Blog, Journal

Progress Report # 3

It is once again time for a progress report. It has been two weeks since the last time I made any progress at all. I feel no shame about this. I just don’t have any desire to keep working on something when it doesn’t provoke any emotions in me at all. I don’t even feel remorse for not being more productive.

I am at a crossroads.

There are a lot of things I would like to do. Some of them are things I would like to do better and some of them are things I don’t how to do yet.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve written a few times about how I’ve lost my passion for fiction. It is not a loss of passion for writing. I still very much enjoy putting words on the page. Actually, I am doing it more often than ever before.

I’m not good is sorting my thoughts inside my head. When I need to figure something out, I turned the journaling. These last two weeks have involved a significant amount of journal time. I’ve filled an entire composition book.

It might not seem like much, but I have very tiny handwriting.

I became a writer because six-year-old Matt wanted me to be a storyteller. Fiction seemed like the best way to tell a story, and it is a great way to tell a story. But, I’m not sure it’s the best way for me.

The craft of being a fiction writing is very frustrating. There are so many techniques I can’t seem to grasp. No matter how much practice and study I put into it, I feel like I’m not getting any better. I’m not becoming more effective as a storyteller.

Which is why I like blogging. It makes sense. I can grok it.

This blog is not a great example of what a successful or effective blog should be. I would be very hard-pressed to monetize this blog. But, it isn’t the point of this blog. This is where I practice with different content and experiment with different voices.

It’s my sandbox.

My day job has had me spend the last year focused on copywriting and plain language communication. These skills came naturally and developed quickly. I have gained a sense of pride from learning to take complicated information, absorb it enough to write about it with authority, and then make that understandable and accessible for other people.

It is a different skill set and emotional connection than writing fiction. I struggle to make my fiction writing acceptable. It is tiring and draining. Despite how hard I work to get anything done, I never feel accomplished. I only ever feel dread about my work. I have no pride in it. I have no joy.

I love creating worlds. I love telling stories. I love everything about being a fiction author except writing fiction.

I hate writing fiction.

I don’t know what that means for me. I don’t know where I go from here.

I have so many things I want to do but no idea which one I want to pursue.

Sometimes, I wish someone would just come into my life and say, “Matt, this is the one thing you are supposed to work on right now.”

I should be able to do that. I should be able to be that person. I should be able to figure out what I should work on right now. I should be able to figure out where that leads. It’s my future. There’s no reason I should feel like I don’t have a vested interest in it.

I’m over thinking it.

I’m not good at rational decisions. When I’m given the opportunity to study the possible outcomes and applied logic and reasoning to my decisions, I almost always make bad ones. The best decisions I’ve ever made have been spur of the moment, gut instinct, what the Force guide me, to hell with the consequences, I must be insane, desperate decisions.

It’s a repeated pattern. I quit a job on a whim. I moved 2100 miles away from home out of desperation. I started this blog because I thought it would be fun to have a blog. I started a podcast because I wanted to have a podcast. I’ve joined groups, had adventures, and met the best friends of my life in split-second decisions.

I’ve been reading a lot of self-help books again. I am a self-help addict. All of these books talk about the importance of structure and routine. They preach about dedication to passion and creating value for yourself and the world.

Not sure they are healthy for me anymore.

There is a Louis CK quote I read it in one of the Altucher books. It was something like, “if I think about something three times in one week, I have to write it.”

I can’t remember the exact quote and the entire story might be apocryphal, but it resonated with me. Not as a writer, but as a person who spends too much time thinking about things. Maybe I should have a similar rule.

If I think about something three times in one week, I should do it.

The worst possible outcome is failure. Failure isn’t bad.

At least then I’d be doing something. Doing something, is better than what I’ve got going on right now.

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.