Procrastination Nation and Other Stories

Hey WordPress it’s been a while. Don’t worry it wasn’t you, its me. It’s just I’ve had a lot going on you know, I just couldn’t really commit to anything right now. I had like a work thing, then my sister was over and then, and then, and then nothing…

As you can probably tell I fell of my schedule big time. I went to a work night out two weeks ago and since then all plans went kaput. A few days of heavy drinking really puts life on the back burner. It really knocked me for a while no wonder alcoholics lives fall apart.

This means here is not to update on the creative front. I’ve slowly been building back to “The Schedule” over the past few days. The early night, early mornings, (though not as early as I should be) eating breakfast (but not as much fruit) and I’ve read a bit, listened to a fair few writing podcasts. So basically half arsing what I started a few weeks ago. Still trying to remain positive though.

I’ve still done nothing creative, my self set deadline is up in the next couple of days and the fear is creeping in but I won’t let it get me. Not today Satan. I’ve also just read Max Landis’ Power Rangers script which has given me screen writing tingles. I sort of fell out of love with screen writing after university but I’m Kinda feeling it, it was a fun read. That should have been the new movie, more interesting scenes, more developed characters and better jokes. Speaking of Power Rangers, I downloaded a stupid freemium app and the nostalgia is strong.

I’m going through a Power Rangers thing. I’m going to bed now, I think mania is setting in, I just wanted to get something on here.

Night.

V x

Relapse: Day Three

Still struggling to fully get out of this funk. Still got my morning routine down but I keep fucking up post work. I also had a Pizzahut and now I feel like the backend of a Human Centipede. Oh pizza why hath thou forsaken me! At least shit food Now makes me feel as shit, should help with lowering intake. I keep visualizing it rotting me from the onside and spreading like a symbiote on Spider-Man. Are comic book similies still cool? Is pop culture so mainstream now its just culture? Is the fact that Steven Spielberg is doing a film of a book inspired by the films of Steven Spielberg going to make civilization crumble into a pit of winks and nudges? I dunno but Ready Player One looks awesome. Just some food for thought. Ugh food, food can fuck off.

V

Off the Wagon of Self Improvment.

Yesterday was another write off schedule wise and today hasn’t been a great start.

I went into work early yesterday to cover another illness. I had a pretty good day targets wise, further reducing the stress of targets. On the downside it messed up my scheduling again. once i got home, that old thorn procrastination burrowed in. “I’ll have my dinner then write.” “i should watch a film while i eat.” “it’s too late now I’ll go to bed.” is how the internal conversation went. To make matters worse i woke up late this morning feeling sluggish and tired. This could be to do with the donut i decided to treat myself to yesterday (naughty) and the shitty frozen chicken burgers i had for dinner.  NTS stop eating processed, frozen shit.

I eventually dragged myself out of my Gollum pit and followed my usual routine. i had a healthy breakfast and took the dogs for a walk. looking at it even though it has only been a week or so i think this is the longest i have stuck to a routine (pretty much) since before sixth form. I must be getting better to some extent even if it’s slowly. I also havent wrote this frequently without a deadline nipping at my heels. It isn’t what i should be writing but old habits die-hard and new ones take time. At least my procrastination is productive, to an extent. I have a week off coming up so apart from my sisters visit at the weekend i should be able to get my routine back on track.

reading back over this i realise it is just word-vomit of my current musings. I am a better writer and more interesting that these post would suggest, promise. Right now I need to just get into a pattern of writing everyday, even if it is just this whiney drivel. check back for more interesting content soon!

V

P.S. I am trying a new app on top of Fabulous named HabitBull. It allows a more self-created set of goals, it is however not as in-depth or leading as Fabulous.

P.P.S. The Film I watched was called “Before I Fall” it is Mean Girls via Groundhog Day. Entertaining in a trashy way and an easy background/brain-dead movie. Good message and character development. i give it six Brapples.

 

Spanners in works.

Today was not at all as productive as I intended. I got called into work due to someone calling in sick, on the plus side I surpassed all work targets so that’s some pressure off.

Breaking sceduale threw my whole day into disarray, and even after i got home (after another wasted hour food shopping) I couldn’t get back into the rythem of things. No creative writing got done which is very disappointing, also the dogs didn’t get their morning walk. Back on the ball tomorrow.

I did however manage to get a few more sections read of “writers little helper” with some interesting points on structure, beginnings and endings. 

