My Foot. Your Butthole. Let’s Dance.

Booty Once in a while, I need to kick my own ass up and down the block to make sure I’m doing my work. I need to jettison the excuses. I need to identify problems and eradicate them with the mightiest of fucking prejudices. I need to rough myself up a little bit — let me know who’s the boss. I’m the boss of me, I say to myself as I bust my nose on a banister, as I hurl myself down a set of cellar steps, as I stick a mascara brush into the tip of my wangle rod and break that little bastard off a piece (snap). It’s a Zensplosion. Pots clanging. A twenty-one move-your-ass salute. A string of firecrackers.

It’s good sometimes. Jar yourself a little. Be honest with yourself. Drop your baggage on the floor and have a good long look at it.

It’s like with exercise — you need a push. You need someone to motivate you at the same time they’re scaring the rabbit pellets out from under your cottony tail.

So, I’m doing that with myself today.

I’ve got word count to hit, so by golly, I’m hitting it. I’m also hitting my own sphincter with my Size 10 Wide boot. And that’s hard to do, kicking your own ass.You gotta get limber first.

What that means, though, is I got the boot all warmed up. It’s butthole-ready. It’s a circle peg looking for a circle hole.

That means, you ask me real nice, I’ll cram my steel-toe up your corn-chute. I’ll even wiggle it around a little if you buy me a beer.

So.

Writers.

Storytellers.

Creative types.

Status reports, pronto.

How you doing?

Where you at?

Why aren’t you ahead? Why aren’t you doing better?

What’s your excuse?

Is it a good excuse? Or a shit one?

Anything I can help with? Anything anyone here can help with? We’re a hive-mind now. You’ve joined the collective. You are one terrible mind among many such wretched brains. Humanity is only as good as its weakest member, but the colony, the hive-mind, is as good as its best.

Let’s make it happen.

My foot.

Your butthole.

Let’s dance, motherbitches.

(And yes, I’m busy writing. Which means, shorter posts, and posts where I make you do some heavy lifting. Shut up. No, you shut up. Shut up! Don’t make me stick a mascara brush in one of your least comfortable orifices and snap that sucker in half. You don’t want that hospital bill. You don’t want me to send this guy to come and do the job, either.)

49 comments

  • My biggest excuse right now is allergies. They have kicked my butt for over a month now, but I went to the doc, and I got meds. A strong ass med: steroids. Let me hope my balls don’t shrink as my allergies get better.

    Writing-wise, I went to a writing conference, where some writers had published 80 books. That’s a lot, which made me feel very lazy.

    Then, I went to a panel, and I was told to start a blog. Fuck. Let’s add more writing, so on top of having to finish off this novel, I now need to maintain a blog. I don’t have a clue about blogs. Why would anyone want to read my ramblings?

    So I started one today, and it’s shit. Maybe after many moons I’ll make it better. The good thing is that I’m not even attaching my name to it yet. The Internet forever thing scares the crap out of me. Maybe I’ll attach a pen name to it when I feel more comfortable.

    Oh, and I wrote another thousand words (for a short story, since I’m stuck on my novel) on top of setting that blog up with a crappy post.

    Yeah, so my other excuse is being scared of screwing up in public. I’ll add my blog to my comments in the future when the fear goes away.

  • O.k…..Where is this mascara wand? I am can find somewhere UNCOMFORTABLE for it to go! God I need it….not even a good f***ing excuse!!!!!!

  • I’m just a lazy shit who can’t stomach the idea of spending all night writing when I’ve just spent all day editing.

    Help me, Obi-Wendig, you’re my only hope.


    Patrick

    • @Patrick:

      I kick you in the butthole!

      KIYAA!

      BAM! Splurch! Problem solved!

      …wait, that didn’t solve your problem?

      I don’t have much to help you that’ll sound warm and cozy, of course. My only advice is… erm, don’t be a lazy shit. :) I hate mowing the lawn, but shit needs to get done, son. Your WIP won’t write itself. This is, of course, the work part of the work. The part where it doesn’t flow magically from your fingers like pegasus semen. At which point I’d ask, why is pegasus semen dripping from your fingers? What have you been doing? Don’t make me call someone.

      You know all this, though. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Except maybe the “seed of a winged horse” part.

      — c.

  • I, finally, have reasons for not having time, not just excuses. This makes me happy; not happy that I am not doing crap for writing, but happy that at least what’s going on is valid.

