Tag Archives: Streak

Streak Day #34: The End

Holy hell I made it. 34 posts in a row. A post on for every single day in March. Something about setting a goal and keeping to it. Something about persistence and dedication and how it’s good or something. Hell if I know though; I’m exhausted.

Shitty cover for the story

Did I learn anything? Maybe. I think I’ll appreciate it more with some reflection. Some time to relax and ponder what has changed within me and my writing, if anything. At the very least it seems setting clear goals is a great idea and I think I might apply it to the fictional stories I’m supposedly working on. The only problem is I’m not working on them. The Morrowind story — sorry I mention it alot — keeps moving forward because I’m dedicated to posting a chapter every week. If I didn’t have this goal I doubt I’d ever work on it. You get in the rut of waiting for inspiration or for the perfect idea to come along and nothing ever gets done. I didn’t even have the next chapter written until this last Sunday, the day I had to post it on. Somehow I managed. I sat down as uninspired as ever, wrote it, edited it, and posted it. Every single Sunday (with one exception) this year has had a chapter posted. 13 weeks, 14 chapters. It’s fucking progress because I set a clear goal for myself. Check it out if you’re interested, I’m rather proud of it so far even if it does start off slow.

I’ll stress it again: SET CLEAR, OBTAINABLE GOALS AND HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE! You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Going forward I think I might do a “fictional Friday” on the other blog, maybe forcing myself to write a single story/chapter every week. I’ve said it a lot, but 52 weeks a year would give me 52 chapters, probably a few finished books. If only I had the courage to hold myself to something. Set a goal and keep at it. None of this ‘inspiration’ bullshit. Just write. Just write something and to hell if it’s good. An average story that exists is better than a story that doesn’t exist, a story that resides in your mind as some wonderful and grand story but a dream nonetheless.

So the streak is over. I gave March hell and I’m proud of myself. I didn’t reach the goal of 1,000 monthly views, but 950ish is still pretty good. Once again, close enough to get my hopes up while still falling short of the Grand Goal. I’d also like to point out that earlier in the month I predicted I’d end up with around 950 views; math sure is useful and I’m kinda proud I was as accurate as I was. Oh well, there are nine months left in the year so maybe I’ll do another marathon posting session later, a second sprint towards the goal of 1,000.

It looks amazing in graphical form!

In some ways I’m worried that 950 is better than I could’ve done considering everyone is out of work and on lockdown at home. It’s basically the perfect storm for getting blog views and maybe if this was a typical March I’d be nowhere near 950. But this is speculation and might be a way to shit on myself before I end this post. I’m always tempted to believe that any success is due to luck and any failure is due to me. Own the failures and disregard the successes. I’ll link to that self-esteem post again. At least I’m aware I’m doing it which is some sort of progress.

Pat myself on the back. “Good Job Jeremy, you’ve done it.” I’m tired. I’ve earned a break, some respite from this nonstop writing and posting. It’s been fun (“fun”) but it’s over. This is the end. Crossing the finish line after running 13.1 miles, that’s what it kinda feels like. Not that I’m done with this blog, no way. This is my stupid little baby of an ongoing project and I love getting on here to bitch. I’ll be back in a day or two or maybe a week: I have no plans. I really want to do higher quality posts that actually give useful information to my readers. Writing is always a give and take between writer and reader, and sometimes I forget that. This streak has mostly been me randomly talking about my day and I don’t think this is really useful to anyone. If you find these entertaining, cool, great, I appreciate it, but I want to provide something to those who read this stuff. Maybe I’ll work on that. I’ve had an idea for a post on how to cope with depressive thoughts, sort of like me learning from therapy and passing it onto others. That’s a good way to give back, right?

Alright I’m done. Thanks for reading, seriously. I love you guys and gals, good vibes to everyone. See you guys sometime in the nearish future!

Streak Day #28 (and some stuff about not caring)

Day twenty-seveneight. Christ. I’m getting so burned out here. Three two more days until thirty. And five more days until the end of March. No, six. Next Tuesday. Less than a week. Shit. March has thirty-one days as I’m well aware by now. I’ve never been able to recall which months have thirty-one as opposed to thirty days but if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that. March Has Thirty-One Days. I’ll never forget that fact.

Years ago I took up a project like this with running. I began January 19, 2015 and set out to run at least a mile everyday for a year. And I did it. Rain, snow, bitter cold, burning heat and humidity, day or night, sick or drunk or hungover, I ran at least a single mile everyday. I even kept going when I had my wisdom teeth removed which was totally against their recommendations, but I did it anyways. In 2015 I ran 1,236 miles over 189 hours. I kept it going in 2016 running 1,041 miles over 171 hours. This was seven days of running each year!

