Fear and Bagholding on Robinhood: The Wave of GameStop

Note: Another Reddit shitpost. Inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘wave speech’ from the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I changed a bunch of the text to fit the narrative from the whole GameStop fiasco from January 2021. The original text has that feeling of failing on a large goal, a dream for a better world, that you almost did something to affect history which actually seemed fitting with how trading forums, including r/wallstreetbets seemed to view GameStop’s meteoric rise, and crash, within a week.

All poetics and retrospection aside, it’s meant to be a joke.

Strange memories on this nervous night on Robinhood. Two weeks later? Three? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. Wall Street Bets in the middle of January was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of loss porn or memes or 💎 ✋or 🚀 can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and YOLOing in that corner of your wife’s boyfriend’s basement. Whatever it meant…

Tendies are hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “tendies” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of all the autists and retards comes to a head in a long fine short squeeze, for memes that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty threads—or very early mornings shitposts—when I checked WSB half-crazy and, instead of cashing out, aimed my big $1650 Robinhood account towards GameStop at $325 per share, wearing cummed-stained shorts and a ramen-stained shirt…chucking rent money into AMC at $16 per share, not quite sure what my exit strategy was (always stalling at the sell button, too autistic to take profits while I fumbled for more YOLO money)…but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I traded I would come to a place where people were just as retarded and 💎 ✋ed as I was: No doubt at all about that…

There was madness in any stonk, at any hour. If not across GME, then in AMC or BB or NOK…You could strike tendies anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning…

And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Boomers and Hedge Funds. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our autism would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of GameStop, a high and beautiful wave…

So now, less than a week later, you can find a steep chart on Robinhood and scroll back, and with the right kind of autism you can almost see the high-water price—that place at $500 per share where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

The Map Boy: A Tale of Forbidden Love

The tension between Chris Cuomo and Map Boy

Note: A bit of backstory is required here. I haven’t written anything in a long time and this would appear to be a totally random mess of shit to just plop up here. So let me explain...

Over the four days of the election, a bunch of us were addicted to the r/politics election threads on Reddit, and these became rather unhinged into the late hours of the morning. You know, a bunch of drunken and anxiety-ridden redditors binge-watching CNN waiting for any election update we could find. In this horrendous atmosphere some strange things started happening. The entire sub became thirsty over any news reporter that took up working the late-night hours of the election. People started to become bored and created their own wild narratives about the presenters. The most noteworthy is the ‘saga’ between Map Boy (Phil Mattingly) and Chris Cuomo. Between these two professional newscasters reddit started to see ‘sexual tension,’ as if Cuomo and Map Boy had some urge to be together and make passionate love during the 2020 election. This turned into a full-fledged meme and Map Boy seemed to be a temporary celebrity.

So drunk on Friday I decided to actually write some bullshit fanfic about Chris Cuomo and Map Boy. I wrote two ‘chapters’ totally out of no where and I found them hilarious enough to post. Yes, they’re stories, yes, I’d written them, but obviously there isn’t much ‘deep artistic inspiration’ going on here. Enjoy!

Part One

Chris Cuomo had been working at CNN for a long time. Taking part in the grind, reporting stories he didn’t care that much about but faking interest at whatever he was tasked with. It was a decent job with decent pay, but somehow seemed to lack the passion of what he thought reporting would be like.

And then the shitshow 2020 election happened.

There he was one day…The Map Boy. He didn’t know his name — some random young hunk that had to take over after John King had to go to bed in the early morning hours of November 4 — but something about him intrigued him. He couldn’t pinpoint it exactly. Map Boy’s way of shyly not holding eye contact with him, or maybe his attempt at dominance while still cowering in fear around Cuomo, a fake display of masculinity that Map Boy just couldn’t hold to. Chris found it strangely appealing.

Maybe this was the passion that Cuomo was missing in his job and in his life. But yet, here he was right here in front of him playing the Magic Wall like a classical instrument of old. A young master of his domain, and Cuomo wanted to learn more about Map Boy even if he didn’t understand why.

Cuomo knew his wife wouldn’t understand his blossoming feelings. The mystery — why do I feel this way? — and the intrigue of it all. He wasn’t sure what Map Boy stood for, but it was something magical and something that he had yearned for his entire life…

Part Two

And one day, in the wee hours of November 7 (not that anyone knew what day it was by this time), something happened.

It was something small, one of those tiny and insignificant moments in life that seems to speak to the beauty and depth of it all, something so small that Cuomo didn’t realize it at the time and only had importance in retrospect.

“This, right here,” Map Boy said fingering his magical wall delicately, “Is Delaware County. We’re expecting….” and Cuomo drifted off in a daze. Those fingers. His artisanal skill mesmerized him.

But there was a problem. Map Boy was fingering the wrong county, caressing Allegheny County instead. It was an honest mistake, both of them being delirious from the endless sleep-deprived hours reporting on the endless election.

