Why “Making Time to Write” Is a Bullshit Excuse (And You Know I’m Right!)

Just a little while ago I attempted (keyword) to finish an article published in a magazine about writing. The title had something to do with saying yes to yourself as a writer. And the author lauded on and on about…well, frankly, I couldn’t tell you. She talked about getting lost on social media. She talked about savings quotes on Google Drive. She talked about hearing from another writer that they get up at 5 am to make time to write. Having been an exemplary member of the 5 am Club for a long time, I understand finding quiet time. With that, I have no argument.

Continue reading
Advertisements

Have You Read ‘1984’ Lately?

Okay, so a little disclaimer. This really isn’t related to the administration currently in office. For future reference, this post was initially drafted in January 2019.

I’m only about 45% through the book. So, I won’t make observations past that point. And that’s all this post is…a list of observations and how they appear to correlate to our current time in life.

If you’ve never read the book, you should. It’s on Amazon Prime for free if you’re a Prime member. Libraries have it, too.

Big Brother Is Watching You

So, in the very beginning of the book, Winston is entering into the building where his apartment is located. There is a poster of “Big Brother.” The caption reads “Big Brother Is Watching You.”

My take here is all the damn technology we have (that I am also currently using to post this missive). All the stupid fucking disclaimers people slap up on their Facebook profiles thinking it means Facebook, the government, and our alien overlords can’t take their private info. News flash: when you accepted Facebook’s terms of use / terms of service, you sold your privacy. If you don’t like that, get off of Facebook.

Anyway, you know exactly what I’m talking about…how it seems like you even think that you need to buy something and the ad pops up. I understand how it happens from searching for something via a search engine and then seeing targeted ads on websites and social media. It’s the big, wide world of cookies.

Think about all of the private conversations leaked by Alexa. There’s technology out there that allows people, government or not, to see you through your web cam and you’d NEVER know it (I know – I was victimized by it by the ex). Apps (broad use – anything that allows the following actions to happen) can be used to see everything you type on your computer, your cell phone, your smart anything. Again, there’s a chance you may never know it’s there. Some of the choices are so sophisticated, you won’t find them unless you are very, very skilled or hire someone very, very skilled.

So, yes, we are being watched…all the time. And, yes, it’s okay if you’re okay with that. This isn’t some paranoid idea. It’s just a thought I had the minute I read that in the book.

Newspeak

When I first read this word, I did not read it as new + speak. I read it as news + speak. Immediately it conjured up in my mind the uptick of clickbait. Poorly worded and often intentionally misleading headlines. For example, I recently saw a local news channel’s tweet about a missing 11 year old boy who was found safe and….”no foul play suspected.” Well, I’d fucking hope not since you said he was found safe.

It used to be, not all that long ago, that clickbait type shit was primarily used by people who do what I do (content writing). I’m not a huge fan of it, but it can be used appropriately. I’ve used a few titles that are clickbait designed without being over the top:

Example 1

Example 2

My blog, as all of you know, isn’t monetized. But, I mean, if you’re going to write a blog and you want to be known for what you say, you’re going to create things that bring in clicks…but what I’ve offered via headline has always been supported by the content.

Now, it seems like major journalistic outlets (and even not so major ones) use a ridiculous amount of clickbait and flat out false information both in their title and within the article. There was a time when we ostracized “professionals for that.”

And for good reason. Journalism used to be about truth. Fiction was saved for…well, fiction writers (including novel authors, novella authors, and writers for rag magazines).

Yet, the idea of new + speak isn’t completely foreign to me. I know it isn’t for you, either. I don’t just mean common slang. In the book, the term essentially means that they take away all the options to say something except one or two ways. So that the populace only said what the government wanted. I mean, it is a book that also highlights the idea of a thought crime.

Thought crimes…I could devote an entire post to just that. Anyway…

I liken it to the continued reduction we see in reading comprehension. And, yes, I know there are several legitimate reasons why someone may struggle to comprehend what they read. For many people, though, they just don’t want to be bothered to pick up a dictionary and learn something.

Victory Gin and Cigarettes

I will keep this quite short.

People are a lot easier to control when you keep them eyeball deep in various addictions. When that’s all someone cares about, it’s harder to see the big picture and what’s happening in their lives and in the world.

The Proles

The proles were those looked down upon by most of the working class. This part of society was fairly self contained. They technically had the same laws, but the police never went to enforce them. They could pretty much do what they wanted….and they never realized the power they had if they would only stand up.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Mandatory Jobs as a Federal Worker

So, I sat down to write this today instead of first finishing the book because some friends of mine who have an afternoon talk show here in my city mentioned AOC and some of the things she’d like to do while in office. One of those things is to make everyone a federal employee. You know, just like in 1984. First, let me state that I have no idea if she actually said or alluded to that.

Can you imagine what would happen to everyone right now during the government shutdown? And there would likely still be a shutdown because we have too many cooks trying to lead the kitchen. The book mentions rationed food, no razors, fake coffee, televisions that watch you and that you must interact with to show your support, and persecution (including death) for thought crimes.

Sounds dreamy. And by dreamy I mean some fucking nightmare.

