Week Five – The Worlds I Haven’t Visited Yet

As finals season looms upon me, I’m placing my personal goals on hold as I prepare to deal with my final assignments. That, however, does not include these weekly entries, which after only five weeks, I’ve grown somewhat attached to. In the meantime, however, I’d like to discuss the stories I intend to tell in the future over the next few weeks. This also serves as an introductory freewrite as I begin telling the stories themselves.

  1. In a divided nation, when the close friend of a journalist is murdered, the journalist sets off across the five city states of her nation and becomes embroiled in a national conspiracy. I’m most excited to see the personal journey of this character and to see how she emerges from the story irrevocably different from where she began.
  2. A world of deep magic, where smoky black waves of nausea co-exist with pastel pink pocket universes. Two friends gain these ancient powers and clash in a personal conflict. One of the most grievous flaws in some of my previous stories was poorly created conflict between the characters, and this story is meant to address that flaw and to work on it. Both characters should have equal footing in their fight, and have an equal amount of development and looks into their perspectives, and I’m also interested in the conceit of interfering outside forces in this conflict – because they’re not exactly fighting in a vacuum but in a larger world.

I’m excited to dive into these concepts, and turn them into realities once finals season ends. As finals season trudges on, I hope you’ll tune in for more personal meditations as my third year of university draws to a close and the curtain rises on my final year.

Week Four- Fourth Anniversary and the Future

Four years ago, I posted my first short story to this blog.

It was a small beginning. My writing style was bloated, the plot was flat and hackneyed, the pacing nonexistent, but it didn’t matter. I was enjoying myself. And it was this joy that motivated me to keep writing, to allow The Oddity Writer to grow beyond its initial life as a portfolio into something that was more personally important to me. I was able to become a better poet, and to find enjoyment in writing journalism. Thanks to the blog, and your encouragement, I have been to grow enormously as a writer and as a person. I can only hope that the blog reflects that growth. But to everyone who has stopped to take a moment to read my work, thank you so much. It really means the world to me, and I don’t think I could have made it here without you.

I know that I’ve been absent for a large amount of time as I’ve struggled with personal issues. Previously, I would use my writing and create in order to release all the tension within me, but I came to acknowledge that my creative endeavors could not rest on this foundation and these negative emotions alone. While I may not post as often as I should, I promise you that I will never stop attempting to develop my skills and never stop working to create something as worthwhile as what I have created with your support. And I promise that all the work I create will go towards creating a positive impact on the readers and people around me.

Now, as for more concrete goals- I’m currently working on cleaning up my style and taking stock on the characters I’ve created so far in order to work on creating fresh, better ones while rehabilitating the old ones that I’ve come to love. But the biggest thing on my to-do list is to wrap up existing projects – (the one that I have my sights on now has approximately five chapters remaining in its 10 chapter arc) before moving onto new ones.

So that’s my future – my way forward. Thank you all so much for paving this way for me.

Week Three – You’re Gonna Be Okay (and other stuff that I try to believe)

QOTD: “Your mission is to replace your destiny.”

Another week gone, and I’m so damn tired. I’m in the middle of this pretty bad depressive episode and it’s been really restrictive on what I can and can’t do. Because of the more negative mindset that I might be trapped in, this feels a lot more like a week of failures than anything else, but I’m damn determined to carry on and do better this week.

I also have hope. Because for the first time in a long time, activity comes with a positive connotation- that stuff can be fun and enjoyable and that I just need to try. I want to believe, for once, that I’m going to be okay. Even in a fog of thoughts about the disposability of human lives as a result of an unforgiving society, I want to believe that I’m going to be okay.

It’s now more than ever that I’m grateful for the small support system that I know I have if or when I need it. After the fallout with my abuser, no one in those circles has reached out to say anything. So when it comes to actual friends, I would say those people I do stay in contact with are the only support system that I have left, and I cannot thank them enough for putting up with me.

What I Want To Achieve This Week

  • 1. I will complete creative work this week if it’s the last thing I do. I’ve been writing in my journal for the past fewI have so many thoughts to express through verse and prose, and a couple of fiction ideas in my head. They’re going to get out.
    • An idea that I’ve been mulling over in my head is an idea for practice in private, in order to cultivate my style. I’ve been thinking about rewriting the episodes of television I watch in a short story or novel form for me to evaluate what I’m doing right and wrong and what I can do better personally without having to rely on my own narrative. I don’t know if it would actually work, but I’d like to try.
  • 2. I’m going to exercise everyday and work on making my diet healthier with my cooking.
  • 3. I’m going to keep working on being kinder to myself and on continuing to build constructive habits in my personal and public lives.

Achievements Unlocked

  • I’ve been looking at a lot of housing listings, and my parents have given me the all-clear to make my final choice out of all the candidates.
  • I’m more motivated to complete my schoolwork and I think the quality’s increasing accordingly. Time management is still a major issue that makes everything hella difficult, but I’ll work on that for next week.
  • While I only completed one internship application this week, it was for a position I’m really passionate about and I’m really happy with how the application turned out.

Things I Haven’t Reached Yet

  • I still haven’t gotten an internship. (And now I have a ton of catch-up to do.)

