Tag Archives: Improvement

Here’s a catchy title with the word “blood” in it. Intrigued? What’s it about? Hmm. Find out?

Went to Walmart so that I could get an outdoor mat to have one for each door. A blood van was there. It wasn’t the American Red Cross: it was The Blood Connection. They asked if I’d give some blood, and I said I would.

I was pretty anxious. I’m used to blood and needles from going to the doctor as a kid. But I was afraid they’d find something wrong with me (I’ll get into this later). I tried to calm my anxiety, however, because I thought that might skew the results somehow. She said my blood pressure was a little high, but that’s no surprise. Smart people who think about the world get stressed. I just dismissed it. I have been working on managing my stress, however, because it has finally started to become too much for me. Fascinating how the outdoors relieve stress. I think it has something to do with the fact that it is out of our control. The trees grow, and produce air, outside of our control. That’s comforting.

She said something, maybe hemoglobin, was 17, and it should be between 13 and 20. Everything seemed good.

Answered some questions beforehand. Read about AIDS, and needles, and shit. Scary stuff. Finally went to the chair to donate. “Are their needles clean?” I was thinking. Whatever. If I catch something, I catch something. Just relax. The van probably isn’t outside of Walmart to give people diseases. They’re probably trying to do good for people who need blood. People need blood. It does them good. People need it, for reasons I don’t care to fully understand. You can have it.

It took a little while. Some sugar beforehand, some sugar after. Waited in the van for a little bit, then walked out. Thought about going full “Cody mode”, but that wasn’t going to work. Walked slowly. Stay calm. Everything was fine. Got my mat, and left.

I thought about Dad. Dad always gave blood. It feels good to give blood. I hope somebody can use it. I figure that as long as I’m healthy enough to give blood, that means I’m doing good. Dad reached a point where they asked him not to donate anymore. I guess as long as I’m still healthy enough to give blood, I’m doing good.

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who never see a problem until it is too late, and those that constantly see problems when there are none there. I watched a video yesterday that Jordan Peterson was in (I don’t care for finding the exact timestamp. Sorry), and he confirmed something that I’ve always believed. My history regarding how I view health is pretty complicated. Religion did some pretty shitty things with how I view health, but I won’t get into all of that here. Suffice it to say that I’ve always felt guilty for being healthy, or smart. I’ve had to retrain myself philosophically to think about health differently. If I pity those who are unhealthy, what does that mean? That means I want them to be healthy. So why shouldn’t I be happy for myself, or anyone else who is healthy? Why should I feel guilty for having what I want everyone to have? The reasons for guilt are depressing. Basically, religion is, all too often, synonymous with guilt. I have deep problems with that.

I will do my best to not be someone who doesn’t accept a problem until it is too late. Prevention, prevention, prevention. Shit happens. But I don’t want to wait until it is too late. I don’t want to be someone who trains for marathons, but I’m going to think about my health. If that adds extra stress to me, then so be it. “Cody, too much stress is unhealthy-” Please shut the fuck up.

The two kinds of people in this world, that I mentioned above, are affected by everything. People who never see a problem until it is too late help create Nazi Germany. I won’t be one of those people. I’d rather be a person who sees every tiny encroachment of liberty as a step towards Nazi Germany. Sure, I’ll have to deal with people calling me “nasty names”. But it’s worth it. Fuck you, and fuck Nazi Germany. Fuck not taking care of yourself. Fuck the State. And fuck the idiots.

As I was going through the mats, I thought of something. I’ve always had a problem with speaking well. People in the South don’t like good talkers. Their inferiority complexes make them uncomfortable. This, of course, affects everyone from time to time: not just “Southerners”. I single out “the South” because I have a lot of problems with the culture I grew up in. But I realized, as I was picking up a mat, just how important words are. It’s important to speak well. You can’t make arguments without language. Language is very powerful. It is important. It is a tool. A tool that can be improved. It is sad when people manipulate with their language. But I’ve had enough of that for one lifetime. I “experimented” with lying when I first got a computer: getting up the courage to “talk” (lol) to women. Telling them what they wanted to hear. And hating every fucking second of it. I thought about that, and thought about “the news” from when I was growing up. There was always some story where someone was involved in a scandal, and they always said they were innocent. Constantly. Somebody was always lying. I thought “Why are these people making the world worse?” And that furthered my hatred for lying. I wanted to stop lying. Honesty was therapeutic. And that’s where I am today.

Of course, with honesty comes responsibility. You can honestly do some horrible things by accident. Honesty doesn’t mean you can escape the consequences. That’s scary to me. I try to think about making sure I don’t put myself in positions where I could accidentally do something reprehensible. The thought of going to jail is frightening. The thought of being innocent and going to jail is even more frightening. But a clear conscience goes a long, LONG way. That’s one reason that I hate religious conservatism so fucking much.

I realized that speaking out means other people will speak out as well. I don’t like people. I humorously thought today, while sitting in the parking lot, that I’m part of the “autism spectrum”. I honestly hate people. To my fucking core. But I don’t want them imprisoned. I don’t want them sick. I want them to have what I have. And I want to leave them alone because I want to be left alone.

I briefly thought about someone saying “You talk fine! Why are you so worried about it?” What’s wrong with desiring to improve? Why are you so worried about my desire to improve?

I hate talking because I am bad at it. I don’t like being around angry people. I don’t like arguments. I’ve often found myself in a position retracting from a debate where the other person was actually enjoying it. A misread communicatory signal. Must be that spectrum in me. But I realized that a large reason why I don’t like talking to people is that I’m not a good arguer. I’m not good enough with language. There’s SO much room for improvement. I guess a lot of people don’t care that much. That’s why they call you “smarty-pants”, or whatever. But I need language. I need this. I don’t fully understand why. But I need it. And I need to improve upon it. It’s simply a tool. It cleanses my spirit, and helps me navigate socially. It will still be my goal to avoid socializing as much as possible, but when I can’t, I need to be able to speak for myself.

It’s all a process. All improvement.

That’s all it is.

Thanks for reading.

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How to find a good title for everything that amounts to a “life’s work”?

I think I’ve finally figured out a good way to describe what exactly it is that I’m looking for out of life. It comes down to one word: “profundity”. I want to be moved. I want nature and life to make me cry. I want to be able to cry in front of someone while looking at something beautiful, and be able to say to them “That’s beautiful.”

I’ve always had this sense, for many years, that something was missing in my life. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I think part of the problem is being surrounded by the perspective of the “average” person: dull, and dumb. Not much to look forward to but the next race or ball game (I’m not talking about family, but just being around people in public, overhearing conversations constantly, coworkers, etc.). That’s not what life is about to me. I think that’s why I’ve been going on these solo drives lately. One, just for new environments. But, arguably even more so, because of self-reflection.

I feel like I’ve been beaten down over the years with constant derision of being an “overthinker“. No one could possibly understand the enjoyment that I get from contemplation. I haven’t known how to speak out against it. Now that I’m older, with more responsibility and freedom, I find myself asking: What do I want my perspective to be? What do I want to think about? Where do I want my mind to be? That’s a very deep question. Going through the motions gets you through the day. But is that all my life is? “Getting through the day”? What’s the point in that? You’re telling me that God created our entire universe, the Earth, and US, for Christ’s sake, just for us to “get through the day”? What kind of ultimate purpose is THAT? A fucking pathetic one.

No, there’s something missing in my life, for sure. So much talk revolves around bills and jobs. Not only politically, but just “small talk”. To be fair, I guess when it occupies as much time and energy as it does, that is inevitable. But am I to take certain inevitabilities as the purpose of my life? If I were to get cancer tomorrow, would I treat that cancer as the purpose of my life? Would I talk about it constantly, and think of nothing else but it? Or would I look for profundity in other things? I think the answer is the latter.

I’m tired of listening to well-meaninged people warning about a “life wasted”. I want to be able to say why I disagree with them. In order to do that, I need to use words. I need to “overthink” about words. I’m tired of playing dumb just to keep some sense of “social peace”. Your inferiority complex shouldn’t be my problem. There’s too much profundity to be concerned with some jackass that feels insecure because your vocabulary is deeper than his.

And that should go for myself as well. I shouldn’t dismiss someone just because they speak better than me. Just learn how to speak better, you fucking retard. Learn new words. Become a better listener. It’s not one of the Ten Commandments: just an improvable life skill.

The ultimate problem is that I’m not allowing myself to get lost in my own head enough. I listen to others a lot so that I can learn things for myself. But speaking up for myself is difficult many times. I don’t really allow myself, often enough, to reflect, and contemplate. This makes those times when I do feel like doing those things all the more special. There’s other factors mentally blocking me from fully dedicating myself to creating things. I’ll have to continue to write about those later, even though I’m sure I’ve already touched on them somewhere.

My head is too full of the words of others instead of what feels like my own independent thoughts. Social anxiety is one reason why I can’t tune others out. The other is that responsibility scares me. The unknown future is scary for all of us often. So we focus on our immediate day, where more things are under our control. But I’ve encountered so many people that say “Where in the hell did my life go?” that it scares me, so I try to think more about the future. And I believe that my future would be better if I allowed myself to get more lost inside of my own head, instead of replaying the words of others in my head constantly and doubting my every desire and decision. That ain’t working anymore. I can’t write like that. Writing requires independent thoughts. I love writing. I need independent thoughts. I need MY words. I don’t want my words to just be “Here’s what someone else told me one time.” What’s MY analysis?

