The End Draws Near

I wanted to let everyone who visits my blog here know that this Friday the 13th will be the last full day this website exists.

This Saturday the 14th my self-run WordPress website will be shut down, and all of the content on it will be placed in my archives.

Itsokay

I wanted to let you know now, so that if there were any posts that you wanted to copy before they’re gone you have some time to get it done. And of course you have my express permission to copy and save anything of mine from this website for your own personal use (as a dart board target, cat litter pan liner, whatever you like) that you’d like. You can even share it with others, as long as you make sure you note it came from me. If you’d like, you can think of it as making sure people know who to blame. Just don’t reprint or republish anything of mine somewhere out there and claim it as your own work. Don’t be a dick.

It is possible that I will continue to maintain a blog in some form, administered through a WordPress free site that my thebigbearbutt.com domain would be tied to.

If I do continue with a blog, I do not specifically plan on having any of my existing content carried over.

However.

HOWEVER.

If there are any of my previous posts over the years (good lord HOW many years?) you would want to see carried over to a brand new site, any posts that would be like a condensed super teeny time capsule of what you think should be saved, please let me know exactly which ones in the comments to this post. It is possible to export them and even save pictures.

As I said, I don’t rightly know that there WILL be a blog past this Saturday. If there is, I will make sure to save any posts you wanted preserved before it goes.

I will see you all again for a proper farewell this Friday the 13th.

Until then, take care and God bless each and every one of you for being here with me.

Challenge Modes – The Center Cannot Hold

It’s over. No Challenge Modes for me! Or for the grand folks who tried to help when we ran into troubles, either.

When we lost our tank unexpectedly yesterday, Wren was good enough to help us out with his Paladin, and he did a great job working our way through Stormstout Brewery, but in the end having five people who had not attempted Challenge Modes before, or at least played as though they had never done Challenge Modes before proved to be too high of a handicap.

To be blunt, none of us acted like we knew where to go or what to do, and everyone looked to someone else to tell us what to do. No excuses, just poor preparation and no time left to overcome it.

I found out we were done the hard way… I logged in tonight, asked the person who had started this run what the plan was for the evening, and was told she had found friends to do it with her.

As in, not you Bear and your tank and healer. Other people than you friends.

As in, we’re not doing them with you and I wasn’t going to bother to email, tweet or in-game message you because you’ll find out when you log in and I’m already in there with my friends right now so kind of get the point?

As a friend of mine said, ouch.

Fair enough.

I can walk away from this experience with the satisfaction that, for one night, I ran with a tank who was exceptional in his skill, who led from the front, and who helped me to see success in two of the Challenge Modes in Silver, the Gates of the Setting Sun and the Temple of the Jade Dragon. Doing those as a team that came together and getting those silvers was a very rewarding feeling, and I am grateful to have had that experience at least once before the pre-expansion patch came.

I also feel the satisfaction that came from playing well in the Tuesday night runs, of performing all of my tasks as a Warlock with skill, and being well prepared for what was to come. I can look back on that night without a single regret. It was as challenging as I expected, and felt incredibly rewarding when we eventually succeeded.

What those Tuesday runs had was intensity.

Do I have any regrets about not completing the Silvers and having any of the mounts?

Yes, I do. But not about the Challenge Modes themselves, more about why I never got them done in the first place.

The truth is, I never attempted to go for Challenge Modes because I don’t know other people in game well enough to have friends to do them with. That is the reality. In game, I don’t have friends that I play with that would consider me as someone to ask when CM time came around.

I don’t really have many close friends in game. Just one or two people I really enjoy spending time with, and I often feel that I hang on them too much as it is, since, y’know, being my only good friends means I’m always there like a puppy when they log in, “How ya doing, huh? Huh? Wanna play? Huh? Huh?” Nobody likes that shit. Even I know that at the very time I’m doing it.

For folks that only know me from my blog, it may be surprising, or maybe not. I really am all the time how I am on here, and while a small dose of me in written form may be entertaining or endurable, in person all the time I’m told by those who would know it’s tiresome.