 

And that is my weekly update. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon. Take care, everyone.

  • Daniel

Week Two – The Second Chapter is the Worst

So, this past week has really flown by.

While I’ve had a couple of successes and achieved a couple of goals, I still know that I have a long way to go. One of my biggest problems is impatience, and I’m constantly pushing myself or something to go faster, or to accomplish something faster because I feel like I’m moving too slowly otherwise. The hardest part of this whole thing has been accepting that I have to slow down and that I’m not going to get everything right all the time.

I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good or a bad thing, haha. But while I still try to decide, here’s a look back at what I’ve done (and what I haven’t) this week!

Achievements Unlocked

    • I completed one of my biggest To-Dos, and I’m officially free from university housing. Because of the unprofessional nature of the University, it took a lot of standing up to employees and confrontation that is pretty far outside of my comfort zone (and a lot of encouragement and advice from my friends), but I’m very relieved to have accomplished this goal. Now comes the slightly less difficult part of finding a place to live.
    • I’ve started cooking for myself! While I’m nowhere near skilled enough to make huge batches of food like some of my friends to with their weekly meal prep, I was able to make a really nice pasta modified from a baked ziti recipe and to marinate and pan grill some salmon. They’re very small steps forward, but I can’t wait to try again and to keep experimenting.

 

  • This is much more of an uncertain victory than anything else because it’s based much more on emotions and hormones and stuff outside of holistic measurement (please don’t take that as an invitation to stick me with an IV and try to measure my hormones or whatever thank lmao) But I felt really happy yesterday. It was the first time in awhile where I felt good all day, looked back at the end of it, and went, “Well, that was pretty cool. Let’s do it again.”

 

Goals I Haven’t Reached Yet

  • I still haven’t gotten an internship. I have a lot of applications to write.
  • This is one of the goals that I completely failed this week- I didn’t write anything creative.
  • Schoolwork is still feeling like a hell of a struggle. (I can’t tell if that’s because the work is actually hard or if that’s just my fault yet though, lmaoooo.)

What I’m Changing For This Week

  • The thing about this second week was that I moved waaaay too quickly. I gave myself like four or five goals a day and that really didn’t work out very well for me. I stumbled and fell a good amount. I’m going to bring things down to about one or two goals a day for awhile. So for this week, I will:
    • 1. write some more internship applications and just pump out as many as I can.
    • 2. catch up on university readings and other homework
    • 3. finally finish something creative.
    • 4. find a place that I can call my own.
    • 5. exercise everyday.
    • 6. keep cooking.
    • 7. try to be happy again.

I’ll keep you guys posted on how that goes.

Happy Trans Day of Visibility, and happy Easter, everyone.

-Daniel

Week One – Closing the Book on Abuse

(Author’s Note: It’s been 84 years since I last posted.)

Hello again, everyone.

It’s been around four and a half months since I last posted. You have my sincerest apologies for the radio silence since my last poem and status update, and the growingly larger absences I’ve had since I stopped regularly posting on The Oddity Writer awhile back.

The truth is that this blog was started as a portfolio site to help showcase my works and to help me get into college, but it quickly grew into something much more personal than that. During and in the years since the college application process, this blog gained a small following that I never thought was possible, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

Ultimately, I stopped posting here because I began to not have enough time to balance both the blog and my university work, and because writing as a whole stopped being fun and became much more like a chore. I was also growing dissatisfied with the quality of the material that I put on here (although, in retrospect, perhaps none of it was as FANTASTIC as I remember). As I started applying for internships and jobs, I also cringed at the prospect of employers or someone else finding and judging the writing and very intimate personal thoughts I put on here and grew afraid that it might limit my employment opportunities. I also still have and struggle with a lot of depression and social anxiety, that have also contributed to my lack of productivity, as well as some impostor syndrome. One really cool fellow writer, Ruben actually wrote an excellent post about impostor syndrome that I’ll post here if you’d like to learn more. 

I’ve also been grappling with a lot of crap in my personal life. Over the past two years, I’ve been trying to confront my many flaws and to work on correcting them, and I like to think that I’ve emerged a much better person when I started. However, because of my shitty mental health, although my problems are far less severe than those of others, life still isn’t exactly a cake walk.

So here’s what I’ve been trying to do recently.

I recently came across a creator by the name of Dottie James who’s been trying to change her life in 365 days, and I’ve been trying to follow her model of change.

https://youtu.be/qlhtued3OEw

I’ve set myself up with Big To-Dos (fixing my sleep schedule, writing regularly and finishing my current works-in-progress, finding a place to live that is my own, taking time for my mental health), Weekly To-Dos (primarily to do with cooking and writing regularly), and Daily To-Dos (i.e. exercising regularly and keeping up and getting ahead with my schoolwork).

And in going back to my roots, I’ve decided to use my blog again to provide myself with a record of my journey through life and to keep myself accountable as I embark on this regimen.

And with that, here’s your progress report, ladies, gentlemen and other configurations of being.

On my first week, while it was a struggle, I completed my schoolwork at the time that I set for myself, I spent less time in the library and I went to bed earlier than I often have this year, and took time to take care of myself.