But it’s hard to allow myself to get lost in my head. As I’ve said, it’s just scary to be alone inside of your own head. All of your mistakes come at once. All of your uncertainties. Your worst fears. They come storming at you. It’s easier to close the door of your independent mind and let someone else distract you from yourself. Perhaps some music would help?

Going out on a limb like this, of course, poses its own problems. What if I’m wrong? That’s humiliating. Will I just be able to say “I messed up?” Once again, I think that’s, mainly, just a skill that needs to be learned. It’s one thing to realize the power of humility when you feel like you aren’t making a mistake. It’s another when you realize you have.

Another problem is experience. EVERYTHING is “experience”. But the question should be: what kind of experience? I need more experience with linguisticators. I want to figure out why they burn me out so much. I understand that reading, and listening to good speakers, would help me with my own desire to communicate. But I’m always hesitant to do so. Why? Well, for one, language is separate from the subject. I like focusing on a couple of subjects at a time. But then, I get burned out. So in order to keep reading, and not feeling burnt out on the subject, I’d have to read about another subject. But which one? That’s the problem. Reading something and realizing that I don’t enjoy it. Or just getting tired of it, like eating the same food everyday, except with a book. I need to approach reading differently. Instead of focusing on the subject, I need to focus on the language used. That’s not going to be easy. I’m still going to read subjects that I enjoy, of course. But I also need to be able to analyze the use of language separately from the content of the work. Ok, this work is boring me. But is it written well? If so, why? And then, try to learn how to use language better for myself. Once again, this is just a skill that needs to be learned.

Ultimately, the solution will probably come down to reading writers better than I (shouldn’t be too hard to find). I need to have a certain mindset to be open enough to understand what it is exactly that makes their writing better than mine, and how to use that for myself. I guess the question becomes: how much do I want to do that, exactly? I don’t know how much of it will satisfy me yet. I don’t even know how to approach it, really. I anticipate that if I took the advice of someone else that I’d burn out quickly and then get tired of learning how to get better altogether. I think this is a slow, natural, lifetime process that I can’t fully explain yet. It could be the case that I’m lying to myself, and all of this is for naught. But I think it is the only thing that satisfies my heart, and that matters to me (of course). The challenge is being able to explain WHY I believe that it matters.

Another reason that I find language so difficult is that I’ve always associated good speakers with charlatans. It’s easy to tell if an idiot is “good” or “evil“. It’s much harder when someone speaks well. I was so afraid of being evil (thanks, free will baptism) that I just avoided language like the plague. I realize now how stupid that was. But now begins the task of fixing it. And that’s going to be hard, considering how far behind I am because of my old way of thinking. You may say “You write well now,” but you have no idea how good it can become. I do.

For better or worse, ethics consume most of my thoughts. I think this is an evident combination of genes and environment. Certainly, my religious upbringing and journey has a lot to do with why thoughts of ethics almost consume me. But I know there’s definitely a major genetic component as well. Hypocrisy, especially if I do something “evil”, scares me. I just don’t want to do it. I, like everyone else, am torn between doing good and evil. I have, and will, do both throughout my life. And that bothers the fuck out of me. I guess one might say “The fact that it bothers you proves that you’re a good person.” But I will take no solace in that. The thought of being a hypocrite bothers me. Especially the thought of being a hypocrite on a very famous scale (and I desire “fame” only as a measure of success that I wish to have, so that I don’t get stuck in a life that I resent everyday. Maybe one day I’ll just be “content” like everyone else, but I have goals, and I want them. And that’s all I care about. I know that it takes that type of attitude to succeed, so now, all I need is that success, so that I can hand you the check and say “I told you so.” And if it doesn’t work, who cares? I’ll join you at the factory line and you can tell me about all of the time I’ve wasted, whereas I can say “At least I tried” and make fun of you for NOT trying). I find enjoyment in being critical, and that obviously puts a lot of pressure on me. “Just stop being so critical,” you might say. Criticism, especially humorous criticism, is too much fucking fun. I think it’s worth the anxiety of making a mistake. And, once again, I think that’s another reason why humility is a skill that I desperately need to develop.

And that never-ending war of trying to figure out how to “handle” other people. In a way where the advice of others doesn’t deafen my own independent thoughts. Trying to figure out truth is a lifelong battle: as is dealing with the evil of others. It will continue on forever, as you continue to get older, and, eventually, die. We do good, we do evil, then we think about and talk about the evil of others. Then, we listen to others talk about the evil of still yet others. I’m so fucking exhausted with it all. I want to take part in it, but I’m also fucking sick of it. “Hypocrisy”, I guess you’d say. And here comes the advice. And here’s where Cody has to say “Ignore it, because you want to.” And here’s where Cody hears others complaining that he said he’s going to ignore them. And here’s where Cody needs to tell himself “Just continue ignoring them.” And here’s where Cody hears them saying that “Yes, you need to ignore them.” And here’s where Cody realizes they are “them” so he shouldn’t listen to them. And on, and on, and fucking on. “Just stop”- I can’t- “You think too much”-no I don’t shut up haven’t you read fucking anything I’ve written up to this point? Maybe you realize the problem now.

I can’t wait to just become an old grouch. That’s what my heart ultimately longs for. It flies in the face of all “advice” you’ll hear. But who gives a shit. I’m a grumpy old grouch at heart, goddammit, and that’s what I want to be. So it’s going to fucking stay that way. Get out.

You can’t appreciate profundity when a bunch of stupid blabbermouths don’t see it and won’t shut the fuck up about what they do see.

…Stuff like this makes me wish that either I was older or that I end up dying younger. I can’t take 80 years of thinking like this, and I refuse to think like everyone else. I’m hopeful that this will change as time goes by. But, of course, I want it NOW. I already feel about 90. If I ever do make it to 90, I can’t imagine how I’d feel. That’s scary. Maybe I don’t want to make it to 90. But things do change…

Communication, like everything else, is hard. Regardless of what “natural” abilities you may have, everything gets hard at some point. There’s a reason why talented, say, basketball players practice. Michael Jordan has always been, and will always be, a better basketball player than me. And most. So why did he practice? Well……….what ELSE was he going to do? THAT was a question that he had to ask himself. And he ANSWERED it himself. That’s what I need to do. It doesn’t matter that I’ll (probably) never become the “Michael Jordan” of writing. That is so far removed from the point that that thought shouldn’t have even entered your head. The point is what do I want my writing and thoughts to be, and what do I want to do with them?

And that produces a fine line. Writing involves organization, knowing when to lengthen a piece, and knowing when to cut one off. My default position has just been to cut everything off short (because it’s easier). But something has been missing. I knew this day would come eventually, so I have never stressed about today not being around yesterday. But the day has come where I’m no longer satisfied with cutting things off prematurely. I’ve said stuff like this a million times, but it continues to be true. The process of writing is constant. I’ll probably say, throughout my entire life, that “I need to learn how to edit.” It doesn’t matter how much better I get from one year to the next, I anticipate that I’ll still say “I need to learn how to edit.” Why? Well, this is where the “Michael Jordan” analogy comes into play. What in the fuck ELSE am I going to do with my writing? If I don’t do that, but I want to write, the writing is just going to be “WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD”. What’s the point in reading that? There IS none. Michael Jordan won a championship and an MVP one year. Why did he play the next year? It’s all about an attitude, and what one wants to do. I don’t care if I never win a writing MVP, or whatever. I don’t care if I’m not ranked among the 100,000 best writers ever. The point is that I want to write, and what attitude am I going to have while I do so? I pity those that don’t understand what I’m talking about. They’re kind of idiots.

I hope I don’t burn out too quickly. This has been a lifetime coming, but, ultimately, I think everything is. Everything has been leading up to everything. That’s unavoidable. But being able to explain that in certain ways is a skill that I wish to develop. One of the skills that I wish to develop.

I also need to work on the fact that even if someone’s advice doesn’t help me, at least they want to. I can ignore it, but at least I can say “Well, they’re trying to help, even if they aren’t.” At least give them that credit. And then, get back to my alone time as quickly as possible. I’m sure they’ll understand. At least, if I’ve explained myself well enough, they will. I think my main frustration with advice is that I haven’t been able to effectively speak for myself. That’s a pattern that I continue to notice. I’ve never been happy with my ability to speak for myself, and it’s something I’ve worked on for many, many years. And I have a long fucking way to go. It’s all a complicated weave that I have in my head that I want to be able to elaborate. And it’s exasperating. And it just keeps building more and more and more. It’s hard to handle, but this is the best time in my life to handle it financially. I can’t afford to waste this opportunity. I want all of my ideas to come fast, and just get them all done as rapidly as possible. But they need to mature to maintain a quality that I’m happy with. It’s not about writing a bestseller, it’s just about writing good stuff, goddammit. My heart has always hurt when inspiration has hit me and I couldn’t write because I was at work, or had to go to school the next day. Staying up for hours later than I should just because “It hit me.” Feeling frustrated because I had other responsibilities that kept me from writing. So much of that has changed. This is the time that I’ve been desperate for my whole life. SO WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD I EVER STRUGGLE TO WRITE?????????? Write NOW, dammit!!! In truth, there’s still stuff to figure out, as there always has been. But this is, more than likely, the best time I will EVER HAVE to create. EVER. I’ll have more free time now than I’ve ever had. That pressure is terrifying. But if I get in too much of a hurry, the work sucks. And I need to absorb more before I can regurgitate more. I haven’t been happy with much of my writing for a long time now, and it’s mainly because I just didn’t have enough within me to get it done the way I wanted to get done. There’s too much for me to elaborate on here, but I want to do it eventually. All of my work is a tangled weave of my life. It all connects, in the grand scheme of things. I’m a “mad scientist”. It’s a delicate balance. I guess I’ll just have to hope that I don’t see it all as a mistake down the road, and figure out exactly what I’m going to do today, and how.