    Of course, there is Amber – she’s the big one. Our lives and schedules are completely readjusting to this amazing little girl (almost a month old!), and all that entails. This has also been a busy stretch for appointments; doctor visits for Maggie, Amber, therapy and specialists for the boys, optometrists for one of them – that sort of thing. Then, last week, my daughter in Alabama had her eighth birthday and my son Thomas had his third (he has now been introduced to the power of the Hungry Hungry Hippos). As all this was coming to a head, the other shoe dropped.

    My son Jason is in therapy thirty hours a week, in home. His therapist was with us for eight months, and these therapists are not easy to find… especially not as skilled as she was. Jason’s been acting out a lot lately. Routine is very important to him, and when his routine is off, he acts out. Between his therapists missing three days and the new baby, Jason was very upset last week and lashing out. On Tuesday his therapist went to lunch, then came back and quit out of the blue. Yeah, it had been a rough day, but she literally walked in, handed us her resignation, and left.

    This has been a huge blow on our family. Obviously, we are still trying to adjust to suddeness of her departure, getting ready for when Jason realizes she isn’t coming back (he doesn’t really understand), and now finding two new therapists (one for both the boys). This has all led up to the shit storm of the year for me and writing.

    Then I have a heap of excuses also, but I would hate to diminish my perfectly valid reasons with my “i’m-fucking-lazy” excuses.

  • Allergies are kicking my ass too, as is an uncertain situation at my day job.

    However:
    – 20,000 words of new material written for the next Desolation supplement. Probably about 5k to go?
    – Took about 40 poems and laid them out via Lulu, just to see what I’ve got. Turns out to be about 60 pages of digest size stuff, which isn’t quite enough yet. I guess that means I need to turn out about 40 more poems before I’ve got enough to publish and charge $10 for.
    – Not much more done for The Nearside Project RPG which is due to come out next August (2011) so I’d better get on that once I’ve…
    – written two scenarios for Gen Con 2010, one for Desolation and another for The Nearside Project.
    – About five hours a week of freelance copywriting/design/editing work.

    This is all on top of a 50 hour a week day job. I don’t suppose I can realistically consider myself “lazy” these days.

    • @Stephen:

      Holy shit, sir, you’re punching babies and taking names. Nicely done.

      @Rick:

      It’s all good, man — stability and routine will return to Jason’s life just as it will return to yours. :)

      — c.

  • @Patrick: No knowing the situation, my advice is this – stop editing, finish writing. First draft is going to be ass regardless. Try to ass it up as little as possible while writing it, then when you are -done-, go back and spray a can of ButtAway! all over it.

  • I’m on schedule for my current freelance gig. Not enjoying it much, but that’s neither here nor there. It’ll be done on time.

    I am also, you may have noted, putting up posts for my curse the darkness project. And that’s going well, but I’m nearing the point that I’m going to have to get serious about writing the game bits, rather than just the fun fiction teasers.

    In closing, don’t think I need your butthole kicks, but put your foot on standby. :)

    • @Matt:

      That’s mighty exciting. Feel free to link out to those teasers — people here may not have seen ‘em?

      But yeah, you don’t normally need a right good ass-kicking.

      This is disappointing, so far. I’ve had to kick very few asses this morning. Ol’ Boot’s getting twitchy. It seeks a warm, moist place to make its home. To have little baby bootlets.

      — c.

  • Happy Monday! I actually accomplished more on my WIP this past Saturday than I have in a long time, so I’m really happy about that! I think I edited somewhere around 6000 words.

    Trying to edit by chapter was a really daunting task, so I decided to take it one page at a time. For whatever reason, it seems to go much quicker (probably not though) and I don’t feel as guilty when I have to stop to take care of other things in my life.

    Now I’m home today with a sick little boy, so I’m hoping I can keep my momentum and get a lot more done today. I was supposed to post on my blog today, but I think I’m going to skip it, since I know it’ll end up consuming a lot of my time. I’m going to set a goal for myself of editing another 4000 words today. (yikes!)

    So now all I have to do is to resist watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with my kid!

    • @Gina:

      First, I do not know how you will resist the siren’s song of A:TLA, which is the bestest cartoonest ever.

      Second, dang, another person whose ass I don’t need to kick.

      I mean, I’m happy you’re all out there doing the Writing God’s work, but hell, I feel like you all don’t need me anymore.

      I’ll just be over here. Massaging my kick-hungry boot.

      — c.

  • {insert title here}, Book 1 in the Acradea Cycle, is proceeding in fits and starts.

    One day I’ll write 500 words in it. Another, 5000.

    My wife is helping in reminding me to write more instead of firing up the X-Box or whatever. And I’m trying to keep the Intersphere and Twittertubes off while writing. Sometimes I’m successful. Sometimes, not so much.

    Juggling bills, the impending move and making sure said spouse doesn’t feel neglected all play factors as well.

