Wherein I Repeatedly Kick the Rules in their Jelly-Parts

Soooooooo….. March vanished. Seriously, look at your calendar, and in the space March once occupied you will see a swirling vortex of nothingness. March is an empty wind rolling across a featureless plane. March is a barren wasteland, in which nothing moves, nothing grows, and, most importantly, nobody blogs. Yeah… sorry about that. Actually, you know what, I’m gonna pull a ‘sorry, not sorry’ on this one, cause I have been fucking busy. That’s right, I haven’t just been sat on my pretty little ass watching Supernatural (Season 10, BITCHES!!!!… *ahem*). As mentioned in my last post, I have a Bachelor of Arts starting this year, and on March second University exploded in my face like a shotgun with Bugs Bunny’s finger wedged in the end.

But this problem, my friends, is two fold. You see, I have this rebellious streak roughly the size of Russia. I’m very, very not good at doing as people say, even when that thing is something I enjoy doing, like writing this blog. And when, late in February, I promised you guys a particular post (on why villains are more interesting than heroes, as those of you with powerful memories or the ability to scroll downwards know), I did the equivalent of setting myself homework and with university Elmer Fudding all over my face (Ewwwwwwww, I sincerely apologise for that image), I had enough homework already, thank you very much. Also, aside from my own personal morals and, y’know, sanity (even if mine is a pretty unique sort of sanity), pretty much the only thing that will get me to do as I’m told is the notion that BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DON’T DO THIS THING!!! and even then I will procrastinate until the last possible second before doing everything in a panicked whirlwind. I’m so used to this cycle by now that it doesn’t even stress me out any more, it’s just homework, my style. But because the main thing that actually gets me off my stupid (if pretty) butt is the avoiding of consequences, and not blogging when and what I said I’d blog has less bad consequences than getting an assignment in late, or not getting enough sleep, or not bathing and allowing my armpits to disintegrate into the fetid cesspool of excretion that lies at the centre of every human soul. Writing an apology post (or a sorry not sorry post, in my case) just isn’t as bad as all that stuff.

But here’s the thing, of all the twenty odd people who follow this blog, I’m probably the one who feels the worst when it sits here for four weeks straight and nothing happening. So why make a big deal of it? Well, thing is, I feel I weird kind of loyalty to you strange and wonderful people who follow the blog. You guys feel the need to clog up your probably already congested wordpress feed, just to have a glance at what I’ve got to say every month. And that is freaking touching. So honestly, thanks, to all the people who follow here, it really does mean a lot. I also have an obligation to give you guys what you signed up for, and deliver to your eye holes monthly doses of…. And there I’m stuck.

What is this blog about? Books? I guess, I mean book reviews are a thing that you can find here. Writing? Sure, but it has become far from the focus of this place. The unholy blackness that sits in the empty hollow where my heart should be? Meh. I think about all the things that people say make a successful blog. Like images, a regular posting schedule, a topic, and I find that this blog has none of those things. Maybe that’s why I’ve been doing this thing for almost a year and only twenty people have signed up for the ride. This is what I’m sure many people would call a ‘growing platform’ or even possibly a ‘failed blog’ but it doesn’t feel failed. And while it does seem to be growing (like half of you only joined up with the previous blog post), I’ve kind of stopped looking at this place like a ‘platform’. This isn’t some stage where I flog some stuff most of you probably aren’t going to buy, this is a goddamn street performance. I’m standing here, on the side of the information superhighway doing linguistic backflips, hoping that some of you will stop, toss a coin or two my way and continue with your day hopefully improved by the experience. But, even that is not all this blog is. This place is like my padded cell. This blog is the place where I can yell at the walls, talk to a crowd that mostly exists only in my hopes and dreams, where I can swing from a chandelier, where I can tear my hair out, let loose and for once in my repressed life show the world my odd, gooey insides. This place is all of those things. So this, dear reader, is my promise to you. I will tell you if I do stuff I would like you to throw money at (if you can afford it), I will dance for your amusement, I discuss the books and T.V shows and movies that I am currently obsessed with, I will call genitals ‘jelly-parts’, and brains ‘pink-squish’ and eyes ‘eye-holes’ because I can, because fuck success. Success is arbitrary, and ultimately more than a little meaningless. This will never be a ‘successful’ blog, with hundreds of thousands of followers, and sponsorships and all that other jazz. People have done that, and they can keep doing it. I have twenty people hanging onto my tail as we swing from the chandelier in the middle of this padded room. As long as this place is fun, then it is successful, as long as this place is safe, then it is successful, as long as I keep posting more than a couple of times a year, this place is successful.