Cuomo, being the dominant one of the team, pointed this out.

“Map Boy, I think you’re pointing to Allegheny County, not Delaware County.”

Map Boy glanced at him and instantly broke eye contact. “No. This is…this is Delaware County, Chris.” He fingered the map seductively again.

“No, Map Boy, Delaware County is over here.” Cuomo reached across the Magic Wall, moving ever closer to Delaware County and Map Boy himself his hands quivering from lack of sleep, caffeine, or anxiety;  he didn’t know why he was shaking. Map Boy, drained of sleep, reflexively moved his hand downward to shoo the unwelcomed visitor away from his Magic Wall. And then to Cuomo’s surprise, as they touched skin, a lightning bolt landed in his brain. In his heart. In his whole body; they touched for a fragment of a second. Time stopped. It was just him and Map Boy. Together in the world. Nothing mattered anymore and any worries about counties or ballot totals vanished instantly.

Map Boy and him locked eyes, only for an infinite split-second, and moved their hands apart. It was the first move of an avalanche, nothing that either of them could stop or control, but it was in motion. And nothing could stop it…

The Virus (Part Two)

A typical trip to the store during a pandemic.

Note: This is a continuation of The Virus (Part One). I orginally planned for this to be a two-part story, but it looks like it’ll be a three-parter.

Who is infected? Who isn’t? You can’t tell: treat everyone as a hazard. The six-foot rule? No, give people ten or twenty feet, as much as you possibly can because your life is at stake. The virus is small, invisible, and deadly. Walking corpses of the future pumping respiratory failure into the air with their still-functioning lungs. I picture the air currents and the wind stirring the invisible death into the air, swirling and making beautiful unseen vertices mixing virus and atmosphere together.

A man is riding his bike along my side of the road. I’m upwind of him, and picturing the air leaving his mouth and swirling around his cheeks and chin, around his neck, and into the slipstream he’s dragging behind him. He’s not a threat with the air currents today. Any death he might be carrying blows the other way and I’m safe. As safe as can be in this world at least.

The rest of the trip to the dollar store was uneventful, at least as uneventful as you could expect in these times. A few gunshots and screams rang out in the distance, punctuating the silence of our new world with reminders of the horrors occurring nearby. A drive-by shooting a mile ahead on the road I was walking along; I could see the car slow down and the crack crack of gunshots delayed by five seconds, and the small group of people walking on the side of the road fleeing and collapsing. I couldn’t tell if murder was involved from this distance.

And clouds of smoke rose up to the east, near downtown. More fires, more rioting, more unrest. It was all so uneventful that I didn’t pay it much mind. This was the world now.

Finally I arrived at the store, but as I reached the front corner I noticed something. Blood, a lot of blood on the sidewalk and road that led around the side of the store. The blood smeared towards the back as if someone was dragged away; the streaks leading around the back corner of the store.

My choices were laid out in front of me in a mere fraction of a second. Continue on into the store and pretend that I didn’t notice the blood, cower my head and flee, or investigate the scene. My heart started pounding and I began to shake with adrenaline once again filling my body. Fight or flight? Decisions had to be made even if adrenaline cripples logical thought. Before I realized it my knife was out and I was turning the corner to the back of the store. The choice was made, but seemingly not by me.

The path of blood led to the store’s dumpster area, a tiny fenced-in area to hide the trash the store accumulates daily. The gate was slightly propped open and the path of blood welcomed me through the gate. One new problem now; there was a second path of blood leading from the other side of the building, two streaks of blood from each side of the store. What awaited me along with the pungent smell of trash and refuse?

I slowly peered around the gate with knife in one hand and pepper spray in the other, my body permanently shaking from what might greet me. I was relieved to find two bodies, one with their neck slit wide open and one with a myriad of gunshot wounds in the chest. Relieved because dead bodies weren’t a threat to me, only a sign of a threat, a threat that wasn’t in my immediate area. The shaking still continued though; the mystery still hadn’t been solved.

A weapon, a gun, anything? The man whose neck that was slit open — both of them armed guards popularly employed to stop robberies and hostage situations in these troubling times — had no gun on him, with his holster strangely empty with the strap open. The other man, the one with the gunshots, still had his weapon. I quickly changed my gloves and took the firearm. It would serve me better than it would serve him. Crouched down, I noticed bloody footsteps leading to and from the dumpsters and back around to the front of the store.

Another conflict arose within me between fighting or fleeing, but the new weapon in my hand urged me on. I took a guard’s gun which was a crime itself, and what if I was charged for these murders? Nothing to worry about though, more crimes were more important to investigate even if the law could eventually catch up to me. Once all of this shit was over they could charge me. That was later, in the indefinite future, and I was determined to survive until that day.