I kept this up until (apparently, I still have the spreadsheets I tracked everything in) February 25th, 2017, two years and a month after I started. I gave it up because it was mentally taxing to continue running everyday. I dreaded it. It wasn’t fun anymore. It didn’t feel like an accomplishment. I felt like everyday had this dread hanging over it that I had something to do — run a fucking mile — and towards the end I started doing the bare minimum. I’d run a mile slowly around the neighborhood, clocking some totally pathetic 11 or 12-minute miles. Just not giving a fuck about it until I finally threw in the towel.

In the beginning it felt like I had something I was working towards. I had a grand goal to run 365 days in a row and I was also working on training for half-marathons and actually improving my times. My first half-marathon took longer than two hours, and in the midst of my running streak I set a goal of a sub 2-hour half marathon time. I did and pulled off like a 1:40 time or something. I felt great. I felt accomplished. I went on to shave my 5k times down as well, sometimes placing in the top three of my age group. Making this adventure even more epic; I ran barefoot. Yes, barefoot. Why? Because I could. I had nothing to prove besides that it was possible. If I abused my feet enough to where I got blisters, I’d put on some Luna sandals, but nearly every run was done without footwear. The half-marathon, the 15-mile trail run at rock cut. Blistering 5k runs at a sub 7-minute mile pace. I don’t brag much but I’m definitely bragging here. I was a barefoot badass and it felt amazing.

But then I realized I was not cut out to be a runner, genetically, and that no matter how hard I worked I could never be first place or even in the top ten overall. I’m not built to be the perfect runner and no amount of practice or dedication or heart could make me run faster. There’s this thing called VO2 max that basically measures how much oxygen you can use during exercise. This is mostly determined with genetics and dictates how fast you can run. If you’re not born with exceptional VO2 max, you’re not cut out to be a runner. Sure, you can improve it somewhat, but there is a limit to how far you can go. It just isn’t physically possible if you’re not born with the genes. Once I discovered that there is some inherent limitation to what you can be as a person, albeit in terms of a physical sport, it kinda crushed my spirits. I always talk about shit like “am I born to be a writer?” or other bullshit like that, and I don’t think it applies to the arts — you can do whatever the fuck you want — but with running. Yes, you totally can be born to not be a runner. Even if you love running and it’s your passion, you’re simply not cut out to do it. It’s depressing.

I like to say I learned something from that grand adventure but I don’t think I did. If anything I learned how shitty it is trying to do something consistently everyday. It wears on you. You start to not care. You wonder what it’s all about. You wonder if your time and motivation is better spent elsewhere. I don’t have anything grand to say about feeling this way because it caused me to mostly stop running and I still have no regrets about doing so. When I stopped, suddenly I had so much more motivation. I started to write more. I started to play video games. It felt like every ounce of my being was expended daily to run a mile, and when I stopped I felt reborn in a way. Like one chapter was closed and I was ready for the next. I felt like a failure, but also like I chose to be a failure. I made a conscious decision to stop, and I did, and while there was some slight pang of regret and failure, I knew it was time.

Big rant about running aside, this is how I feel about blogging and this 30/31/33 day streak, whatever it turns out to be. I think I’ll finish March off, if I can, but I’m really starting to not give a shit. I have that same dread of waking up and forcing out a post before work. Or the dread of forcing out a post after work. I haven’t even thought about my fiction stories or the Morrowind story this week. I haven’t written in my journal .doc in three weeks. Each day is focused on thinking of a blog topic and churning it out. I feel mentally sick when I open the computer screen, the same as I felt walking outside and taking the first few lethargic steps on my mile run. But it isn’t so bad once you warm up. I’m having fun with this post, and I know I’ll have a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I tidy this thing up and post it. And I know I’ll continue on to the end of March and feel another sense of accomplishment. And then I know I won’t post more than a few posts in April. As the books I’ve been reading say, “The wheel weaves as the pattern wills.” Or something like that. Yeah.

Like with running, I’m wondering what the hell all of this is for. Am I learning anything? Am I gaining some sense of routine? Am I turning into a better writer? Am I writing more without thinking of what I’m writing? I’m getting a ton of views this month which is nice — I might break my monthly viewer record today — but is that even for anything? Is my slow decent into madness obvious to everyone that reads these or am I holding it together enough to fool people? Maybe that’s the point of this: a case-study in burnout and giving up. *big sigh* I’m rambling again and I always seem to ramble about shit like this. I don’t even recall the past three weeks of posts. What have I already talked about? What is new? Has anything been insightful? My mood today is one where I could carry on and on about everything. My antidepressants and how I’m wondering if I’ve always felt this way or if I’m somehow changed. Wondering whether this is good or bad. Pondering how March with the virus has been a great time to do this streak thing, how everything is working perfectly somehow. How I still feel trapped in limbo by something. Something about anxiety and insomnia and synesthesia. Yes, synesthesia. And cough medicine. And serotonin. Okay, I’m done with day #27. Onward!