I have acquaintances, people I know to nod to, say hi when they log on, enjoy their company and wish I did things with and hung around with, but I lack something to make and keep those kinds of friends. I’m not the guy people call up when they want to go do something. I don’t really know why, over the years I’ve just come to assume I’m too abrasive, too big of an asshole to maintain friendships. I lack social graces. ūüôā

Or maybe, as was said in ‘Hackers’, “I don’t play well with others.”

That is what I regret.

I regret that, in the last two years of Mists of Pandaria, I haven’t made the kind of friends, the connections with other people that would have led to going off and doing some crazy shit like Challenge Modes. Of being the guy asked to come tilt at windmills, to slam our faces into a brick wall and scream in shared frustration and hard-earned triumph.

Phoenix Mounts would have only been a token of a larger and grander thing, something that you can’t achieve in a single week of frantic last minute cramming for the CM exam. Of friendship and shared experiences.

For all of you that, in my attempts this week to help someone forge a CM group, who offered your time, your efforts and your partnership in my endeavors, I want to say to you all, thank you.

Thank you all, truly, for being there for me when I asked for help.

I know I do not know all of you or any of you as well as I would like to, but just to know that there are folks that I talk with here who were willing to come forward and try this insanity with me, that really does mean a lot to me.

It gives me hope that maybe if I pull my head out of my ass, I can get out there and make some friends.

And yes, I know that phoenix mounts were a hell of an incentive to run with me. Bribing people to get together, it’s so WARCRAFT that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

God bless you and keep you safe, but not so safe you don’t get to live in interesting times or have your own wild adventures.

In my guild, I would especially like to thank Monster and Tom for being there for me as my friends, from the very first day that I joined the guild right up until today, despite my being a colossal ass. I will endeavor to provide buttflame amusement and dancing Baloo bear bollocks as long as you’ll continue to have me around.

Good night everyone, and have a wonderful final weekend before the curtain finally draws on the Mists.

Fantastic Warcraft Items at Euphyley’s Etsy Store!

If you’re ever looking for some great World of Warcraft or Druid-related items, I strongly recommend you check out the Etsy store that blogger Euphyley has for her crafts at Warcrafts By Euphyley.

Euphyley writes great guides about rare spawns and Hunter pets in Warcraft at WoW Rare Spawns (go figure) but she’s also an incredibly gifted artist, and these are simply wonderful.

A lot of the items are related to Druids, so this is right in our wheelhouse, but there are also some Warlock, Shaman and Mage themed pets and even items from other games (like 1 UP mushroom earrings) and lots of Hearthstone and Pet Battling jewelry.

Here are a few pictures of some of the amazing things in her store, so you can see I’m not kidding, these handcrafted items are truly unique and quite beautiful.

DruidMalorne minimoonkin VoidwalkerNecklace

There are many more, and they are all just as lovely as these, so why not check them out?

Still not convinced?

One word.

MURLOCS.

Warcrafts by Euphyley

It’s a Mystery

I have something special to show you, something really neat.

I’ll show you pictures, I’ll do a big reveal.

When you see it, you will laugh, you’ll cry. It’s not a hoax, not an imaginary tale.

It’s real!

But… you’ll have to wait.

For now, all I will say is…

Whatever it is, it’s in the box.

Closed carton, marked this side up.

It’s a Mystery. Ooh, spooky!

Stay Tuned, We’ll Be Back Soon!

A few different things.

First, and most important. The blog is hosted on GoDaddy, and it’s been unstable a lot lately. It’s been fine for years, but all of a sudden the thing is acting like a yoyo, and of course GoDaddy says the solution is for us to change servers, upgrade to different technology and blah de blah blah.

Cassie has done all the work researching what GoDaddy is asking us to do (and their how to manuals? Not only not helpful, but actively wrong in places.) and she is going to begin the process, like, now. GoDaddy says the blog may be down for up to 72 hours while it’s happening, so if we go dark, don’t worry. We’ll be back.

Maybe.

Because I know all websites are shut down for two or three days when things are updated or upgraded, amiright?

Anyway, there is that.

Second, don’t forget that we are doing the finishing run in Ulduar 25 this Sunday night. We only have the last two fights of achieves left for the mounts, so don’t forget, please. I DID push the Raid ID, so we’re all set.