Once again, before I knew it I was standing next to the double glass doors at the front of the store. The world was silent — too silent — and time seemed to stand still. I could feel the sun creeping slowly across the sky, my shadow passing as a sluggish sundial on the sidewalk. More choices — act or flee — but here I was: why run now? Everyone fantasizes about these do or die moments where logic doesn’t apply; what you think you’d do you’d never do and my intuition to flee was countered by this chance encounter to finally do something. Face your fate. Confront the demon in the store whose bloody footprints lead directly to his lair, because the alternative was boring everyday life. Escape it even if it means likely death.

The first door opened quietly as I gently eased through it. And the second door? One of those damn bells to notify the store employees when someone entered. Even though I tried to open it slowly, the bell still jingled making a piercingly loud sound in the silence of the world. No sound answered the bell in return. Everything was silent, still, and oppressive.

But not totally silent as I discovered upon entering the store. Strange muffling arose from behind the counter. I stood there for a moment to gauge the layout of the store and listened for any sounds from the beast that might be lurking in here. Still and silent. Only the rustling behind the counter gave my senses something to latch onto. I glanced over and an employee was seated on the floor, gagged and tied up with the look of sheer panic on her face. She appeared unharmed and nodded her head towards the back of the store, with unintelligible grunts accompanying each motion. The beast was back there, she was saying.

More oppressive silence. It was lurking, hiding, stalking me. I crept forward with my finger on the trigger ready to defend myself and the helpless employee if I needed to. Creeping forward step by step until I reached the end of one of the aisles where I hid on the other side of the end cap. 

This time faint footsteps were heard. Cautious footsteps at the opposite end of the aisle. I looked around trying to formulate some plan of attack, some plan for defense, shoot to kill or shoot to wound? Too many thought racing through my head to make sense of anything. And…and above the door was a mirror: one of those spherical mirrors that allows you to see nearly the entire store in a tiny glass ball. Distorted perspectives but the human eye is sensitive to motion, and at the end of the aisle I was lurking at, a shape moved.

I waited until the shape was halfway down the aisle and peered around the racks to get a glimpse of whoever was stalking me. Gunshots immediately rang out in my direction, some missing down the aisle and shattering into the main door while others slammed into the shaving behind me. This man was unhinged, not even paying attention or deciding if I was a threat or not. Instant firing to kill, reckless firing, and my mind was made up: Kill or be killed. There was no reasoning with this person. Shoot first and enjoy your life if you still had it after time ceased to be frozen.

More creeping from the man towards me. I cleared my throat and said in a weak and shaky voice, “Alright. Let’s talk about this. Okay?” There was no reply besides the footsteps creeping towards me. In the mirror he was three-quarters of the way down the aisle, about fifteen feet away from my location. In the distorted mirror I could see his arm extended with the firearm poised to fill my body full of lead.

“Come on, let’s talk. I’m not a cop. I’m…nobody.” No reply. Unhinged. Unreasonable. Off the rails. And he was almost here.

I shot out from behind the endcap with my arms extended. The man with wild eyes seemed surprised, as if he could sneak up and kill me and I wouldn’t bat an eye or fight otherwise, the finger on his trigger poised, but I was quicker. Filled with adrenaline from the past ten minutes of stopped time, my body was as tense as a compressed spring, and at the tip of the spring ready to snap was my finger. The trigger jarred back and forth an indefinite amount of times before time unfroze and the moment was over. The man lay on the ground ten feet from me, slightly quivering extremities until all motion ceased.

And I realized I had killed a man. A fellow human being. Kill or be killed, right?

More footsteps sounded from the rear of the store, somehow quieter than the man’s careful steps moments earlier. I held the gun up again, unsure of how much ammo was left, but there wasn’t time to do anything about it. Bluff if necessary; the gun looked fully-loaded anyways. Recite the mantra again: Kill or be killed.

Around the end of the aisle shuffled a girl, maybe five- or six-year-old. She looked at me, down to the man on the ground, and then looked back at me. She walked over to the man and sat down cross-legged next to him. There were no tears or cries or shouts or curses, just a glazed look on her eyes. The same glazed look the man on the floor had.

“Da…daddy?” she asked the man bleeding on the floor.

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog Everything Sucks where I blog about random topics.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing.

Or my Facebook page where I don’t do much of anything at all.

Search for The Truth

My submission for some Wattpad contest.

At least I can give some background behind this mess of story here. Wattpad sent me a message about some 500-word contest for something called Home Before Dark. Luckily, I have no idea what it is even after writing my submission. The challenge was to…well, I’ll just post the message itself:

We’re reaching out to you because we’ve just launched a writing contest with AppleTV+, and we thought you might want to enter! Wattpad has teamed up with AppleTV+ and Home Before Dark to bring you an exciting writing challenge that encourages you to share your truth with the world! Just create a 500-word letter about a time you stood up for the truth for your chance to win a Mystery prize pack!