Streak Day #26 Sucks (and bitching about coworkers)

Today is Monday, my hangover day. It being my hangover day, I’m usually dragging my ass through the day trying to scrounge up any and all motivation that I can find. I woke up at like 8 a.m., and feeling really shitty and hungover drank the remaining three Coronas (lol) from the 12-pack. I felt better and went back to sleep. I woke up at 2:20 p.m. giving me about an hour until I needed to leave for work. I chugged a Bang energy drink and sat around doing fuck-all until work.

I went to work and had another Bang energy. 600 mg of caffeine in three hours. Yeehaw. I had electricity running through my veins, a nervous shaking fueled by my hangover, caffeine, nicotine, and it being cold out. There was probably a moderate risk of me having an anxiety attack or a heart attack but I survived.

But what about the blog? Wasn’t I double-shifting tonight? Yeah, whatever, I’ll figure something out later. Put your back against the wall and fight against the midnight deadline. I’d have to post from my phone from work, but surely I could churn something out.

Work went to hell quickly with our first plane showing up a whopping two hours late. Somewhere in the two hours we got like a half-hour break and I sat in our crew van trying to muster some motivation to do anything. Read Wheel of Time? Write the damn blog post? Listen to music? I didn’t want to do anything.

And then a coworker started talking to me. Well, wait, let’s backtrack a bit.

I like to take my breaks mostly alone and in silence. I don’t eat food, I don’t socialize very much, and I try to lay low. The past year I had a tiny break room all to myself, and then we hired a bunch of seasonals that started shitting the place up. I then started bringing my bluetooth stereo thingy into work and camping out in the crew van listening to music. I had a little safe zone of solace, but apparently no place is safe anymore.

We have this one guy who I won’t name who is impossible to be around. He is literally one of the dumbest people I have ever met. Despite this, I still can’t quite put a finger on what bothers me about him, it almost seems like a little bit of everything. Something about him is so immensely frustrating and grating on the nerves that I can’t stand being around him for more than a few minutes.

So I sat there totally spacing out trying to figure out what to do. Obviously this coworker was still camped in the van for some reason. It’s not like it’s my van, my personal break area on wheels, but it also kinda is. He usually goes upstairs and lurks (sometimes in my old break room; another reason why I don’t go there anymore) but for some reason he’s been camping in the van the past few weeks.

I grabbed my book which usually means I’m about to read and he started talking to me about…you guessed it, the goddamn coronavirus. Jesus Christ. I’ve complained before that I’m sick of hearing about it; sure it’s okay to talk about in passing but I’m just sick of having big elaborate discussions about it especially since I’m losing so much goddamn money in the stock market. It’s a sore subject for me. And of course that’s what he talked to me about for ten fucking minutes. “When is this quarantine supposed to end? Yeah, I hung out with my friend yesterday — I think the media is blowing it out of proportion — the H1N1 virus wasn’t that big of a deal.” And something about the federal government and quarantines. Somehow this guy was totally lost on the fact that the states are the ones tossing up quarantines, not the federal government. Anyone ever hear of the federal system? I was about ready to scream, yet being my usual kind and thoughtful self forced myself to sort of socialize with him even though I was dying by 1,000 papercuts to my ear and my brain.

Luckily, my friend hopped in the van shortly afterwards and I gave her this fucking wide-eyed scowl and just stared at her; it was obvious what my problem was and she knew it immediately. Everyone on the crew feels the same way about this guy. Luckily I was able to direct my attention to a conversation with her and mostly ignore the other guy. I felt kinda bad but also not very bad. I hate talking to this guy and sometimes you need to look out for yourself. It sucks not being a saint or a Buddhist Monk at all times in your life, but I’m neither of those and am as flawed as anyone else. I’m guilty of being a douchebag but sometimes I don’t have the patience to suffer out of politeness.

Last week we were all in the van and I was trying to read. Another frustrating thing about this guy is he’s the type to force his way into any conversation no matter how oblique he is to it. It’s okay to be around two people talking and not be part of it if it doesn’t relate to you at all. Someone mentioned that they went out and did yard work this weekend and he had to point out that he hates gardening; he can’t make plants grow and they always die on him. Big conversation about gardening and how he’s awful at it. Okay. Someone had food in the van; he had to mention that he likes cooking and then shit all over his wife because she isn’t a good cook. She got her terrible cooking skills from her dad because he can’t cook either! Awesome bro! Good to know!

