Distracting Boredom

Hello again. I’ve returned.

I’m nearly at a loss as to what to talk about, as my life hardly changes week to week. That’s not a horrible thing, but it does bring a certain amount of stagnation into life. Even if I’m reading much more than I used to, I suppose that would be my only outside stimuli other than work. Work being the same thing everyday, for the most part, doesn’t grow me much as a person either though.

So what do we do to combat this stagnation? I like to learn things, and the Internet is a useful tool for such things. But I do that constantly, so is that really changing? I suppose going out and having new experiences would help, but since I work nights and sleep during the day there are limited opportunities left to me. That and I’m not a fan of parties or concerts that might be available during the early evenings when I might be awake.

I suppose I’m a homebody then. I do enjoy the occasional gathering of friends, maybe twice a month or so, but I’m still rather drained by it. I have my routines I like to keep too, and having friends over, no matter how much fun and stimulating our conversations are, I’m still a little tired out by it. But of course doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom, and this feeling finds me far too often. Eventually I get frustrated and mad at the world, or myself, and don’t know what to do to alleviate such boredom. Watching television can only hold back such emotions for so long.

Reading seems to be better equipped to distract me, but that’s just a distraction. There’s some underlying issue that must be faced. But then again I’ve always felt this sense of boredom. There are very few things that push such emotions away. One such thing that has helped has been road-trips. I usually like the journey more than I like the destination, though my last vacation(years ago) was fantastic all the way through. However being in a car listening to an audio-book, or podcast, or just having a conversation while watching the world rush by revealing new places is one of my favorite things. But having a job, and not much money, I’m not likely to experience one anytime soon.

Then again life ends for us all. We should fill it with things that we enjoy, and experience as much of it as we can. There’s no point to it, unless you make one for yourself. So I suppose finding distractions and entertainment are a good enough reason to do something as anything.

I guess that’s just another reason I write. I enjoy it, and I’m creating instead of just consuming. I guess it’s my little way, perhaps an unremarkable way, of giving back to those that have come before. I read what they’ve written. I watch what they’ve made, or look at their art. And if I can give back to someone else what they’ve given me, then I’ve done at least a little something for the world. And maybe all of us should try to make the world a little better by adding to it.

Remember I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 94% into editing

Steven Oaks

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How I Keep Writing

Hello all.

It has been four years since I published my first book. In that time I’ve released four other books. One of course is the poetry book, which isn’t the usual fare I put out. However the other three were novels. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in this time, and I’m taking great effort in getting this latest book finished.

At least to me this shows my commitment to writing. I had a few times where I wasn’t sure of myself, and I couldn’t think of another thing to write. Those times I doubted I’d be able to write another book. Fortunately I’ve read of such things and took action to make sure I didn’t quit.

One way I’ve found that keeps me actively writing is to write something else. Whenever I feel I have nothing to add, and I’ve really tried at it many times, I switch to a different book. This has led to several partially started books that I go back to now and again. Some are further along than others, and one was a novel I was really focusing on before the co-author suggested writing this latest book together. I feel I’ve grown as a writer since then, so that book will have to be worked on before I really get back to writing it.

Another way to make sure I keep up writing is routine. I write in the same place, same time, and listen to the same music. Does that sound boring? Well there is a reason for it. I learned this from talking to people about meditation. When you want to return to the same frame of mind, such as in meditating, you make sure to do it in the same way you did last time. That way you aren’t distracted by any newness. This has helped me focus only on writing, and not on anything else.

Speaking of distractions, leave your phone elsewhere. Those constant notifications can take you away from your flow. And if you have a way of doing it, stay away from social media and email if you are writing on a computer. Yes I usually have a browser open when I write, and a huge amount of tabs loaded and ready to dive into, but I mostly use it for streaming my music playlist. Those other tabs are for emergency thesaurus use or checking up on some things you’ve looked up before. Don’t go into the black hole of looking things up in the middle of writing, that’ll take you away from the flow. I generally only research things well in advance of a writing session, then I leave the tabs open to go back for notable things and double checking my memory. Taking notes might be better, but having a tab dedicated to one topic tends to help instead of looking at a list of things I want to include.

Now this is for me personally, but having a window to look out of helps me think. I’m lucky to have always had tree’s and nature to look at, even though I currently live in a city. Just watching the leaves bounce in the wind distracts me and lets my mind build onto the story I’m working on. If I’m ever stuck on a scene all I have to do is glance out at nature and let my mind work. It’s very relaxing to me. Yes distractions are bad, but since it’s just a relaxing scene I don’t have to focus on anything really going on. It’s just nature doing it’s thing. Personally I like a nice sunny day, but rain and snow are good for me too. Though I admit any type of storm can exhilarate me too much, and I have a hard time sitting still.