If the last two bosses die fairly quickly, I’m thinking it might be fun to clear the TOC raid as well, just because, well, a lot of people hated that place, and it might be fun to get revenge.

Third, I know a lot of people are loving the new Grand Commendations that give you faction rep boosts of 100% for everyone on your account.

Ghostcrawler is saying they are considering doing this for old pre-Pandaria factions too, AND right now it applies to reputation from quests.

So, for example, if you did Shado-Pan and got your Grand Commendation on your main, your alt will get way past Honored just by questing in Townlong Steppes. This is a good thing.

Finally, you all have a great weekend. Okay? I will be wishing for good health and happy loots for all of you!

Gratuitous Self Promotion!

I need your help, my friends.

I have gone past 1500 posts.

Now, that is not¬†in itself a¬†cause for celebration, it’s simply a testament to the fact I can’t seem to shut the hell up. I’ve got an opinion on EVERYTHING. I ain’t bashful about sharing it, either.

On a side note, did you know Lewis Black is on Twitter @thelewisblack ? Not sure why that suddenly occured to me.

I’ve gone past 1500 posts.

That may seem cool, until you try to find something buried in that mess.

I tried to find one particular post in my archives the other day, and I came to a stunning realization.

I can’t find SHIT.

I even have a search function on my blog.¬†Nope,¬†really can’t¬†find shit.

Now, you can’t help me find what I was looking for, I forgot what the heck it was already.

There is something you COULD do that I would be truly grateful for. Please?

You could let me know in the comments to this post what posts I may have written over the years that stand out to you as ones that would be worth having links to on the sidebar.

If the answer is none, then that’s fine with me. ūüôā

I’m not looking to fulfill any particular criteria. It’s enough to me that, if I wrote something that for whatever reason stuck with you and you think would be a good one to have linked on the sidebar, that¬†you let me know.

If I actually get some suggestions, I’m going to add a section on the sidebar for reader recommendations, and it will bring some stuff back to life from a dead and gone archive.

I’m not joking, by the way. If you think nothing I’ve written¬†deserves to be on the¬†sidebar of the blog, that’s cool.¬†Hey, if you think it’s all fishwrap… there is absolutely NOTHING wrong in my mind with aspiring to write words that last for a single¬†day before fading away into the past.

There are a few things driving this today, besides my not being able to find shit in my archives, that is.

The first thing is, every once in a while I get the thought that maybe I should have links to some of the stuff in my archives on the sidebar for new readers to check out. I do not, in any way, expect anyone to read through 1500 freaking posts. With the size of my bearwalls? Really?

Not a chance.

But buried in that mess there might be posts people enjoyed, and think new readers would enjoy too. Or at least would give people fair warning over the kind of crap I’m known for spewing.

I do have some posts on the sidebar.¬†I’ve tried to keep¬†the Storytime posts I like doing and the Tales from the Truckstop, and Druid Tanking posts from¬†back when what I thought was, for a brief millisecond, relevant. A wonderful reader also recently asked me to add the Alex the Bunnyslayer posts there, and if someone asks you to do that, how the hell can you resist?

Those posts on the sidebar already, some of those are very old, and yet they still seem recent and fresh to me. I think part of that is because they are on the sidebar, where I am reminded of them and the good times we had writing and talking about them. If you think I don’t like to remember good times I’ve shared with you, you’re nucking futs.

The thing is, I’m not capable of judging what someone might think was worth linking to or not. For this kind of thing, it doesn’t matter what I thought about it, what matters is your opinion.

There is yet another reason for this, too.

If my pagehit post caused some people to wince in irritation at my bragging and to liken me to being the kind of person that would tell a crowd of people how many conquests I’ve had, then the whole concept of my¬†pandering to my massive ego by begging readers¬†for suggestions on¬†what posts of mine were most awesome ought¬†to cause ’em to blow a fucking gasket.

Cherish that visual with me for a moment. The beginning of reading the post, the dawning realization of just what it was¬†I was asking for, the gradual darkening of the cheeks as blood pressure soars, the sudden pop…

Nirvana.

I kid, I kid. I do that. It’s all in good fun.

There is an even further point to all this.

If you are a blog writer, or any kind of writer at all, and you sometimes feel discouraged at not finding an audience or recognition, take a good, long look at me for a moment.