ANYWAYS, I was trying to read and he was butting into every conversation going on in the van. He even asked me what book I was reading. I said Wheel of Time and he asked if it was good. Well, I probably wouldn’t be reading it if I fucking hated it. How do you even point something as obvious like that out to someone? He then talked about how he can’t read anything that’s long or boring (I’m assuming without pictures too…) and just, urgh. He kept talking and I kept trying to read but anytime he talked my mind would instantly lose focus and direct attention to whatever dumbass thing he was going on about to my coworkers. I couldn’t do it. I had another two hours on break and it took about five minutes to read a paragraph because of him talking and his voice. Eventually I abandoned ship van and headed upstairs to the supervisors’ office. I don’t like to barge in there and shit the place up, but once again sometimes you need to be selfish. I made sure to stress that I just wanted to read and wasn’t trying to socialize with the bosses or intrude onto others: I just needed a quiet and safe spot away from my dumbass coworkers.

We are trying to make some effort to accomodate the guy so he doesn’t feel left out of forgotten about at work. This is good in a way, but it’s also making him more talkative which is stressing everyone else out. You know, try to see everything in a positive light and appreciate everyone as their own, unique person. Everyone brings something to the table, right? Thoughts about how people pissing you off is your own problem, and maybe you can learn something from them in how they make you mad. All of those wonderful and all-encompassing views of humanity and how we’re all the same, struggling through the same problems. This view works great with people you love to be around, but this guy makes me think that maybe all of that lovey, dovey bullshit is, well, bullshit.

And I don’t like to take the Taoism approach of “bad people make the good people good” because goddamnit it’s frustrating. I really think I could appreciate the people I appreciate without a coworker who’s grating on the nerves, but maybe Taoism in onto something. Who knows. I wasn’t trying to make any big or grand points to teach anyone anything here; I just wanted to bitch and bitch I did. Mission Accomplished.

Streak Day #22 Sucks (and some stuff about…?)

I don’t even know what streak day it is anymore. I do know it’s the 19th and I have another paltry 45 minutes to get this damn thing published. Yikes. This project is starting to wear on me and I’m positive that once I complete a month (or until the end of March, I have no plans set yet) I’m taking a damn break from this blog. I’m sure it won’t be long — when you post everyday for a month any break more than a few days feels forever — but I’m taking a break.

Everything has pros and cons to it. Pro? I’m keeping a routine and raking in views. Con? It’s taking all my motivation to do so. I’m trying not to stress out about it though. I have a project and I’m going to keep the project going until it’s finished. Just another week or two, no big deal.

I’m constantly thinking if creative juices are finite or infinite. It seems to be a little bit of both which sounds like a paradox. Like you can’t sit around and wait for motivation all the time, but you also can’t force yourself to plow through and make any real progress if you have nothing to work with. This is how I feel about the streak thingy I’m on: it’s working great but I don’t have any other motivation left to channel into other creative areas. Do I have any idea what to write with my other stories? No. Hell no. I have no idea. I can’t even brainstorm new chapters because there is nothing there to think about. Luckily the Morrowind story is limping along just fine; it seems to have a seperate wellspring of motivation that isn’t related to creative writing or blogging. Morrowind story inspiration is also flowing from my reading of The Wheel of Time series. Maybe it’s also because I have an easy schedule to keep up with? Who knows.

One thing the therapist told me about these antidepressants was something like, “It makes the lows not so low, but also makes the highs not as joyful. As a creative person, this might backfire if you draw inspiration from the highs and lows.” I think this also spooked me to a degree where I think it might be happening, but as always I don’t know if it’s in my head or if it’s a real effect of the drug. It’s strange to elaborate on. My mood does seem better but nothing “dramatic” happens to where I feel the need to write about it. I don’t want to say things seem “blah” because it sounds lifeless and unenjoyable, but everything does have a “blah” undercurrent to it. It’s one thing that has frightened me about antidepressants; will they change me in a way that takes away the twisted gifts I actually have? Do I need my mood to be chaotic and miserable to have something to write about?

Usually I write about my day in a Google Doc I have but nothing has been written in a few weeks, maybe even a month. Do I blame my blogging streak for leaving me exhausted and unmotivated or the antidepressants for making my life “blah” even if my mood has greatly improved? Can I blame the feeling of “being in between” or “waiting on something” for my blahness? Sometimes I think you need to give life time to catalyze into real change or insight.

The moods are still there, just leveled out a bit. When I feel a depressed mood coming on it doesn’t seem as “dangerous” as it used to. It doesn’t feel like a crisis anymore. It’s just something to deal with and work through now. The same is true for my good moods; I roll with them and don’t seem to “grasp to hold onto them” as much anymore. When they do pass I don’t have the usual bittersweet feeling of loss that I seem to recall having in the past. Just another thing to deal with and work through. Drama, but not like drama used to be.