Technical ability to improve quality (of things like video) is a skill I need to learn without burning myself out trying to do so. Software, camera work, lighting. No, I don’t need to go to school for it. I’ll experiment with it myself eventually. But I need a better outlook of completing good work. A – you guessed it – philosophical approach to quality and effort. I know that probably sounds weird to you. But I want to be able to explain what I mean eventually. I want to be able to explain everything. How I write, etc.

I need to hurry up and get better so I can churn out more stuff, and keep improving it. The gaps in time between my writings are far too fucking long for my taste. But I can’t just type “BLAH BLAH BLAH” and say I’ve written something. It just takes a lot of time. Everything does. And then, I’ll get old and say “Holy fuck. Where did the time go?”

I still have a lot of things that I want to say about the past. About writing. I want to be able to explain what is going on inside of my head. If that doesn’t interest you, that’s fine. If it enrages you, I find that humorous. If it inspires you, that’s terrifying. But the ultimate point is that I want to be lost inside of my own head to find some peace in this world. That’s mainly what I care about at the moment. That, and just learning how to do everything better, such as my attitude and “dealing with” other people. And editing, and organizing, etc.

So that’s what I’m working on, I guess. Lmfao (When to work? When to break? When to write? When to listen to music? Who to listen to? Who to ignore? WHEN WHEN WHEN? It never ends).

The hardest part about all of this is having known, for a long time, that all of this was going to happen (or at least significant parts of it), but having it not happen. Realizing “Yep, this is definitely a waiting game.” As my favorite childhood musician once said, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

Bulleted lists of what I like about writing and what I hate about writing.

Why Express?

Highly Sensitive Mind.

My poetry.

Creative Confidence

I entered this world as an introvert. As I got older, comedy became my way of communicating with other people. Whenever I allowed my brain to develop a completely independent thought that wasn’t “comedy”-related, and shared that thought with others, I often found that they thought I was crazy. I started to believe this as well. And this kept me from sharing serious thoughts with others. Comedy has always been easier for me than writing something “serious”.

I have not yet determined if they were right, or if I was, and am, right. I can tell that this uncertainty hinders me creatively. But I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. If I completely express myself, completely and honestly, am I actually an insane person? Am I a danger to others? Are my honest thoughts dangerous to others? To many, that’s a weird question to ask. But to me, it’s normal. I’m learning the importance of independence. And I’m learning how I can improve as a writer. But I still have my doubts. I begin to write something, and feel as if I’ve already written it before. Then, those children of my past come back, and ask “Why do you repeat yourself so often?” And then, there’s doubts. I start to “look up” why I repeat myself so often. Ope, looks like it’s OCD. So then, I obsess over my “self-diagnosed” OCD, until I finally just say “I can’t do this anymore.” Even if I do only repeat myself with everything I write, if that’s what I feel like I should write, then that’s what I’m going to write. If I’m truly a mental patient, then as long as I feel honest with myself, I’ll have to accept that I’m more “disordered” than the general population.

I’m tired of adopting ideas about myself that come directly from others. This is partly why I have developed my “vulgar” stage: as a way to rebel from being told how I should think. What do I think? What do I honestly think and believe? It is crucial to the soul for one to develop his own thoughts and convictions. Something is always missing if one doesn’t.

It is fun to take what people believe about me and exaggerate it. I really enjoy that. I really enjoy “scaring” ignorant people. It’s dangerous, because there are some people out there crazier than I who wouldn’t hesitate to end my life. But if freedom of expression is so important, why should death be enough to scare one into silence?

I don’t want to be told how I should bring my creative visions to life. I don’t want to be afraid of being “crazy” and “repetitive”. I’ve always believed that I know what I’m talking about. If you disagree, say so. You have every right to say nasty things about me, or whatever you want. I’m not going to stop you. In fact, I encourage it. I may delete a comment, but start your own blog. I have learned that good people will always get their names smeared by bad people, so I welcome that. I welcome the miscreants to destroy my name. I fucking love it. Bring it on.

I always envision an assassination attempt against me, much like Larry Flynt. “Why don’t you just keep your mouth shut? Is it really worth it?”, you may ask. I believe so. I have always been willing to stand up for what I believe to be right. I’ve never had a gun pointed at me, or anything severe, but I’ve been attacked (when I was a kid) for standing up for justice. Been stabbed with a pencil, and had my face slammed into a desk, because I took back a seat that was stolen from me. I realize that’s a minor example. But it proves the principle. Even though I’m not perfect, and I’ve done some bad things, I think I can safely say that justice motivates me.

I have very deep convictions regarding comedy and writing. I have big goals. I will not stop pursuing them. It’s a very slow process, as I have said. But practice will make me better. I’ll develop my voice with practice and experience. I will be able to handle justified and unjustified criticism as I get older. It’s going to be a while before those voices of doubt go away. It’s exhausting to read and try to get better. Entering into the literature world is a huge endeavor. But I want to write, and I want to see where it takes me. I want to learn from my mistakes as a writer. I don’t want to let criticism silence or censor me. And all of this is going to be very hard to do. The thing that gives me hope is the fact that writers write over a very long period of time, so I know I’ll get better at this as I go along. I’ll just have to feel like I’m spinning my wheels until I finally, somehow, get out of the mud.

I’m not able to completely make up my mind yet, and that bugs me. I want all of my writing philosophies to be fully developed now, but they aren’t, and can’t be. There will be growing pains. That’s a part of it. But I look forward to seeing where it all ultimately goes. For whatever reason, I am confident in my abilities to write. I didn’t say I was good yet, but I’m confident that I can do some good things over time. It’s just a matter of learning how to do it, and that is hard; especially, if you’re as thin-skinned as I am. Even that callousness takes practice, and I’m impatient. But I look forward to seeing where it all goes, and I’m looking forward to how I’m going to feel about it all. I generally feel confident until I get negative feedback, but I think that’s just natural for a lot of people. I may be an engine without oil, but I’ll learn to lubricate eventually. I truly believe that I am the little engine that could, and now, it’s just a matter of proving it over a period of time. That, of course, is the hard part.

Purposeful Action

As so eloquently stated by Mises (and elaborated by Rothbard), human beings use means to achieve ends. This is known as “praxeology”. I decided to embark on writing this as, not too long ago, I was sitting and thinking about what I was doing. Now what exactly was it that I was doing? Good question. I was thinking about stuff that I do: namely, writing and making Youtube videos. I decided to do these things in an attempt to make a career that I thought I would actually enjoy. It is my life’s mission to have a job that I actually like, and not one that I hate, but need. I’ve written before about how I came to have this “philosophy” for myself.

But I sat and thought about writing, and Youtube: specifically, how unknown I am in these regards. Although I’ve, most of the time, been optimistic about my ability to succeed in my “ultimate endeavor”, on this occasion, I was not. I thought about the work that I had done, and how unknown it was. And thought about continuing to put even more fervor into my work to get things done, only to have the work continue to remain unknown. Perhaps I’m just an “immature adult” that needs to “grow up”. But, deep down, I have been convinced that I can succeed. I looked at the current level of my “success”, and was dejected. Knowing how much more work I wanted to create, and my vision of where I could take it financially, felt destroyed. I felt like I had to find something else to do. I felt like I finally need to factor in money more so than the enjoyment of the labor.

Perhaps you find that funny. I’m not going to go into detail about my current financial state. But, as I have said, my main goal is to find a career that I actually enjoy. And, currently, writing and Youtube are the only things that I can realistically (go ahead and laugh) think of. The only things that I think I can work towards that will make me happy. Any time that I’ve tried to come up with an “alternative” (specifically “realistic” ones), I have not been happy. You may say that it doesn’t matter if I’m happy or not, but I have, and will continue, to address my philosophy about “happiness”.

I’ve written about my laziness before. And, clearly, that contributes to my lack of financial success in some way. But, perhaps it’s because of my youth, and the natural “rebelliousness” that comes with it, I’m not satisfied to only dream of financial success at my current “dream careers”. Nay, I also desire to, in almost every way possible, succeed in every way that should be “impossible” to succeed in. What do I mean? Well, for one, my Youtube thumbnails. I enjoy the atrocious thumbnails that I make in Microsoft Paint. The thumbnails that literally anyone could make better than me. All across Youtube, there are professional thumbnails that are pleasing to the eye. And I don’t dislike that. But, perhaps due to my “youthful contrarianness”, I can’t help but “prove to the world” that I can succeed without those “professional” thumbnails. Trivial and childish? Perhaps. And, once again, perhaps it is because of my youth, my youthful ignorance, or my ignorance. But that is also included in my “career goals”: not only proving that I can turn what I enjoy doing into a career, but that I can also do it “unprofessionally”.