I’m not a great writer, I’m probably not even a good writer. But I do put myself into my writing, and I keep writing. I’m the energizer bear of blogging, I keep writing and writing and writing. It may suck, people may want me to shut the hell up, but here I am.

If I’m not actively writing, I’m thinking about writing, thinking about story structure, thinking about characters and concepts and shit, and I want to write it all down.

It’s not about pagehits. It’s not about recognition. It’s about writing for the love of writing. If you’re doing it for a reward other than doing what you love, then it’s a means to get you something else you want, and you’re not likely to keep going unless you get that thing that is your true goal.

I was writing long before there was an internet, and I sucked then, too. I’ve got notebooks full of story ideas, role playing game scenarios, poetry, character backgrounds, you name it. I’ll be the first to say, none of it is¬†any good.

Every few years I come across one of those notebooks, flip through one, and think, “Holy shit, I was a complete IDIOT. This is crap! Oh my god, I can’t believe how immature my worldview was, how lacking my understanding of history, the inter-connectedness of events, how shit works together, geopolitical views and just wow what a bloody idiot I was.”

Then a few years pass, I pick something up, and read what I’d written just¬†a few years prior, and think the same damn thing.

Every year I look back on the person I was a year before and think, “Wow, what an ignorant idiot.”

The lesson here is… I know, based on past experience, not think but KNOW, that I am an idiot NOW. In five years, I will look back on the¬†person I am today and truthfully think, “Wow, what an idiot I was.”

That doesn’t stop me from writing. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. I keep writing. I wrote in notebooks, I write here, and who knows where I’ll be a decade from now. Dead in a ditch, victim of the zombie apocalypse everyone tried to warn me of, or writing something completely different on a new venue I can’t imagine? No idea.

If you love writing, sharing your ideas, playing with words and cleansing yourself of the ideas in your skull that threaten to drive you nuts unless you get them out where you can twist them around to get a better look at them… DO IT.

1500 posts don’t all happen at once. They happen because you wrote something today, and tomorrow, and every other¬†time you were fired with enthusiasm to get the shit out of your head someplace where you could see it, and you did it by typing or scribbling or scrawling.

Honestly. Look at this place. Look at it, and be sure of one thing.

You can do better.

So do it. Be yourself, let your love for writing explode on the screen, and if you are honest with yourself and what you’re saying, it may take time, but people WILL find you, they WILL link to you, and you WILL be part of the community whether you want to be or not.

For every writer pouring their heart out, there are people who will find those words resonate within them. It may take time, but it will happen.

But start with the writing.

I’m so glad we have this time… Together!

Thank you all¬†for continuing to read and visit me here. I hope that when you stop by to visit, you feel¬†welcome. This isn’t the Pink Pigtail Inn, but you can be certain that whenever you stop by, you’ll find a metaphorical Guinness, Captain and Coke, and bacon sandwich all ready and waiting for you. Pull up a chair, enjoy your drink, and if you finish your bacon early in your stay… there is ALWAYS more. Always.¬†

I joke around that¬†nobody comes by to read this stuff,¬†Gnomer just sits there in between slaughtering Horde in BGs¬†hitting ‘refresh’ on every post that mentions him 1,000 times a day.¬†

The truth is, though, while I am the one that keeps on writing, it’s not all me. Not even slightly. When you comment, even just when I see you’ve come around, it is part of the conversation here. You teach me, encourage me and give me the inspiration to continue to feel that we are all having fun together, and I guess that means, in a very large, real way, the continued existence of this blog is your fault.

Bears may not be able to parry, but clearly we can deflect. ūüôā¬†

As much as I thank you all, I also want to give a huge thank you to my wife Cassie, who has been with me every step of the way as we danced this waltz of blogging craziness together, even as she thought I was a blithering idiot, and I did my best every day to prove her right.

As I mentioned to Lier the other day, my blogging goal every time I sit down is to write a post that will amuse and distract someone for 5 minutes during a lunch break.

I like to think I achieve that goal at least a few times a week, and if that’s so, then world peace and a united earth government can’t be far behind. Right?

In conclusion…

You will believe that a Bear and his love can dance!