    Give me a kick. Make your boot happy.

    • TIME TO KICK SOME SPHINCTER.

      WOOOO!

      …ahem, okay, you’re writing, so really, I don’t need to kick your ass. My advice is just to set a measurable goal — a realistic one, especially given the factors of pressure you’re going through (a move is a big deal). Say, hit 1000 words every day. It’s not the easiest target, but you get practice at it, you’ll do that in an hour. Especially once you pick up steam.

      A thousand words a day means a novel in just a few months.

      And, you simply withhold rewards to yourself until you hit that goal — no 1000 words? No Xbox. No dinner, no dessert.

      — c.

  • We made a list this past week and decided that I’m working on eight major projects simultaneously, from the script to game books to The Bones, etc. I eke forward on two or four of these every day, but some days are better than others. It’s been a while since I made my 3k daily writing goal, though, as I’ve been on a five-page-a-day scripting goal instead. That’s going fine, but my fiction is hurting in the face of all these other projects.

  • My new online novel experiment ( http://danielboshea.wordpress.com/the-gravity-of-mammon/ – shamelss plug ) is designed partly as a built-in butt-kicking mechanism. Since I’m trying to build some momentum and buzz, I have to deliver a new chapter pretty much every other day or so. It’s a way of creating incremental deadlines for the novel-writing process. Also, a way to get some immediate feedback from folk. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

  • My series has been stuck on book 1 for 10 years now. I get a draft, and I hate it. I tend to rip it to shreds so badly that I decide to start over. Usually, it only gets worked on one month a year anyways (November for NaNoWriMo).

    I really want to start over again. And get it right. I have other books in the series to write, and I have other story ideas in general (but every time I try to work on another project I feel like I’m cheating on the first.)

    For several years, my excuses were just laziness.

    But now, I’m a full time student taking classes that suck up hours upon hours. Full-time mom, with kids that need to be run all over the city at different points in the week for various reasons. Said children rank about 9.5 on the richter scale, so I’m almost always behind on cleaning.

    What little time I do have left over goes to grabbing some time with my husband, playing video games (I am a Game Design minor and its the field I want to work in as my full time career, so playing and assessing video games is actually, in a way, work.) and on the rare occasion grabbing enough sleep I don’t collapse.

    It’s a struggle just to make time to hit the gym every day. And really, the video games don’t take up that much time (maybe 30min to an hour a day to give my brain a chance to cool off after studying).

    I’m open to suggestions.

    • @Cat —

      This may be you, this may not be you, but many writers seem bent on creating false expectations for themselves — basically, establishing parameters that allow them to fail. They build necessities and requirements that simply don’t play well with their life and their needs, and thus are they doomed to fail.

      If your life is very busy and full of crazy, then you either might need to come up with a WIP that can be done under those pressures (say, a lean-and-mean single 70k novel rather than a massive series) or simply decide to hold off on tackling the project until life calms down. This latter issue is tricky, because realistically, life never comes down until you’re on the cusp of death.

      Remember: someone like King wrote his first novel on little pieces of paper, catching minutes between hours. Of course, King was also drunk and on coke for some of that time, so the comparison only goes so far.

      On the subject of games: yes, games are definitely related to your work, but be careful with that justification. Reading books is related to work for me, but I only do that after I do my initial writing. Writing, then reading, for me.

      Speaking of writing, I’m 2k deep into a 3k day, so I gotta get back to it. :)

      — c.

  • Thanks Chuck. I guess I just need to spend this next weekend (this week is far too crazy with two big exams, and a presentation over a project I haven’t started yet) trying to get things organized so I can stay on top of things a bit better and make more time to work on my writing.

  • I’m 10K into the second draft of a science fiction novel that has been kicking my ass for the last three months. May your boot be gentle, sir, for I already have several hematomas.

    My excuse? Being a full-time student that uses her free time to write short stories instead, because dammit, a 5,000 word story is so much easier to finish, edit, and polish.

    • Ash:

      How long you have left on your studentry? Might be best to wait until you’re done before you tackle a full novel — I know when I was a student, I wrote a couple novels, but they were pretty much garbage. Okay premises; piss-poor execution.

      Then again, it might just be a time management issue. At point I should borrow an earlier post (from me) on the trickiness of time management.

      — c.

  • Josh at Blue Ink Alchemist got me reading your blog Chuck, and it’s always been great. Thank you.

    Excuses: heh, plentiful… working full time, family, full time school (I can promise THAT won’t happen again next semester) and most times by the time the end of the day rolls around all that is left is me hitting the xbox or an MMO. Some days it’s legit, I’m just fried, some days I could eek out a few more words on the WIP.