The final, and much more difficult aspect of this, is, admittedly, insane. The final “contrarian” point is that I want to purposefully make people dislike me in order to make people like me. This one is much harder for me to reconcile (obviously). What do I mean? Well, I have found (as has everyone), that throughout the course of my life, I have made people feel anger, discomfort, or other negative emotions, simply by the way that I naturally wanted to be. What do I mean? Well, my sense of humor, for one. It’s very dark, perverted, profane, etc. I have experienced that it makes many people uncomfortable, and, after I started putting it on the internet, that it makes people angry. And I’ve honestly started to fuel off of these things. I think it is because if I wish to express what I naturally desire to express, then I have to fuel off of these things. I can either adapt, shut up, ignore, or use that for motivation, and because my desire to express myself honestly is so strong, I choose to fuel. It isn’t enough for me to just ignore people’s anger and discomfort. I want to magnify it. I don’t believe this is out of sadism. It is about me speaking honestly, freely, and confidently. It is my overpowering desire to not be silenced. My desire to speak is stronger than my care for the feelings of others (to a certain extent, of course). The thought of proving people wrong, succeeding in a way that no one thought possible, motivates me. It’s what drives me to continue. My love of the work is the strongest reason why I create the work. But my desire to sell the work stems from, obviously, the desire for financial security, but also just because I’m told I can’t. The typical immature, childish reason to do anything in this world. When I developed this belief (thanks to how I was raised), I listened to successful person after successful person, and tried to find something within myself that I felt like connected me to them. And a big thing that I related to was that all of them told of how they were always told that they’d never succeed. That right there clicked with me. “Hey, me too! I can succeed, too!” That was pretty much my only reason for feeling like I could relate to these successful people. It wasn’t because I believed I was particularly talented. Just that I was told that I’d never succeed in finding a “dream job”.

Perhaps, one day I’ll finally accept one (or more) of the, I’m sure, many reasons that people finally “grow up”. But I’m on a mission to find out everything for myself, regardless of the scale of the negative consequences that I may experience because of my choices.

Of course, I don’t really know how to convince anyone that I can do this. The work speaks for itself, and do I truly believe that my work as it stands is enough for success? No, I don’t. It’s a starting point, but there’s a Hell of long way to go. But I believe that I can do it. You can’t arrive at a destination without steps, and I believe that articles like this, and the work that I’ve done up to this point, are steps (it remains to be seen just exactly how big these “steps” will truly be in retrospect).

I’ve already written about how I believe my writing stacks up with “the best”, and you can read that here. I’ve also written about how I feel about my writing, and how I can get better. I’ve written a little bit about why I write, but I believe I could elaborate on that further; and I’ve also written about selling writing, but I will write more about that as well.

I’m currently at the stage where I realize how important my mental independence really is. I’m starting to realize how important my choices are, and that I have control (to what degree, I don’t know). I don’t need to be told what to write, or how, or when. I’m in control of all of that. Even if I suck, I’m in control. And it’s just going to take time and experience to figure out what I’m going to be taking, where I’m going to take it, and how I’m going to get it there (and why is important to know as well). It’s a slow process, but I’m thankful I don’t have a formal “teacher” distracting me from my own personal literary journey (no canon!)

I am beginning to understand that literature is a slow process; especially for me. I can’t explain why I want to write when I do, or what makes me want to write about something. But I can tell that, whatever it is I’m ultimately doing, it is a long process. There’s a lot of quitting involved. A seemingly infinite number of baby steps. There’s a method to the madness. The more mad, the better, in my opinion. Deep down, I think I know that time makes things better. The brain ages, and gets better at things, before it gets worse at things. It’s very odd. It seems out of my control. When I was younger, I remember trying so hard to do so many different things, and failing spectacularly. I was frequently discouraged, and reached many breaking points. Developed coping mechanisms that I thought I would continue for the rest of my life. But, eventually, the coping mechanisms became problems themselves, and I had to hope and pray that things changed. I finally just got better at stuff. I have no idea how: I just fucking did. And I know writing will be no different. I can already tell, as I read stuff that I started writing several years ago, just how bad it was. What has changed over those years? I honestly don’t know. I don’t feel like I’ve written enough to say that practice helped me get better. All I can say, similarly to the past, is that divine intervention just changed some things, thankfully. I have big dreams in my head, but I know it is going to take painfully slow steps to get there. But the good thing is that once they are taken, there’s no need to backtrack. The work you put in will make you feel good when you get to where you are going. But you need stops along the way, even if they are frequent and lengthy. I think breaks are just as important when working on something as the “working” on it is. They shouldn’t be avoided.

I need to learn to love the process. The struggles, although annoying, are important. It makes the task at hand more fun. Looking at a vision of the future, and all of the obstacles that stand in the way of that completed vision, are very interesting. They make the journey more fun. They just give you something to do with life, and that is very important. It’s the difference between living and feeling alive.

I don’t know when or how I’m going to get better at writing. I can tell that this is a huge challenge. I’m sure that, the more I get involved, the more of the iceberg is going to show. But, hopefully by that point, I will be prepared enough to do with the iceberg whatever the fuck it is that I intend to do with it. But the point is that I want the iceberg, and I want to see what happens as a result of it.

It’s quite humorous to think, just a few short years ago, that I thought I was a “good” writer. Now, those “good” writings are just godawful. Now, today’s writings feel good. I’m encouraged that, in the future, these words will be horrible, and I’ll have beautiful words to replace these with. It makes the journey worthwhile, even if it is hard to figure out what the first steps should be. And, of course, even if, many times, I wish to just stay at home and watch T.V. instead of traversing the tough terrain of the tundra looking for the tip of that iceberg poking through the membrane film of my mind.

Reading is a struggle as well. There’s so much to read. The brain has finite energy. “Exhaustion” is the name of the game for everyone. Writers and readers are no exception.

There’s a fine line between fate and will. I’m constantly balancing between the two. Action leads to failure. But it also leads to success. It leads to exhaustion. But it leads to purpose. It leads to bad work. But it leads to good work.

I’m just one small writer in this world. In the past, I thought I could be one of the best. Now, I don’t care as much. Just one of those weird differences that just happen with time. It’s just hard to explain. Experience. Biological growth. It’s just destiny. It’s just weird. The shitty writing of today will be funny in the future. And the future writing will have to be better, because that’s what happens when you put time and effort into something. Usain Bolt once crawled. We all just want to be retired gold medalists as soon as possible.

My mind has visions, and it’s a slow process. There’s no way around this. This is “just how it is.” But I long for the days when it’s all better than it is today. As much as I hate bringing up my age, I can “hang my hat” on the fact that I’m young, and if I live long enough, will be writing for a long time. That has to bear some fruits of quality somehow.

There’s a certain craziness I wish to unleash to the world. It’s frustrating to dream when your dreams aren’t completed. It’s hard to continue when it is so daunting; when you’re as bad at doing what you want to do as I am. The process is a slow drip; but time creates the erosion. Drips make a significant impact over time. If you stare at each drip, the process takes even longer. You can’t be an observer to your own drips. You just have to drip, and then, one day, someone else will bring the erosion to your attention, and you’ll say “Holy shit. Those drips actually fucking did something.” I can’t wait for that day to come, but the problem will be that day is only going to come after a lot of things go (such as my legs, memory, etc.). Of course, I can’t forget my lunch breaks (and I love to eat).

Of course, I want to marvel at the works of others. Learn from them; be inspired by them. In some ways, that means turning off the faucet. But, ultimately, it helps the goal. It slows down the process. Gives the process more steps. But, ultimately, it helps the process. It’s all part of the complicated process. Before you know it, there will be another change, and you’ll be better than you were before. At least, you will be if you don’t stop dripping.

As frustrated as I get at the amount of times I “quit” (or take a break); as frustrated as I get, I can tell when I’m dripping. I can tell when the faucet gets turned on a little bit more. I can see progress. It makes sense that the more you do something, the better you will get at it. But when you start, and you suck, it’s hard to see where, when, and how that progression is going to come.

I can see all of the visions in my head. But they can’t be done instantaneously. They can only be done with effort and experience, and only over a period of time. I’m finally able to accept that, instead of being frustrated at my inability to create good pieces of art instantaneously and just making the entire process harder on myself. I can only say the difference is experience and biology.

I literally have nothing to lose by having an optimistic attitude about my work. I wish more people would adopt that attitude for themselves (but mainly just so they’d leave me alone).

Even if I don’t succeed, the mental stimulation and spiritual satisfaction provided towards working on this goal, I truly believe, cannot be fulfilled by anything else. I don’t desire to have kids, so raising a child would not provide me with this level of fulfillment. I don’t believe any career other than the ones that I desire could. “Well, have you tried?”, you may ask. No, I haven’t. And I don’t plan to. All I plan to do is write and make people laugh at me. That’s it. That’s the challenge: getting paid to do these things. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than trying to make this happen, and I truly don’t want to find anything “more fulfilling” than this. Aside from my lack of financial success, this is already perfect for me.

There are always voices of doubt in my head. Many of them are related to voices I have heard in the past. But there are other voices that silence them, if only momentarily. And it is during those moments that the dripping begins. I’m in this for the long haul. My love for writing is never going to leave me. This means that I am going to be doing it for life, and, as such, it will have to improve. That’s encouraging, whatever my struggles are. And, currently, those struggles are pretty significant. Small steps. Drips.

I need to work harder on developing my own voice. I want my voice to drown out the voices of all others. “You’re going to drown!”, they yell from the shore. “You’re crazy! Why don’t you pick a different hobby? You’re wasting your time!” Do I want to listen to them? No, I don’t. I just want to write. I just want to make people laugh at me. And I want to make money. These are all I care about. No amount of “advice” is going to change this. All my eggs may be in one basket, but I’m imaginative enough to see the Easter Bunny in my head. And I like that thought.

