Archive for July, 2012

Taking Time Off – Now What?

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by Dustin
Vacation 2012 Big Bear

Camping and relaxing in Big Bear

I am lucky enough to work for a company that gives me paid vacation time. I enjoy taking time off and this week starts my two week and one day break from managing networks and fixing broken computers. I won’t be leaving for a few days so I have some time around the house to myself (well with my teenager but that might as well be by myself with her staying in her room all day). There is never a shortage of projects, both artistic and around the house, for me to work on but where do I start? There is also a long list of movies I’ve been wanting to see. I have a blank canvas before me waiting for me to accomplish something but I’m stalled out trying to decide.

Lists. When I get stuck I find writing a list of things usually helps me either prioritize or eliminate. Since I’m going on vacation for 9 days I will need to get some stuff together before I leave. Maybe I should write a list of things I need to do to get ready? Or maybe I should write a list of household projects I never get to and I could finish one before we leave? There is also the creative projects I’ve been meaning to start. I should write a top 5 list and do the number one thing? Listing movies I want to see by preference sounds fun, maybe I could coax the teenager out of her cave to help me? Oh shit, I just wrote a list of things I could make a list about!! It’s hopeless. I guess I’ll finish this blog post first and then work it out.

I get like this when I have free time. The wife says “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Whatever. What about when you can’t figure out the plan, what do you do then Miss Know how to do everything? “Make a list.” Shut up smart ass. (Why am I arguing with my wife on this blog?) I find myself doing odd tasks around the house, taking forever, screwing around on the web, playing video games and then look at the time it’s lunch already? Half the day is over and nothing got done and I feel guilty and this guilt is too much to deal with and that meal was good, time to take a nap. “What did you do all day honey?” Sigh…

I have some things I need to do so at least I won’t be a total slacker. Got my laundry done and some dishes and I’m taking the kitten to the vet for her first appointment. I do want to mow the lawn and work on the sprinklers and I get to see my wife every day for lunch when I bring her something to her job that she still has to work at this week L. Between all that “have to” stuff I want to fit in some want to stuff. I want to work on my next performance piece and start dialing in the comedy act I’m working on. If I can get all that done in the next three days then I will have been a success and it’s off to vacation to have some fun in the sun with the whole Odd Family crew. And See, I accomplished another thing by finishing this blog. (I also went camping this weekend as the first hurrah for my time off. Had a blast. Check out pics on my facebook.)

Creativity When I Can

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , on July 23, 2012 by Dustin
This is how we do Prom

My daughter and I at Prom gallery opening where we had a piece

I recently read an article in Writers Digest by Pamela Redmond Satran called 7 Steps to Successful Juggling. This wasn’t an article about how to start your own street performance business begging for money while you dazzle 4 people on a corner or subway alcove (although I would read that article as well). This article was focused on writing and fitting it into your daily life. I stopped writing much this year due to many years in a row of trying to juggle it all and then getting burned out. The article didn’t give me any new ideas but it did jump start my initiative. I have been slacking creatively and it’s been bumming me out.

When I was writing letters every day for a year to my wife I used to get up every day during the week at 5am to make sure I got the letter to her in time for work. When on vacation I found time every day to steal away a few minutes or an hour to write. I used to write on my lunch breaks at work or while I waited for file to download I would through ideas down in the idea file and stay productive and focused on whatever my current writing project was. I finished a book like this, I finished a script like this, and I got through a year of love letter writing like this. Then, I stopped.

Working a full time job and writing was getting to me and I wanted to chill out. Soon after I stopped the writing I started feeling anxious and eating more and watching more TV. I would have short bursts of creativity but none that led to any lasting project our routine. I am only now starting to analyze where I’ve been in my head the past year with my writing. Writing is a very discouraging process when you only have small amounts of time to dedicate to it. If I wanted to make a career out of it I would need to work much harder than I am capable. So I feel discouraged about even starting anything because I know I can’t dedicate enough, or what I consider enough, time to it. But if I don’t write or create my head starts getting squirrely. So what am I to do?