    Current project: SF short story series involving aliens, their technology, and the not so apparent slavery of the human race. I usually get a few hundred words on that during my lunch. Also have a few fantasy novels in various states but I thought it best to plug away at the shorter stuff for a while so I can see some actual progress.

    • @Joshua (not Josh!) — Cool, man, glad to see you here.

      And I hear you — I’m toast by the end of the day. Most people are. In fact, it calls to mind that maybe I oughta do a post tomorrow on the IEM — your “Intellectual Energy Meter.”

      But a few hundred words over lunch is progress — just keep that progress up, and you’ll be good to go. One word at a time, if you have to.

      — c.

  • I’ll have three months of glorious summer break once May’s over, and then another year to go. As for putting it on hiatus… Hmm. I’d honestly not considered that. Feels lazy, somehow, as if I should always have a major project hovering over my head. Then again, when the results keep resembling Brundlefly… Hmm.

    Thank you! At the very least, I’m now pondering instead of sulking over this problem.

  • Like others here, full-time+ job (that is more demanding right now than normal) is kicking my ass. I’ve been typing things into notes on my iPhone during breaks and putting in as much time on my blog as possible (though this past week much of that is in formatting for when I change platforms in about 2 weeks), but I’m working on scheduling and time management.

    I definitely need the boot, but since I found this place I’m more motivated than I’ve been in a while. I understand the fear of failure in public thing. It spent years stopping me from submitting work. Boot that fear!

    • Writers having a fear of failing in public is common, and yet, ironic — a writer’s work is almost always for the public domain, hence, that fear must be handcuffed to a toilet and beaten to death with a shoe.

      :)

      — c.

  • Well, I was going to post something about my getting horribly distracted every time one of my favorite authors releases something, but seeing as how I just finished the latest Dresden novel about ten minutes ago, I am now distraction free and off to work on Echoes.

    Now, as long as the others on my top shelf are able to hold off releasing anything for just a little bit, I can start making some decent traction.

  • :: Dieselpunks

    I’ve hit my stride with the website. Content is rocked daily, and I have several pieces of time insensitive material in the can in case of emergencies. Member interaction is still not at the level I’d like it to be, but there are several solutions to that already in the planning stages.

    :: TV Project

    Still learning the red tape waltz of who to trust and what is realistic. Don’t want to jump in half-cocked, because I enjoy working with a full cock.

    :: Cthulhu

    Deadline is November, so this project is floating until the deck is clear.

    :: Life

    Comfortable and on the upswing. Thanks for asking.

  • SHIT!!!! I guess I needed your boot after all, Chuck. Or maybe a 5-hour Energy Shot (which works miracles, but tastes like ass, btw).

    I ended up taking a fucking nap on the couch with my under-the-weather son instead of editing!! Day of Progress=shot to Hell.

    It’s a little late for the boot, but I probably deserve a back-handed bitch slap for my huge FAIL today.

    • @Gina:

      I have never partaken of the five-hour energy shot. But they work, huh?

      And the day’s not a fail if you had to take care of a sick son. :)

      Man, I’m getting weak at this ass-kicking thing.

      — c.

  • Actually…

    I just got the most recent round of revision notes from my agent today.

    One typo. Two lines in a row (in a really old bit of dialogue, weird) where I call the MC by a different name.

    That’s it.

    Fixed, sent back, and the bitch is on its way back out to editors. The second tier of the dance begins anew.

    So… yeah. Things are actually not going that badly on that front. Contract educational design job is paying the bills…

    The only thing I’m really really sucking at right now is regular blog posting, which I think you know. Need to fix that. Other than that, my ass can remain largely free of foreign feet.

    • @Doyce:

      I am disappointed in your awesomeness, for it does not give me an excuse to boot anybody in any orifice.

      :)

      That’s awesome, dude. Kick ass! I predict good things, sir.

      — c.

  • Screenwriting student. So all of my major projects are, quite naturally, scripts. My main problem is one of story organization.

    Kind of striking a balance before just pushing out a first draft like a child that I can reshape and edit later and having enough outlining done that I actually know where the story is going and aren’t just meandering around Storyland like some kind of hallucinating tourist.

    Projects:

    * Superhero cop drama*

    Moving along well enough. I feel like this second act is muddled enough that I should just bit the bullet and try to outline it. I hate outlining, I can’t even explain why. I know how I want it to end, but when I sit and write scenes, they’re good individually but not really connected.

    Okay, I’m picking up the note cards.