And as far as how I fit in with “the market” in the long term, although you may say that my prospects are bleak, I’m going to hold out hope, if only because I feel like I, realistically, have no other purpose. Or, perhaps less “drastically”, that I don’t want any other purpose. Feel free to equate me with a child having a temper tantrum; I’d rather be a dreamer than a miserable “adult”. I’ll take that any day of the week, even if I get strange looks as I frolic with the Easter Bunny.

How I Can Become A Better Writer

Behind every good piece of writing are good thoughts. Writing is a series of thoughts strewn together. A writer hopes that his thoughts are coherent, unless he intends for them to be humorous; in which case, he writes an absurdity (with either a grain of truth in his absurdity or a presentation of truth as through the eyes of a fool) in an attempt to get the reader to laugh. But one must be a thinker to be a writer.

To think is to be human. Humans think (I think). Thoughts are consciousness, and, along with desire, drive human action. Action is the manifestation of thoughts directed towards the satisfaction of a desire.

So, to reiterate, in order to write, you must think. I desire to write. Therefore, I must think, and then I must write. However, in order to write “quality” words, one must have “quality” thoughts. But what is “quality”? What is a “good” piece of writing, and what is a “bad” piece of writing? When one likes a piece of writing, one says that the piece of writing is “good”. But is it really good? Can it be objectively good? Is a piece of writing good when a majority thinks it is good? If I think it good and you think it bad, can it objectively be good or bad? Can I be a “good” judge of “good” writing, while you be a “bad” judge of “bad” writing? And, if it is possible to objectively determine whether or not a piece of writing is “good” or “bad”, then what of someone who doesn’t like a “good” piece of writing, or who does like a “bad piece of writing? Can said person be “wrong”? Can their preference be “incorrect”?

Obviously, a lot of what makes writing “good” or “bad” depends on the countless preferences of the reader. Writing involves, if fiction, a setting, character introduction and development, actions, conflict, and a resolution (to put it elementary; I’m sure you literary scholars will inform me of what I’m leaving out). I’m not sure if you can posit an absolute that any particular piece of writing is “good” or “bad”. I suppose, however, that one universal sign of good writing is how effectively you can communicate to the reader. In other words: can the reader understand your words? Readers vary in their reading comprehension, so suppose someone comprehends your writing and another doesn’t. Once again: can you say that the writing is either good or bad? And can someone who can’t read at all be a good judge of good and bad writing? If an illiterate person hates reading, and thinks that all words are “bad”, are they?

Perhaps this question of whether or not writing can be objectively “good” or “bad” is mute. If that’s the case, then, as a writer, why should I care if my writing is “good” or “bad”? Instinctively, I want my writing to be “good”. I want all of my creative works to be “good”. So what is “good”?

The best definition of “good” that I have come up with to date, which has satisfied me the most, and which I apply to all of my creative endeavors, is how I feel about the work.

There is a trend in American society which stipulates that there are no such things as facts, and that all whims are absolute realities. This, of course, is ludicrous. But just because not all whims are absolute realities doesn’t mean that desires are meaningless. As I’ve stated before, desires are the root of action. All action is taken in an attempt to satisfy a desire, with thoughts being the specific course taken en route. It is important to distinguish the importance of facts, and the importance of desires.

Facts are existential givens. Accepting them makes our lives easier. It is simply a fact that one must accept facts. If one is not aware of a fact, then that does not mean that the fact doesn’t exist. Facts are there, and understanding them helps us figure out which course of action to take to satisfy the desires that we wish to satisfy (or that we think we can actually satisfy). We as humans exist within the boundaries of an immutable reality, whereby certain things are absolutely true. That we exist is absolutely true. If we didn’t, then, quite literally, we wouldn’t be here.

As you can see, this is quite complicated. I have a tendency to be a big thinker, and it makes it a nightmare for me to write. In fact, I, quite often, resent writing. I love it, and I hate it. I love the ideas and the potential that I have in my head; I love the physical act of typing. But organizing, making sure I include all of the facts that I wish to include, and concluding the piece are nightmare experiences to me. “But isn’t that what writing is? How can you love writing if you hate all of that?” I don’t understand it, either.

I know that I need practice. Lots of practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice. I’m realizing this more than ever before. I would say that I’m an above average thinker for my age, but my lack of experience makes it difficult to write. What do I know? Not enough to be an expert on anything. I’m still in a mostly-learning phase; not a “teaching” phase, if you wish to call it that. But I still have this desire to write. So what do I write when I don’t know anything? I begin with a piece like this: a critical self-analysis which is intended to give me practice in areas I’m lacking (cohesion, vocabulary, etc.) and which the piece itself is both a genuine question on my part and an attempt to get the answer.

I’m a terrible reader. My disdain for reading came in elementary school, when there were deadlines to reading. Most of the books were rather boring, so I didn’t read. And I haven’t read much since then, which is a shame, considering that I loved reading before school. But I digress.

I’m still not a huge reader. Besides my past experience with reading, I don’t know why. Why don’t I like to read? It’s not that I dislike reading everything. There are certain topics I’m interested in reading. Economics, for example. I love reading Murray Rothbard. But I don’t read his works everyday. In fact, I take long breaks between reading sessions. Why? Because I simply have other things that I would like to do which take precedent over reading. It’s a matter of time-constraints and desire hierarchies.

That being said, I love writing more than I love to read. But, as I’ve said, how can I become a better writer if I don’t know anything? Reading is a great way to learn, and learning makes writing easier. So if I don’t like to read, but I like to write, then what?

Honestly, I think the answer for me is just writing. Just practicing. Going through the motions of rereading, editing, grabbing a thesaurus, etc. And patience. My God, am I an impatient writer. I hate how long it takes to bring ideas together. I hate that it can take page after page after page to prove a point. Perhaps, with practice, I can make my writing more succinct. But, still yet, considering the gargantuan nature of the ideas that I wish to write about, the lengths of the pieces could still be devilishly long.

I have a tendency to be in a hurry. I don’t like sitting around, feeling like I’m doing nothing. At least not when it comes to writing; which is hilarious, because I don’t think I’m like this in many other areas of life. I live a very vegetative lifestyle. So why am I in a hurry when it comes to writing?

That comes down to disorganized thinking. When I was younger, I was raised in a religious household. Not that my father was very religious, but my mother went through a religious “phase”. She believed that the religious ideas that she wanted to introduce to us (mainly through pastors, etc.) were the best things for us. In my opinion, they weren’t. They stunted a lot of educational growth. They just did. Religion has a tendency to do that sort of thing, and I don’t think I can unravel the world’s ensnarement by religion. I can only focus on myself, analyze my past, and write my way through it towards a conclusion. But many of the desires that I had when I was a child to be intelligent were squashed by religion. Many people, tragically, are going through this today. If there were scientific facts I wanted to learn, I felt afraid, and that I should just “chalk it up to God” instead of understanding chemical and biological processes. It just made me tragically ignorant.

The same is true for my vocabulary and writing ability. It’s extraordinarily depressing, considering how much I desire to write. Perhaps it can be undone with practice. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway…

So all of this is just practice. How do I decide when a piece is finished? I need just as much practice thinking as I do the physical act of writing. The religious ideas of my past have fucked up my ability to think; to retain information; to sit and stew, and ponder. I don’t think religion is the sole perpetrator, here. I think that a lot of it has to do with being born smart around stupid people. Not that my parents were stupid people, but I don’t think that they knew what they were getting into with me. I don’t think they knew how to raise a smart kid. They loved me, but I don’t think they knew what they were doing. I can’t really blame them for that. At this current stage in my life (I’m as old as my father was when he had me, and older than my mother was), I wouldn’t know what the fuck I was doing, either. And I’m pretty sure that if I had a kid, he wouldn’t turn out as well as I have.

But to get back to the topic at hand, this piece, and many other pieces in the future, are just practice. This is practice in organizing thoughts, word selection, cohesion, but perhaps, most importantly, just doing the goddamn thing.

I need more practice thinking, and I need peace and quiet to do this. But, when I’m in peace and quiet, religious fears pop back up within me of not thinking about “God” enough. More educational stunting. I have to find a way to let go of this religious fear and feel confident in sitting in solitude, thinking, and organizing my thoughts effectively enough for writing. And this is going to be fucking hard.

But I really want it. Never before in my life have I realized how important it is to practice this. My best friend, who is also a writer, has told me for years the importance of reading and writing. But I had too many mental blocks to take his advice. Now, mainly due to growing restless of a barely-above minimum wage job, with no good (satisfying) alternatives in sight, I think it’s time to start practicing on what I love. I need to practice more isolation; more getting away from the ignorant ideas of this small, southern town. I need more isolation, more peace, more thinking, more analyzing, more reading, and more writing. A lot of these are the opposites of what I was taught that I should do: that I should “stop thinking so much”, that I should “stop overthinking” or “overanalyzing”, and that I needed to become a “social butterfly”. Horribly, horribly ignorant advice for me. I’m not questioning the love with which that advice was given. But it’s completely contradictory to my nature, and isn’t going to work for me. And I’m not going to force it to work. I’ve done enough of that in my lifetime, too (mainly through…take a guess? Religion).

I’m not using this to say that I hate my parents. This is merely an exercise in independence, and practice of the skillsets that I wish to improve upon.

