Here we go. I never tried to do a monthly writing challenge before and I’m a little bit afraid of failing. I’ve told myself to write more for so many years and every time I make a goal, I usually fail. Well, here I am making another writing goal but this one is a little different than previous ones. With this goal, I am trying to blog every day as well. How is this different? Well, I can share my writing for one, and two, I can finally get this nagging feeling in the back of my mind gone that I’m not using my website enough. Here’s the thing, a lot of times when I would sit down to write a book review or just update the blog, I would rather be reading. I’ve chosen reading over updating the website almost every time. Who wouldn’t right? I need to find out for myself if writing, blog included in that, is something that excites my inner soul, and what better way to do that than to force myself to do it every day for a month? Yah, I don’t know if that is true either.
Anyway, it is pretty obvious by now that my blog posts on here will be a mix mash of different things and not entirely focused on books. I’ll try to bring it back to books or the SFF community in some way but some of these posts will be personal in nature. For some reason, for most of my life, I like to overshare, and oversharing on the internet is easy. I sometimes even share things that I really shouldn’t but in the moment I just don’t care. I trust people rather easily once I get to know them in real life and I think because that obstacle is missing on the internet, I’m way to open. However, as we are about to see, I am embracing more of who I am, and who I am is an oversharing mess. I hope that you will join me for blog-a-day July, but if you don’t read any of them, it is fine. I know how valuable time is for everyone and I don’t expect many views to be honest. I am mostly doing this for myself anyway.
Today being the first day of July, I want to talk about what my goals are this month. Guess what, there is going to be a TBR listed if that type of thing floats your boat. What better way to fail to read the things you want to read than to make an announcement of the things you are going to read? I think I succeeded once in the last 3 years to actually read the exact things I wanted to read for that month. Well, before I turn this post into a rant about how awful I am at TBRs, let’s chat about my July goals. I am still focusing on my fitness/health as the #1 thing in my life before all else though.
1. So, I’m going to talk about each of these a little bit, starting with the first one, focus on today, stop imagining future things. I’ve read so many things about mindfulness(I also misspell it every time I type it too). The idea that your focus should be in the now and not the future or the past is so strong that it is the core of almost every self-help book and a tenant of almost every major religion in the world. It is so easy to say but so difficult to do. I meditate often and I still struggle with this idea. I constantly think about future conversations. For most of my life, I have been a very introverted person, and the only way I could deal with being forced to be social is to rehearse the things I am going to say before I say them. Yes, thinking before you talk is extremely important, but thinking 5 days before a social interaction what you are going to say is a bit much. I also imagine the worst possible outcomes of things in order to make my expectations low, save me from rejection, and crazy enough, be alright with any given outcome. This is a devastatingly horrible thought life because when you think about the worst possible outcomes, you are thinking about people in the worst way and your response in the worst way, and if you practice this thinking, you response when you get upset will fall back to your thinking. Anyway, this is something I have been working on, and will continue to work on. The last few weeks I’ve been using a rubber band to snap when I catch myself rehearsing future events and I visualize a huge red stop sign in my head. It has been helping.
2. The second goal here, write 2hrs a day, is basically what I’m doing now. That can include updating the blog, writing a story, or writing in a journal. I’d like to finish an actual short story this month.
3. Oh, social media, why art thou such a hindrance? Seriously, I don’t need to check status updates every 10 minutes. BLARGH. So basically, I am going to be updating my social media once a day, usually during my writing time, and then only checking my social media while I am waiting for something. While I’m actually actively doing something, I will not check social media. The way I’ll control this is by using timers when I read and write.
4. Life is hard enough as it is, I should be my biggest fan. Here is a secret, there were times where I really didn’t like who I was in my life. I am finally at the point where I am absolutely in love with myself now though. Dude, I am awesome. I read sweet books, watch awesome tv shows, treat people really great, work out, and I’m gradually coming around to the idea that I’m not as ugly as I thought I was. Every once in a while that ugly thinking comes up and I say something that is totally negative about myself. That needs to stop. I will be happy regardless of what I have.
5. Not to be confused with being homeless, being home less is just me going places more. This means me going to the beach 2x a week, reading at the library more, writing at the library, getting something to eat at different places, finding places to chill and read, and things like this. I get more done because there are fewer distractions because I’m focused on what I am doing in the moment more when I’m not at home.
6. Read a lot. OK, so I am working out or going to the beach in the mornings, working during the day, trying to write for 2 hrs each day, and now I’m going to try to read more too? In other words, I have to be a time management god to read more. I read a little over 60 hours in June(I’m doing that summer reading challenge of timing myself). That is far from the 90 hours that I wanted to read in June but still decent. Basically, if I am not doing anything else, I need to be reading. To squeeze in the amount I want to read, I have to limit my social media, I have to limit my television watching, and I have to stay awake. Yes, I need to not take naps or get super tired before my bedtime(10:30-11). At the end of this post will be some books I plan on reading this month.
7. Allow myself to be who I am is something I’m constantly working on. My biggest focus when it comes to this goal right now is to allow myself to be a man. I dial down my masculinity a lot out of habit. I’m a really big dude and to not seem as threatening I dial down my manliness a lot. I especially do this because at the moment I work at a library and all my co-workers are women. Many years ago when I also worked at a job with all women, I learned that the best way to get along with them all in a work setting was to be less masculine. I’ve been doing this at the library and it has taken a toll on me. Some people might scoff at this and think what the big deal is but when you purposely hide your assertiveness, energy, and opinions in order to get along with everyone, it can be emasculating. In the end, I need to be respectful but also true to who I am. This can even rear its ugly head with social media too. When we type things for the attention and approval of our peers rather than for ourselves, it can cause a toll on our self-worth.
Anyway, these are my goals for the month of July. Maybe once in awhile, I’ll have an update of how I am doing. Doing forget to follow me on twitter: Paulctof, Instagram: Paulsbooks, and Snap: Pauldwey. Without further ado, here are the books I want to read in July:
Not shown: I want to read a ton of comic books and catch up on the short stories, novellas, and novelletes for the Hugo Awards.
Blog-a-day July is contingent on my ability to sit down and write. If my body doesn’t want me sitting each day, I will have to stop it.