    * Weird-west Werewolf movie*

    This one I’m REALLY feeling. I know that there’s some issues that will be ironed out later, but I feel really strong in where I’m going and what beats I want to hit. I think this is largely because my professor MADE me write a treatment for the script, which kind of forced my hand on figuring out where it should go.

    I have a feeling there’s a lesson here. I just freaking hate the treatment format. It feels like someone’s telling you a story without breathing.

    How does anyone else kick their ass into gear to actually organize what a story’s going to do or going to go?

  • Wow, that was the softest bitch slap I’ve ever received. It oddly felt a lot like a pat on the back. Or maybe a pat on the head in a “there, there” fashion. I TOLD you you were a softy!

    I only took the 5-hour Energy Shot once. I’d been on a huge roll with my first draft and I stayed up until 4:00 am typing furiously. Since I had to get up 3 hours later for work I was hurting really bad. I got one on a whim when I stopped at the gas station. Like I said, they taste like the worst cough medicine you were forced to induce as a child – times a hundred! But there were NO shaky side effects and I was totally energized the entire day. I didn’t crash until around 6 pm when I sat on my couch after work. :) I highly recommend it if you’re super desperate for lucidity!

  • Hell, I need one hell f a kick. My school works aren’t moving until the last day. My RPG project is moving a bit (but not much) as are the Whitechapel Project translations.
    Is spending time with your friends and your girlfriend is a good excuse when you only see then once every two weeks? And there is this damn “desktop defender” application on facebook… DAMN YOU FACEBOOK!

    • @Shadow Freak and all —

      The big thing to remember is, the writer’s life is not a precious thing. Writers, like everyone, have the same shit going on — work, school, family, friends, hookers, amyl nitrate, illegal hobo boxing, other hookers, and cupcakes. Except, writers have added on an extra layer: the actual writing.

      Life will never really “unseize.” The scree never loosens. You either make time by hacking it out with a hatchet, or watch the opportunities pass.

      — c.

  • I am contemplating moving up North. And I mean ridiculously North. So far North the other Canadians have remarked upon my insanity. It gets capitalized, it’s that far. Iqaluit. Look it up.

    Other then that clogging my brain space and my full time job, I am trying desperately to get my first run edits done so I can send my game through another layer of play/stress testing. Unfortunately my working draft I had previously prepared? Yeah…. 95% crap, instead of the 90% I had expected.

  • I try to kick my own butt. Perhaps I should exchange my Croc for a boot….

    I have no job. I am trying to find a job. I’m not trying hard enough. I don’t try hard enough on anything. I’m lazy. It’s a crap excuse, but it’s ALL MINE! I have chores to do, writing to do, podcasting to do, production to do, bass playing to do and job hunting to do and I procrastinate ALL of them!

    • @Jim, I wish there was a cure for procrastination. Like, a pill. But I’d probably procrastinate taking it. I used to have a shirt: “I have not yet begun to procrastinate!”

      — c.

  • I am fighting some demons right now….I never have writers block, that is not the problem, I am simply doubting myself …. a little under half way mark now, and so as you can imagine all the the sub-plots are taking on greater meaning to the overall story…and well…it is just F***ing confusing!!!! AAARRRRrrgggg!!!!!….its like….o.k. this is what happens, noooo, this is what happens, wait a minute….this is what happens….and on and on and on lol!!!….

    sorry…venting here a little. Thanks.

  • The 5-hour Energy Shot is basically a Vitamin B pill with a little bit of caffeine. Vitamin B is my drug of choice. It’s legal, super cheap, it does give you a noticeable increase in energy/focus for about 4 – 5 hours, and it makes your pee glow like it could cut through sheet metal.

    And really, who wouldn’t want that super power?

  • Most projects I’m on have either finished or are delayed. :/ As for my book, I find myself running in circles. I can’t seem to bring myself to finish it which is in violation of my oath to finish the gorram thing.

    It’s one of those things where I need to get things going. Sink or swim, Write or….be devoured by Wendigos?

    Once again, I arrive at the party late. *waves at the other people who left comments already*

  • I’m about 33K words into my current novel. I’d hit a bit of a slump and things were crawling along at a pathetic word count per day, but I was still writing every day (what with house, kids, work) so that was something at least. But I’ve applied boot to arse this last week and I’m back to about 1K-1.5K a day. It’s not a whole lot, but it’s not too bad, given that my first drafts aren’t horribly rough and don’t usually need a major overhaul during edits.

    As always, a great post! Reminds me to keep that boot handy and always kickin’.

    • Calista:

      Word to that! Sounds like you’re moving along — and progress is progress, no matter if it’s achieved in tiny increments or great big leaps.

      Kick-ass.

      — c.

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