The Great OddI write and create because I have to. If I don’t then I become even more self-destructive. Nothing may ever come of all this writing and creation but I feel better doing it. I have a never ending stream of ideas so I might as well put some of them to use and stop torturing myself. I started putting some plans together for a show I’ve been planning in my head for over a year. I got a small blueprint of ideas that is more concrete than it has been ever. I feel encouraged at least which isn’t how I’ve felt for some time. I just need to keep pushing myself forward. As long as I stay ever vigilant I will reach my goal. I’ve done it before I can do it again.

I am the Great Odd, ask me a question

Lazy and Fearful – My Creative Routine

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by Dustin
Dustin Scott - Artist

Me at Walking Gallery in Pomona CA

I have a head full of ideas and a to do list a mile long, but I’d rather sleep in and meander through my weekend than do anything about it. I have writing projects I’ve put off for years; performance art projects I have supplies for that are gather dust in the garage; and a honey do list that my wife won’t stop harping about. I’ll get to it when I have time sheesh, get off my back.

I have a million excuses why I am not being productive whether it’s mowing the lawn or starting my next script:

  • I don’t have time – True to an extent but I just watched all of the last season of True Blood last month so… (I had to get caught up on my erotic soap opera with vampires man).
  • I don’t know where to start – The beginning would be a good place
  • It’s too hot out – There are plenty of projects inside too
  • I have too much to do – Try eliminating some of that stuff and you may have a few hours to spare
  • What if I do this and no one likes it? – What if never got me anywhere, why not has gotten me plenty
  • It will take me forever – If you wait a week or work a week it’s still one week later, get off your ass and do it

I have a few projects that I believe to be great creative opportunities. I haven’t worked on any of them recently. I have barely begun on anything lately. I have been doing some video work with my daughter and that has been pretty fun. (See them here MetalDadAnimeGirl , MetalPMV). My writing on the other hand has been pretty sparse. I have some finished products I don’t want to look at and new projects I’m nervous about starting because they’re so monumentally large that I know it will be months of writing to complete. My Brain tells me “Why start something that big when you couldn’t even sell the other three large projects you finished?” Shut up brain, you don’t know me mutha sucka, I’ll kick your brainy ass.

My wife says I should write about it so I thought I would do some blogging maybe once a week and see if anyone out there has any help to assist. Maybe the cathartic exercise of writing weekly on my struggles will yield some kind of answer to the ultimate questions. That or I should stop pontificating and get off my lazy ass.

I will put this one idea out there and see what people think. I want to get a show going and test it at the local small comedy venue in Claremont California called Flappers. I could book the act with only a host and maybe one or two opening acts then I would do an hour show. It would be comedy but not stand up. I would be telling stories (true stories from my life) and then work the crowd to get some of their stories. I would pair this with slides of pictures from my life that would match up to the stories. I have discussed this idea with friends and they all seem supportive. But here I am writing about the idea still and not taking any initiative to get it going. The only thing holding me back is fear. Fear of the untested unknown show that in my head looks great, and on paper looks fine as well, but can I pull it off? Will I be able to get butts in the seat? Will they stare into my eyes and not get what I am trying to do? I will be up there for an hour which I have never done before. I think about it and I think hell yeah I can do it, but the last time I saw the guy from Flappers putting up signs in the kiosk out front I didn’t talk to him about the opportunity to do a one day show mid-week did I? No I did not. When I had free time at home I didn’t start putting a file of pictures together and brainstorming stories for the show did I? No I played video games, watched more TV (again True Blood is pretty damn fun) and generally made excuses on why I wasn’t doing shit to move myself forward.

Tropics Lounge

Playing my pink sparkle Hello Kitty drumset

That’s just what I do. You know what else I do? I get a hair up my ass and work and get things done. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. I just wish the times in between the ass hair times weren’t such a bummer. I have written two books, a year of daily letters to my wife, a script, and I’m currently more than half way done on a poetry book. I have put together numerous performance art pieces and put out multiple CD’s of music with my punk band The Atomic Bombs. I can do things I just lag sometimes. When I stop lagging then the world better watch out because here I come.

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