With summer drawing to a close, it means it’s time to get off my summer schedule and back to my regular one. Problem is, my regular schedule doesn’t fit what I have coming down the pike.
Presently, I have six books in production and each one needs my attention. I’m finally at that stage where I don’t need to multi-task with them but can work on them one at a time. This will speed up release.
But I want to write. I want to get started on THE BATTLE OF POWER trilogy in THE AXIOM-MAN SAGA.
I’m going to have to spend some think time on this because the variables between my professional life and my personal one don’t always flow together.
Bottom line is I want to get writing and just focus on that.
Writer’s block can be discouraging. You’re on a roll with your project then suddenly you hit a mental brick wall and the words cease. Hours go by, days, even weeks. You just can’t seem to get past that certain point in your story. You kinda know where it’s going but how to get there? Good question.
My suggestion to overcome writer’s block is to write through it. You can certainly pick the project you’re working on and give it a go, but if that’s not an option, write something else. It doesn’t have to be for publication. It could be a snippet, a thought, a blog post or article, poetry, even a rant about how frustrated you are. The point is to keep writing anyway.
That’s been my personal experience and writing anyway eventually beats down that wall and let’s you resume your project again.
I discovered this link through Warren Ellis’s blog. As a paraphrase of what it’s about–though I encourage you to read it–it basically says that blogs have now been geared toward getting traffic via catchy headlines and, simply, have become a complete defeat of what blogging was meant to be, which is merely a place for someone to log their thoughts and personal items and create content of interest without getting all gimmicky about it.
The argument put forth over at Ribbon Farm is a compelling one, especially to someone like me who hates the pursuit of money and fame and popularity. (If those things are an honest byproduct of what you do, that’s different. I’m talking about making those things one’s goal(s) as the error).
The idea of writing a blog where, even if it had just an audience of one (me), is tantalizing. I’m very anti-establishment by nature and tend to see the strings in what people are doing (especially in the creative industry). It all comes off as so flimsy and childish. I’m not knocking my fellow creators but am talking straight to whomever this entry here at Canister X and over at Ribbon Farm speaks to. Should a person not be of interest through genuine organic efforts instead of a blatant attempt to sell a product? Shouldn’t who they are be more important than what they make? When did an inorganic object of extremely limited value replace a person whose value is limitless? Something’s not right here.
I’ve always been partial to the random, the underground, the unique. Maybe because those are my roots and are a constant theme in my work (taking an idea and trying something new with it, consequences be damned). There has always been a soft spot in my heart for that guy or girl with an obscure blog from some other part of the world, the kind of blog you read where you don’t know if you’re the only audience member or not.
Capitalist culture would call blogging for no one a wasted effort because it doesn’t–or is unlikely to–yield a financial result.
This is foolish.
Blogging isn’t about money despite what the marketers tell you (who want you to visit their blog for information so they can sell you something).
Blogging is about showcasing a life in thought, word, and deed. Blogging is about honesty. It’s about talking to the world about anything that interests you or is on your mind and heart.
I might not have always succeeded, but since I’ve been back after being ill, I’ve made every effort to showcase myself and what I do and talk to you honestly through my blog entries and newsletter. Sometimes you might have enjoyed what you read, other times not. And that’s okay. I’ve been doing this long enough to know I won’t hit a chord with everyone. The magic is in the honesty. The magic lies within you, dear reader, when you commit the simple act of reading regardless of how you feel about what you’re reading. It’s the fact that you did take the time to read the words of a person you only know through a screen. And maybe that’s the secret right there? Taking the time to read the words of a person–a very real person with a physical body and mind and heart and spirit–whom you never met. Like I always say, time is the most valuable thing a person has and its wealth surpasses anything we can compare it to. The fact that a person takes that precious commodity and spends it on you is magic.
Here at Canister X, the Realm of Heroes and Monsters, there is a certain blogging style, a way of communicating that’s in a constant state of adjustment and fine-tuning but one that has a core that has been in place long enough that you know what to expect from me. If I segue into experimental blogging styles, I hope you come along for the ride. Or I might start a new blog where I can fiddle with blogging conventions until I find a method I like and is an honest expression of myself. Time will tell.
In the end, it does indeed dismay me that blogs are often started as business ventures versus public journals. I get the reasoning behind it, but it doesn’t sit right and that’s probably because it replaces a person with a commodity and, in the end, it’s our replacement of people for commodities that caused the world to be in the state it is currently in.
With the two waves of books I plan on putting out this year, I’ve been so busy as my health will allow that I haven’t been getting any writing done. It makes me feel down and sad especially since there’s no way I’m going to finish the Axiom-man books in time for comic con. Writing them is one thing; publishing them and all the time that takes is another.
So I’m kind of left without a path because I’m busy getting books ready for print and eBook and don’t have a creative outlet.
This blog is now reactivated for new content after a temporary hiatus
due to my web provider switching this site to a new server. It took longer than
expected, no one’s fault. Details were given in my newsletter.
I am . . .
. . . A.P. Fuchs. I’m a writer, artist, and freelancer in pretty much anything to do with publishing. This is Canister X, my official web presence and the Realm of Heroes and Monsters, where we broadcast our pirate signal and hack into the Matrix.
Or something like that.
I’ve been writing since 2000, drawing since before then, and publishing
books and comics since 2003.