So, dear reader, hang on tight or get off. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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The Need to Do (a ramble about motivation)

So motivation has been a big struggle for me recently. Not just motivation to write, but motivation to do do anything, motivation to wash my clothes, motivation to wash myself, motivation to get up in the morning, motivation to eat. Motivation to do much of anything besides lie in bed and watch Supernatural all day (nearing the end of season 5, it’s bated breath and cold sweat good, for the most part). Of course I don’t sit around all day and watch Supernatural (most days. I am a weak willed sack of monkey meat and sometimes the siren call is too much), instead I aimlessly surf the internet looking for enough dopamine to make the hours of pointlessness worth it… but it never is.
Instead both Friday and Saturday last week I wrote a thousand words of my novel. Not only that, but I fleshed out my outline a bit and learned more about my world. I need not tell the writers out there how good that feels. It’s a flood of happy hormones injected right into your pink-squishy grey matter, by your pink-squishy grey matter. It is a call to arms against the apathy that has plagued me pretty much since the end of school last year. I have been lethargic and despondent, and I put it down to not having a set in stone plan for the coming year (a situation that had since changed, Bachelor of Arts FTW!!!) but even since I have been accepted into my Bachelor of Arts, which sorts out my next three years for me, actually doing anything still seems to not being on the agenda. Until last week.
Last week I put together two pieces of flatpack furniture, because I really needed a new desk and the poor little cane ‘bookshelf’ (that was originally intended to be a shoe rack, but it was nineteen dollars and flat enough to hold books) was all but falling apart at the workload I was putting on it. So I retired the little guy and replaced it with one of those handy dandy cube storage units cunningly turned ninety degrees sideways so it would fit under my window. That and the fact that I’ve recently been reorganising my bedroom/office had led me to a conclusion…
It feels way better to do something, ANYTHING, than it is to do nothing, BUT it’s way easier to just do nothing and watch the world go by than it is to actually take on/complete a project, and all too often being the easier option is all it takes.
Another example, I could watch Supernatural as I eat dinner tonight, or I could read the wonderfully poetic book that I picked up at a closing down sale of a local bookshop the other day (a phenomenon of book stores closing down is one that gives me mixed emotions, because on the one hand you have a book store closing down, always a tragedy, but on the other you have really, really cheap book. ARRRRGH!! THE CONFLICT THAT RAGES IN MY SOUL!!!… ahem. Moving on). This book, The Age of Orphans by Laleh Khadivi is spectacular, but the language, while gorgeous, requires mental activity to equate the beautiful, beautiful words to the action. With Supernatural (or any other kind of TV… if you’re into that kind of thing) there is no such process. The action is right there in front of me with everything explained neatly and simply for a mass-consuming audience, and yet, reading Age of Orphans not only makes me realise that you can be poetic without straying into overdone purple prose, but presents a captivating tale of a young boy dealing with one of the most turbulent times the middle east has ever known. I can feel my understanding growing as I read it, and I know it will impact my writing in the best possible way and yet… I want to watch Supernatural.
So often we don’t do things because they’re hard. For years now, I have a avoided coming out as bisexual to one vast majority of my family who I really, really don’t think will have good reaction. It’s hard and I don’t want to do it. But one day, I will have to, just because that level of deception is just not a sustainable or healthy way to conduct any relationship. And it is the same, albiet with less potential for shouting matches around the dinner table, with writing.
It’s hard, but we all need to suck it up and just do it, because it’s important. Important to our mental and physical health (not saying writing will give you an awesome six pack or anything, but doing something that you are proud of, even just a little bit, every day must have a good impact on something physical, right? Like the old psychology adage, ‘everything mental is physical’). And if this week has taught me anything, it’s that the best motivation is momentum. I started out by rearranging my room, which let me to buy and put together new furniture, which led to finally getting a desk space I am happy with, which led to me writing more, which led me to reading more and that whole thing has led me to write this blog post. A thing that I am proud of, and that must be having a good effect on my brain because I feel way more active writing this now than I did watching that episode of Supernatural earlier today (like I said, weak-willed sack of monkey meat).
As people we must do to keep on doing, once something is set into motion it will stay in motion until something stops it, and once it is stopped it will stay stopped until something moves it (Newton’s Laws of Motion: helping to create motivational speeches and blog posts since 1642). And here’s a thought, that thing that always moves or stops this metaphorical object that is your motivation, is you. Not to get all ‘self-help: the power within’ cliché here, but the outside world can only give you the idea to push yourself away from Sam and Dean Winchester, it’s you that sets that ball rolling. Always. And that, is pretty damn amazing. But once the ball is rolling it’s just as easy (a lot of times way easier) to stop it again, but then, dying can sometimes seem easier than living, and everyday people choose the harder option. Why? Because life is important, your life is important, because no matter how lethargic you are now, you will do things in your important life, and doing things is important, and there are some important things that only you can do (like write YOUR book, for example). So go out there, and DO a THING. Because it’s important, and also because the dopamine rush is really, really good.

Tune in next time when we may or may not discuss villians vs heros and why Batman is cooler than Superman, but why Hannibal Lecter is cooler than both of them.

Till then, thing doers, I bid you good luck in all the things you end up doing (…*snicker* GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER)

Ashlee