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That was odd...

You are getting sleepy... Veeerrrry Sleeeeepy...

You are getting sleepy... Veeerrrry Sleeeeepy...

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Tonight, I mmay actually be going to go to bed before 0000, instead of my (now normal) 0500. The reason? Work. Tomorrow I have work starting at 0900. Those bastards. But at least I'll be able to get back to my new sleep schedule tomorrow night, seein' as how I work 1400-2200 on Saturday. But then I work 1000-1800 on Sunday. And 1100-1900 on monday. Damn you Superpetz! Damn you for screwing up what was beginning to be a beautiful lifestyle!

And I really did like my new sleep schedule. It gave me plenty of quiet time to ponder the questions that have been plaguing me. But, more importantly, it's been giving me time to write. I realise now that it doesn't really matter, on the Great and Powerful Intarweb, if your writing is completely refined and well written. Hell, I found out I don't even need a reason for writing. As long as you put something that is moderately readable into the little input field, you don't have a problem. Now, I may sound like I'm going to start on a rant, but I'm not. I'm honestly not really pissed about anything at all, right now. Sure, I might ne slightly tired, and hungry, and achey, but that doesn't matter. What matters is the discovery that I can write.

I've always, always had a problem with writing. Whenever I started writing something on whatever subject the teachers told me to, I sort of froze up. I couldn't think of anything to write. I just had this sort of stage fright thing goin' on with my assignments. It got to the point where I was terrified of any tests that involved writing more than one or two simple sentences, because I knew I would fail them. So, I did what I thought was the only remaining option. I refused to write. I mean, think about this from my perspective: If I wrote, I would fail. If I didn't write, I would fail, too, but I wouldn't have to go through the agony of having something I had written being given an F. I was a perfectionist like that. I reasoned that if it would get an F, it shouldn't be written in the first place.

I realise now, years after I stopped writing, that I was really missing out on something fun. It's like reading, I suppose. If you grow up enjoying it, and start reading before you get into school, you will be hooked on it for the rest of your life. If you have teachers and parents who are not really there, helping you at every step on that rickety staircase of literacy, you will fall down. And if your parents and teachers don't give you a hand getting back up, you sit there, not really liking the written word, but not hating it, either. But with writing, I find that I really wish I had started into it when I was younger.

I wish my teachers had let me write on whatever subject I chose, provided that it was x number of words/sentences/paragraphs/what have you. Well, to be completely fair, I do remember one assignment that did let me do that. I was in second grade, so the memory is around a decade old, so it is more of an impression with bits of trivia attached. I can't remember how long the assignment was, but it was pretty much a 'here's a pencil, here's some paper. Have fun.' kind of assignments. I ended up writing a dream I had had the previous night, and it wound up being around one page, front and back. That's a lot, for a seven year-old. Especially when working with simple wide-ruled paper instead of the big, inch-high-lines paper we had used for practising our letters.

And that was the first, and regrettably, one of the few, writing assignments I truly enjoyed doing. Every single assignment after that was on some subject that I didn't care about, because I was too wrapped up in whatever book my Dad had given me to read. My writing skills were stuck at second grade, for a while. When I was expelled from the elementary school I had been attending, and enrolled in a special education and treatment program at a school that took an hour-long bus ride to get to, I retreated even more into books. Fiction was my friend. My father had introduced me to Heinlein when I was still learning to read, and that's what I read on the bus.

It's also what I read at recess, instead of playing with the other kids. I read his stories at lunch, after wolfing down my food. I read his stories at home. And I'm pretty sure that's when I really stopped liking anything I had written. I hated my writing because it wasn't as good as Heinlein. I now realise that nothing I write will be as good as Heinlein in his prime, and that I should write anyway, but back then, I couldn't stand the thought of failing an assignment because of bad writing. I still can't, by the way, as evidenced by my flunking English 101 twice in a row, as well as flunking English 52 (basically a remedial English Class).

But that isn't writing for me. That sort of thing is dreary busywork created to waste my time, making it so I can't hand in a huge paper on something that struck my fancy, like a comparison of Origami and Kung Fu. Which I have written, by the way. I think it kicks elegantly folded ass. But that isn't my point. Well, I guess, maybe it is my point. Writing, for me, is when I am allowed free reign over the topic and style. Length still kinda kicks my ass, though, if I try to stick with one topic, but I'm working on that. Writing is something that gives me joy now, and I now wish I had seen it sooner.

Damn. I started writing this at 2300. I didn't think I could write that much in under an hour. Surprises me what I can do when I want to do it.

Oh. And here's some Star Wars things, for sitting through that incredibly long piece of writing there.

You were destined to have a Red Lightsaber.

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is
associated with energy, war, danger, strength,
power, and determination as well as passion and
desire. You have seen the Strength and Power of
the Dark Side of the Force and have you thirst
for more of it.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

I like Darth Tyranus. His lightsaber kicks ass.
  • What matters is the discovery that I can write.

    Y yes, yes you can. You know, I don't think I read an entire book (novel type) until I was out of high school. It was a late start but I've had a wonderful time catching up on all the lost time. Don't waste your time regretting what's past. You have a really nice easy flowing style. I've fallen into the regrettable habit of waking up at 3:45 and have enjoyed having your posts to keep me company until I have to get my day started for real. Have fun on your adventure tonight, sorry I won't be able to see pictures.
  • The best is the enemy of good enough

    It's unfortunate that you got into the minsdet of comparing yourself with Heinlein, since what you were reading wasn't the raw material he bashed out on his typewriter but the finished product produced after revisions and editing, often by one of the greatest editors of the 20th century, John W. Campbell, Jr., who was no slouch at writing himself. You basically set yourself up to fail, since you didn't have that kind of support available.

    The good news is that you understand this now and are working hard on making yourself a better writer. Feel free to write crap, to fail by your own standards, to churn out unreadable Mary Sue fanfic that makes you want to go rinse off your brain in the shower immediately after you finish it. Like a lot of other stuff in life, good writing requires practice and study and more practice, even for them as has natural talent. You may want to dig into grammar and composition and use tools like diagramming to analyze how Heinlein wrote and what made him such an affecting and effective writer, because that analysis will help you look at your own work and see where you can improve it and change the way you write for the better.

    You can write. You can write better. Always remember that Heinlein turned out some horrible tree-wasting flup on occasion, too, so don't feel bad if the next thing you write isn't as brilliant as Glory Road.

    Heinlein. A worthy goal to shoot for. Me, I'd be happy if I wrote as well as Roger Angell or Bill James
  • As a devoted lover of the written word and any possible way of conveying it, I'm thrilled that you've picked up on the art! :D Heehee. And don't say you'll never be able to write as superbly as Heinlein. . . it's very possible that someday you will be able to reach his level, and perhaps even surpass it. If you ever publish a series, you could dedicate it to him and thank him for simply being brilliant.

    Writing is so much fun though! Paying attention to the little nuances of what a word connotes, cleverly structuring sentences then stringing them together, formulating intricate plots/characters/settings/events. . . it's all very entertaining.

    If you ever want to just sit down and write, I found a fun, simple program that to download. WriteThis. Basically, you can choose settings that will automatically generate a character, place, item, etc., then you let the story flow until the time is up. It is an excellent tool for getting rid of writer's block, or even coming up with a new story idea. I like it! I hope you do too (if you download it, hehe).
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