This was like a week ago. 500 words is nothing — about five measly paragraphs — and I had no fucking clue if I wanted to even try writing a submission. I suck at stories, especially stories with a purpose and a theme, so I’m about 99.5% sure I’m not going to win. But why the hell not write something? After about 25 minutes of writing and editing it down below 500 words I ended up with this story. Enjoy!

The world blurred and my thoughts shifted without any conscious effort on my part. They flowed like a river, in one shape initially, a memory of something fond, into the next shape, a hideous and malformed entity of the past. Fond memories naturally hold negative aspects. Loss. Regret. The ever marching force of time. Change built into the nature of the universe. What is real? What is true? What can you hold onto when everything shifts and morphs? Even the most sluggish river still flows and changes with time.

It was the drugs to be sure, a strange concoction of whatever I could find hours ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, like everything usually does, but now there was regret. But still the regret flowed into other forms — my past self had decided this was the best place for my future self to be — and wasn’t there something I was seeking? The shadow of introspection and self-discovery hours ago loomed over me and shifted into regret, and then back again into hope. There was something to look for, some reason, some concrete realness to myself, and maybe I could find it

Bad vibes swirled around me, torrents of a bleak river grabbing my thoughts, thoughts of safety and fixedness and concreteness, and wrecked them. Anything I could find to grasp was ripped away from me before I could take solace. Nothing was fixed, nothing was firm, and everything was framed by mindset.

Then the crux of the problem finally reared its head: Was I even real? What did ‘real’ even mean? Real. Reeling away from reality, but there it was, staring me in my twisted and drugged up mind. And if reality was this question, that of even being real, what did that mean?

The thoughts drifted again without any power from myself and I realized the question was pointless to begin with. What we experience is real. If a person thinks they’re losing their mind: that’s their reality. That’s their truth. The outside truth of someone else — that they’re crazy — is not the Truth of the suffering person. A billion truths, maybe more, all swirling around and changing in every conscious being in the universe. A multiverse within a multiverse, a billion worlds, all unable to be explored by being self-contained. Beauty. Glory. Sadness. Regret.

My universe is chaos. An inability to hold onto thoughts, to form them, in the torrent of the river of time. I don’t even know why I do what I do. I have no idea why I write what I write. Adrift in the sea, river, ocean, air, whatever you’d like. A thought appears and I have no control over it. Where did that come from? And why did I take a ton of drugs? I’m a robot controlled by a program I didn’t even make. These thoughts aren’t my own; there are no thoughts to take ownership of. And…and now what? Now what?

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog Everything Sucks where I blog about random topics.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing.

Or my Facebook page where I don’t do much of anything at all.

The Virus (Part One)

A typical trip to the store during a pandemic.

Note: This is totally unrelated to the other stories I’ve been working on. I think I need to branch out into making separate short stories instead of trying to piece together a novel. As always, I have no plans so whatever I post is whatever I post.

Early May and not a cloud in the sky. The temperature outside was in the 70s — the lower 70s probably — and a slight breeze blew out of the east. The humidity also wasn’t too bad either; maybe I could drag myself outside and go for a bike ride? Or maybe do some yard work? Gardening always needed to be done. The crops were very important this year.

I made some coffee via a pot on the stove; the electricity wasn’t working again and the few solar panels I had couldn’t supply the power to run a coffee maker. Pour the boiling water into a mug and dump the coffee grounds in. It makes a sludge but if you stir it enough the grounds eventually sink to the bottom. Coffee is coffee and depending on how the day is going you can always opt to slurp the sludge from the bottom when the drink itself is gone for an extra jolt of stimulants. This is what I did today.

And no eggs in the fridge either. No bread. Nothing. All the canned beans have been eaten weeks ago. And then the rice. And then the frostbitten meats in the back of the fridge. I had been in the phase of forced caloric restriction for weeks but soon I would graduate to forced fasting. Before I did anything, especially physical yard work/gardening, I’d have to go to the store, or try to at least. I hope it wouldn’t be another day where I’d be forced to feast on dandelions and mulberries from the yard. No mushrooms until the fall, so that wasn’t an option. There were always the five or six stray cats outside or squirrels and groundhogs. But it wasn’t bad enough for that. Yet, always a ‘yet’. One of the cats was pregnant and that wasn’t an option either, not a wise one at least. The smart move would be to wait until the kittens become adults and then see what needed to be done to survive.

I went downstairs and got dressed. New t-shirt, a pair of dirty pants, socks, and shoes. Loop the belt through the pant’s loops and give a thought about hanging the thing from the ceiling with my neck in it instead of pants and my waist. Once again: not yet. Someday, but not yet.

Grab the two pocket knives and place one in each pocket. Grab two bottles of pepper-spray: one clipped to my belt and the other in the pocket for a reserve. I purchased an entire ten pack of these spray cans when things started to go downhill. When was it even? A year ago? No. Just a few months, but the year felt like a decade thus far. Everyone I caught a glimpse of seemed to have aged as well as if the five months of the year really were a decade. Wrinkly skin, sagging collagen draped over bony frames along with grey, unkempt, and dirty hair. Even if the hair wasn’t actually grey, the hues always seemed slightly and tinged towards dreary and earthy tones. Dark circles and bags around and under every eye and even worse, a hopeless, blank, and dead look peering through the masks.

