The Wanderlust Misfit

Don't Run From Anything, Run Towards Everything

Archive for the tag “motivation”

The Writer’s Mire

Last week I fell into a rut, a mire of self-pity that glooms the senses and dulls the wit. These ruts have been occurring with some frequency since last November when I first began writing, though the severity of these ruts has always varied. This last one was probably the worst, just from the length of it.

It all began on the 1st of December, a Saturday night. I’d written well all week and again on Saturday and I was feeling for a break. I drank a bit of parents’ liquor, bought a pint of vodka and went over to a friend’s. We went to the bar and I stumbled home in the fog around three in the morning.

That’s what kicked it off, because the next day I was hungover and I didn’t do shit. The unproductiveness had begun. It’s like you’re speeding down the highway and all is good, momentum carrying you right along and you’re writing well. Then out of nowhere the pavement turns to mud and you get stuck, and once you’re stuck you lose momentum and you learn how true the Law of Inertia really is, because once you’re stuck it’s pretty ugly to get unstuck.


I languished for a week, wanting to pound my head against the wall and lamenting my sorry wordsmith-ing. I believe I was able to get a story or two out, but nothing of significance. I tried to change it up, going to the library, etc, but my libido had disappeared and I got grumpy and for a couple of days there I was just an asshole which, actually, had some positive affect because the reason behind anyone’s ‘asshole-ishness’ is a weak ego — so you’re an asshole to boost your individual will. Like a Red-Bull for my self-esteem it was a quick boost and then a nose-dive.

For about a year now I’ve recognized, as a common factor in these bouts of languish, a certain loneliness. This isn’t to say I’ve been without friends, but since I’ve begun to write I’ve realized a potent need for camaraderie, a close group of fellow writers or anyone, really, motivated by discontent; other artists and vagabonds. Writing is a lonely profession, and it’s all too easy to get lost in the voids of your thoughts.

This is when I drink.

I get mired in self-pity feeling as though I’ve gone the wrong path, should’ve stayed in school and my writing isn’t anything special, I’ve been misled by my own delusions. Bottles bottles bottles. I start to drink to erase these thoughts and, also, it helps me pick around in my brain — back in Columbus sitting alone at the bar, getting disastrously slopped and filling pages pages and pages with introspection. I’ve found this to be a near panacea of mental discordance.

That was how I spent this Monday. I’d grown sick of self-pity and I needed to get out of my head and the only way to do this is to dive right in (my head). So I told my mom I needed twenty dollars to buy writing supplies and I bought a notebook and a flask of Southern Comfort and spent the night drinking and thinking and listening to music.

I knew I’d been here all before and that the only way I’d ever gotten back out was by writing; that in writing I was able to find my true ego and develop and maintain my own libido. That’s where I’d gotten, but it wasn’t so easy to get there. Once you can’t write the Law of Inertia holds true and if you force yourself you reinforce your pity because it always turns out that what you’ve tried writing here is never any good. But there was a way to right my head and I made myself a list. Here is…

A List of Things To Always Know:

1.) I am a genius     (narcissistic? no, it’s a necessity and it’s one I got from Kerouac’s Technique for Modern Prose.)

2.) I have a natural tack for clear, descriptive writing

3.) the novel is wonderful story need’s telling

4.) my future is success

5.) after I finish the novel I will take to the road and worry about nothing and I will write and enjoy simplicities of life

6.) after this novel I will find the friends i know I must meet

7.) focus on the wave I wish to ride and know with all of me this wave will bring true desired future

But, and here I’ll botch a paraphrase of Yoda — do not become so blinded by the future that you can not see the here and now, for now is what is important and now I must write. I need to read all of this tomorrow because I’m drinking right now. It’s become that the most of what I write are but attempts to sort out my own confounded thoughts. Understand the need to place faith in the flow, Love the wave you are on and be confident and excited.


Back to Jersey

Well, I’m back home in New Jersey. I’ve been here a couple of weeks, slacking off on my blogging save for the occasional short-story — which seriously, I’ll be having them out quicker, I swear!

Being home’s been kind of a speed bump, or more like tires stuck in thick mud after speeding down a highway. I’ve had a blast, seeing my home-town friends and getting irresponsibly drunk at the new bar that’s opened up in town and reconnecting with people I haven’t spoken with in years (though I can’t recall the conversations I’ve had). But still, I’m living at home now, and being in such a comfortable, quaint cozy place sucked out of me the urge to run, which is where I get my drive to write. The house I live in is very clean and proper, peachily decorated with knick-knacks and supplied with all of the modern technological distractions one could have. I have a large family, and we’re all squished into a small house. There’s always a lot going on here, and putting off writing to play the videogames I grew up with or to watch Star Wars and The Walking Dead all day — these distractions are difficult to endure, and being at home takes away my restlessness, fills me with content and the laughable tendency to lounge in comforting luxury. Indolent is what home makes me.

The above is a list of reasons I needed to get away to write; to live in minimalism, with nothing to do but to write. That’s what worked: having absolutely nothing and knowing that to ever have anything, the only thing to serve this end, would be to write. Having all the homely comforts I grew up with put a sludge on me creatively, motivationally. Over the weekends (that included Sunday) for the last couple of weeks I went out drinking, getting deliciously drunk and would spend the next day wallowing around the house with only a hangover to rationalize putting off work. Then I fell into a slump, rationalizing the slump with more bullshit. Then more drinking. Then Thanksgiving, more drinking, more bullshit rationalizing, and then the fear immobilization took hold. Thankfully. I realized I needed to get going again.

The best way for me to get back into writing? Get moving. I’ve been writing in a small room in the family basement, using earplugs to drown out all the noise from upstairs and a sheet serving as a wall to keep me out of sight from all the people walking back and forth. So this morning I got up and went right to the public library, my old ‘between the book-shelves’ stomping ground. I wrote well, and I’m pleased how it went. I’m filled with motivation again. Writing and moving has got me doing just that: writing and moving, productivity and the motivation to pull into existence the future I so desire.

This will continue to be a challenge for me though, and one I haven’t put myself to in a while. I will have the constant threat of complacency, bred from at-hand comforts and entertainment and easy intoxication, the whole of the time I am at home. And I will be at home until I finish these stories and this novel — only then can I get back to the road.

The time to discipline myself has come high and urgent. I must be out of here early enough to begin working, so that I might save enough to take to the road with enough money come the thaw of winter. It’s a race against time, and the discipline I must put myself through can only be of benefit. Each day I must have done a draft of a short-story, with the goal of having a Reason To Run published, at the very most, every other day. I need to blog every day. As well as comment on other blogs, that being the only important way to get traffic. I need to study, reading and analyzing other writers. And I found an online magazine called Vagabonds, an amazing publication, completely free and all about the re-emergence of literature in a new form (and the breaking away from that ever-more restrictive society you sheep are lost in 😉 )

I’m back to work! And it feels very, very good.

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