I am writing this is bed on the app so hopefully my phone doesn’t cause any format issues. I dont really know what else to day for today. I hope this blog gets more interesting for people. It all seems like jibberish. 

V  

Yesterday – (can skip. boring)

I didn’t get a chance to post last night. in the past I would beat myself up over it and give up but not this time. My moods have started levelling out a bit from the week of motivation but I intend on powering through. I’m still sticking to my schedule for the most part, i got up a bit later than I intended to this morning. Still up a lot earlier than I normally would be though.

Yesterday I went through my schedule as follows:

08.00 – get up and eat a breakfast of porridge with banana and nuts, a big cup of water and some lemon green tea.

08.30 – I walked the dogs.

9.30 – I was supposed to start writing as soon as I got in but got distracted doing dishes and other chores.

11.00 – finally started writing.

So far, I have discovered my characters, setting and basic plot. My next step after work today is to plan out a timeline and scene outline.

14.00 – went shopping to pick up food.

16.00 – had a bath

16.30 – prepared food

17.00 – watched hunger (2008; Steve McQueen)

18.30 – played games

00.00 -bed

I’m pretty sure I didn’t play games for 5 hours so I have missed something out somewhere but I can’t think.

This post is particularly boring but I have to go to work and wanted to stay consistent.

V

 

Fresh Starts.

Well, here is my first (of hopefully many) positive post about my journey to contentment. First, I’ll give you a brief catch up on what’s been going on with me for the past couple of years or so:

Roll back two years, I had found myself on a real downward spiral of alcohol abuse to try and smooth off the edges of my fractured psyche. I have always been a heavy drinker but it fast became a daily habit. Over time this caused me to regress back to the bad habits of my youth. I took up smoking cigarettes after five years off them along with heavy cannabis use. I felt it was time for a change. A mixture of mania and flight response lead me to uproot and make the trip across the narrow sea to Northern Ireland.

The Plan: Get into University to study an MA in creative writing. The Problem: A. I am rusty as hell and B. I am a chronic procrastinator. Of course, this lead to me not getting on the course. This in turn resulted in me having to get a job just like the one I had just ran away from; leaving me in the same position I was trying to escape.

Over the past two years I have been on medication to try and combat my mental ailments. After several changes and increased doses it seems I have finally found something stable. This became apparent just over a week ago, when I just stopped smoking. I had been thinking about it for a while but one day I just had the motivation. At first I thought this may just be a fluke incident but I also found that my alcohol craving had also gone. This was followed swiftly by the realisation that for the first time for maybe 10 years the crushing dread inside me was gone. Its tight grip had released and I could see through the fog of my mind. It was almost holistic when I found the app. Ritually browsing through the play store before bed I found the “fabulous” app under recommendations (I had already tried several apps in the past to no avail). The concept was simple:

Step one: get up early.

Step Two: hydrate immediately.

Step Three: have a good breakfast such as porridge and fruit.

Step four: build from there.

I set an alarm for 8AM and went to sleep. For completing these simple steps I was rewarded with a letter of praise and a competed day, for some reason that was enough. For the past week I have got up at 8AM (7.30AM if I’m in an early shift at work) and I’m feeling great. These tasks have resulted in other things falling into place:

  1. I have fixed my sleeping pattern, no more gaming till 4am.
  2. I have energy during the day, it doesn’t take me three hours to feel human.
  3. I take the dogs out early getting me some fresh air and exercise in the early morning light.
  4. I have cut out sweets, fizzy drinks and food with high sugar content, the crash was horrific.
  5. Eating a lot more fruit and nuts to fill the gap left by the sweets.
  6. Staying hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.
  7. Started structuring my whole days, even those I would usually spend in a vegetative state.
  8. I am reading a lot more, a past time I have really let fall to the wayside.

Overall I feel healthier, happier, more energetic and a lot more motivated. I feel like myself.

Everybody wants to be a leader, its only recently I realised that you can still be an independent person who needs direction. This is something I have really struggled with since being out of the school system. I find it hard to self motivate but stepping back and looking at myself as an outside observer and scheduling my life in advance has really helped.

I really feel great and intend to keep up these practices and hope it sets me on the right path. I have been told not to change too much at once but I use this motivation as much as I can for as long as it lasts. I really hope it does. I would like to apply for the course again but term time is really drawing near. hopefully if I can continue to write everyday (three days down) I will find my voice again in time to finish an application.