Now I’m getting slightly depressed again. Fuck. But soon I’ll have this posted and can read and my mood will pass. Within me I still feel the usual inspiration just waiting to be channeled, and even if my moods do seem “leveled out” they’re still there. I can still tap into them I’m sure if I just sit my ass down and introspect a bit.

Sorry if all I seem to write about is antidepressants and writing/blogging lately. They’re constantly at the front of my mind.

Streak Day #13 Sucks (and some stuff about “networking”)

It’s 3:51 a.m. and I’m once again unable to sleep. I think this is partly to blame on daylight savings time. My body feels like it’s 2:51 a.m. not that it makes much difference anyways. I feel adrift in time, and yesterday was especially terrible. We were at the store at 7 p.m. and it was still daylight out. It felt really late, like 9 p.m. for some reason but also really early like 5 p.m. for some reason. Just nothing to anchor you to any sense of temporal security.

Every blogger has the same basic goal: get more viewers/readers. It’s so obvious it feels dumb to even state; isn’t it the reason anyone would take up this hobby? While I’m sure there are some “purists” that write and blog for the sake of writing and blogging, or to undergo some personal growth in a writing adventure, I’m guessing these account for like 10% of blogs. Even if you do blog with that purpose, I’m sure most have a close secondary goal of having others actually read your stuff.

Now that I think of it, maybe I’m wrong here. A friend of mine is working on some massive three-book fantasy story. She’s built an entire mythical world and it sounds wonderfully complex. I continually pester her about when she will make these writings public while she seems completely happy with the project being for herself. She doesn’t seem to care if anyone ever reads the story, it could be a total masterpiece but she’s doing it for herself. If that makes sense. Maybe purists do exist? Maybe I’m too pragmatic and egotistical where I don’t want to write and have no one else read it. It seems like a waste of time to me. In a way I wish I could be like my friend. The quality of what I write would probably be better.

The problem is trying to get people to read your shit in the first place. We all start from nothing, and how do you even get somewhere starting from nothing?

Post A Lot/Be Consistent

One blog I was a huge fan if years ago was waitbutwhy. Go check it out. The author Tim Urban, seems to be a total nerd and wrote many long and detailed pieces about Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tesla, as well as many other high quality, enlightening, terrifying, and hilarious posts.

I say ‘was a fan’ because something happened a few years ago where Tim seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. So when he started posting a few months ago I was surprised, mostly by the fact that I had totally forgotten about the blog when he wasn’t posting. (Note: what he was up to in the meantime was mulling over a massive post attempting to figure out what exactly happened to American society in the past five or ten years. Increasing hostility and polarization in America, wondering when we exactly went off the rails, shit like that. Namely, but more of a symptom and not the problem itself: how the hell did Donald Trump end up as president? I guess he was struggling to make any progress on this amazingly complex topic, and finally decided to make an entire series about it. It’s ongoing and he hasn’t posted in like a month but I hope he keeps it up. It’s fascinating.)

My point here is simple: to get readers you need to be consistent and actually post. Duh. People simply forget that you exist if you stop posting. Maybe we like to think that we have a legion of loyal fans wondering when the hell the next post/chapter will come out, and maybe this is true for some people, but we’re forgettable. I have this complex idea in my mind for a few months about how the internet only rewards action and not inaction. I want to write some big epic post on it but can’t pull it together. It goes something like this. On social media people only see you when you post and no one notices your lack of posting. Contrast this to the real world where your absence is noted, like at work. People miss you if you’re not there and this doesn’t happen on the internet. I think the same is true with blogging. People notice you if you do something while few notice if you don’t do something. If that makes sense. You need to stay in people’s minds I guess.

I had a first hand learning experience with this cactus recently (somehow my phone put the word ‘cactus’ there and it’s too hilarious to fix). My other blog for short stories and stuff hasn’t had anything new posted in a month or two. I recently plopped out a really shitty piece that had a single view. No one gave a shit about it. But when I was posting a chapter or two every week I was raking in the views. You can’t just hop back into the game and start where you left off. Nope. Rebuild the readers and don’t fuck it up in the future.

“Networking”

There are certain words that I just hate with a passion and networking is one of them. It’s right up there with synergy and scripture for some reason. I hate the word and I hate what it stands for. Basically, it’s a professional form of ‘socializing’ which I’m fucking terrible at. Not even socializing in the casual aspect but socializing with the purpose of building contacts and making progress in your endeavors. It’s socializing but with a goal.