Screens That Constantly Watch You

The book discusses the placement of screens that constantly watch what’s happening…where they can talk directly to you. You can’t have private conversations. You can’t just associate with anyone you want. If you even LOOK like you don’t support the government, they come and get you.

Pretty easy for me to relate that to our constant use of technology. You can revisit my yammering toward the top to refresh yourself.

Finding a Hide Away

Like I said, I’m only about half through the book…but several times Winston and someone (I won’t try to spoil it for you, but it’s not his wife). sneak off to find hide aways to spend time together.

Remember when we used to be told what a wonderful tool technology would be and how it would make our lives easier? Now we have zombies who constantly look at their screens and probably have legitimate withdrawals without their phone or laptop or tablet or video game. Now, it’s considered progress to “unplug” and not feel like we are constantly tethered to devices. Look at that…what was once the master became the slave.

So, if you get the chance, read 1984 by George Orwell. There are so many points I could make that I haven’t just with the first half of the book…

Proof of Just How Frightening Our Educational System Is

I went to public schools. I turned out alright. I even went to public schools long before the Internet was a thing. We had maps of the United States. We had to memorize all fifty states and the name of each city that was a state capitol. 

And the poor state of public education in the United States is recognized by most of us. I mean, Rhode Island has a lawsuit going. I don’t even want to talk about the state of education here in Oklahoma. 

Of course, there are people who complain about paying taxes to improve school conditions, buy new books, and pay teachers. I’d just like to point out to those of you that bitch about the cost of education that it will eventually bite us all in the ass…kinda like how this DC clerk tried to say that New Mexico was a FOREIGN country

First World Writing Problem: My Never-Ending Manuscript

About three-ish years ago, I started a manuscript all about how to start a business. Around 18 months ago, it was almost finished. Then, I suffered the dreaded flash drive crash. I lost it. I had no back-up (like an idiot). You would think that I would have learned my lesson having suffered a similar fate about a year prior to that with some client files stored on a flash drive that dropped dead. But,no.

Anyway, I had to start my manuscript over. I created an outline and that’s what I did. The problem? It’s become the never-ending manuscript. See, the previous version was finished at around 15k words. Like, it was ready to have the loose ends tied up. This one? Nope. I’m at over 30k. I still have three sections to complete.

I know that doesn’t sound like a BFD to anyone because most writers deal with writer’s block. I don’t. I suffer from the opposite: idea diarrhea. I keep thinking of shit to go back and add to previous sections because I want people to really get the most information possible out of this book. And the idea diarrhea is starting to piss me off. Because with the way my brain works, the book may never end.

Idea diarrhea

It’s also an overstimulation of my poor brain. I had a great day yesterday (and the day before and the day before and, well, just keep going back for a couple of months). Last night, I thought hey I’ll just sit down and work on this…there’s only three more sections!

Within two hours, I was fucking pissed. Not at anything in particular other than myself. I like my writing. I like my book. It was just overstimulating to keep going back and adding to different things and. I was totally worked up and stressed up and had to stop working on it.

This morning, as I piddled around the house (we’re doing our Thanksgiving tomorrow) listening to a Tony Robbins podcast, I had yet another idea to add. It was a good one. I never did make it to my laptop to jot it down. I’ve since forgotten it (and that’s probably not a bad thing).

By the way, this WordPress update fucking sucks.I’m writing my initial post in Word to copy it over because if I backspace onetime in WordPress to correct a problem, the whole fucking post disappears. It’s also not properly spacing between words. Get your shit together, WordPress.

WTF Wednesday

Yeah, I know…when I do these it’s usually a Friday thing…but it’s fall break here so it is sort of kind of Friday, at least for Baby Bull. Today, I read a horrifying story about a woman who murdered her nonverbal autistic son by leaving him a hot car. The news story pissed me off because of its content and because the headline talked about how the woman’s Google search results were “disturbing.” Her Googling was far less disturbing (“teen dies in minivan” and “autistic children and reincarnation”) than the messages she sent her friend, the living conditions of her child, AND her blatant lies. 

She said that she took a nap and that when she woke up, her kid (who had a history of wandering away) was just GONE. Okay, so as a mom who has a nonverbal autistic child who spends 95% of his time with me (outside of school), let me tell you something…you do not turn your back on a child who has a history of wandering away. You do NOT leave them unsupervised. Ever. Baby Bull isn’t much of a wanderer although he will definitely try to run away if something scares him. And there’s no telling what will scare him. So, when we go out walking, I always hold his hand. He is not allowed to go outside into the front yard alone. The screen door stays locked. Our backyard is fully fenced. He can go out with moderate supervision (ie I am not constantly over his shoulder) into the backyard when we offer OR he lets us know in some way (usually pointing or saying “outside”) that’s what he wants. We also have two large dogs who I can assure you will not let anyone (or any other animal) within three feet of him. 

There is absolutely no excuse for this. Special needs exist. It doesn’t matter how you label it. There are solutions. Solutions include better parenting (that can include taking classes if you really don’t know what to do), getting professional help to come INTO the home to help you OR help with your kid, and there are also facilities for placement. 

I really hope that woman gets the death penalty and I am not a big fan of capital punishment for several reasons (none of it really has to do with moral inclination).