And back upstairs to find a bag. A black bag from the gas station would suffice. Weeks earlier it had held cheap liquor that wasn’t cheap cost wise. Alcohol was in high demand at the time for various reasons. Disinfectant, intoxication, fuel, whatever would kill and burn was needed. Malt liquor supplies were forcefully redirected to distilleries to make sanitizer. Hell, even E85 blend of ethanol/gasoline was being used as a makeshift disinfectant and was more expensive than gasoline for the first (and probably only) time in history. Some heathens with a death wish were even drinking the stuff or attempting to distill it. The news, whenever it was on, would occasionally mention the home fires/explosions due to these activities. Amateurs, I’d always think.

Take the bag, cut two holes in the side, and find some hemp cord. Place the bag on your head and adjust properly: one hole at your mouth and the other at your eyes. And then some fabric for a filter: this time an old dishrag. Place the rag inside the bag over your mouth and tie the hemp cord around your head accordingly. Everyone was using this technique or variation of it: cover your face, nose, and mouth at all costs. Hide your identity in case the worst should happen. In case survival boiled down to instinct. The killing of your own species in order for your own life to continue on. The world was a cruel place and spiraling downwards still. I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that the perpetual ‘if’ of life was really a ‘when’.

And how could I forget my own sanitizer? Grab a spray bottle of that before I leave. Homemade from a shitty still and a bunch of wine I had brewed up years ago. Put anything with alcohol into the metal pot from Walmart rigged with copper tubing from the hardware store and cook it on top of a stove or any other available heat source. Water and ice to cool the vapor and you’re left with pure alcohol. Add some water to dilute it down to 70% and you have sanitizer, even if it wasn’t a gel like the fancy store-bought stuff. And it was drinkable: a sanitizer/coping mechanism even if you need to weigh the pros and cons of each. Alcohol is limited and you can get drunk or sanitize. Pick your poison — a zero-sum game — would you like your world to be Clean and Safe or would you prefer a mind that can cope, if only temporarily? A little of both was always a valid option. I opened the bottle and took a drink and sprayed my hands after putting the cap back on.

I put a baseball cap on my head over the black bag, along with some aviator sunglasses. Even during the crisis you needed to look somewhat stylish. The hat had a yellow sun with a silhouette of a tree on it with the words ‘Life is Good’ below the design. Time to go outside, to go to the store. Time to see what horrible things the day held for me and society in general.

The world still looked the same. The birds were chirping, stray dogs and cats roamed the streets, yards, and sidewalks, and the squirrels acted as jittery and flighty as always. The sun was still bright in the sky, the clouds still provided rain and storms, and the flowers and plants were joyfully growing. Trees were as stoic as trees always were and nothing was obviously wrong with the world. You needed to pay attention to other details: subtle details. The lack of litter around the neighborhoods. The quietness of the roads with only a few cars passing here and there. The smoke and scent from the fires. The vividness of the night sky when the power was out. But mostly it was the silence that was strange. Humans are loud, society is loud, motorcycles and cars and semis fueling leisure and the economy with perpetual sounds. The drunken shouting of the nearby bars, the endless drones of the TVs and music from homes. Nothing anymore. It’s dead quiet.

The grocery store was only a half mile away, a peaceful walk on this sunny and pleasant Thursday in May. Was it Thursday though? Luckily, I had a ton of cash saved up and it had benefited me greatly in the past few months. The agreement as society spiraled was that cash, US Federal Reserve Notes, are still worth something. Even as the economy shuts down like a patient being taken off life support, the forces of supply-and-demand and The Market are still enough to hold the Federal Reserve Note as the de-facto lifeblood of the economy. As others steal, kill, and maim to survive I could still live in a somewhat civilized manner. None of that for me yet, although I’ll l do whatever I need to survive and defend myself. I double checked the location of my pepper-spray bottles and adjusted my shopping bag facemask for comfort.

Another subtle thing that isn’t really that subtle — just ever-present now to a degree that people don’t notice much — is the stench. As the hospitals filled and as crematoriums ran at capacity and as society collapsed around us the infected had nowhere to go. The doctors eventually began turning sick people away; there wasn’t any way to treat the amount of Diseased People with our medical system’s limited capacity. So back home they went, usually to die. It attacks the lungs causing difficulty in breathing until you suffocated painfully in your own fluids. It’s a painful and slow death, one you can feel coming in the next day or two but have no way to avoid it. Some energetic people would put a bullet into their heads, or dangle themselves from the ceiling or a tree, but most clung to the slim hope of survival. Instinct is strong and hope is stronger, even if there is no hope. Knowing they’re going to die, most people hung onto life and suffered until their bodies regretfully shut down. Luckily the screams and gasps we’re faint enough; you only heard them if you were directly outside their homes.