One of my posts a week or so ago talked about how this streak I’m on is really getting me readers. This is because of what I talked about previously: being consistent and posting keeps you ‘out there.’ The more you post the more people will notice you and read your shit. One person commented (I’d link to his blog, but I don’t know the protocol behind that. Do you need to ask first?) that the real way to pump numbers up is to, you guessed it, network. That really got me thinking about the process and how terrible I am at it.

Last post I talked about my supposed “genuineness” with blogging and how I’m legit interested in what others write. Being genuine is the main key to proper networking; we’ve all seen the random comments on posts that usually go something like this: Great Post! Check out my blog here [link to post]! These aren’t genuine at all and anyone can see right through them. These people are networking on the most basic and fundamental level, forcing themselves to comment only to market themselves. There is no real interest in what you had written, and it comes across very pathetic and self-serving. People have a very sensitive radar for disingenuity. It’s painfully obvious and does you zero favors. If you network, or force yourself to network, don’t fucking do this.

I think this is what holds me back from selfishly networking. To network you have to be selfish to some degree I think; that’s what gets you out trying to promote yourself in the first place, but I’m so selfish that I don’t want to spend my time forcing myself to read people’s stuff that I’m not interested in, if that makes sense. One good thing about this is that I don’t think I have the “genuineness” problem when I do network. If I am commenting or something it means I really have something to say and actually read your post. And I sure as hell aren’t going to leave a link to my own blog in the comment section trying to bring people over.

Networking seems to branch into other areas as well outside of “pure” networking. You really need to be creative and play the game of self-marketing. Make as many social media accounts as you can, spam your links anywhere you can on the internet. Find forums and like-minded individuals and send links to people that might be interested in your stuff. Some of my video game posts I could probably share on game forums, but no. I don’t want to be pushy. I’m terrible at networking in all its forms. I’m getting a severe case of deja vu here for some reason.

Part of me thinks if I could get my shit together this blog could really take off. If I could stay focused and churn out high-quality posts everyday and actually spend time networking I might find success. But part of me simply doesn’t care. That would be too much work and what is the grand goal of this blog anyways? Get a million views and start advertising? I doubt it. Do some affiliate marketing? Once again, I doubt it. There is no grand plan. I think this rambly post has worn itself out. Goodbye everyone. Day thirteen complete.

Streak Day #7 Sucks (and some stuff about New Year’s Resolutions)

Seven days?! Really? Wow. I’m proud of myself, but at the same time realize that it wasn’t really that hard. All you need to do is plop your ass down for an hour each day and force something out. I was skeptical about these posting streak proponents but now I realize they’re probably onto something. While I don’t think these posts are “typical” Everything Sucks posts like everything else is, I think they still fit the tone of the blog. Instead of bitching about big, grand, and ‘complex’ topics I find myself complaining about smaller mundane and bothersome things that I encounter during the day. Being sick (but not too sick), depression, and in this post, my failed New Year’s Resolutions.

A friend at work said she wasn’t going to commit to any resolutions this year because most of them fail. Fine, I thought, she wasn’t wrong. Somehow I think I’m an idealist or something; I love the idea of things and to hell if they’re practical or not. Go big or go home, I suppose.

Referencing this post right here for my list of resolutions. If you check it out, you’ll see the post (for once) is overflowing with optimism for 2020. Sadly, it only took a few weeks into the year for everything in the world to go off the rails. The stock market has fucking died, coronavirus is terrifying everyone, and we almost went to war with Iran. I’m sure there are other fucked up incidents in the year that I’ve forgotten over the past six two months, but with me having so much optimism for 2020 it sure was depressing to see things go to shit so quickly. And the same was true with those damn resolutions of mine.

The first to go was the “compliment a person daily” resolution. That was always the hardest one to pull off, me being a raging pessimist that never sees the good in anything. At first I was surprised at how complimenting people daily actually got me to see the good in people, but that didn’t last. What happened was depression. Anyone who has struggled with depression knows that it puts you into a very basic and lowly mode of survival. It’s like a haze of limping along blind hour after hour with no overarching goal in life but to survive to the next moment. At least for me, I found myself sleeping all the time, feeling tired and unmotivated, antisocial, and eating just enough food where the starvation didn’t make me feel worse. Naturally, complimenting someone in one of these moods is a no-go and that’s exactly what happened. One bout of depression into the new year and the compliments stopped. First I missed a day, then got back to it, then missed a few more days, got back to it, and then I don’t think I’d given a compliment purposefully for my resolution in at least a month. Not that I never give compliments; they’re just not part of my daily routine anymore. Resolution #1: DEAD.

