Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Getting It In

OK I fell off of with both my yoga and writing over the 4th of July weekend, but I remain undeterred. And it's not like I haven't been writing at all, I've been drafting bits and pieces of this monthly status report (MSR) a couple of sentences at a time. But since I don't track it, I don't count it as part of my daily writing time.

I'm doing something slightly strange, I'm sitting at a bar with my laptop open and writing. WifeRat has been crashing on finishing a couple of papers and, while I wouldn't say that I was kicked out of the house, it was clear that my presence would be a distraction so I bounced down to U St. to see my boy ButterBurger at the Fainting Goat. I had a good experience writing longhand when I was at Trusty's last week, so I figured I would give drinking and blogging in public a shot.

I've been totally into writing longhand, it's definitely a little freeing to know that whatever you write down isn't likely to find its way into the gaping maw of the internet. Without the distraction of putting in a few links, like I feel somewhat obliged to do in a blog post, I find I write a lot more in a lot less time when I'm literally putting pen to paper. There's also a very primal feeling to writing longhand, like you're connecting with everyone whoever scrawled their thoughts on a piece of paper around the world, across time. Kind of like the Speed Force, only for writing.

This wasn't a great blog post, but I'm getting it in and that's what matters. I continue to work this muscle, to train it, to challenge it, to hone it, to make it better . . . I hope.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

How To Write a Lot

OK, so I took a writing class called "How to Write a Lot" yesterday at the Hill Center and part of the class was setting some goals and holding yourself accountable for writing. Among the many things I took away from the class, was the fact that everything I write doesn't have to be for posterity. Not everytime I put pen to paper (really 9/10 times it will be pounding keys like I"m doing now) has to be going somewhere or part of a greater whole or anything other than participating in the exercise of writing. That was kind of a freeing revelation, as was acknowledging that any writing I do is an inherently selfish indulgence and getting more comfortable with that idea.

Another tip we got yesterday that I think will prove most helpful to me going forward is one that I inadvertently used when starting this blog post: start off by writing one sentence that's true. Apparently this was a technique that Hemingway used when writing and, while I haven't read enough Hemingway to understand why everyone gets so steamed up for him, he accomplished a lot more as a writer than I likely will so I'm going to keep rolling with this tip until it's no longer useful to me.

I'm going to go ahead and put this out there so that if I falter, fake, or fail maybe one of y'all will hit me up and call me out. We had to set two week and four week goals in this class, my two week goal is to do six blog posts and to pitch an article to and my four week goal is to twelve blog posts and submit my article to Cracked. If I can discipline myself to actually write for an hour every day for six days a week these are realistic goals.

Blogging is pretty easy, I'm gonna bang out 500 or so words (what I consider to be an acceptable word count for a blog post) right now over these 20-30 minutes. The blog posts are going to be rough, no editing other than what I do while I'm writing, I'll use those to knock off the rust and get me ready for doing something that will actually be reviewed and evaluated. The Cracked article is going to be a little more difficult but, since I already have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to pitch, if I'm writing everyday I should be able to get it done.

I also picked up a writing partner in yesterday's class too. I exchanged email addresses with the guy sitting next to me in class and we said we're going to get together next week to hold each other's feet to the fire. As a happy coincidence he lives about 3 blocks away from me, so we'll probably meet at Sova (I'll never call it H St Coffee House or whatever the fuck they renamed it to, Frank Hankins FTW!!!!) and see how we're doing. We were talking and both agreed that shame is a powerful motivating factor, so I'm not gonna be the guy standing there like a 5th grader without his homework next week.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back to Life?

Yo, so it seems like any kind of energy/will I had towards actually sitting down and writing was being sapped by my former overlords and workplace at the Dept. of Stupidity. Now that I'm back to being part of a team, in a more high stakes, high performance, high stress, and high output situation I'm feeling the urge to express myself in more than a 140 characters at a time. But as I look at these last two sentences they're probably both not too much more than 140 characters. No matter, the dam is starting to crack and as I continue to have to write more and better for work, I will write more and better for myself.