But the stench — the ever-present stench of rotting and decaying bodies holded up in their former homes, now their temporary caskets — permeated the atmosphere. Those without families or friends. Those that would rot indefinatley until society pulled itself together enough to clease the homes. You never knew which homes had corpses in them either, the smells of the bodies intermingling indiscriminately in the wind. A few bodies hanging from trees had been picked clean by mice, birds, maggots, and anything else looking for an easy meal, their skeletons hanging by tendons until even those couldn’t support the weight of the bones. Skeletons in yards under the trees, sometimes the skull and vertebrae still hanging from the branches. It was a grim sight but I was used to it by now despite a vague knowledge of the trauma I’d surely carry around with me for the rest of my life; I would be another survivor of a war stricken with PTSD and substance abuse issues. Curious glances at the remains now and wondering how their final moments were. What would my final moment be? How far away was it? Yet? If? When? Not thinking, I pulled my homemade sanitizer out and sprayed my gloved hands.

Around the corner at the end of the block I ran into a group of three teenagers. I knew they’d be an issue as soon as I saw them. Out to cause trouble for no other reason than to cause trouble with law enforcement either non-existent or busy doing other more important things. Cleaning the dead bodies out of the homes, protecting businesses being robbed and picked clean, or battling the periodic riots. No one cared about some punks beating innocent people up. It was every man and woman for themselves in this world.

They eyed me suspiciously as I tried to ignore them by casually walking past them. Finally one, after looking back and forth to his friends spoke up. “Hey friend, what are you doing today? Out for a peaceful walk?”

“Yes. It’s a beautiful day today, isn’t it?” I replied, once again trying to mind my own business.

“Where are you going? Huh?” They walked closer to me as I walked along the side of the street.

“Just running errands. No big deal. To the store. For food.” I shrugged and walked past them. As I passed them I turned my head slightly to the side to keep their vague shapes in my peripheral, acting as though I was looking at the homes to my side.

“Hey, where are you going? We want to talk to you. Don’t be rude,” one of them said.

And another said, “Yeah, get the hell back here. Fucking punk. Rude ass.”

And then I heard them walking towards me. Vague shapes moving in the blurry corners of my vision. And without thinking my hand was on one of my bottles of pepper-spray. I knew what was about to go down and I was ready. I had plenty of perfect practice over the past few months; you got your ass kicked a few times and you learned quickly.

One mistake the teens made was not wearing glasses of any sort. A rookie mistake really. My hands would be full if they had their eyes covered, but they didn’t and I realized this fact as soon as I saw their group. I’d be fine. As soon as they were behind me, pounced and tensed to strike, I turned and released a fiery spray of concentrated capsaicin completely taking them by surprise.

At first I sprayed each one in the eyes as quickly as I could. Just a small amount to neutralize the threat and cause them some intense burning and pain. Not surprisingly, they started to scream and flail and were no longer a threat. Eventually they became disoriented and fell to the ground a few feet apart, crawling, screaming, writhing, crying and wondering what the hell they were supposed to do next. What went wrong? They thought in bursts of thought interspersed in tiny gaps of the intense pain.

One thing about the lawlessness in the world is that it works both ways, a fact forgotten by any would be criminal punks looking to fuck someone’s day up. And I wasn’t just some innocent victim acting in self defense here, no, these fuckers wanted my blood; I was their prey. But now I was the predator. In this new society you need to teach lessons where lessons need to be taught.

So as they laid there squirming, I walked up to one of them and hosed him in the face with the spray for a few seemingly endless seconds. While the first spray was for self defense, this was for blatant offence. It was to hurt, to cause harm, with zero regard for these people as fellow human beings. His eyes wouldn’t work for another hour now. And then I crouched down, held the can up to his screaming and foaming mouth and sprayed some more down his throat. The cry that came out was from an animal, an animal that had no idea what was going on. His friends heard and started screaming in sympathy and fear over what was happening to him, and what would soon be happening to them. 

I calmly proceeded to the other two and did the same thing to them. More animalistic shrieks and squirming. They tried to pierce some sense of sympathy into my mind. No, it wouldn’t work. Nothing personal, this world was a cold world where justice was in short supply. Sometimes you need to exact cold vengeance on people that deserve it. They would learn if they haven’t learned already.

More hand sanitizer and adjusting my facemask. Just a tiny bump in the road, no big deal, for the current situation in the world. And onward to the store with the screams behind me turning into sad whimpering and then fading with distance. I wondered what chaos awaited me there.

Read The Virus (Part Two), the obvious second part to this story, if you’re interested.

If you enjoyed this, consider following me on Facebook. Or check out my Wattpad profile. Or my Other Blog. Support is always needed for us freelance hobbyist authors.

