I used to go to Dean Wesley Smith's blog site a lot. I really liked the advice and experience that he would pass down to us aspiring authors out there. I can't bring myself to go over there anymore. It just gets me down.
I hardly post on my own blog anymore. I feel guilty when I spend any time working on it.
I guess that's what life is all about, guilt and depression.
I have a family, and they demand a certain percent of my attention. They deserve even more of that attention. Someday, I'll be regretful for not giving them every moment they deserve, when they've grown and gone, and it's too late to give them what they deserve.
I have a job that demands a certain percent of my attention. It deserves less of my attention, but I've always been one of those people who gives their all for the job. I guess I don't belong to that entitlement generation.
I have this hobby that demands a certain percent of my attention. It's a little surprising how much work that podcast can be, even with all the help that people like Nicole and Bryan and all of our slush readers give us.
Then I have my dreams and ambitions. We have a listener who has been going back and listening to all our shows from the beginning, and Rish asked him to remind us of any ongoing gags that we use on the show. One of the things he mentioned is how we talk a lot on the show about stories that we will probably never write. Damn, that never stops weighing on my mind. Since I was a young man, I've wanted to be a writer. I've been pulled in one direction or another as I cruised through life, but the other things always faded away eventually. The writer inside me never goes away though.
My birthday is coming soon. Another year gone, and a whole lot more of nothing done to acheive my dreams. This year, I learned from Dean Wesley Smith the pathway that needs to be taken to become a writer. I'd been going along for years thinking that talent was what mattered, not hard work. He put me straight. What I need to do is write. Write, write, write. It's how one goes from being a mediocre writer to a good writer, and from good to great. Learning and practicing. When I learned that, I started immediately wishing that I'd heard it years ago. So many years wasted dreaming rather than practicing. Polishing my one story rather than practicing by writing another.
But it's been months since I learned what I need to do, and I still don't do it. I suppose I have many years to come that I will also waste dreaming rather than practicing. I just don't know where I can fit any of that stuff in. I already mentioned the time I have to spend on my job, my family, and my podcast hobby. I can barely find time for the podcast. And it's a never ending guilt circle. I feel guilty for ignoring my family to work on the show, so I try to work on it late at night when everyone has already gone to bed. When I start thinking about writing, I feel guilty that the podcast is being left unattended to. We'll never get a show a week like we say we want to.
Wow. Writing this crap has got me seriously depressed. Meanwhile, Rish is pinging me on the IM telling me about the skits he's writing for the show. Over the summer I came within a hair's breadth of quitting the podcast. Rish was with me on it for a while, but he got over it, and now, whenever I mention anything about it, I can see the hurt in his eyes. Quitting the podcast would be taken as a serious betrayal, I think. If I'd started it up by myself, and done it solo, I could've just dropped it whenever I wanted, like I did with my soccer podcast that I did three episodes of before deciding it was too much work for too little payoff. With Rish on board, however, it has to be a mutual decision, and I can tell that he doesn't agree with me.
Then there's all the listeners. We have a bunch of great listeners that would feel betrayed as well if I just decided to throw up my hands and say, "Eff you all, I quit." I don't know what to do. I'm sure if I quit the show, all that would happen is that I'd find some other way to occupy my time rather than writing. So I suppose there's no point in it at all.
I guess what I need to do is force myself to write a short amount each day, like a half hour. And then, when it gets to where I need more time, I can consider something more drastic. But before I throw away the one good creative thing I do, I better make sure I will actually replace it with writing if I did quit.
Half-hour a day. I could manage that, right? Don't answer that...I'm trying to not be depressed.