Peace and quiet are crucial for writing. Considering how little writing I’ve done in my life, I’ve always considered portrayals of writers needing peace and quiet in movies or cartoons to be stereotypical. But it is very, very true. And due to the isolatory nature of being a writer, one is alone with one’s own thoughts constantly. One has to be. And that can be quite terrifying. You have to be comfortable with yourself to be a writer. My hands tremble as I write this. You really, really have to be comfortable with yourself as a writer. You have to write down your weaknesses, and know yourself frighteningly intimately. I’m a very introspective person, and it is hard for me to function in anything without understanding myself. I analyze everything to understand my motivations and my decisions. I do this towards other people as well. I’ve always loved doing it, even though my parents and peers have always tried to teach it out of me. But it didn’t work; it’s too intrinsic. It just got slowed down for a little bit (tragically).

On a little side note here, another thing that I’m realizing is that I need more confidence. Depending on the issue, I can be pretty confident and outspoken. But when it comes to defending myself, I tend to rather avoid conflict altogether. I’m a naturally non-combative person, but I do like telling people when I think that they are wrong or stupid. It is fun. But I do need more confidence. I need more confidence so that I can become even more outspoken through my writing. I have a lot of things that I want to say, and a lot of popular tangled webs that I want to unweave, and I need to be able to defend myself. I need more self-confidence and self-assurance. I need more logic. But at the same time, I also want to avoid some conflicts that I know are inevitable. I want the defending of myself to come incrementally. I don’t want to go insane with idiots, or even smart people. I don’t care about debating that much, but I do need a little more practice at that if I’m going to get all of the thoughts down that I wish to get down.

One important thing that I have only briefly mentioned here is learning how to edit. I have an aversion to going back and reading my writing. Untangling some of the messes that my horrible language skills create just gives me a huge headache. It’s just easier to set the piece aside for months (or even years) at a time and do something else. But I can’t get anything done that way, and if I wish to get things done, I need to start developing the willpower to edit.

Once again, a large part of my unwillingness to go back and reread my work and edit it is the same religiousintelligence problem that I discussed earlier. My thoughts were constantly interrupted with fearful religious thoughts about God, so the idea of relaxing, sitting down, and dedicating time to something “without thinking of God” (or whatever this ignorant feeling is) is (sadly) foreign to me. Relaxation can’t be part of your repertoire when you need to analyze your every thought and action for fear of going to Hell.

It’s fucking ignorant bullshit.

But I need to learn to relax and get lost in my thoughts. I need to rekindle my desires to learn, and to think. I just hope that the emotional damage hasn’t been permanently done, and that I can untangle it. I can’t be like the majority of people in my hometown who have had their mental facilities retarded by religion. It’s tragic, and I don’t want to be an ignoramus forever. It is still very emotionally uncomfortable for me. But, once again, I think I just need to practice it. I need to practice thinking in peace and quiet, and unraveling all of the conservatism from my mind so that I can say everything that I wish to say. This will prove most difficult…

It really is depressing to think about how much religion has hindered me in my life. It has destroyed a great deal of my self-confidence, self-expression, and self-improvement. It hindered them for many, many years. My heart weeps over it. I’m far behind where I could’ve been, and I can’t go back and relive my life. It’s most depressing.

All I can do is unravel it from this point in my life, then move on and learn all it is that I have missed out on over the years. Sure, there are scientific prodigies who will go on to make lots of money from curing various ailments in the world, and sure, maybe I missed out on that possibility because of religion. Maybe my interest could’ve led me to be one such person (probably not). Or maybe I would just be more educated about science. But regardless, I’m not happy with where I am, and it is depressing.

Religion is a way of lying to yourself. Not that God doesn’t exist, and you’re lying to yourself by believing that He does. But religion is repression. It’s a repression of humanity. It’s a repression of natural human desires and abilities. And that’s why it’s so destructive. All for a bunch of lies; that if I do x, y, and z that I will get into Heaven.

Your actions do not get you into Heaven;

Christ does.

And Christ’s forgiveness cannot be earned.

It is only given freely by the grace of God.

So, to sum that up, my old religious beliefs retarded me quite a bit. It’s depressing, and I’ve been cheated of great opportunities to learn; but I will work on unraveling all of this and becoming more learned in life, and in writing.

It really is a tragedy that religion has destroyed my ability to sit in peace and think. I need to be able to sit in peace and think if I’m going to be as good of a writer as I can be. But it’s hard to do that when you have trained yourself for years to feel afraid when you feel relaxed; to feel compelled when you feel comfortable. I’ve repressed a lot of these terrible religious ideas I’ve had over the years, but if I were to actually go back and try to analyze them, I would break down into tears. It’s horrible human torture to go through religion the way I did. There are many people that have had it worse, but it is still inhumane to adopt the religious ideas that I adopted. It’s one big heartache. It destroyed peace and comprehension; as I’ve said before, it destroyed my ability to think. My ability to be confident, and well-spoken. It destroyed my mind…(although not completely, as evidenced by this (and other things)).

So, although you may feel this is an unnecessary tangent, I must now attempt to unravel my religious past in order to better understand why my writing is the way that it is so that I can attempt to improve upon it. As I’ve said, I grew up believing that intelligence was the ultimate sin: why rely on sinful humanity instead of a perfect God? And the perfect God was going to church, living by the Ten Commandments, etc. etc. Writing this is most difficult, as it brings back those most dreadful terrors within me. But I must press on to move on and develop as a human being.

The fear of Hell is one of the worst experiences. It cripples you. It grips you, and shakes you to your core, and doesn’t let you go. It causes you to do things that you never would believe you would do. It makes you lie to yourself. That’s one of the worst things about it. It makes you afraid to admit things about yourself. It makes you afraid to be yourself. It makes you afraid to admit your weaknesses; it makes you afraid to admit your interests; it makes you afraid to admit your abilities; and it makes you afraid to admit your desires. It just makes you afraid on one of the most primal levels ever. And people that preach at others to fear for Hell without giving them any hope are, quite frankly, terrible people. And people who give those afraid of Hell bad advice are doing something tragic. Perhaps it’s well-intentioned (I think that most of the time, it is). But in practice, the whole situation is depressing.

I do not understand God’s justice. I may not ever understand it. On the one hand, I can understand how, because Adam and Eve shed light on evil, and this evil thus afflicted us, that God would be upset (to put it lightly; I’m not quite sure exactly how to describe God’s (feelings?) about this). But on the other hand, it feels like an overreaction. An eternity of pain and suffering? It does feel a little bit extreme. I accept it deep in my core, but, at the same time, I almost disagree with it at my core. It does feel a bit too harsh. But, although atheists will crucify me for this, perhaps there’s just more to the picture that I don’t understand.

However, although I do not understand just how just God’s justice is, I can say, through personal experience, observation, and frequent discussion for years with someone who became my best friend during this process (you shall eventually, in the coming years, know of his credentials on this subject) that self-condemnation is not the way to go.

Self-condemnation is the belief that one must condemn oneself for one’s transgressions by becoming aware of them and feeling guilt for them. Then, the doctrine goes, one must accept Christ into one’s heart so that He can forgive you for all of those transgressions. In practice, what this means is a lot of “beating oneself up” for one’s sin and a lot of repetitive acts to (try go get into Heaven when one dies?) It is almost as if these people are whipping themselves so that they can see the streets of gold and flowing milk and honey when they die. But the problem is the whipping.

If Christ died for your sins, then that’s it. That’s all it took to get into Heaven. And if you believe that, then that’s as far as you need to go. It doesn’t involve going to church every Wednesday and Sunday; it doesn’t involve being a good person; it doesn’t involve fear. It’s just simply done.

My thoughts on Christianity have changed in recent years. My earliest experiences with religion were my mother reading from the Bible to my brother and I, and many trips to a couple of different churches. There were also sermons on the radio on the way to these churches. I suppose that my mother reading from the Bible was harmless enough. It was boring as sin, and I viewed the exciting stories as just that: exciting stories (I think I was too young to grasp the significance of God), and I viewed the “begats” as insufferable, tortuous boredom. I do not think these Bible readings really instilled any fear in me. At least not any fear that I can consciously remember. These readings were more boring than scary. The church sermons were also boring. I would want to sleep, but my mom wouldn’t let me. And just when I was about to doze off, the pastor would start screaming and clapping in rhythm to the inflections of certain words that he decided to emphasize, and I would wake up, wondering what in the world the man was doing. All of the old people seemed to enjoy it, however. Once again, I can’t recall any specific sermons that made me take something from them; good or bad (thankfully). It was more boredom. There were also television sermons. The late-night television sermons occurred during my middle-teenage years. During this time, my mother “moved out” and we stopped going to church. There was a spiritual void (perhaps no different than when I was going to church), so I started thinking for myself. And I started to realize some of the ignorance of conservatism; things such as the avoidance of modern medicines to cure ills, condemnation of scientific facts, etc. I was finally old enough to (at least on the most basic level) understand some of these basic scientific facts, and they made me happy. I was happy to learn (about space in particular). It was fascinating. It captured my imagination. And it turned me into an atheist.