Tomorrow I will give a full break down of my schedule and activities, successes and failures. I want to to be as honest as possible with this, I think it will help.

V

 

Feed The Right Wolf

I awoke with the rare urge to write but found that I was overcome with panic and despair as I stared at a blank page. my mind was a haze with a dark fog. there was something blocking my thoughts, something rancid. I picked at this vile obstruction until like an ancient scab it began to ooze. below is its remnants of this stated trauma. much of this may read familiar to those who have read my posts prior but I promise you, this is the last.

Why do I want to write?

Well I’ve always considered myself a creative person and always enjoyed constructing world and characters. I’ve just never done it enough. People write because they love to write but my self-criticism and fear of failure overpower me. I have the ideas, I get them from dreams, walking, commutes, listening to podcasts, in the bath/shower, sitting in silence. The inspiration is there I just can’t bring it to fruition. It seems I would rather stare into space or be bored than risk creating something shite.

Am I stupid for wanting to write?

There are people my age and above who have dedicated their life to writing (or anything else for that matter) from an early age. Many knew that’s what they wanted to do since they were kids. They are naturally creative and have a need to do it, I don’t have that need just guilt and fear.

The thing is, looking back, it has always been at the core of every decision I made in regards to education, prospects and hobbies. Game design = telling stories. filmmaking = telling stories, podcasting = telling stories. The list goes on. I love stories and all my life all I ever wanted to be was in one.

Trapped in this place called reality.

I’ve always had this nagging in the back of my mind that my defining moment was around the corner. That my adventure was about to begin. It never did. I never found my way to Fantasia, received a letter from Hogwarts or was given my damn keyblade. People I used to know, used to date I see traveling the world. The closest thing to an honest to god adventure. I wish I had pushed, I wish that this was my ambition from the start. They worked hard, they saved money and did something worthwhile. I floated about getting shitfaced and waiting for the world to give me my due. A due I do not deserve. I’m trying to fix it. I really am

I already feel old.

My head is balding my energy is draining and I can feel death gaining, I’m fat without eating, I huff and puff and ache. Sometimes now I am the oldest one in the room. I don’t understand why people like current music, I don’t get their fads and I look down on them in disgust and am bitter of their youth. I’ve became a walking fucking cliché of everything I hated about adults. How much time have I wasted? I feel like I’ve barely lived, this was never the life I was supposed to lead. Now I’m twenty seven and all I’ve done is work jobs with companies that try to make it seem like what we do is important. It isn’t, none of it. Your worth is based on your ability to talk people into buying shit they don’t need. You are only worth your last months figures and you sure as hell better hit those targets.

An immovable object and an unstoppable force.

I am literally my own worst enemy. Narcissism and utter self-loathing always at odds. I often have feelings of superiority while knowing I’m faking intelligence, knowledge or talent of any sort. I expect the world to give me what it owes me, but I know I can’t just wait and reap reward. I feel the world revolves around me and everyone should jump to my every whim, but I know I’m a worthless piece of shit. I give nothing back to the people who show me love, I won’t to the slightest task if it puts me out, even getting off the sofa. I just want to be left alone and judge my worth on the pointless shit I can buy and the games and TV shows I complete. Why the fuck am I like this?

Where is my drive?

I grew up with the idea that I always had a destiny. I had a purpose. I was a “chosen one”. I’ve made myself lazy. I’ve never really had to struggle for anything, I’ve wanted for nothing. Maybe that’s it, maybe I have no real stories to tell. I have no experience. I look at others and their writing eludes me. I feel I will never master the twist and the turns, the use of language and the rich character depth that they produce. I know I need to quit whining and feeding myself excuses, I live in a world without destiny, this world gives you nothing. You must take it.

Depression is a drug.

I’m sad all the time. I have no reason to be, but I am. I have a job, a loving girlfriend and two little shit dogs. I struggle with money occasionally but that is all due to spending habits and easily fixable nowhere near I, Daniel Blake shit. So why can’t I sleep? I always have this nagging sense of worthlessness. I am slowly sliding towards the void, I try to struggle but I cant get any traction and the void just waits. Sometimes I have to ask myself if its real. Do I really feel like this or am I creating it? Is it an excuse I’ve given myself? “I’m fucked up so I can’t do anything worthwhile.” Is it that I’m just a lazy guy looking to blame something else for my lack of a satisfying life? maybe I just so comfortable wallowing in self-pity that I fear anything that threatens to status quo. maybe push it away, terrified that it will pop my bubble of despair and force to take responsibility? Or perhaps i subconsciously think mental illness is edgy and cool and makes me a more interesting, enigmatic person. My theories change every day, all I know is that whatever the reason, I’m pretty fucked up.

