Your Environment Affects Your Life

Earlier this week, I noticed I started playing video games in the morning. This is not something I ever used to do on weekdays. Before I moved into the tiny house, I read actual books during breakfast. After I moved, my new environment made it a little awkward to eat and read at the same time, so I’d listen to an audio book or podcast with breakfast.

Then, I moved my computer up to the loft. This is where my bed, TV and video games are. Now that I have everything in one place, more of my time is spent here. Naturally, my eating routines moved up to the loft along with my computer. Since I eat breakfast while playing video games on the weekends, my brain associated the two things and I just wanted to do it. So I did.

The good news is that I was cognizant of these things. I’ve been a lot more aware of my habits and routines recently, which makes it easier to determine where I am, what I’m doing, where my behavior needs to be fixed. I found it interesting how significantly my actions changed because of a small change in my environment.

This morning, I chose to read instead of play video games.

Writing to Solve a Problem

One of the reasons I write every day is to work things out in my mind. When I write down my thoughts about certain subjects as they come to me, it helps me look at things in a new light, and arrive at different conclusions than I might have otherwise.

For instance, I’ve been thinking about quitting my day job for a while now, and yesterday I had more thoughts about it. I’ve managed to move into a remote position, which has vastly improved my quality of life. However, I still have days where I throw my hands up and tell myself I don’t want to do this anymore.

So, I spent about an hour or so writing out my feelings, and soon I was breaking down each of my worries, coming up with solutions to each one, and creating a plan for my next steps.

The conclusion I arrived at is that things won’t be as bad as I imagine they’ll be if I quit. I have enough saved up to last me quite a while. I know that I will quit, I just haven’t decided on the date that will actually happen, though. I’m still working things out. But, I’ve realized that if I continue writing my feelings on the subject, eventually it will lead to further action.

All that to say, writing is great for dissecting and analyzing your thoughts.

Work that shit out.

Starting Up Again

Hi. My name is David Goode, and I’m a writer.

I didn’t discover my love of writing until I was 33. That was over two years ago. I’ve written nearly every day since then. 

I write every day for a number of reasons:

  1. I enjoy it.
  2. It helps me process thoughts and emotions.
  3. It helps me learn.
  4. It is rewarding.

I write fantasy novels and non-fiction articles on Medium. I am also working on a script for a video game that my incredibly talented cousin is creating. Having this spread of projects is fulfilling. Even though I get paid very little for my writing, I still find it incredibly rewarding.

A Silly Thing That Used to Hold Me Back

I don’t know why it took me so long to find my love of writing. I guess I just thought I wasn’t smart enough, and that authors were some sort of supernatural, highly intelligent beings. While many authors are quite intelligent and may have Master’s degrees in complex subjects, I’ve learned all those things are not actually a requirement for being a writer.

Some of the more complex subject matter in most novels is simply the result of the author researching that specific subject. A lot of the stuff they write about was probably unknown to them before they wrote the book. It’s not like they magically know all this stuff or specialize in every subject they write about. An author who writes a fiction book about an astrophysicist is not typically an astrophysicist themselves. Similarly, if they write a beautiful description of a cathedral, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an architect.

The author doesn’t need to know everything that the character knows. They only need to know what is relevant to the story. In others words, an author should know a little bit about a lot of different things.

The only thing an author needs to do intelligently is write, which means (among other things) having a good sense of revelation; when to reveal, and when to conceal. If you can make your readers believe that the the smart character is actually a smart character, you’ve done your job. If you can paint a beautiful portrait of the cathedral with your words, you’ve done your job. The author, and the character whose point of view they are writing from, don’t need to tell us everything they know about the universe.

My Plan For The Website

As of now, I don’t have a solid plan for the content of this website. The only rule I’ve made for myself is that I will post something new once a week.

For now, at least, I won’t:

  • have any length requirements.
  • have content requirements.

I will just write whatever is on my mind, and make it look somewhat publishable. The important thing for now is to establish a cadence. It doesn’t matter too much what I write, because no one will read it at first, anyway.