Editors… the unsung heroes

As work progresses on cleaning and editing Converging Forces, I’ve been in a very unfamiliar position.

I’m not the one that has done any of the real work so far. Cassie has.

She’s using the track changes function, of course, and inserting notes, so I see and evaluate all her changes. Which, when it comes to grammar and spelling, are always dead on. The notes are more to point out to me things that seem long, wierdly placed, could use more information, that kind of thing.

She’s been working very hard on it, and it’s been great for me in one key respect; Cassie does NOT read fantasy or sci-fi fiction.

So, all the time I’ve been writing these, she’s never read them before.

She’s reading them now. And for the most part, she likes it. I’m not going to speak for her, but she seems to have really been engaged by and enjoyed Jessies story, and Terins story has been… well, I knew there were issues with it at the beginning. I had played with Manny plenty of times before, I knew I could throw him in the deep end and know he’d swim. I hadn’t really had James as a player before, so I really started out slow and established the groundwork, something that’s fine for a PBeM role playing game, and not so entertaining for a story to read.

I’m so happy with the progress, I can’t really tell you. They were just SO rough, so ‘not ready to read’, but I’ve been very happy with them as turns in a PBeM story.

Now, as the balance I always envisioned is being introduced, I’m getting to be very happy with how this is all working out.¬†

None of this is probably of any interest to you, but it’s what we’ve been doing lately. It’s why there isn’t blog postage. Who has time to think about WoW when I’m thinking of the Converging Forces story? I’ve been writing the next chapters in my head so I can get cranking.

The drawback to having your wife hooked on your writing? She wants you to KEEP WRITING. Specifically, to get it back to Jessie.

The conversations we’re having over the writing mistakes she’s corrected so far really make me feel bad. She’s the one finding and correcting them, and if I was a skilled writer, they wouldn’t have been there in the first place.

The single biggest thing that has come out, however, is truly, I do not use apostrophes right. I need to go back in time and slap the shit out of my english teacher, because she taught specific rules on the use of the apostrophe that turn out to be, well, bullshit. Flat out lies. I didn’t make those damn rules up, either. I was in class that day!

I truly need to make a shirt that says,

“What¬†I do to the apostrophe is an offence against God and nature.”

Blog… not hit back

Trying to write when your mind is clouded… it’s not fun.

I’ve been trying to continue with Terin’s story in Converging Forces for, no lie, two weeks now. I’ve written reams of pages, none of which I thought, even at the time, was right.

How can it not be right? Because my voice was all wrong.

Get that? When I looked at what I wrote afterwards, it didn’t sound like me, let alone like the characters who were supposed to be talking or acting.

People talk about voices in your head, but that’s just funny. What, you get sick and you become a different person?

I’ve been writing on the blog during this time, and even then, it didn’t feel like I was hitting resistance… reaching for a coherent thought felt¬†more like trying to catch a cloud. Nothing much there to grab a hold of, just some arms flailingly wildly.

Anyway, I can tell I’m finally start to feel better, because I sat down to begin writing the Converging Forces chapter¬†all over again, and for the first time… it looks clear to me.

Hallelujah! I’m back, baby! I’m 100% solidly in the game!

(BBB would like to take this opportunity to thank his readers posthumously, knowing as he writes this that a meteor will be striking his house and hitting him in the head about 30 seconds after publishing the post. It was nice knowing you.)

Supersonic and lightspeed!

I’ve been asked via email, “How the heck do you keep writing so diligently? How do you sit in front of a keyboard and find words to put down on the screen? Any suggestions? kthxbai!”

The idea someone would send ME that kind of question makes me want to laugh my ass off.

But hey, look… 1300+ posts and counting. How the heck did that happen? Oh yeah… one day at a time, that’s how.

It’s the kind of question that doesn’t apply to you… until it does, if you know what I mean.

Here, revealed at last, is the grand secret of how I keep consistently writing blog posts here without fading away into the obscurity I so richly deserve.

I sit my ass down and write.

Now, I’m not being sarcastic. I know it seems that way, but that IS the grand secret. It’s the trick, the one thing that lets everything else happen. I sit my ass down and write something.