Untitled

This was a post from my other blog. I think it sort of fits the theme I’ve been keeping here though. Might as well post it.

“So, how have you been the past two weeks?”

Perfect. Happy. Depression was a thing of the past. Totally conquered. I had finally discovered myself. A toolkit of ways to fend off the bad vibes and thoughts. Perfectly comfortable in my skin. Cool, confident, and quiet. Problem solved! Problem solved…Problem solved?

Two days ago. Spiraling. Pointlessness. Anxiety. Depression. Dread. More sleeplessness. 5 a.m. with the sun coming up wondering what exactly life is. Benadryl to sleep; a drug to crutch along. Sleep at any cost. Where’s the purpose? The point? What am I meant to do here? Wasn’t I out of the woods? Wasn’t I happy? Weren’t those damn pills magical and finally fixed me?

“Where do you see yourself in the future.”

I shrug. “I don’t know. I feel like I’m floating through life too scared to make any choice.”

“Sometimes it helps to visualize where you want to be in the future. This will give you purpose and something to work towards.”

Every path is miserable, only changing certain pros for cons. More money, less happiness. More possessions, more responsibilities, less freedom. More attachment. More stuff. More freedom, less security. The grass is always greener everywhere else. Not knowing what I’m meant to do. Knowing there is nothing I’m meant to do and it’s up for me to decide. Being unable to decide anything for fear of what misery each path holds. And all paths hold misery; I always make the wrong choice. Is floating such a bad thing? Is pointlessness such a bad thing? Is there anyone that knows what the hell they’re meant to do, even if there is nothing we’re meant to do? Is anyone as blindly confident that they know where to go? Is this another form of blindness? Is blindness happiness?

Five steps forward and six steps backwards. Seven, perhaps. No progress. No sense of empowerment. No moving forward. Self-discovery? No. Self-confusion and self-loss. When I think I find myself it disappears. Too much effort, too much work. The tools in the kit take too much work to use. Constantly being on-edge, looking for the next crisis. Playing chess with your own brain, trying to bring up thoughts as pawns to try to stop yourself from checkmating yourself. And the opponent is so much more motivated than you, the bad vibes are effortless. The chess grandmaster in your head; checkmated in less than ten moves. When are all my pawns gone? When do I run out of motivation to fight? When does it become easier to give in?

Awake after twelve hours of sleep: still tired. Still groggy. Still sleepy. Five cups of coffee, eight cups of coffee: still tired. But shaky. Just enough semblance of being awake to function. Nicotine, caffeine, give me any -ine you can find, maybe I’ll eventually wake up. Constantly shaking and tired. Constantly anxious. Enough awakeness to write low-quality posts. Not enough motivation to work on a story. Writer’s block that never ends. The constant fight towards some goal you don’t even have. And the tiredness. And time always moving forward. And you not moving anywhere at all except towards old age, failing mind, and death. Float along the river until it’s too late to change your course.

And sleeplessness at 5 a.m. once again. Still tired but awake.

“Is it possible that I like being miserable? Is that a thing?”

“Yes. Misery is easier than working to be happy. It takes less effort.”

The comfort of depression. Not caring. Knowing you don’t care. Knowing you’re functioning as a basic animal just staying alive. Food not for enjoyment but so you don’t feel more miserable. Water because your mouth is dry. Work because of bills and money. Write because there is nothing else better to do. Silence around people — you’re a piece of shit and are miserable to be around — why make everyone else miserable by being a piece of shit? Blaming your mood for being a failure. The comfort of depression. The comfort of giving up. Thirty years of nothing. Thirty years of zero progress. Thirty years of depression. Of never knowing yourself. Of never knowing anything. Of being totally lost, blind, and stumbling through life. How many more years?

“I woudn’t say this if it wasn’t true: you are making progress. I can see it. You just need to keep discovering yourself and moving forward.”

Values. What are my values? I don’t know. Blank slate once again. I am a nobody. The blank whiteboard waiting to have a purpose. The blank piece of paper waiting for a story, a picture, or spilled ink: waiting for anything.

I’m not cut out for self-discovery. I’m an idiot hiding under a mask of being smart. Maybe I shouldn’t know myself. Maybe I should stay blind to everything. The trivial defines me. Deep down? I don’t know. Why do I do the things I do? No clue. Ram through another wall and find another. The wall is well-constructed this time. Smash through this to find an iron gate. And another taller iron-gate. On and on from one problem to the next.

“Self-discovery is like an onion; it has many layers.”

Infinite layers. The radius never shrinks, the circle never gets smaller. One layer leads to another layer. There is no core. There is no bright and shiny center. So much goddamn effort to peel anything away. Years of grime and dirt that doesn’t make any sense. If it does makes sense you can’t do anything with the sense it does make. One more layer down and onto the next. More confusion than before. More paralysis than before. More dread then before. Why am I this way? I hate myself for being this way. Helplessness knowing I can’t be anything else. This is me, and I hate it.

