The wall

I have been writing this story for, what will be a year in October. I finally wrote it all out. All of it about a month ago. I was overjoyed.

Now, I’m reading it again and I’m displeased with it. It feels jumbled and disconnected. I am not happy with it.

I feel so disorganized.

Does anyone have any tips? How do you organize your thoughts and drafts?

Winning

The Olympics are amazing. I’d watch them more if I had cable. Since it’s a popular topic I would bring it up to make small talk.

I asked one lady if she was watching the Olympics. She said no and expressed that she disliked them because, the athletes compete to be best in the world. She thought that was dumb, “best in the world,” because any noob could get lucky and be “best in the world.”

I didn’t want to start an argument, or insult her (she was a nice older lady) so I dropped it.

Being a writer, though, I can rant about her to my audience.

I decided on two points in my made-up argument with her in my head.

The first, is that Olympians train like crazy. They train at their sport more than we work at our full-time job. Take swimming 100m freestyle, for example. The qualifying time for the Rio games was 48.99 seconds. You don’t get lucky and just so happen to beat that time. You train as hard as you can. I believe that most games are the same way. These athletes don’t win out of luck, they win by hard work and determination.

The second, is that winning is a percentage. Just because someone trains like crazy, doesn’t guarantee a win. There’s a chance a noob could win, albeit small. Maybe their leg cramps, or they get light-headed and swim the wrong way and the noob has time to swim to the finish. It probably won’t happen but it could.

Look at a card game. Sure you might know the game inside and out, you might even know you’re opponents inside and out, but there’s still a chance that you could lose. 

The probability exists beyond card games. In sports, fans track a players stats, based on their history of successes and failures. In basketball, a professional player makes a free throw, but there’s still a percentage that he will make it or miss it. 

When playing games, when competing, one examines the odds of winning. In poker, Texas Hold ‘Em specifically, a professional can see what the odds are their opponent has a certain hand. They then base their decisions by playing those odds. But it takes a pro to even realize what the chances are.

The Olympians, and anyone that competes in any game, find themselves at the crossroads of odds, chances, percentages and hard work and determined training. Training doesn’t guarantee a win, nothing can, but the more somone devotes time and energy to perfecting their game, the more the odds of wining increase.

Introverts and Extroverts 

I am an introvert.

My wife is an extrovert. She is the life of the party. How is she feeling? Don’t worry, she’ll let you know. Have you met my wife? She is quite unforgettable.

And here I am, introverting.

I was thinking about introverts and extroverts. I don’t think anyone is 100% introvert or extrovert but rather, we all fall somewhere on the spectrum.

Being an introvert and living with an extrovert is all the background I really have in this study of tempermants.

I noticed that an introvert can be the life of the party, enjoy small talk, not be a bookworm and be aggresive.

An extrovert can be shy and enjoy quiet, alone time.

The difference between these two tempermants is: their reactionto people. An extrovert gains energy from people and social situations. An introvert spends energy in these environments.

These past five days or so have drained me. My brother-in-law came to town with his fiancee, who we met for the first time. My brother came for a day. An old family friend visited too. My bro-in-law and his fiancee are stillhere, staying at our house. I work all day talking to people on the phone.

My little introverted self is drained of energy.

I like people. I like talking to people. Sometimes I just need some time to myself and whether you’re introverted or extroverted, everybody needs a break. My break just so happens to include alone time.

The 30-day Author and the First 50 Pages

​I am an aspiring writer. I have never published but I write daily and someday soon I’ll publish.

As such, I read material, blog posts and books, in order to improve my craft. I believe that understanding how to write a story, how to present your ideas and how to craft a narrative, are crucial ingredients in making a story, in conjunction with good and creative ideas.

However, that’s not enough. How one treats their writing habits determines their writing outcomes. That is, do you write when you have time, don’t bother editing or cleaning up writing and leave numerous projects unfinished? Or do you write daily, make time to write, set daily word count goals or daily time goals l.

With so much pressure on your plate (I am definitely mixing up my metaphors), it can be daunting to even write.

I came across two books that I whole-heartedly recommend to every writer. They have added clarity and direction in my writing journey. They are The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke and 30-day Author: Develop a Writing Habit and Write Your Book in 30 Days by Kevin Tumlinson.

The First 50 Pages

Gerke’s is about the craft. An editor can tell whether or not your book is good within the first 50 pages. A reader can judge what the book is about, the genre and whether it’s something that will interest them, or not, from the first 50 pages.

It reminds me of the college days and writing papers. The introduction of the paper is the most important part. It let’s your reader know what to expect.

Gerke address developing characters, writing the inciting event, creating a setting and finding the most fitting first line.

In a word, it is about crafting a story.

30-day Author 

The second, 30-day Author, touches more upon the business side of writing. For the longest time, my writing schedule was, “when I have time I’ll write.”

Tumlinson’s recipe for writing success is easy, “sit butt in chair and write.” He goes into more detail, inviting readers to find our why and to tell ourselves daily affirmations to keep focused. He talks about writers block and more importantly how to create a daily writing habit, through journals and blogs to warm-up, and then, working on the story. In this way, he never experiences writer’s block.

Together, The First 50 Pages and 30-day Author, discuss and absolve what was deterring me from writing. The First 50 Pages helped me understand how to write an engaging story and 30-day Author helped me realize a writing habit in my day-to-day life.

I highly recommend both to anyone interested in writing.