Mostly I’m saying keep a routine, and don’t let yourself get distracted. That’s what works for me, and maybe it can work for you.

With that I leave you. I hope you have an enjoyable week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 72% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Explore and learn

Apparently I have much to say. I can’t seem to find an area to wrap everything up neatly yet, and I keep rambling on about things. Mind you nothing I put to page is unimportant, I just find it strange there is still so much left.

Time zone research took much too long for me this morning as I wanted to be as accurate as possible when dealing with travelling elsewhere. During the first and second book it was nearly a daily event for me to go out online and delve deeply into some subject I was only passingly familiar with. Perhaps that is not the best way to come to an absolute understanding, but I still think it’s fascinating. I might spend 15 minutes to an hour looking something up, and then only write a sentence or a paragraph from that information. Perhaps that is another reason this final book is taking so long.

It is enjoyable to learn something new everyday for me. Today it was time zones and breakfast around the world. I did so with the full intent of writing something about a meal in the book, but it turns out the character didn’t want to try something new. I did this same research about a month ago and it just made me hungry.

Nothing is so simple as cracking an egg and putting heat to it though. I love eggs and wish I would eat them everyday instead of warming up the mush I call oatmeal. Sadly I’ve gotten back into the habit of adding sugar and cinnamon to it. I fear I may gain weight again because of this, and yet I can’t seem to stop myself in the morning from desiring something sweet. When I’m in that just woken up mindset I don’t care what the regular alert Steven wants.

Luckily I was able to go our running yesterday. Sadly it began to sprinkle on my return trip, and I fear I’ve missed my opportunity to enjoy the warmer days. I know it already is fall, but it seems like the year has gone by so fast. I did get some nice bike riding in, but I fear my long treks may be coming to and end already. When I first began to run the snow had already fallen, so I know I can keep doing that. However since I lost nearly 80lbs the cold seems to work its way into my bones much easier. I fear I won’t be able to take it any more. I will just have to bundle up with even more layers and hope I don’t shake so much I fall over.

The cool air calls to me to explore the world again though. Unfortunately it is raining and I don’t have the appropriate attire to traverse the outdoors in comfort. I suppose comfort is not what it’s about, but I still like to avoid feeling unpleasant. If you live in an area whose climate you enjoy get out there and explore.

 

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

If you want or need to buy anything from Amazon, please use my Amazon Affiliate Link – http://www.amazon.com?_encoding=UTF8&tag=steoakautpag-20

Update –  1,000 words written in the third novel. Research is killing my productivity, but adding to the flavor of life.

“I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time” so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”
― Steven Wright

– Steven Oaks

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Focus on one thing at a time.

Focus focus focus. I’ve come to realize when I let myself worry about the other books I’m currently not writing I get nothing much accomplished with this final book. I think this is the longest I have worked on getting a book done. The first one took a month to write the first draft, the second took maybe a couple of months. But this third novel I’ve been working with on and off for nearly five months.

This is not how I should write. It is mostly because I kept bouncing back and forth between editing the first and second books. Once the first one was published that freed me to work on the third again, but then I began editing the second. Having lost my place and a bit of my train of thought I had to go back over what I wrote of the third book before I felt ready to get back to it.

Now as I get closer to the end I think I can see my writing style begin to mature, though that may in fact be wishful thinking. It still seems to come very naturally, but I am upset with the amount of time I spent putting words to page. I think the next time I write a series I will simply either write it all at once, or focus on one book at a time.

So as the day grows closer to having the third book done I grow anxious. I worry that I might be unable to convey what I wished for this ending. Only because things have gone so left field with what these characters have decided to do. I have a simple solution, and one that I had thought to do before, so it seems I will be forced to use it as the way to transition from where I am at now. Wish me luck in this endeavour.

 

Please take a look

Please take a look

Link to my book in the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ME0U00Y

If you want or need to buy anything from Amazon, please use my Amazon Affiliate Link – http://www.amazon.com?_encoding=UTF8&tag=steoakautpag-20

Update –  1,000 words written in the third novel. Things seem to be reaching the crescendo, and the end is in sight.

“All profound distraction opens certain doors. You have to allow yourself to be distracted when you are unable to concentrate.”
― Julio Cortázar

– Steven Oaks

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