Tag Archives: college

Setting Goals: The New Year

And here we are! The year 2016. Isn’t it shiny and new and filled with potential? Maybe. The new is always very alluring for awhile, since it is unfamiliar and, perhaps most importantly, different. I think that might be why we set resolutions at the start of each new year, as if we’re exhilarated or motivated by that shiny sense of newness.

I don’t know that I can set concrete goals for myself that I’ll realistically keep. I won’t deny that, no, not at all. I’m hopelessly addicted to caffeine, and I like it that way. I smoke weed a decent amount, but again, why not? In a very real, very emotional sense, I’m feeling better than I have in quite some time, and though the calendar’s reset, I feel no need to alter my habits. They’re firmly in place, and perhaps I finally am, too.

If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that we can be sure of nothing. No future is set in stone, so why bother labeling what hasn’t happened yet? Maybe this will be the year of Self-Development, or maybe it’ll be the year of Disappointments. Probably it’ll be a Mixed Bag, though, a treasure trove of good and bad. All I want to do is stay afloat in all the craziness.

Staying afloat for me is writing as much as possible, and reading enough to match. I’m excited about where I can take my writing, largely because I feel so free to fuck up. I am writing for no one but myself, in the creative sense. Academics are different and admittedly important, but different. The creative stuff is what fuels the imagination, what keeps me level, what helps me escape. I want to prioritize writing over most other things, which I failed to do in 2015.

I wrote two solid short stories during my first semester of college. Neither were exceptional for my own abilities, I don’t think, but they were solid, and I learned from both experiences. I’m in the process of a longer story, likely a novelette, about a woman who is apparently “randomly” chosen to be an intermediary for a massive alien conflict, a budding war, many lightyears away. It’s currently titled “The Good Teacher.” I’d like to finish it in the next two weeks. I want to produce as much writing as possible this year, setting times for myself to write during the day, every day, working around classes and homework. It’s easy to be distracted, and I must control myself as a writer if I hope to improve. That’s probably every writer’s goal, ultimately, but it helps to make Step One writing it down. Once it’s written down, I may be guilt-ridden if I defy my own word. Christ, it’s all I’ve got.

I don’t post frequently on this blog, which is something I’m considering changing. I keep my own personal journal for venting and I write enough otherwise, but there’s something nice about knowing others are reading your words.

And if you are reading these words, I hope you’ve begun your year happily. I hope past resentments can be dissolved, grudges deteriorated, negative thoughts deflated. Do something you love, whether it’s sketching or napping or eating good food, and when you’re doing that thing, remark upon how lovely it is, and don’t forget it.

You’re only as beautiful as you see yourself.

Happy New Year,

J

12:15 a.m.

Listen to: All of these! I’ve selected some of my newest favorite songs that I’ve recently discovered. Indyish rock, folk rock, etc.

“Blood, Love, Dirt, Stop!” by The Heavy

“Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs

“Blackstar” by David Bowie (Holy shit, watch the music video even if you’ve never heard the man)

“The Walk” by Mayer Hawthorne 

“All the Dogs Are Lying Down” by Johnny Flynn

PS. Anyone see the new Star Wars? Holy shit. John Williams’s entire score was on point again…as usual…and “Rey’s Theme” really stood out to me.

 

Creeping Depression and Writer’s Block (A Word-Vomit)

In perfect form, I’ve gone all summer without posting anything on this blog. Also in perfect form, I’ve done very little writing since the summer began…and now it’s almost September. I suppose that’s how things go sometimes.

It hasn’t been an easy summer. I think, since graduating high school, there’s been an underlying dread attached to every thought of leaving home or being in college. Honestly, I don’t fully want to do it. Until September 3, I’m still in my home town, sitting around drinking coffee and pretending to be productive. I know that, for my own best interest, I need to get away. But I also know that, for my own selfish interests, I want to stay and have nothing change.

Besides my reluctance to hop the nest, I’m dealing with the long-term post-breakup depression that literally every other incoming college freshman is probably experiencing on some level. Who hasn’t had a breakup before going off to their first year of college? Happy people, maybe. I haven’t really felt happy in a while. That’s a scary thing, if you’ve never experienced it. I don’t actually know if I’ll be happy today, because I know my mind can concoct reasons not to be…no matter the beauty of a thing. I find myself lingering on questions that should have been answered two months ago. I find myself worrying about my quality as a human, as a significant other. I find myself wondering how I could have been different, and if I even should have been.

Those are the big things. And they’re trying to command the forefront of my attention. When I let them, I spiral. It’s hard not to spiral because it’s so easy.

It’s not like I’m creatively spent, of course. I don’t think that’s possible for sardonic teenagers. I get new ideas every day. What if a man was trapped inexplicably in a house with four locked, multicolored doors? What if a time-traveler was forced to stop traveling, confined to a containment unit, watching his friends and loved ones age without him? What if a small town was trapped by a gang of malevolent, bodiless witches?