And let’s go back to depression real quick: it makes you exhausted and tired all the time. One of my resolutions was to wake up at 10 a.m. everyday and that was great for a few weeks (maybe a month) until depression kicked the fuck out of that goal too. What’s funny is I still wake up around 9:45 a.m. naturally for some reason, like my body knows it needs to wake up. Maybe I trained myself well. But I wake up after having went to sleep around 4 a.m. and feel like utter shit; I then roll over and go back to sleep until noon, 1, or 2 p.m. depending on how shitty I feel about the day. Resolution #2: DEAD.

What about only drinking on Sunday? Moderate success there so far. I do have an exception to the rule: something like “special occasion drinking” whatever that means. Social events, unusual events, etc. The past few weekends have been hell. We had to drive to Chicago two weeks ago and finally got back home around 11 p.m. That meant my day was totally and utterly fucked and what better way to cap off the shitty day than with a six-pack of cheap beer? Last weekend my sister and I went rock climbing — same deal — gone all day, physically exhausted from climbing up walls and riding in a car, and what better way to relax than to pound a six-pack down? Luckily, drinking on the weekday is still a major no-no because that’s where the real cliff edge is. Once you start that it’s a full-send into fully-fledged alcoholism. Hopefully this weekend is uneventful and I can wallow in depression/boredom without needed a six-pack on Saturday. Resolution #3: MILD SUCCESS.

Resolution #4: Publish two Kindle ebooks. Yeah, I’m working on it.

Resolution #5: Write and post my Morrowind fanfic on Wattpad every Sunday. I’m going strong on this one. At first it started off really rough; I was struggling every Sunday to finish and post, but now I think I have a flow. It’s still a chore, but I make progress during the week now. I usually start working on the next chapter on Monday or Tuesday, really tidy it up Wednesday-Saturday, and edit the damn thing on Sunday. It’s great. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is how much having a routine you stick to helps the project actually progress.

Which leads me back to resolution #4: the ebooks. I really think I need to force a chapter out, like the Morrowind story, weekly. Doing this almost guarantees 50 finished chapters in a year making the book probably complete. Even if the chapters aren’t as inspired, at least they’ll fucking exist. I haven’t written anything for these stories in at least a month and it’s depressing. But somehow the Morrowind story keeps trucking along because I have a schedule hold myself accountable.

Lastly, and to wrap this post up in a nice and tidy bowtie: reach 1,000 monthly views on this blog. This one has suffered in the past two months: December had record viewers and each month since the viewer count has went down.

But for March? Fuck. I really think I’m on track. Like with the Morrowind story, having a routine is awesome and really helps productivity. This impromptu posting streak really seems to be bringing people here. It makes perfect sense too: the more you post the more people have to look at. Duh. But so far this month I’ve had 102 views in only 4 days. Doing a little math and assuming the same rate of views per day puts my monthly views on track to reach around 800. This is still 200 short but would be a record month in terms of views at least. I’m still debating if I want to keep this streak going — I really think I’ll burn out — but the idea of going for the major goal of having 1,000 monthly views is tempting.

Streak Day Five Sucks (and some stuff about therapy apparently)

When I published my last post I was surprised to see a notification from the WordPress app on my phone. Truthfully I never use the damn thing to do actual writing/posting and only use it to constantly and obsessively check my daily views which probably isn’t productive or healthy. Anyways, what this app told me was something along the lines of, “Congratulations! You posted four days in a row!” I did? Wow, okay. And thinking back to the past half-week made me realize that, yeah, I did post four days in a row. Somehow.

It was a total accident though. I didn’t plan a four-day streak. The stars aligned and…I don’t even recall what I had written about. Oh yeah, I bitched about the Android Keyboard — post #1. Then I somehow had a magical burst of inspiration on this post, which I honestly think is one of the best things I have ever written. I’m really proud of it. And on the third day I finally posted my vaping post; that one had been completed about a week earlier and only required touching up. And finally, the rock climbing post. It was the day after we went climbing and I was so excited to talk about it that the post basically wrote itself. Four days, four posts. Maybe it isn’t that hard after all?

I see other bloggers do these “streaks” where they try to post a single thing everyday for like a week or a month or whatever. I’ve always been weary of actually trying it though for fear of burning out. I know it’s an unfounded fear, but when you naturally churn out maybe two or three posts max during a week the idea of posting every day is terrifying. I usually struggle through my regular posts so what the hell would I find to write about everyday?

And I still have no idea what I’m supposed to write about here, but the temptation of a five day streak is too great to pass up.

People always recommended that any aspiring writer writes something at least once a day. I try to do that, but hell is it hard when you have nothing to say. I think the problem is that you think you have nothing to say but upon writing you discover that, hey, you do have stuff to say. I don’t know if it’ll happen here, but once again writing every day is supposed to be good according to like everyone I ever talk to.

Antidepressants? Therapy?

