Personal Cowardice – an Annoying Bit of Autobiography

This is a little tale of Cowardice, one of those annoying biographical bits I warned everyone about. Don’t worry, it’s quite long and no one’s going to want to read it all.

Once upon a time, towards the end of the nineties, I bought myself a PlayStation. It was the first game system I bought for myself using my own money and it was a blast.

(We are not going to talk about how old I was then, because that involves talking about the long period between me leaving High School and flirting with College, all the while struggling with writing something, anything. As well as highlighting how I wasted large chunks of my life doing so. If it was interesting, maybe, but sadly…)

Any way, I was excited. I bought my first PlayStation game, a RPG called Wild ARMS.* It had this feature where you could customize certain icons, as well as the background and certain frames.

Which I did.

Over and over again.

I put more hours into doing that actually playing the game.

Such anal behavior is why the background on the Blog keeps changing, but that’s not the point.

Right now I’m sitting on a nice story I’m calling Hero of Uillias Castle.  It’s 39 pages double spaced and consists of approximately 9280 words, give or take an asterisk or three being counted as words. It’s a nice story, I love it to death, but a little voice in my head says it could be better. It could be better and if it was better it would sell. It would sell and I would be on my way.

I have another story, called The Specter. Seven pages double spaced, over 1200 words. I love it to death too, but I don’t think it would go over to well at all. (Too short, not structured to my satisfaction, this, that, the other thing.) I can do something with it; I know I can. It’s just I’m sputtering about and not making progress.

I’ve got another story… Well, could go on, list the other stories I’ve finished, came close to finishing, came close to starting, finished then deleted it all, finished then thought I saved but really didn’t, thank you so much modern technology and faulty brain. I could give reasons, excuses, proof of a massive conspiracy to keep me humble, evidence that Bigfoot and Elvis stole my brain, and perhaps something someone might find hard to believe. None of this matters.

What matters is I’m not even trying. I’m spinning my wheels, telling myself that there is a problem and not doing something about it. Or, worse yet, telling myself there is a problem when there is nothing wrong.

In other words, I’m designing icons for the game instead of playing. I might have the greatest of stories, I may have the worst of stories, but I’m not going to know until I ship them out.

The purpose of this Blog, I’ve said before and will no doubt say again to the annoyance of everyone including me, is to improve my writing. Between this site and my posts at various message boards, I feel better about my writing and my writing skills than I have in years.

I feel good about writing. Better than I have in years.

I feel frustrated. I can feel the seconds crawl over my skin as they go passing me by. And they’re giggling, the lot of them. Little snots.

There is only one thing to do.

Sometime this week, I‘m going to start working on Hero of Uillias Castle and get it to where I want it to be. I’ll give me until the end of May. If I don’t finish it to my satisfaction, I’m going to make sure what I do have is ship shape and I’m going to send it out, warts and all. See if it’s all in my head.

I’m also going to hammer out a publishable The Specter (One with a better name, damn it). That bad boy is going to sing. I’ll give myself to the end of June. If I don’t finish it, then I drop it and move on. It’s waited this long, it can wait a bit longer.

The Comparison Essay I was planning for this week… probably won’t be finished in time. Again. Sorry about that. (Yeah, like there are thousands of people dying for that opus.) I’m going to keep on plugging on it, though, as trying to summarize Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and make the summary as interesting as the movie is a trick.** Plus, I said I was going to do it.

I’m going to set a deadline for it too – before mid May. That I’ll hit or give up on the essay, one of the two.

If I think of a story or (God, please) figure out a way of restarting the novel, then I’m going to do it too. I’m going to work my fingers to the bleeding point if I have too.

I’m going to see my blog profile changed or know the reason why.

I will keep you posted as to how well I do.

Well, that’s far too many words on this subject. Close to a thousand if my word counter is to be believed (Give or take an asterisk or two, as well as HTML commands). Four pages or so double spaced. About standard when I’m hot.


* – Fun game, by the way. It’s being re-released in an all new edition for the PlayStation 2 later this year.
** – Summarizing
Godzilla will be especially fun, as I don’t intend to refer to Raymond Burr’s character once. Not that I don’t like Burr, mind you…

FUTURE CULLEN sez: None of this worked according to plan. Which, sadly, is typical


2 Replies to “Personal Cowardice – an Annoying Bit of Autobiography”

  1. One good resource to help sharpen your writing is to join a local group of writers. You can read your work to one another and offer advice on improvement, etc.

    Alas, a lot of those collapse into B*llsh*t parties, but you might find a couple of like minds.

    Best of luck with the writing, I know from bitter experience that it’s a tough shovel to push.

  2. Half the battle is making the decision to commit to writing. That’s the main purpose of my blog, as well. I’ve got you as one of my links, now. Hopefully that may buy you an extra feedback or two.

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