I wasn’t particularly happy when I was an atheist. In fact, I was miserable and depressed. Science was making me happy, but something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But, to briefly mention it here, I later discovered that the missing piece for me was philosophy: how to view religion, science, and everything else in the world. That’s the direction my mind has decided to go, and I am very pleased with the result thus far, and look forward to seeing where it leads me next. I’m sure it will be most wonderful…

During this time that I was an atheist, I seem to remember one particular night at my grandmother’s house watching a late-night sermon on television in a separate room while my grandmother was asleep. My, how I hated that sermon. I believed that he was full of shit, that God wasn’t real, and that the scientific facts of space would tell me all that I needed to know (even though I didn’t know how, and even though that wasn’t quite fulfilling to me enough; oddly enough, physics were tied into this philosophical belief of mine as well. Only recently have I discovered that physics, astronomy, and everything else in life brings me no satisfaction without some philosophy regarding the subjects accompanying it. It’s complicated, and topics for other pieces). And my atheism continued for many years. I became a bitter asshole, but also, felt somewhat comforted by the cold, emptiness of space. At least there were some facts in the world. It wasn’t the same anti-intellectual ideology that conflicted with my nature that I had been subjected to for so long…But, on somewhat of a tangent, physics always confused me. I would stare at the lightbulb in the bathroom, knowing that there were things to learn about it, but I had no idea what they are. I never thought about going to a library and picking up a book about the nature of light. I didn’t understand how physics could relate to a philosophical framework that would make me happy. Currently, I view physics as immutable realities which we as humans can use to make ourselves happier by making the naturally difficult processes of our everyday existence easier. I think that’s a pretty good way to view physics, even if I (at least currently) know very little about the math.

Also, to go on one more tangent here before I continue the religious discussion: I want to briefly discuss something that has always plagued me. This topic will be it’s own separate, complete piece, but I want to mention it here. Very seldom am I satisfied with the way information is presented by others. Very seldom do I feel like information is presented to me by others in a way that I can understand it. I often find myself having to “take their word for it” without actually understanding it. Sometimes, this has to do with them not explaining the topic in depth, and sometimes, it has to do with my lack of knowledge regarding the subject, and not understanding what they are talking about. But I am particular in who I like as a “teacher”, and most often I am not satisfied with said “teachers”. I do not enjoy teachers who dumb things down. I want the brunt of it. But the lesson of the topic must exist within some type of philosophical framework: why are telecommunications so important? What is the role of business? Who is more right when it comes to ideas regarding business: conservatives or liberals? What philosophical positions can be taken regarding business, and why did telecommunications develop in the first place? Why is faster communication among humans important? Why is it important for more business transactions to take place? Why do people have problems with wealth? Are they justified in having problems with wealth? How did these geniuses develop technologies before anyone else did? Why did no one else do it before them? Why do people disagree on the nature of government? Why do people disagree at all? What is man’s individual nature? What is the appropriate balance between leaving nature alone and transforming it? Why do some people believe in the existence of God, while others don’t? Why are there sub-branches of the same religion? These are types of questions that I almost never get the answers to when listening to various subjects…At least not satisfactory answers. I get many bland responses, or very vague answers regarding these questions, with no elaboration. And this isn’t even considering deceit…that’s a whole nother topic entirely. Many lesson plans are philosophically lacking, and this brings me sadness. But, perhaps, if I read more often, I would find what I’m missing, huh? And, as you can imagine, much of the education I have received is insufficient considering how I think. And it’s tragic that attempts have always been made to teach my way of thinking out of me, but I digress…Sadly, many debates regarding issues and positions will continue on forever, with the same arguments being used to support each side. And thus, the Eternal Struggle continues on…look for a (hopefully) giant piece about this subject coming sometime in the future (only God knows when…)

To get back to the topic at hand, let’s keep discussing my religious past. Let’s talk about the radio sermons on the way to church. I think that the radio sermons affected me more than anything else. The radio sermons occurred during the time that I was going to church during my childhood; during the time my mother was reading from the Bible to my brother and I. I took things from the radio sermons. Things that, in retrospect, were insignificant spiritually (regardless of what significance the pastor took from them). I kept them in my mind, and repeated them. Various points that the pastors were trying to make that, looking back on them, were so devoid that they were never worth listening to in the first place. They became the standard by which I measured myself spiritually. The ideas stuck with me, and I applied them to myself and to others. And, sometimes, I would make up my own interpretations that I’m sure the pastor was not even trying to convey. It is very strange how, when you are afraid, particularly of going to Hell, you don’t even need to listen to someone else to adopt specific ideas about what is sinful and what isn’t. The imagination does a great (well…horrific) job of conjuring up all different ways of sinning and fucking yourself up in the afterlife. I don’t even know if I can remember all of my imaginings here…

But, to continue, I’ll begin explaining how I applied some of those ideas that I listened to that stuck with me to others (this is most dreadful). I spent a lot of time condemning other people in my mind. “What do you mean you don’t go to church?” “Oh, you go to that church? You should go to my church!” “What do you mean you aren’t a Christian?!” Sometimes, I would even express these thoughts to these people. Not my finest moment; I’m not proud of that. Besides applying it to others that I went to school with, I would apply it to people I saw on the television as well. They were subjected to more internal, mental vitriol than the kids I was educated with. The more money they had, the more I condemned them. If they were famous, I condemned them. What was my logic? That’s a great question. It goes back to my prior belief that there is the earthly world and the spiritual world. The earthly world involved all of those good things that I mentioned earlier; all of the things that were not related to going to church every Sunday, and thanking God for every single thing that happened every single time that it happened. So if you enjoyed it, it was probably “earthly”, for that level of religious scrupulousness can only create misery. It’s hard for me to define what I would consider “earthly” because I spent so much time thinking about “spiritual” things instead of “worldly” things. I avoided thinking about “worldly” things, so it’s hard for me to explain what it is that I ignored for so long. As I mentioned earlier, it involved learning (particularly of the sciences); it involved language and vocabulary, and speaking well; it involved feelings of attraction towards the opposite sex; and, of course, all kinds of “violent” movies, television shows, etc. I really thought that the entire world was evil, except for those religious people I surrounded myself with on television, on the radio, and in the church. If you didn’t go to church (or if you went to the “wrong” church), or if you were a scientist, or if you were rich or famous, or even fucking physically attractive (somehow, I viewed being physically attractive as being “sinful”. Probably something to do with “vanity” or lust or something…). All of these people were “sinners”, and instead of listening to what they had to say, I would ignore them while repeating to myself variations on “they are sinners”. I cannot currently express the depression and regret I feel about this. I feel like I owe someone (or some people) an apology, but I don’t know who or whom to direct it to.

I (sadly) feel as if I do not need to explain how religion affected my mental grasping of the sciences. It’s so common that I feel as if everyone already knows what I’m talking about. The argument is still raging today, and, sadly, it always will. The only conclusion I can find to this debate for myself is that conclusion which brings me personally inner peace; I can’t get involved in the Eternal Struggle.

I’ve mentioned how religion affected me linguistically. I’m sure you can imagine how it affected my relationships with the opposite sex. Perhaps I could elaborate upon that in another piece. And, again, you can imagine how it affected my perception of popular movies, T.V. shows, etc. You don’t have to look very hard to find someone who currently has the worldview that I had back then (sadly)…

To continue elaborating upon my previous perceptions of various things in the world, here’s a line of thought that I would’ve had back in the dark day: rich people were greedy; didn’t they know they couldn’t take their wealth with them when they died? Didn’t they know that Jesus hated wealth? Well, by God, I’ll hate it, too! Fuck them! Fuck those sinners! And many of the rich people were also famous, so fuck the famous, too! Honestly, it would be much more difficult to explain why I currently don’t feel these ways than to explain why I felt those ways in the past. When you are, at an early age, introduced to the idea that religion should produce fear in you, you do ridiculous, idiotic things. The religion introduces the fear to you that you never had before, and then tries to give you the remedy to that fear. It seems to me that the remedy to the fear is not introducing it in the first place…

The fear of being “cocky” or “prideful” has really hindered my vocabulary. It has also hindered my ability of being a very logical, sequential thinker. If you accept the fact that this fear hindered my vocabulary and logical thinking, then it is easy to see how it has and is hindering me as a writer. How could religion hinder my vocabulary and logical thinking? Does that mean that my vocabulary is limited to “thous”, and my logical thinking magical, with men walking on water? Not quite.

The language was limited due to fears of being “cocky” or “prideful”, and even fears of being intelligent in general (as, remember, I considered human intelligence to be the opposite of divine existence). Being called a “know-it-all” or “smartass” or “nerd” or whatever at a young age, especially considering my sensitive nature, decreased my vocabulary as well. But, rather than lament at what might have been, when it comes to that, I’m just going to accept it as a “normal” part of growth that I must accept, move on from, and grow from. Even as I say that, however, there is a deep depression in me about words and linguistic development lost…Practice makes perfect, I suppose…

How was my logical thinking affected? The same way. Being a “super logical person” or “too literal” or “too logical” disrupted my natural thinking process. My earliest memories of myself are of me being somewhat logical. But years of being around unsupportive peers made me try to become as chaotic and disorganized as they were in order to fit in. And that’s the shitty situation that my writing and my thoughts find themselves in today, sadly. God help me unravel this piece of shit…My dad always did the same thing to me as well. I always felt bad around him when I tried to be smart. Looking back on it, I don’t think he was purposefully trying to make me feel bad. I think he was just trying to be joking. But at the time, it made me feel like shit to hear him ridicule me when I tried to be smart. To be fair, I probably did bring some of it upon myself, as I’m sure I was cockier than was justified. But also, a lot of my natural intelligent expression was hindered. It was a complicated mixture of both, as human experience, messily and muddily, always is…

So now, as I have a desire to write, and am trying to become better at it, and practice it more often to get in the swing of things and make myself happy through my work, I accept that my vocabulary must improve, and so must my logical thinking. And that is what this (and, I’m sure, other pieces in the future) are working towards. The next, horrible, painful step in this process, is the organizing. Please wait a second while I go get my throw-up bucket.

There, I’m back. Please excuse the smell. It should be obvious to you how organization is crucial to good writing. It’s important in basic conversation. It’s important in linguistics. Sentence creation, idea development, etc. So how could I, over the years, have developed problems with organization? Please see some of the previous causes of my previous problems.

