Third Day

I have no idea why I’m so amused by my random use of words now and again. I type very fast from time to time, and my fingers get away from me. I had a sentence that said -“I grabbed a TOWN to wipe the sweat from my face” I of course meant towel, but the visual of some person reaching out to tear a town from the ground, and rubbing it on their face to clean away sweat, made me laugh aloud. Oh the small things in life, they make tackling the large hard things bearable.

Now for the update. Another 1,000 words have been written, and the story grows. The protagonist continues to find themselves with situations to overcome, as any story has, and I find myself falling in love with the characters I created again. I still find starting out slowly to be working for me, so I may stick with the 1,000 words a day for now. Though I think starting next week I shall build it up to 2,000, just to push myself. If I find it too difficult at that point, I may have to work something else out. Though I think it should be doable. I think having the ability to go out and once more ride my bike would help, I will just have to wait for it to warm up enough to do so. I am not fond of this feeling of stagnation that not being able to go out in nature gives me. I’ve complained about this to friends as well, and they just say to me, “You can go outside, you will just be very cold.” I just laugh back at that response. It is true I could ride my bike, but even at 40 degree’s Fahrenheit I found it a bit to cold to enjoy. And as we are currently in the teens I do not think I would have any enjoyment. Patients is key to success, so I suppose I will just have to cultivate that attitude more.

One more tip from me that seems to work for me, is to burn a bit of incense. Not that it has any particular mystical connotation to myself, just I happen to think having good smelling air helps. I tend to burn a bergamot stick, and fill the air with its pleasant scent. More of my earl grey fetish I suppose.┬áBergamot is the orange that is used as flavoring in earl grey, and it helps me stay focused. I have other flavors of tea, incense, and ecigarette liquids, but I do not use them when I’m writing. I suppose what I am doing is focusing on certain things to make my environment similar each time so that I am always in the same frame of mind.

To wrap up this ramble, I wrote more today. I am enjoying the creation. And I can’t wait until the warmth returns to the world.

Once more I wish you all luck in your endeavors, wish me the same.

-Steven Oaks

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Second day

So like I stated in my first post this is likely going to be a short simple update. Basically I’m starting out slow again, and I wrote 1,000 words for my second book today. I had to reread a bit to remember my place that I left off months ago, but it seems to be flowing well. I brought the old music back and it seems to get me in the mood. Now I did forget to mention a part of my method of writing yesterday. It involves Earl Grey Tea. I always brew myself up a nice flavorful version and after a few sips I find my mind is ready to tackle the daily trial of creation. No sugar, just caffeine and flavor. Now it has also become my habit to Vape on my ecigarette with earl grey flavor. Now before I get hate mail about how unhealthy it is, I will say it has let me stop smoking my pipe. I would smoke my pipe often, and heavily, and it was indeed detrimental. My teeth were getting stained, and my tongue even after brushing was giving me a burnt taste. And now over time I am reducing the amount of nicotine that I am consuming. Now doing my own personal research I show nothing that would suggest they are any worse than smoking, and much that indicates that they are less harmful. It is true we have no long term studies to show what the health risks might be, but I have a feeling that they are less than continued smoking. But I digress, this is supposed to be a short update.

So in conclusion, I wrote 1,000 words today for my book. I rambled on about things, and more words were placed in a certain pattern to convey some thoughts I might have had.

Good luck to all of you in pursuit of your dreams, and wish me luck as well.

-Steven Oaks

The First Day

Hello to you. Some of you may know me, and others may just stumble upon this page. My name is Steven Oaks, if you have not noticed, and I am an author. I am a writer of poetry, which happens spontaneously, and an author in the Science Fiction Genre. Today I took the first step into the grand journey of becoming a full time worker in the literature field by quiting my day job. There are those of you out there that might see this as a mistake, or perhaps a foolish idea. However I see it as an opportunity that I can not let go. It has been a dream of mine since I was very young to write novels. That being said I’ve yet to sell anything I’ve written. This is I think in large part due to the fact I have yet to show it to any perspective publisher. I have set myself up for a single year to see if my dream can become a reality. I’ve saved just enough money to try to see me through that long, and in that time I desire to shop around what I have written, and also continue to write. It is my deepest wish that you follow me on my journey. I will from time to time update on this blog, probably once a week as I don’t wish this writing to interfere with my fictional world creating ability. However I will let everyone know that is interested of what I have achieved in the week between posts. There may be smaller posts that involve perhaps the number of words I’ve written, or perhaps how excited, or depressed I am with the world that I have created, and those may come out daily.