Contentment.

People work in electronics shops, supermarkets, garages and car washes and are perfectly content. I don’t understand how. How is it enough for them to commit 80% of their life to the mundane and come out on the other side happy. This isn’t meant as condescending. I wish I was the same. I wish it was that easy.

Many people want to get married and have kids and they see that as winning life. I can think of nothing worse. I wish that’s what I wanted. Something so simple, so primitively biological bewilders me. My selfishness would not allow the sacrifice, I could not give up my comforts. I wish I could feel the joy a mother feels when she looks at her child.

In retrospect.

Ok so that became a whole thing, but that’s it. That is my sob story and its time for something now. You read above the obituary of the old me. I am evolving, changing. I may be just entering the chrysalis stage and it will be a struggle but I will come out on the other side a better person. I’m trying to live my life to more of a schedule. I am trying to improve my health; physical, mental and spiritually. I have been on medication for a while now and I feel it’s helping. I have listened to a lot of podcasts, audiobooks for advice and read around the subject of mindfulness. I have had many internal battles and I felt it was time to put it out there a tell it to fuck right off. I will by no means be easy or quick, I will have my ups and my downs, slips and falls. Apparently, blogs help so I will update this blog regularly, I really mean it this time and will keep you posted on my journey even if it’s just for myself.

I will feed the right wolf.

Nostalgia

A couple of times a year, normally around this time in the morning I get a overwhelming wave of nostalgia. Not the kind you get with Pokemon cards or Harry Potter books, the kind that hurts. 

I find myself looking back at the person I was and the people I knew, and I can feel the scars from the pieces of me that I’ve left behind. The pieces no one else will ever see, the pieces I will never know again.

The setting guilt 

I didn’t write anymore today. My alerts did nothing. Too entangled in going through the motions. Probably won’t get a chance to over the next few days due to a house move and pre-arranged plans. But at least I wrote this I guess. 

I caught my face in the bathroom mirror and felt I needed a change. I cut my hair and over a years worth of beard. The face staring back at me is now no longer my own; It’s mass depleted, now withered and worn. I’m beginning to look how I feel.

One year later…

That’s all I’m going to say about it. A sequence of events occurred today completely out of the blue. I decided to play some fallout when I got in from work. Instead of this I ended up on my laptop writing the first creative peice that I have done in a very long time. This lead to a high level of what I can only describe as some kind of mania and my find went into overdrive, the result being that I have deleted all time consuming apps on my phone. 

It started with Facebook, the past few days I have been catching myself mindlessly scrolling for literal hours on end. The vast majority of my day off was spent either lying in bed scrolling through the same old shit over and over and over again, or lying on the sofa scrolling over the same old shit again and again and again. The only other things I managed to achieve that day was to eat 500 grams or mince in a crude tomatoe sauce and have a two hour bath spent staring into space.

This was followed by all other social media apps except Twitter, I barely use it anyway something seems more genuine about sending out a tweet.

Finally the games had to go. All of them. The ones I had mearly because I like the source material, the ones I had spent a few hours on because I read somewhere that they were good, and then all the tap bate ones I have spent probably hundereds of hours on (and to be entirely honest, about £50 in total.) 

After I did this i was even more and getting some strange nervous, euphoria from kicking back against procrastination. This lead to me setting events and alarms scheduling my down time for the next few days including continuing to write and preparing to move house.

And now I am here. It’s just coming up to 2am and I am at that stage where my eyes are heavy and burning but my mind is racing and I probably won’t sleep. 

I’m writing this in the hope that this is the start of somthing and not just the breaking point of insanity. I need to keep writing. I need to get stuff down. I need to stop stopping. 

I’m going to try and fight through the fogged mind and racing thoughts and sleep, I’m not going to go back and read this now, because if I do I’ll delete it. I always do. This is boring, I imagine also rife with grammar and spelling mistakes, maybe even illegible at parts…

At least it’s somthing.