My ideal day as a writer

With the two jobs I work and the myriad of things I have to do in my life, I must be disciplined and focused to have the time to accomplish all I’d like to do as a writer. And, believe me, there is a lot to do.

Ideally, I wish I had the type of financial freedom to do nothing but write. And read. And travel. And go back to school. But that’s not reality. It might someday be reality and, then again, it might not.

Here is what I’d love to accomplish on a perfect day as a writer:

On my novel(s): 2,000 words.

On my short stories: 2,000 words.

Then, write a journal of the day’s events, a few essays based on things that come to mind, update my blogs, write a few poems and read from both the Bible and another book or two. Perhaps throw in a writing exercise or two. Peruse through writing magazines. Visit online forums where writers are. Submit my work to editors.

That’s not too much, is it?

Ideally, this all can and should be accomplished each day, presently. A writer writes now.

Richard Zowie wishes he had only one superpower–the ability to need no sleep. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

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Regarding celebrity blogs

I saw the movie Julie and Julia and have perused the blog of Julie Powell. It is a great read to motivate you to blog, and the movie is also fun to watch and to get the creative juices flowing. However, reading over the blog, I can definitely see why Julia Child reportedly did not like it: Lots of profanity–particularly f-bombs. Powell even uses one in a posting when Child died.

In defense of Powell, it is possible that since she did this blog toward the end of Child’s life when she was in declining health, perhaps Mrs. Child did not truly grasp what blogs were all about. If I’m still alive when I’m 90, I doubt I’ll be able to grasp the new advancements in technology.

I also like visiting the main blog of actor/writer Wil Wheaton as well as his backup blog. Another excellent motivating blog that gives you insight into his life and interests; Wheaton does an excellent job of keeping his private life private. If you need to get the creative juices flowing in your blog, visit Wheaton’s and even Powell’s (I have noticed that she does not keep her current blog updated).

Back in 2006, Richard Zowie had no idea what a blog was. That was then, this is now. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

My new, improved blog posting about my two friends

Late last week, I wrote about two friends–Chelsea from high school (she runs a salon in Austin) and Jeremy from college (he splits his time between the ministry and doing deliveries for Schwan’s). I have nothing but the warmest regards for both, but after reading the posting I chose to remove it since I felt it came across as a bit too arrogant on my part. Look at me, I’m a talented writer. I just felt there was no point to it.

So, I deleted it. Chances are, it is now spending eternity inside one of Saturn’s many rings.

That being said, I still have lots of respect for Chelsea and Jeremy. Chelsea runs a business and styles hair–two things far beyond me. She also likes to write. Jeremy is a multi-tasker who’s far better with people than I’ll ever be. If anything, I look up to both of them–Chelsea for her business talent and ability to make people feel great about themselves and Jeremy for being a leader who does many different things.

Yes, writing is hard work and we writers are a different breed and a different mentality, but I don’t look down upon others. Especially not on my Dad–a retired mechanic and a self-described “jack of all trades and a master of none” who worked on engines, built room editions, did plumbing and wiring, woodwork, etc.

Richard Zowie is a writer who wishes he was far more talented and multi-faceted. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

Twitter so far

I have set up my Twitter account so that I can do updates by my cell phone. I am not able to use the # sign, though, to create keywords since my phone doesn’t have that symbol…well, it does: there’s a # key but it doesn’t create the # key to create keywords.

Confused? So am I.

So, I do updates a few times a day to tell readers about my writing career, my thoughts about anything that comes up and anything else I like to tweet about.

No, no, I don’t tweet from the toilet and I don’t tell readers about things in my life that should remain private.

How will I feel in a few months? Hard to say. I do plan, though, to do tweets when my two youngest sons and I travel down to Texas in early July. A tweet as we are flying out of Flint, flying into Atlanta, out of Atlanta, into Austin, etc.

Richard Zowie is trying to see if tweeting will further his writing career. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

Writing when you’re tired

This past week I did very little writing in the realm I really like: fiction, blogging, journaling, essays. It wasn’t due to the usual procrastination culprit but rather, no energy. Three days in a row I had far too much to do between my two jobs (the newspaper and the gas station) and did not have the energy. In that trio of days I averaged four, maybe five hours of sleep.

What is Richard like after three days in a row of five hours of sleep?