My Patreon page is here. It’s a fun place where I post serial novels, essays on the creative arts business, stuff from behind the scenes here in the Great White North at Axiom-man Central, and more. Join me and my other patrons and be a part of something entertaining and interesting with consistent content.
On Saturdays, I send out my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. It’s a weekly newsletter where we all come together after a busy week, unwind, and kick off the weekend. Presently, we are finishing off The Long Year Five, and Year Six will start before the first half of 2020 is over. Join us.
Tip: If you see an Agent, you do what we do. You run. You run your ass
Stay Focused Social Media Blocking App and Timex TW5M23300 Watch.
Last week I was off-line except for a couple of tasks that needed doing via the Internet (like administration). To ensure I remained off-line–I’m just as human as the next guy (I think)–I got an app for my computer phone called Stay Focused. This app can block any app on your phone and, in the free version (which I used), can block up to 5 apps at once. You set a schedule by telling it which hours and what days you want certain apps blocked. I applied these to the social media apps on my pocket computer to keep me on lockout. While true I’m in Broadcast Mode in the winter, as part of broadcasting I sometimes need to go into an app like Instagram and post something. The problem is one glance at the feeds can quickly lead to two, then three, and so on, and the next thing you know you’ve fiddled away an afternoon scrolling and scrolling and refreshing and scrolling.
This picture is a screenshot of the app from the day I went dark. You can see the stat on there says I’ve already tried opening the app 3 times and each time it didn’t work (was running tests). The timer on locking me out of these apps ran for a week. And it worked! Once I knew I was locked out, I didn’t give the apps a second thought.
Stay Focused also acts as a master lock, meaning you have these little locks under it (like the apps you’re blocking), but then you can lock Stay Focused itself–but only in 6-hour chunks in the free version–to ensure you don’t unlock your blocked apps. I’m assuming this is for extreme cases where certain people need a double padlock on their phone. To get even more extreme, I’m pretty sure there’s a lock on Stay Focused that forbids you from uninstalling it in an effort to destroy your barriers.
What was interesting was it kept track of how many times I unlocked my phone to do something, like reply to a text from family. I was disgusted when I saw, at the end of one of the days, I had unlocked the phone around 35 times. I barely used it that day! But numbers don’t lie. I barely used it? That was 35 times in the span of 12 hours (roughly). That’s approximately 4 times an hour. That’s once every 15 minutes. My unlock count steadily dropped as the week wore on and I got busier, but this goes to show how much we’ve integrated pocket computers into our lives.
The app has other features, like how long you are using any one program and your total phone usage for the day.
In the end, getting an app like this is highly recommended, especially if you are a phone junkie and recognize you have a problem (dopamine addiction). And, yes, the irony of this kind of post ranting about frequent phone use is not lost on me. I fully recognize a good part of my business is digital and having people on-line looking at or reading my stuff is better for me yet here I am encouraging my readers to go live life in the physical world. Oh well. But my refutation to the irony is this: I’m referring to balance. Is your on-line and off-line lives balanced? Take away sleeping hours, eating, and body maintenance, and see how much time is spent on a screen while you’re awake. The rest is up to you.
(I know that author J.B. Bennet got on board and locked themselves out of things during working hours each day, so others see the merit in this.)
I made this video on Friday of last week and aired it yesterday. It gets into what happened during my time off-line. Watch and subscribe. You might relate.
Lastly, for months I was getting frustrated of having to pull out my phone to check the time. While 9 times out of 10 all it was was checking the time, there was always that one time in there where it became an excuse to futz around on the phone. I couldn’t have that. I needed to be off-line, so I took the plunge and got myself a basic sports watch by Timex. As a kid, I had a couple of their Ironman watches, which I loved. I was aiming for another basic Ironman this time around but it was suggested to me that’s more a watch for a 15-year-old than a man so opted for a different one because I thought that was a valid point (I’m talking purely the aesthetics).
This is the watch I got, model TW5M23300:
And that was how I kept dark last week.
Taking a break from the Internet is something I’ve recommended for years for the sake of maintaining all facets of one’s health. I will go off-line again somewhere down the road because 2020 is a stupidly busy work year and sometimes you need to just shut up and get the job done. But that upcoming time off-line won’t be for a while yet. Not until my first holiday of 2020. Until then, I’ll be here, writing to you and making books and art and comics and videos.
Keep coming back to the blog every day. There’s always something being posted.
Ps. Today, a new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine aired on Patreon! Please go here to get access to this fun romp of creature horror for just a buck!
My name is A.P. Fuchs and I’m a writer of words, drawer of pictures, and freelancer in pretty much anything to do with publishing. You are tuned into my blog, Canister X, my official web presence and the Realm of Heroes and Monsters. I’ve been writing and publishing since my first short story sale in 2000, and have been creating and publishing books and comics since 2003.
My Patreon page is here. It’s a special place where I post serial novels, essays on the creative arts business, stuff from behind the scenes here in the Great White North at Axiom-man Central, and more. Join me and my other patrons and be a part of something fun and interesting with regular and reliable content.
Also, on Saturdays, I send out my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. It’s a weekly newsletter where we all come together after a busy week, unwind, and kick off the weekend. Presently, we are finishing off The Long Year Five, and Year Six will start before the first half of 2020 is over. Join us.
Thank you for coming alongside of me on the blog this month.