I met with a psychiatrist (Maybe? I don’t know what her degree is. Let me look it up; I want to be accurate. Oh. She’s a ‘certified nurse practitioner’ apparently.) with the sole purpose of evaluating me and seeing if I need to be plopped on drugs for my issues. Somewhat reassuringly, she didn’t seem to think I needed them. I was terrified I’d walk into the office and leave with about five fucking prescriptions. Maybe something for depression, anxiety, to help me sleep, etc. but nope, nothing.

The thing that really threw me off were the options offered to me. She seemed to think an SSRI drug (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor: an antidepressant) might be worth a shot, but left me the choice to either hop on it right away or give therapy a few more sessions and then see how I was doing. I was totally indecisive, as I usually am, and was surprised that it was up to me to decide. One thing that is both wonderful and upsetting is how these mental health practitioners leave it up to you to make choices. Once again, think of a similar situation going to a regular doctor. You walk in, they say you’re sick, and toss some antibiotics at you. You don’t have to make a damn decision really. They say, “Here’s your problem, here’s how you fix it. Goodbye!” and take your money. Mental health practitioners, since they deal with sometimes vague, difficult-to-define personal issues aren’t able to do this. They can have an idea of what’s wrong with you, but the fix is never as easy or as obvious as prescribing an antibiotic or pain pill. And it seems any mental health fixes have to come from within yourself as well. It’s a messy field and I’m glad I’m not in it.

So I didn’t know what the hell to say. Part of me wanted to have faith in myself and remain “strong” telling myself that maybe I can work through my issues without drugs to assist me. Another part, the eager “if we’re going to do this, let’s do it and get it over with” part, wanted to hop on them immediately to see what would happen. But no. Right as I was about to YOLO myself into some antidepressants, Courtney, the NP-C, finally made the decision for my indecisive ass and suggested a few more appointments with the therapist and see how that went. I left with the offer that if I did want to hop on them for me to just call them and they can put the order in. It’s been about two weeks and I think I might call them tomorrow.

I have this impending sense of doom upon me and I really think I’ll need all the help I can get in the next few months. People have called me “intuitive” occasionally and I don’t think I am, but if I think about my ability to not think and actually realize things I actually think I might be able to catch onto certain unobvious things about people. Somehow when playing music at work I can pick up on a “vibe” and know what type of music to play. If everyone is depressed and withdrawn you probably don’t want to play upbeat pop music. If everyone is in a good mood you don’t want to drop Radiohead on them. Anyways, if I allow myself to feel “intuitive” I realize I’m picking up very bad vibes from the future. It’s like I’m driving towards a brick wall of shit and there’s no way to avoid it.

Maybe my tip-off here was that at my last therapy appointment I wasn’t totally honest with her. I avoided certain topics because I wasn’t ready to deal with them yet. They’re there, I’m aware of them, but just another week or two of avoiding them won’t hurt, right? As a friend had said, the most productive appointments are apparently where you’re crying, eating fast-food in a parking lot, feeling totally ripped open and confused about everything. The last appointment was really comfy, nothing was really said, and I left feeling like I had just wasted an hour.

It feels like you’re selling everyone short too. One of the key self-esteem pillars was to be honest with yourself. If you push down feelings it means you don’t value them enough, and yourself because they’re your fucking feelings, to acknowledge them. It’s lying to yourself because you don’t have enough self-worth to be honest to even yourself. If that makes sense. And not sure if I’d written it here or somewhere else or in my journal .doc, but I never understood why anyone would lie to a therapist. The entire reason for being there is to open up and make progress on your issues — and you’re paying them to do so — so be honest. Don’t waste their time. Don’t give them free money. It’s like if you paid for food at McDonald’s but not wanting to actually eat the food just tossed it in the trash. Bad analogy but we’ve been here before with analogies.

So while drunk yesterday I realized that, yes, it’s probably time to face some real shit. The past month or so I’ve been in an amazing period of self-realization and growth, which is nice, but once you feel comfortable with yourself you need to look outwards into the world. You can’t make any real changes until you realize who you even are in the first place. It seems like step one was making some progress in knowing myself, and now that I do, the next step is to figure out what this means for me as a person in the world. Life is a big string of “Now What?s” and I’m asking myself that now. Okay, now what?

Sorry if all of this is rather cryptic. I don’t want to write anything down that might not be truthful. I don’t want to spill too much if I’m not even sure what I’m feeling. My plan going forward is this: wait until next Saturday and get everything out to the therapist. She’s a professional and might be able to tell me if I’m just being insane, or tell me that I’m on the right track.

That post wasn’t too bad, eh? Apparently “just write” means I needed to bitch about therapy some more. Once again, not having anything to write might mean that you don’t think you have anything to write about when you really do.