly that the very characters created are intentionally flat and dead like furniture there to be abused and nothing more. Main characters turned into dehumanized holes and flesh. Their experiences aren’t even marked as emotional, just bland endurance as a human is broken down into basic hardware, software ignored. I never really understood it until that little line kept spinning in my mind.

Fear of love.

My characters fear love, but in the same breath crave it. They’re running from something they ultimately want, which creates the internal conflict, the push and pull. I think there are some psyches so afraid of love—I suspect after experience of severe trauma—they can’t even reach for it through their characters. They feel more comfortable recreating the dark places where they went numb, cold, dead inside because that’s how they know the inner world to be. A place to freeze and be smothered instead of finding self and transformation. It’s safe there. If they can normalize it enough in the mind, they might even stop feeling lost there. It might even stop being so terrifying to look out and consider leaving such an empty place.

This is of course a narrative on my part seeing as I have no idea as to what actually crafts characters like those, just that I find them as alien as the bright, open-hearted ones who feel so freely. But I know this dark place exists, a void that I have been grateful to slip free of every time it rears. It has only been a frozen second before the instinct to battle and survive burned through, where sensation and emotion saved. Pain is a savior against dehumanizing numbness, life among the psyche’s death. I’m not a cutter, but I understand it 100%. It probably doesn’t help that the few authors I’ve spoken to who write these objectified characters seem to reflect this detachment from inner self. I suppose that’s why I jump to trauma as the source; it’s prevalent. How people deal with trauma is different, the way the psyche recreates itself to either pocket around the incident or adapt into a reflection of it; but trauma is a norm in a population that thinks it’s rare.

What character would be created when knowing, truly knowing, he feared love? Do people who fear loss hate themselves as much? To fear losing something outside you, does that mean the world is never safe, that self is found in connections instead of within? I can’t even imagine being so secure as to readily create connections to be afraid to lose. It’s such a foreign, interesting concept.


February 4

Hell yeah! Demon Arms Scene #35 musings

I found my manic joy, aka, creative fucking spirit! I’m actually really excited about how this scene is shaping up. It’s only the outline stage so I probably won’t post it until I get some serious wordcount, but I’m so happy! Already, it works so much better. The characters are seeing each other as people, probing for flaws, vulnerabilities, etc, while seeking something deeper. And flirting up a storm, which is just freaking adorable. <3

Okay, back to work, but squee! So fucking excited. See, all I had to do was let the fuck go of my previous conceptions of what it was going to be like to do this rewrite and have some damn fun!


February 4

Writing Systems

I spent my evening finally creating an Excel spreadsheet for my finances. I’d been doing a paper journal for a while now, but I figured it was time to utilize the tools I have and take a crack at Excel. I’ve used Excel before, but mostly in list building. I had a penchant for cataloguing my manga collection when I actually had a manga collection. Paper is a bit of a luxury with my severe allergies and all.

Excel is about learning a new language and then utilizing that language to create functions that allow the program to calculate simple to complex tasks so you don’t have to. It’s actually pretty damn interesting once you get past the frustration of needing to learn another computer language just to do the most simplest of tasks. It’s so specific, a comma or = in the wrong place can ruin everything and I really couldn’t find a great resource for getting exact functions for my needs, so I ended up just trial and error a lot. As I was finishing up, feeling quite content to see my numbers add up properly depending on if something was marked paid or not, I realized how writing a novel is the same as setting up a bunch of functions to calculate your finances. It’s all about those systems humans create.

For those pantsers who don’t understand the value of an outline, this part is likely lost. But if you’re a commercial writer who needs to reach a guaranteed output, you can’t fuck around hoping you’re going to come up with a good story. You need to plan. You need to learn what makes a story good, why it’s good, and figure out the tools that you have to create that result. Think of this like planning how you want your finance sheet to work, what it’s supposed to do, and then how you’re going to get there with the correct function. Before you do a thing, you’re already visualizing what you want.

Next, you plot (create your functions) with an outline. Let it take the time it needs because if anything is wrong in this step, the results just won’t work. Fixing a fatally flawed book after the fact is so much harder than creating one that has all the right elements but failed to fully reach its potential the first time around. Make sure you’re planning the story that’s going to work, that’s going to sell.

Flesh it out with a rough first draft, aka, input all your financial data from dates to amounts to background info, etc. You have to research what you must, spend the time to get all that info for each bill, figure out which bank/card account is paying for it, when, etc. It’s an investment of time, as is fleshing out a first draft, placing things where they need to be, figuring out what must happen first, choreographing scenes, figuring out where to place that emotional reveal for the most impact, etc.

After that, you don’t have a computer to do the work of going through each layer and computing, unfortunately. That’s you as a writer. But you do go through for that next draft. You’re guided by your input and outline, and you polish it out scene by scene, following those instructions to craft a book that’s going to entertain and ideally sell. But you can’t just manifest it out of thin air, you need those first steps. And when you have those first steps, and you make that plan, as a writer you know you have everything available to get to the end just so long as you are willing to invest the work and time.

That’s really the beauty of any kind of writing system. There is no ‘only way’ or magic bullet bullshit; writing systems are about the confidence and assurance they give you as a writer to know you’re going to get to the end. I write in events, breaking long novels and serials into chunks of story that interconnect to build suspense and momentum and keep readers hooked through big wordcount. I do that because I know that’s all I need along with a clear outline (even if that may come a little later–whoopsie) to ensure I’ll complete whatever project I tackle. And I can put that system mentality toward anything, be it trying to make a video game for the first time, or build a new business, throw an event, etc. As long as I can visualize, plan, plot a foundation and build off it, I know anything is achievable–even if I have to learn a bunch of ridiculously convoluted shit just to understand the language being used.

Yeah, so if you didn’t figure out I was a nerd before this, now you know. Comparing Excel spreadsheets to writing. XD I swear I’m a rebellious, wild writer of fuck fics. Totally.