I don’t put it off, I don’t put other things before it, I don’t say to myself “I want to write a post but I don’t have time right now, I’ll do it later”, and then later say “Oh, I was going to write a post but it’s too late now, I’ll do it tomorrow”, and then tomorrow say ‘Oh, man, I’ve got a crazy day today, I’ll sit down and write something when I get home.”

I sit my ass down and write. I try to do it every single day.

I may not have a finished post at the end of it to hit ‘publish’ on, although I often do. Sometimes I write the PBeM story chapters, and sure, those now go up on the blog too, so you see ’em eventually. I also do other writing that you don’t see, background and research and fundamentals of civic structure and magical systems and military structures and all sorts of other stuff that may not ever see the phosphor-laden screen (or the iridiscent shine of LEDs) but help provide the foundation that my other creative writing is built from.

But I write.

I damn well sit down and write. Even if I have no idea what to say, no thought in my head, nothing going on… or too much going on, all of it seeming petty and meaningless and unworthy of dumping on your feeds.

Here’s the miracle of writing; once you start typing, words start laying themselves out, one after another. Pretty soon, sentences are formed. Whole chapters can develop, and before you know it… you have either dredged up some actual cohesive topic¬†to write about and can keep going, and just go back and clean up that mess in the beginning later…¬†or you can just keep going with inane crap until you kick start your brain.

For god’s sake, don’t tear it up and start over! Push on through, see what comes out. You can always go back and delete stuff later.

A second little secret? Sometimes, that wierd shit you plop down that comes from the back of your head, rambling and disjointed and all over the place, that can be some of the funnest stuff to read later. Save that post as a draft, come back to it sometime, and somewhere in that crazy will be something you will just tee off of, and say, “Oh wow, what was I on that day? Hey, that gives me an idea…”

Sit down and write. Make a point of it. Every day, in some way, do some writing that is for you, that is your own creative ‘kick out the jams’, blow the dust off your head, get the thoughts out of YOU and somewhere else where you can look at them, and give them the sound thrashing they deserve. It makes you feel good to get stuff out of where it’s crammed down in your gut, get it out there and just away. Put it in a blog post, put it into someone else’s words in a story, put it into an angst laden missive in your black leather bound diary with the red rose on the cover, but get some writing done.

How do you know it’s good?

Third secret. You never, ever, think that what you wrote was actually good.¬†The best you can hope for is to look at what you’ve written, and say¬†‘Those are my thoughts, written¬†my way, and I own them. That’s me on a page. Right, wrong or batshit crazy,¬†hit publish and put it behind me.¬†On to the next post!”

You can be writing theorycrafting articles, screenshots of a summer day, or a short story poem in iambic pentameter (whatever the hell THAT is), and if you are emotionally invested in what you wrote, you’ll think it sucks. Well, maybe not suck, but you sure won’t think it’s really good enough for OTHER people to read. If it’s REALLY good, you’ll be secretly proud of it… and then you’ll really not want to share it, because once you’re that emotionally invested in it, if other people don’t like it, damn that can HURT like a mo’fo.

Publish it anyway. Yes, you are risking some serious pain, but who said writing was for cowards and chickenshits? This is the real deal, this is your heart and soul out there for reals… you don’t do this if you’re a coward. DO IT. PUBLISH. And hell take the hindmost.

Fourth secret. When you write something and have those thoughts that it’s not worth posting, it’s not good enough for other people to read, it sucks, why did you waste your time… post it. Check for spelling and punctuation if you must, give it a last reading for sentence structure and grammar if it makes you feel better, but above all else… read it to yourself as though you were speaking it aloud, and if it sounds like how you’d talk to your most trusted and loved bestest friend, if it comes out smooth and clean and sounding like your conversational voice (or your ranting shouty voice screaming at the idiot that pulled the whole room and then ragequit after cursing at you for 5 minutes in that run last night)… POST IT!

We are not copywriters. Copywriters have very specific rules for professional writing, and they are there, and work the way they do, for a reason.

If you want to write, write. Strive to infuse your personality into your writing. Don’t worry about the rules, those are usually there to try and keep from alienating the short attention span reader.¬†I say, screw that. Don’t focus on tailoring your message to the reader, focus on nailing your message presented YOUR WAY.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again one time; if a hundred people read what you wrote, you will never keep all one hundred reader’s interest. The best you can hope for is to keep the interest of the people who will LIKE THE WAY YOU WRITE.