Monday, February 20, 2012

One of These Days . . .

. . . I'm gonna start posting on the regular again, I swear.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Handsome Devil

I woke up early this morning. My bedroom was mostly dark, but some light managed to sneak in from the street lamp between the panels of window coverings. There was just enough light to outline one side of the cherubic face of my little boy as I put my hand on this chest and felt his heart beating there fast, steady, and strong.

As I looked at him, ran my fingers lightly over his cheeks, and pressed my face against his I thought about the awesome responsibility of raising this boy. This child came into the world a blank slate. All that it is written on him, both good & bad, comes from my hand at this point.

I think I'm doing OK so far.


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Here I Go Again

I'm putting myself on the clock again. I just dropped SkateRat off at a birthday party at Pump It Up and shot over to Chick-Fil-A and now I'm settled in at the Starbuck's across the parking lot ready to write.

First of all, the folks at Pump it Up are screwing the pooch by not having a coffee shop/bar attached to their place. Why let me and the money I just spent walk out of their business? There are also three other parents from the same party here too, it seems like they're missing out on strong revenue stream.

Anyway, rugby is getting ready to start back up soon. I'm trying to learn from the mistakes I made last year as a rookie coach, but I'm also kind of dreading the physical effort and emotional investment that coaching and playing for my team requires.

Last season when I was pissed off and disappointed in the team and my own inability to motivate them, "The Sandwich" (one of my players) counseled me to not it take it so seriously. It was solid advice, but ultimately it fell on deaf ears because that's just not me. I have to give up too much to play rugby, ask my family for too much to support me to not be hurt & distraught (yes, distraught) when I felt like my team quit on me.

I believe that I have it in me to be an amazing coach, but I doubt that I will reach my full potential as a coach staying with my own club. That's a thought which leads me to uncomfortable place: when and how will I stop being an active member of my own club? My club has been such a big part of my life for so many years I can't really imagine my life without those fools.

There it is, another crash & burn ending. But I did squeeze out another post.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

BabyRat No More

I decided on something a few weeks ago that I'm going to share with you now.

Since I started this blog almost five years ago I've referred to my oldest child as "BabyRat." When I dubbed her BabyRat it was a fitting title/Nom d' Blog, but she's almost six years old now and, while still given to frequent crying, is not a baby in any way, shape, or form. My daughter has blossomed into a kind, thoughtful, loving, beautiful, strong, tough, fearless, funny, adventurous, whip smart little kid.

She's such an amazing kid, watching her start to develop her own preferences and style is really fun to watch. Of course there's a massive element of self-congratulations in all of this because I'm the one who has her singing Cat Power and Lauryn Hill.

Anyway, she got a skateboard for Christmas this year and immediately asked me to take her to the Konkrete Jungle [Writer's Note: Totally got sidetracked updating shit in FourSquare instead of writing, now watch this crash & burn ending] when we got back from spending Christmas in Houston. Immediately it hit me that her new appallation should be SkateRat.

What could be more perfect to capture this kid's steez and fit in with the weird schtick I've come up with for myself in this blog?


Type your summary hereType rest of the post here


So Much Fail

Fuck, I'm not even coming close to posting once a week! It's just like school, I want to do it and do it well, but instead of just getting things done I procrastinate thinking to myself, "I still have time." The difference is that now instead of getting sidetracked by an opportunity to waste an afternoon/evening/night/semester bumping around maxin' & relaxin', smokin' & jokin', drinkin' & stinkin', my attempts to write are brought low by a whole different set of circumstances. Although these days I have quite a bit more to show for my missed deadlines than I did back then.

Rather than thinking I'm going to pop off with something epic, I'm just gonna put myself on the clock and force myself to write. One hour, one cup of coffee, one blog post.

I have to wonder if I just need the drama of a deadline to write because I did pretty good with my attempt to post everyday for a month. I guess it doesn't matter, I've identified another part of the problem (procrastination) and figured out a way to deal with it. So now what we're going to have here today is the contents of my mind late afternoon on a Thursday.