Most importantly, I finally severed what was a very unhealthy and abusive relationship. After six years of excusing physical abuse (like when I was held up against a wall as my own property was deface) and verbal abuse (being told to my face that my opinion was completely wrong, and that I should not have argued for it), it’s finally over. And despite still struggling with a lot of other issues, I’m proud to have finally let go of this toxic relationship.

However, I failed to write something or to complete creative activities like I wanted to, and I failed to be as productive as I wanted to. And in this coming week, my efforts will go towards being more productive on the creative front and on doing more with my day to make the most of it without stressing myself too far.

Wish me luck.

One Project Down, Three to Go

I’ve submitted my review for the school paper. For anyone who was wondering, it was about the first episode of the new season of The Flash. No idea why it was so difficult to complete it, but hey, there you go.

As for the other three, I’m admittedly struggling a bit. Focus is definitely a key issue as the fact that time seems to continually slip through my fingers. There’s also the work that I can easily complete but I just can’t bring myself to do.

At any rate, you’ll be seeing a piece of one of these three projects on here later today. It’s another freewrite, but it’s not from me this time…

Until the next time, then.

Ray Bradbury to the Rescue

I’ve been trapped in this holding pattern for awhile. I’ll have an idea that I love, get started on it, but then it stalls and it never gets completed, it never gets written.

There’s multiple reasons for that, but the one thing that I have latched onto, I latched onto while reading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing, where he appears to emphasize speed and enthusiasm and momentum when it comes to writing.

This, admittedly, is something that my writing has lacked for a very long time. And it’s not because of a lost love for the craft (believe me, I’ve checked. Several times.) but because I stalled a lot. I lost time, and I spent some of it thinking and thinking is dangerous because it muddles the work. Dampens the speed and the sincerity of it all.

Thinking is dangerous.

Now there’s a potent sentence.

What could it possibly mean?

Well, in the context of this day and age, some might say that it could apply to being politically correct. Think before you speak, beware of offending someone, stop and think and make sure what you’re saying is right.

And yeah, definitely. It’s important to accurate and to not be an asshole.

But. (And this is a big butt we’re talking about ha ha comedic genius ha ha please clap)

160204075148-jeb-bush-audience-please-clap-new-hampshire-sot-00002230-exlarge-169
Photocreds to CNN

Remember to have a bit of urgency. Don’t slow down for anything. Hit a stride, keep moving. That’s something I need to remind myself of.

I really hope this helps me out of this rut I’ve been in- and I hope this thought helps you too- because I might not be fantastic at the moment but I can still run with an idea, feed the fire, feel everything.

And, hot mess that I am, I can definitely burn.

 

Rival

Whatever happened to compassion?
Because you seem to lack it despite
My Best Efforts. It’s so hard to love you
because their eyes are on you
and it drives me mad.

Some nights I swear they don’t see me
because they’re so focused on your
false “perfection.”
because their eyes are on you
and it drives me mad.

To them, you can do know wrong. But I
I see right through you, sinner- and you
Are not forgiven. For making me run
Run out of your shadow- forcing
me to do more…
because their eyes are on you.
And it drives me mad.

Confessions and Forward

It’s been a long week, but here I am again with another update.

So the project I was stuck on- I’m not ditching it per se, but I think I’m scaling back. I’m just going to create what I CAN to be the very best of my ability.

So enough vague talk- I’m going to be straight with you guys. I’m working on some material for YouTube. Some comedic, some serious- I’d say a pretty even mix of both. I’ll be re-editing and adapting some of my old blog material for release, and I’m actually going to see if I can’t film one thing tomorrow night. Originally, I was going for an episodic series, but writer’s block has got me scaling back. I’m just trying to keep it simple, you know? I think one-shot videos can have just as good an effect (if not greater because the narrative or argument isn’t spread across multiple parts).

It’s been an interesting challenge, actually. I don’t really write for a visual medium- and my previous forays into YouTube were really just silly improvisations that were a lot of fun to do- and while this is a tad bit more organized, I can assure you- it’s just as much fun and it’s something I love doing.

With that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot and I’ve reached a conclusion about The Oddity Writer.

I think I’ve taken some missteps with it, and I should apologize to you all.

As I’ve discussed before, there’s a bit of a stigma with putting up work on the Internet, and I’ve had to face that with my parents, and on occasion, my friends. And as a result, I’ve struggled to do this blog justice without the usual stories and articles I normally supplied. And as a result, I’ve failed to show this place the proper respect it deserves.

Well, no more of that.

It’s time to get down to business. Throw my back into it. I’m going to go through the old posts, remove what was lacking, try to organize everything. So if the site’s a bit of a mess over the next two weeks or so, my apologies. But until then, you can expect that I’ll be working on stuff that I’m proud of this time.

And I’m going to dive back into the blogs that have flourished into my absence. I’m always talking about how I appreciate every one of you guys. It’s time I put my money where my mouth is and express it and connect with you all.

I’ve missed this endeavor. And it’s good to dive back into it again.

Well then.

Time to begin.