Good organization is a byproduct of good intelligence. And when my intelligence was interrupted, so was my organization. And my intelligence was interrupted by religion and by ignorance, or envy, or whatever it was. And, thus, my organization was affected in the same way. So I won’t bore you with the details of how my organizational abilities became depleted. But how, now (brown cow?) can I fix them? What steps can I take to improve my organizational ability? I’ll express for you a few ways that I’ve thought of that I think will help me out.

One way I’ve thought about doing this is writing down all of the various points that I wish to make in a piece (whether fiction or nonfiction) in a diagram tree, plotting down the major elements that I wish to discuss, and distinguishing between them by differences that I see in the natures of each of the elements. Putting them in order in the tree may help me, also, with elaboration, as I think I may be able to look at the organized tree, look at one piece of it, and begin elaborating upon said idea. Then, when I feel as if the elaboration is done, I can look over at the tree and begin the next portion of the tree, not forgetting where I wanted to go.

Another way I’ve thought about doing this is just through practicing. Just practicing writing, as I’m doing now. Suffering through all of the problems that I have with organizing, and accepting the fact that a large percentage of my writing will be shit. Shit vocabularily, and shit organizationally (and conceptually, etc. etc.). Practice will be the name of the game when it comes to improvement in all of these areas. It won’t occur as quickly as I would like, but I must stick with it, and keep practicing, if I want to improve to become as good of a writer as I want to be.

It’s quite daunting…

But, practice practice practice

Sigh…

On to the next step.

After organizing, what could be next? If I’m confident with the content conceptually, I’ve accepted that I need to work on vocabulary and organizing, what could possibly be next in the writing process?

That god damned editing.

So, in the spirit of this piece: what are the mental blocks that I have with editing? Aye aye aye…More intellectual problems. The same thing as I’ve stated before, but geared towards editing. But, in addition to the intellectual problems, there are a couple more problems that I have with editing. One of them is a type of perfectionism problem: I can’t stand the thought of not doing something right the first time. It aggravates me. I accept that I am not perfect, but there is a limit. There is a limit to the amount of garbage that I am willing to accept from myself. And if I become too aggravated with my “first draft” (I don’t really do “drafts”, but for lack of a better term), I become frustrated. I don’t like the idea of spending time rereading, rewriting and editing. I would rather do it correctly the first time I write it down. I know that sounds strange, but it’s just how I am. I don’t know why, other than I like to progress and move on to other projects, and I don’t like feeling bogged down by any one project. Although I do wish to spend more time on current projects to make them better (in my opinion). If I can’t do it perfectly the first time, I’ll have to accept that, and learn how to get better through progression. And how do I do that? As I’ve said; through pieces like this. But let’s try to elaborate on this a little bit further.

So if you understand how my religious intellectual problems have affected me, what does this have to do with editing? It comes down to the exertion of intelligence (the sin), back to the language problems (which come back to the exertion of intelligence (the sin)), and back to the cockiness problems. They all overlap and coexist. They all have to do with humanitarian expression of intelligence, manifested in different ways. It’s terribly difficult to move on from, and that’s what this is all about. I think it’s going pretty well so far.

For this piece, at least.

After this piece is published, however, and how I apply these things to myself on a regular basis is another question entirely.

So now that you (hopefully) understand (at least a little) my problem with editing, how do I get better at it?

Practice.

How do I let go of my mental blocks regarding intelligence?

Practice, and the grace of God, I guess.

Enough with editing. Let’s try to conclude this piece. What are the final pieces to the complicated mental puzzle? Self-esteem. What problems do I have with self-esteem? Do I really need to answer this question for you? Surely, you’ve caught onto the theme by now. However, this self-esteem problem is perhaps the deepest spiritual problem that I have presented today. It goes along the same humanitarian vein mentioned before. The self-esteem was related to the intelligence, the desires to learn things such as the sciences, the desire to express onself intellectually through intelligent vocabulary, being a logical thinker, and being a good organizer. Hopefully, I need to elaborate no further on this. Why is it the most important part of the puzzle? Because it is the one aspect of my personality which drives my actions. Without confidence, even the best of facts can’t help me make good decisions. I have been swayed by others for far too long, and it has kept me from expressing my individuality, and being comfortable in my own skin. Well, how in the fuck can I be a writer if I’m unconfident in expressing myself and am uncomfortable with what, why and how I’m saying it to boot?

So the next question becomes: how do I boost my self-esteem? What caused my low self-esteem? I think that I was born with a very sensitive constitution that swayed very easily in the winds of opinion. A large part of this problem has to do with my father. My father did not seem to like the fact that I was very opinionated, and didn’t like to listen to others. He would always try to give me advice that I should be more open to listening, but I never took it. It did lead to some problems, but I’m pretty content with my decision thus far. And I don’t blame him for what he did, either. As Travis Tritt once sang, I know he had the “best of intentions”. However, it made me very unconfident when I felt like he was very unsupportive of my decisions. But, as “Free” once sang, “It’s alright now.” It’s still a learning process for me to be more mentally independent and confident. It’s always been this way, and, through practice, I can limit myself from being subjected to self-doubt as frequently as I have done to myself in the past. It just takes a lot of practice. It takes time to figure out all of the things that have limited me in the past. It takes time for me to practice learning what I wanted to learn previously, but never did, because of what I’ve mentioned before. Practice makes perfect, and this is no different when it comes to my writing, my personal growth, and my self-esteem.

Another large part of self-development that I must work on when it comes to my works (writing or anything else that I decide to release to the public that I have put effort into) is accepting praise. “But what about criticism?” I’ll get to that shortly. Yes, the acceptance of praise was affected by the same religious factors that I’ve kept stating over and over and over. It was related to pride, etc. etc. But, currently, I don’t feel that way about praise, or self-esteem. So how do I feel about it now? And how does that currently help me improve as a writer now?

I’m still uncomfortable with accepting praise. I don’t know what to do with it. I just sit there, anxious, uncomfortable, and dissociated. But I’m beginning to think that I really shouldn’t be. If writing and other forms of art are going to be as important to me in my life as I think they are and will be, then I must become accustomed to accepting praise. And, at least, accepting the fact that I will be critiqued. Let’s start with the praise.

What should I do with the praise? Well, I can do whatever I want to with it. I think that I need to do with it what makes me the most happy. And, I suppose, I should just accept it. But then, what social interactions should I have with the praiser? Good question. Once again, I feel as if the answer is whatever social interaction I want to have with the praiser. And what is that? Not much. It doesn’t make me very comfortable, and a “thank you” should do nicely. It doesn’t need to go much further than that, depending on the “fan”. But, of course, I’m always willing to accept payment.

And what of the critic? What should I take from them? Well, once again, whatever I feel as if I should do; whatever makes me the happiest (that’s a theme that I’ll have to discuss in a future piece: the philosophical position that you should do what makes you the happiest). Most of the time, I don’t care what critics have to say. Bad language? Bad editing? Bad form, sentence structure, elaboration, etc. etc.? Well, considering how I already know those things, I don’t see the point in reading it, or taking anything from it. So, I just ignore it. (And boy, it is humorous to observe these people’s reactions when you tell them what I have just said). And what about the unjustified critic? Well, obviously, I can just ignore him or her. But what if a critic brings to light something about my work that I hadn’t considered before? Then what? Well, I suppose that I will just have to cross that bridge when I get there. I don’t have to have everything figured out at the moment, you know 😉

One final point, and then I will conclude, is how to start accepting positive feelings and positive occurrences and experiences in general. When I experience something pleasant, I have trained myself though the religious torture device that I mentioned earlier. “Don’t get to happy or high: remember, you’re a sinner, and God has His watchful eye upon you. REPENT!!!” All for saying something like “This ice cream is delicious.” Not that this is an exact example of something that has happened to me, but in principle, it is pretty close. I have put myself through this ringer more times than I can count. My eyes well with tears as I write this. No good comes from religious fear. Just, none. Nothing anyone can say will ever convince me otherwise. I hope that everyone is free of it someday. A large part of our existence is happiness. It is living, and experience, and good things, and enjoyment. You have to be able to accept these things to be happy. Being happy is the purpose of life. It just is. Everything we do on a regular fucking basis is an attempt to maximize our happiness. Even if we are doing something for someone else, we are doing it for ourselves. Our lives are lived individually, and are meant to make us happy. No one can effectively convince me of this otherwise. I will not be able to explain it all here, but I hope you’ll continue reading my works in the future so that I can elaborate upon my position. Those “Christians” who say that “holiness is greater than happiness” are the biggest liars walking the face of this planet today. The two are not separate. They are not distinct. They are one in the SAME. “But what if sin makes you happy?” Sorry to disappoint you, but I’ll have to elaborate upon my religious beliefs in other pieces at later dates. It’s too much to include in this piece, which is going in a different direction (believe it or not, it is going in a different direction than a philosophical piece about the religious role of happiness would go, despite how much religion has been included in this piece).

So how will this piece help me in the future? Once this is completed, then what? What happens to me next? How do I improve? Maybe if I write enough of these pieces, I will develop the skills necessary to be a “good” writer.

Or, at least, a self-satisfied one…

We’ll see how it all becomes received by others later.

And those are my humble, poorly-developed thoughts about how I, personally, can become a better writer.

Maybe you can relate to these words, and they will help you out, or maybe they won’t.

But I’m currently satisfied with the state of this.

More practice to come…

Better writer.

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