This first post I will talk a little bit about how I achieved writing a novel in the first place. Now this may not work for everyone, but I took a bit of wisdom from Cory Doctorow. He set himself up with a word count goal per day. When I first started writing I set it up low, as I was unsure how much would be appropriate to begin with. I started with merely 1,000 words a day as something to strive for. As I began to get more comfortable with writing I bumped it up to 2,000. This was what I averaged, but there were some days where I only had enough time to write 1,000 words or so, so I made myself make it up the next day. If I missed two days in a row it became a real struggle to accomplish making it up, so I began a rigorous schedule.

My days began in bed with me doing a little reading of world news, or just traversing the glut of information that you can receive by reading Reddit when you follow the appropriate sub-reddits. I would get up, grab something to eat and watch maybe a few YouTube videos about topics that interested me while I ate, and then proceed to begin the effort of creation. I started writing in silence and found that there were times when ideas would just not come, so I switched over to a track of music that had little to no lyrics. If you are interested in listening to what I was while writing you can find it here (LINK). Though the second song in that list is a personal favorite I had to skip it most times as it would distract me enough with its lyrics as to pull me out of my somewhat disconnected state. I think what I did to myself by doing this was put myself in a meditative state, or at least in the same mind frame everyday, so as the days went by I found I could easily delve back where I left off as if I hadn’t stopped writing the day before. However this having just awoken I was refreshed.

Also after I had completed my daily goal of 2,000 words I would go out and exercise for at least an hour. There were days when I would go out for a run, or just a walk, but mostly I would ride my bike. As luck would have it I live in a town that has a wonderful trail that leads to another little town 10 miles away or so. While out on this trail I would listen to audiobooks or podcasts that I found would strike notes with me and help me come up with new and interesting takes on the world. As I began doing this in September the weather was perfect for being outdoors in the Indiana fall. Not too hot, nor too cold to enjoy nature. The trail itself is lined with tree’s of many varieties, there were even apple and mulberry trees. While I did not slow down enough to consume such wonderful bounties, I enjoyed the idea that I could. But the days began to get colder, and I had to start my bike rides later and later into the day just so I could stay warm. Soon enough it simply was impractical to wear so many layers to participate in the outside world. Again the world strove to make us all the cave dwellers who rarely venture outside.

Picture of me on the trail in near winter garb below.

stevebike

At this point my venture of writing was at an end as I had found a well paying job thanks to a friend. While I had completed writing my book, it still needed some work. I had lined up a couple of people who’s opinions I respected to help me edit, and they began their work. While I strove to continue writing the second novel in this series I found myself far too exhausted to really focus when I got home from working a full day. I was able to at least look at the edits that were made to my first book, and help clarify anything that I might have left off, or approve of the changes that they felt were necessary, however the spark was all but gone from my mind. The creative person that began the journey of making a story was being burned away by the day to day challenges of holding a job, and trying to do it well.

I continued to at least try to write on the weekends when I wasn’t working, but I was unable to regain the clarity that I had possessed in the initial creation. So while I enjoyed working with the people I had met at my new job, I felt it was time that I leave. While having a good job in this day and age is hard to come by, I felt that just living to work and making money were not enough reasons to continue there. I feel it is more important to strive for your dreams. Now I certainly may fail, that is something I’ve come to accept, but the regret I would feel by not even trying would be a worse burden on my mind than failing though I tried.

So here I am, an unemployed striving artist. Something that I never thought I would do, as I have always been the logical mathematically minded individual, and have in my youth scorned the idea of the creative trying to break the bonds of society to striving forth to make a place for themselves. Though I find we all usually have that mindset as we’ve been indoctrinated with the idea that getting a job that you can stay at for life, marrying, having kids, retiring, and then finally dying are what we should be doing. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but that isn’t my dream. So please wish me luck on my journey, and I wish you all the chance to try for your dreams.

-Steven Oaks