it’s harder than it looks

the last time i published regularly, it was easy to crank issues out. since they were gaming newsletters (aka “zeens”), the game results took up the bulk of the pages and they tended to more or less write themselves. there was also the self-imposed pressure of getting each issue in the monday mail following the saturday deadline. players needed the reliability of knowing when their results were coming out for the next round of negotiations! needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of sleeping (or anything non-publication-related) on deadline weekend.

for the early years of the main gaming zeen i had access to office copiers, so could crank out the roughly seventy copies x thirty page issues on a late sunday night run for the cost of a couple reams of copy paper. when i went back to school kinkos became the go to production facility (better quality, less work for me, occasional printing snafus, more expensive), eventually leading up to me getting a copier of my own (a minolta from a local pawn shop auction. convenient, good quality, able to do 11×17 pages, broke down a lot). there was even a seriously retro period using a ditto machine (colorful, cheap, but not versatile).

but the constant through all the years was getting the printed pages home, collating them, folding & stapling, hand-addressing and stamping (always upside down!), then stuffing them into a big blue mailbox, usually wrapping up around dawn on monday.

good thing i’ve always been able to function at least semi-coherently despite chronic sleep deprivation.

it’s different now. now it’s tough actually getting to the point where i can hit the “publish” button and be happy with it. there’s no deadline pressure to keep me moving. i’ve basically sat on this almost-finished episode for almost two weeks now and…just…can’t…finish…it.

ah, well. gotta take this step in order to get to the next one, eh? there, it’s done! i do hope it gets easier though.



5 thoughts on “it’s harder than it looks”

  1. I’ve always found deadlines to be the best motivator. Absent them, well … you seem to have figured out what happens.

  2. Oh! What you need to do is take your old clickety-clack typewriter and check into a seedy hotel with peeling wallpaper and pipes that carry sound throughout the building. Befriend the portly, affable serial killer staying in the adjoining room and he will serve as your muse. On the downside, he may murder any female callers that you entertain over night, but you’ll leave with a finished manuscript!

    Alternatively, you could go to your publisher’s country home and find inspiration poolside in the form an enticing (and blissfully nude) free spirit. The only caveat with this one is that when rebuffed, she may end up bashing in the skull of your romantic interest with a rock. Still, you’ll end up leaving with a novel. πŸ™‚

    Or…if you really want to write something with staying power, find some cool dude who’s wandering about dishing out good advice and speaking of peace, love, and understanding (there’s nothing funny ’bout it!) and jot down his story. He’s apt to be bumped off by the power elite who find his antics a little unsettling, but you’ll be able to crank out a story that holds up for a couple millennia.

    I hate to say this, but now that I’ve reviewed the options, it seems clear that keeping your creative juices flowing is going to require a blood sacrifice. Sorry. πŸ™

    On the other hand, I suppose you could just go the deadline route. Though, self-imposed deadlines have never worked all that well for me; I just don’t take myself seriously enough. Maybe you could hire a dominatrix to crack the whip…metaphorically, of course…or literally, if that’s what it takes!

    Let the bon mots flow!

    1. who knew that simply writing a few paragraphs would come at such a high price, psychic or otherwise? i’d still give the process at least 3.5 stars though.

      i’m not really aiming for a full manuscript at this time, just a blog post or two. how many can i get for a sprained ankle and bloody nose?

      ps- know any dominatrices around here? (metaphorically, of course!)

      1. Ah, well, if you’re only looking to churn out a few blog posts, you could probably get away with minimal suffering…maybe, read some Ayn Rand, watch Rubber, or spend a couple hours on the IMDb Politics board. πŸ˜‰

        Regarding your postscript, I don’t seem to have any dominatrices in my Rolodex (come to think of it, I don’t have a Rolodex); maybe Theon’s guy could recommend a good one…

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