That said, when starting out, it can be reassuring to have some tips and guidelines to follow. Follow rules if they really help you feel more confidant, if they¬†provide a sort of safety net when you’re out there on the high wire and the spotlight is shining on you and only you. Just don’t let them be the crutch you use to tell you when you’ve written a ‘good’ post.

The best set of copywriting rules I’ve seen anywhere can be found here. Just thought I’d share.

Do I follow those rules?

Nope.

Not because I’m smarter than them, or¬†better, or any other pretentious crap. I don’t worry about the smart tips, because I’m already writing how I love to write. I’m not writing to please an imagined reader, and I’m not trying to take somebody else’s idea and spin it out into an article for a magazine for a steady paycheck. I’m not here to clear the personality from my writing and follow a set pattern; I’m here to blow off some steam, and along the way to use the words I write as¬†I was once told you were supposed to use the words of a poem; to get my thoughts and feelings out there clear and clean for others to see.

If it takes me a bearwall to do it,¬†I do it, not because I think you’re stupid and need shit spelled out for you, but because I’m having fun writing! I don’t want it to stop, sometimes.

Look, here’s the thing. If you’ve always wanted to write, but just don’t know how, you sit down, today, and you write something.¬†I don’t give a shit what it is, take your grocery list from the weekend and turn it into a short story of how you had to escape from ninja pirates that had your house surrounded, and you only had THOSE few items to work with. Plus a kitchen, hey, I’m crazy, not stupid. How would you do it?

Or take some topic, I don’t care what, reach out and grab something from the air. Spelunking. Gravestone rubbings. Whether or not mallard ducks fart while they fly. I don’t care, just pick something. Then write about it. Just start typing it the way you’d say it, and go from there. See where you can take it. Tell yourself a story.

Write anything. But do it.

Put the writing in front of other things, instead of putting¬†other things in front of writing. You can start off the day going to work, promising yourself “When I take my break I’m going to spend 10 minutes writing about x.” Maybe you won’t actually be ABLE to write during your break… but you’ll have been thinking in the back of your head about what you wanted to write all morning. It will be going around back in the ol’¬†noggin, and that’s some great stuff that comes out of there when you let it simmer long enough.

I take a USB memory stick with me to work most days, and over lunch I’ll¬†do some writing, and save whatever I’ve got on there to bring back home. I may not have much, but just thinking about what to write during the day¬†gets the typing process all smoothed out later.

Of course, there are those horrible moments when you just nail that internal dialogue. You come up with just the most awesome plot twist that sells your entire story to you, you know JUST the right tone to take, you get the words nailed down, ohh it gives you shivers it’s so awesome!… and then later you forgot what it was when you sit down to write it. Oh man, that’s got to be writer hell, right there.

Even with that, I think it’s worth it.

Anyway, for the budding writer, I’m as serious as I can be. You want to be a writer, then sit your ass down and make time to write. When you’re not writing, take time to THINK about what you’re GOING to write. Make it something you do.

And even though you think it sucks, if it sounds like you when you read it out loud to yourself… publish it, and then MOVE ON TO THE NEXT WRITING.

If you happen to have your own tips for consistent writing, by all means share them below. After all, I ain’t kidding when¬†I say that you never really publish something and think that it’s freaking brilliantly awesome… and if you do, trust me. You were wrong. ūüôā

I hope you all have a great week, and I truly hope that this trend of ever-growing numbers of blog writers continues. I love seeing so many new voices rising out of the wilderness. Send your posts like an arrow into the heart of mediocrity, for you cheer me up immensely when you do.

Oh, and that blog post title up there? I sat down today to write a post, with absolutely nothing on my mind but inane crap. The words ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Lightspeed’ popped into my head, so I wrote them for a blog title. And then I started writing a post that had nothing to do with those words at all, because that’s where my fingers and the back of my head¬†took me. I didn’t try to force myself to write something related to those words when it wasn’t coming.

I could go back and change the title now… but I think that constitutes a last little secret all on it’s own.