By Tuesday night, when I usually get home from work at 11:30 p.m., I briefly considered calling my wife earlier and asking her to get a ride to Frankenmuth to drive me home. Despite drinking a lot of 7-11 Double Gulps (I prefer to mix Coke with either Cherry Coke or Diet Coke–don’t ask), I felt very tired. It was almost like Army basic training again, where I almost fell asleep during my graduation ceremony.

So, for the next two days, I slept close to 10 hours each day to try to catch up. I also felt a little under the weather and was worried, due to some discomfort when I breathed, I briefly worried I was coming down again with a viral infection in my lungs like I did in 1999, during another fun period of my life where I was consistently getting little sleep. Viral lung infections feel as if when you take a deep breath, someone is stabbing you in the chest.

And regarding sleep, that brings up the point of this blog posting: how do you write when you’re tired? 

For me, creative energy gets stifled when I have not been sleeping, or when I’m worn down and feel like doing little more than chatting with friends on Facebook.

The solution? Nope, not cocaine. I’ve never used cocaine but based on accounts I’ve read from Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and from one person I know, the white stuff creates far more problem than it solves. I suppose it is to not allow yourself to get tired. Budget your time. Get sufficient sleep. If that doesn’t work, consume caffeine or make lifestyle choices that will give you more energy. An encouraging spouse or a writing accountability partner probably doesn’t hurt, either.

Suggestions, anyone?

Richard Zowie is a writer–or at least he tries to be. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

Richard’s poetry for March 9, 2011

2-22-2011 — The World Bores Me

The world bores me.

People bore me.

Why do they expect me

To do

Think

Dress

Act

As they do?

Sorry, but I hate most country music.

Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue?

I prefer an in-the-flesh woman

Who prefers to show me

Her beauty

In private.

Redneck humor?

I’d rather tolerate

A gargantuan migraine.

Fashion?

<Sigh>

Who made these rules?

Designers who think

Starvation

Is sexy

Especially bore me.

If the world and its people

Don’t understand me,

Maybe with enough

Education

Tolerance and

Sophistication

They will.

2-24-2011 — The Black Bird

The black bird

On the black light pole

Makes me think

Spring will soon dawn

And

Winter will exit, stage left.

2-24-2011 — The Russian Rust Haiku

Я, в Техасе,

Мне очень жарко, но

Я рад быть дома.

Translation:

(When) I’m in Texas,

I am very hot, but

I am glad to be home.

2-24-2011 — Ode of Odor

“Ode to the toilet bowl…

“Stinks real bad!”

Once said the unlearned

But

Comical poet.

Even now,

Nineteen years later,

I find this “ode”

Absolutely hilarious!!!

3-8-11 — Seeing the Sun

The sun

On earth

Is an angry,

Yellowish-white ball

Pink at sunrise

Orange at sunset.

On Mercury,

It is a giant beach ball

Angrier, much brighter, whiter.

Can it be seen

On Jupiter

Underneath

The thick clouds?

Or are the Jovian oceans

Guarded by a

Perpetual black sky that

Crackles with

Endless lightning?

I imagine that

On Pluto,

The sun is a much calmer,

Paler,

Twinkling

White star.

As bright in the Plutonian sky

As the evening star, Venus,

Is in our sky.

With Jupiter, perhaps our

Distant descendants will know.

With Pluto, we’ll know

In July 2015.

I can’t wait.

The latest on the writing ‘career’ of Richard Zowie

If the headline seems self-loathing, it’s actually more self-deprecating. As I have learned the past few months, there really is a difference between healthy jokes at one’s own expense and having no self-respect.

…I need to get off my lazy rear and keep up on my fiction writing. I circulated a few chapters of one novel to select friends and the feedback so far has been really good. Once I finish the novel, I am a little reluctant about submitting it for publication: I usually prefer to write thrillers and Twilight Zone-style suspense and science fiction, and I worry that this love story might type cast me. Well, perhaps that’s just a chance to be taken…

…Some may wonder about my obsession of pens, and while there’s a lot to be written about it, I can tell you this: for me, creative energy often depends on a specific style of pen in a specific color. Try writing with the same pen all the time, or with black ink only, and creativity is stifled. Strange? Yes, but writers are a different breed…

…I have learned the secret to getting more writing done: close down internet applications and get off of Facebook. I love listening to music, but when it’s from Youtube it slows the process down…

…I’m trying out Twitter and find it mildly fascinating as I tweet and read other tweets. I can see that Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen briefly tried Twitter a few years ago; his famous kid brother Eddie seems to tweet regularly. Am still trying to convince myself it’s not just frivolous time.

Richard Zowie is a writer. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.