One important part of writing a good story is having proactive characters who drive the plot.

I guess with all this I’m just taking a cue from my own characters: driving the plot of my own life, and seeing where it takes me.

How about you?

Intentional Writing

Every sentence needs to have a purpose. This is from Seth Godin:

A simple editing trick:

Every sentence has a purpose. It doesn’t exist to take up space, it exists to change the reader, to move her from here to there.

This sentence, then, what’s it for?

If it doesn’t move us closer to where we seek to go, delete it.

Good words to remember whether writing fiction or non-fiction.

Move it forward, have a purpose.

Just Kidding

I’m going to keep up with the daily blog for the time being.

So, here we are, the start of the month. I finished my social media detox project and am working on an article talking about what I learned over this past month and how a social media detox helped me to take the next step in my creative journey.

So what is this blog now?

Still figuring that one out. And I think the best way to figure it out is to just keep it an, unpolished, daily thing.

Except I’m going to change the format a bit.

I’ll keep Something I Read Today.

Something I Learned Today will just be part of the general writing blurb, and the purpose of the What I Did Today section was to highlight all the different things I did as opposed to being on social media, so I think I’ll ax that.

So, for now, I’m going to keep it in this daily tracking/journal sort of format.

Something I Read Today

“With every month that passes, the corners are knocked off the certainties of this world: and the next world too.” -From Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

My Last Day

Social Media Detox Project: Day 31

Here it is, the last day of my social media detox project.

What have I learned from this experience?

Who knows?

Hopefully something. Whatever it is, it requires more thought than I have capacity for at the moment, given that it’s my bedtime.

So, I guess that’s my lesson: I should complete these posts earlier in the day so I don’t fall asleep at the keyboard.

Will I go back to social media after today?

Who knows?

I don’t have any inclination to go back. I like the places that I am focusing my energy currently.

But what I will probably do is set a weekly limited time with social media, like 20 mins posting and interacting on Sundays or something.

As for this blog, I’m not sure, either.

I like keeping track of my days and paying them more attention, which this blog has allowed me to do.

I have to determine whether the time commitment is worth it.

I guess I always need to have the following question on the brain:

Would I rather do something else than this thing I am doing right now?

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Blog writing

Video editing

Something I Read Today

“In Italy, you could always fight in the summer, if you felt like it. If you wanted to go out.” -From Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

Something I Learned Today

Creativity is not about how good you are relative to others.

It’s about getting better than you were.

Maybe

Social Media Detox Project: Day 30

Experimentation starts with maybe.

Maybe I don’t need to stay in my day job for the next six months to a year.

Maybe I can find a more solid stepping stone on my way to self-employment, as I trudge through this mud field to more solid ground.

Maybe I will be able to pay off my student loans with money from work I actually enjoy.

Maybe…

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Blog writing

Family time

Something I Read Today

“‘Nothingness’ gives your brain the time to think, the time for self-reflection, in which you can take back control of your life and do all those things that matter the most to you. It helps you to establish the work-life balance which has been eluding you for so long, in spite of your best efforts” –How To Be Insanely Creative in Life by Ravi Shankar Rajan

Something I Learned Today

That I need to dive deeper to find what I want.

The Beating Heart of Creative Work

Social Media Detox Project: Day 29

I’m having fun diving deeper into the characters I’m creating for my novel.

Figuring out all their quirks, and how the different world-building elements affect their lives and personalities is an interesting way to examine my own worldview.

I guess I’m learning more about myself, as I slowly uncover the beating heart of my creations.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Posted a YouTube video

Writing critique for a friend

Something I Read Today

“The veined stone will be his monument, when his own veins are drained by an embalmer; when his limbs are set like marble, an inscription of his virtues will be picked out in gold.” -From Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Something I Learned Today

I need to continue to remain aware of my self-doubt, but not let it take control over me. I need to continue believing in what I’m doing and allow the flicker of what I’m trying to say shine through everything I create.