Oh, look! Common themes: Capture. Containment. Helplessness. I wonder where those narrative delicacies came from.

I know I need to get out. I know I need a change. But change is scary. Change is things you’re not prepared for, things you’ve never dealt with. And it only makes it worse that everyone’s left already, or will be gone soon. In a month this will seem trivial, irrelevant. Now it’s scary. So when, aside from that, you’re also dealing with writer’s block, a debilitating ailment that renders people like me completely useless, you can see how things become a little hazy mentally. I’m keeping myself up by reading and going for walks, but I just have to wait. I can only hope that in the future, my writing returns to me. I really need it to, because I don’t know that I can function without it.

12:46 PM

J

Listen to: “L’America” by the Doors

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. While it’s not really a holiday I get behind, personally, I hope everyone has a nice one–whether you spend it alone or with each other, treat yo’ self.

A little about me… The one-act plays directed by three seniors (including myself) at our school are coming to a close. Today is our last performance at 2 p.m., and I couldn’t be happier with the work my cast as put in to this play, The Real Inspector Hound. I’ll be sad to finish things up, but on the bright side, I’ll have a little more time for myself after. Plus, our next vacation is coming swiftly, and I can’t wait to get some serious work done in the world of writing. I plan to do heavy revisions on some older stories, but also to finish writing my audio drama, a project I’m wildly excited about. I’ve already got a long list of people who have agreed to be in the cast, and I hope to have finished it and begin recording during April. Stay tuned for more on that, because I think my followers could be an enormous help in giving feedback and attention to the final product, hopefully sometime in the late spring or early summer.

I don’t really want to talk about high school here, since I receive mental stress fractures every time I think about it. In a nutshell, I’m grateful it’s almost over and that I’ll be able to step through a new shiny door in my life and shut this dusty one behind me. There are a lot of things I’m willing and ready to leave behind, some that I’ll carry with me, and even more that I can’t wait to meet for the first time. On the whole, while life right now feels hectic and taxing, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m really looking forward to losing this snow, too. It starts to weigh on you mentally after a while, and I’d love a warm day or two…or a hundred. I really miss the kind of weather that doesn’t give you frostbite, but I suppose that’s Vermont for you.

I hope any of the people who are reading this are happy and healthy. Remember to put yourself first. Get sleep, get food, get time. Once you’ve helped yourselves, help others, if you can. Again, I thank you all so much for reading my posts and taking the time to like them as well as my page. Even a few counts toward something. Sometime in the future I’ll be sharing some writing with you, perhaps once things have settled a little for me. I’ll always be looking for feedback, critiques, or just friendly messages.

Love each other and the world. Happy Valentine’s Day.

J

11:25 a.m.

P.S. I’ve really been digging Chadwick Stokes. Check out his songs “Horse Comanche” and “Mother Maple.”

Increasing My Web Presence

Hi, y’all.

I’m writing the obligatory update post, since it’s been a little more than a week since the last. Not too much has happened since, although I was accepted to Bennington College. That’s pretty exciting, considering they’re only three hours from home, and I have my fingers crossed for good financial aid. We’ll see. If everything works out, I hope to be attending there in the fall. It’s such a nice little school with super cool programs and a small but interesting campus.

I also recently spoke to a couple of local publishers who run a business helping writers self-publish, especially specializing in the marketing realm. This was an interesting visit and it taught me a few things, but I also realized that I must try to increase my web presence. I suppose I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I do know it must include more twitter posts and…stuff? Right? Whatever, I’ve also decided I must gain a bit of a readership, so that we can gauge interest in my stories. I’m still deciding how I’d like to share exactly, but I’m thinking I may upload the writing in pieces in PDFs–which will include posting them here, on Tumblr, on Twitter, and even Facebook. I’m still ruminating, and a lot of stuff needs revision before I’ve reached that point, but it’ll happen. I hope a few of my WordPress followers will be interested in reading my stories when they come out in the not-too-distant future. They’re science fiction, and each is around 50 pages, some less, some more. I think some people here might really enjoy them.

I really want to expand my following online, I think that’ll be very important when I near publication–which is suddenly a far more foreseeable goal. Something I might actually be able to attain! How exciting (and frightening).

I’ll discuss all that in more detail in a later post. For now, I suppose I’m just saying hello! I know I have quite a small following on WordPress, but to all of you who may read this, I hope you’re doing well, and I thank you very much for giving me a few minutes of time. Even the smallest crowd is a crowd nonetheless.

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday! I’m gonna sit back with something hot and read some Bradbury, I think.

Till next time!

J

4:13 p.m.

PS. For your listening pleasure, try out “Hello, Dolly!” by Louis Armstrong. And if you’re not into that sort of thing, try “Creep in a T-Shirt” by Portugal. The Man.