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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writing and Kids

This week has been a somewhat trying one for me. Not in the "oh, it's been a horrible string of days and my life sucks" way but in the "oh... maybe I'm not a complete waste of space" way. Let be me clear about this, just so in the future when I inevitably look back on this post (and I will) I can slap some sense into myself from the past (it's called time travel and it kicks tail): there are things I'm decent at... heck, maybe even above average.

One of those things is writing and the other is dealing with kids. 

Now, before you sound the red alert and call in the Egobusters (complete with their own Ghostbustersesqe theme song) let me tell you that I don't come to this conclusion lightly. It kinda just... happened. This week was key in this discover because this week the kids I nanny (hey, there's a sentence) went back to school.

So my time, once meaningful, became quite less so. In fact, it became pretty much meaningless.

I hate that. I realized last year, when I began my weight loss journey (which will never be over... sure, the losing weight part is but the journey just follows a different path now), that I had monumentally wasted a large portion of my life up to that point. I wasted it on video games. I wasted it on sports (football in particular). I wasted it on stressing about things I had no control over. I wasted it pursuing things I wasn't passionate about, but had only a passing interest in.

There's not a lot of redeemable aspects of my previous life. I had my moments, like all people do, but the first twenty-two years, seven months, one week, and five days of my life were largely wasted on things that were, ultimately, without true meaning.

The sad fact is, a lot of those things I did in my previous life aren't going to be remembered years from now. My memory, spotty already, is bound to get worse as time goes on. That's just a fact. But the things I did that carried true meaning, well, they'll live on... they'll matter even if my memory of them is fuzzy.

Throughout my life I've been pretty adept at dealing with kids-it comes with the territory of being the oldest of four. I'm pretty decent at that.

And this week I actually put it into words. The question was asked of me "What are you passionate about?" and I only had two answers: kids (specifically, the ones I nanny-love those guys) and writing. That's it. I don't have any other passions beside that.

It's a bit odd, I grant you, seeing as how being in my early 20s I should be thinking of other things, passionate about girls and all the things I can do with them... that doesn't register for me. I would much rather be hanging out with kids or writing than going out on the town and pursuing girls. I don't club. I don't date. I don't have much in the way of a social life.

And as much as I miss that aspect of my life... I don't miss it to the point that I yearn for it. I miss it to the point that I reflect, nostalgically so, on the years of my misspent youth and the crazy adventures there in.

But this week I was stripped of one of the things I was passionate about, the kids, and I was left with little to do. I took to cleaning to distract myself but that only made me miss the kids more, so I decided to write.

Not a bad choice on my part.

This week has been a writing breakthrough as far as original work goes... since Sunday night I've put in well over 14k of words into my original stuff. It's been exciting, it's been sleep depriving, it's been insanity inducing... I've missed it. It's been many months since I made this kind of progress and a few months since I worked on my original stuff. For once, I think (hope, pray, wish to God) that I have an idea I can stick with.

I have really bad writer ADD... I jump from idea to idea as soon as I fall out of love with it. I'm very, very flaky with ideas... original work or fanfiction, I just have a problem with commitment.

I flirted, briefly, with dropping the idea I've put 14k over these last six days, and it didn't happen. I didn't move on... the first time I have done that in a very long time (not since my first piece of fanfiction ever, over four years ago).

So, I'm quite pleased with the progress... true, it's all backstory/character development stuff but I place a very high premium on that. The characters have to be good or the rest of the story doesn't matter. Get them right and the rest will come easy enough and I feel I'm on my way to getting these characters right.

And Wednesday, with lots of time on my hand, I came to the conclusion (while sitting in the library, freezing) that I'm pretty decent at this writing thing... and that it isn't a total waste of time. It really isn't. I've never been of the opinion that it was a complete waste of time but I always felt bad doing it when I could do other things... it was like I was taking time away from something more important.

I don't place writing near the top of my list of important things (people are important, spending time with them is important)... but it's on the list of important things.

That seems quite confusing, let me try this: if you don't have anything better to do, writing is not the worst way to spend your time. In fact, writing may bring into focus the importance of your time as it relates to the people around you.

This week, writing did that for me. Simultaneously, it also kept me from sleeping and I'm on day three of craptastic sleep (I'm really, really tired). I think that's ironic but I'm not gonna be a loser and look up the meaning to make sure I'm right.

Writing taught me this week that spending time with the people you care for and pursuing one's passions should be at the top of everyone's list.

I'm pretty decent with kids and writing. Better yet, these two things are my passion... and I like spending time with them. Not a bad deal at all.

There were other things I was gonna say but I've lost track of them... so, we'll leave it at that. Thanks for reading. 


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