“Bring yourself to the source — whatever that is — and bask in it. Recharge.”

“Think of the love you hold in other peoples’ lives. Think happy thoughts. Think how you’re part of the whole.”

“Decide where you want to be in the future. It’ll help give you something to work towards.”

“Break a large goal down into smaller goals. Take small steps towards the goals.”

“Decide what your values are.”

“Think, ‘Is this thought useful to have right now?'”

“Maybe set boundaries with yourself in your interactions.”

It’s Friday. March 27th, 2020. 5:09 p.m. Now what? Always: Now What?

A Morrowind Fanfic?

Note: I posted this before actually publishing anything on Wattpad. Here’s the link to the story.

When I first tried to seriously write fiction, I did so on Wattpad. That didn’t work too well for a few reasons. Firstly, I think I just didn’t have the motivation to consistently post; you guys might realize this from my amazing inconsistency posting here, but you can get away with that on your own blog/website. From what I’ve read Wattpad requires constant and regular updating to keep your fans coming back for more. Secondly, Wattpad seems to be highly biased towards fanfiction stories, which mine were totally not. And lastly, Wattpad, being a seperate site, was hard to “market” to people. My Facebook network and friends didn’t seem to give two shits about finding a link and reading my stories. It just didn’t work out.

I should say I’ve never been a fan of fanfics either. I’ve never read anything from the genre, but the idea of them seemed to put me off. I guess I’m prejudiced for some reason. I love originality in the arts, and basing your story off a universe that was already created by someone seemed like a cheap and lazy thing to do. Obviously when I think of it now I do see there has to be some creativeness going on; even if the stories do take place in an already-created universe, the plot, characters, and everything else must be created by you. I also think fanfics in general have a laughable quality to them. Like for every good fanfic there is 99 laughable and poorly-written ones. It just doesn’t seem like a bastion of professionalism in my mind. There is also the issue with you only bagging fans that are already fans of whatever type of fanfic you’re writing: you write a Harry Potter fanfic no one will read it that isn’t interested in Harry Potter.

But obviously my mind has changed because I’m writing this.

I started playing The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind a few months ago because a friend was also playing the game. It wouldn’t hurt to also start a game, right? We’d talk about our in-game adventures and started joking about a certain character she was playing as, who she described as “chaotic neutral.” Her character, named Pip, didn’t actually give a shit about saving the world: Pip did whatever the fuck Pip wanted to do. And for some reason the idea of a fanfic was joked about.

It was one of those ideas that both sounded like a great idea to do, but also like a terribly dumb idea. The more I thought about it, the funner it seemed to try, but seriously thinking about it would lead me to second-guessing. Making a fanfic would be wasted time, right? Totally pointless, right? No one gets famous or published from writing fanfics, right?

I was also reading a shitton of Hunter S. Thompson around this time.

So drunk one night I came up with this gem of an idea: a reporter from the mainland in the Elder Scroll’s universe would “transfer” to the province of Morrowind to cover “news stories” or some shit. He’d roam the land and report back on the local religion, news stories, bandits, and whatever else he came across. He’d be a smart-ass and drink and be skeptical of everything. Basically like Hunter S. Thompson but in fucking Morrowind. See? It sounds dumb as hell, but at least kind of a unique idea. Over time I realized this guy could stumble upon chaotic-neutral Pip attempting to save the world while constantly being distracted and, well, it sounds fun.

Around the New Year I decided, “Why the hell not?” I could YOLO hail-mary a fanfic story on Wattpad and see what happened. As stated, the more I think about it, the funner it sounds to try. It sounds exactly like what I need to do currently. It being a fanfic, I don’t think I need to feel like I’m writing a masterpiece. I can have fun with it. I can post once a week which will give me a little project to tackle on the weekend. I don’t have to worry about all the worldbuilding bullshit that I’m too terrible and lazy at: the world is already made for me! And for a video game I love, I can really sink myself into the world creatively.

So that’s going to be my new project and I’ll plop a link somewhere when I get my shit together. I hope to continue the two stories I’ve already been working on here, but those are hard to make progress on.

“Unsent Letters” Introduction

People hiding behind masks, never saying how they feel, and the regret of not doing so. And more ramblings!

Note: I’ve been sick the past week. This has negatively affected about everything in my life: creativity, motivation, writing, brain-storming. I haven’t done anything. I’ve been slacking. Although I’ve been consistently writing chapters for the Creepy Story (or whatever) and while I don’t want to break my flow, I also want to get something posted in the meantime. This is an introduction (kinda elaborated on here) about some bullshit hypothetical “story” about writing letters to people from your past but never actually sending them. While I don’t think I’ll make any progress on it because I’m having so much fun being creepy lately, I do like my introduction to it. So while I’m working on getting my shit together again, enjoy this.

Sometimes lying awake in bed you start to think of people from your past. They drift into your thoughts like waves coming in from the ocean, memories here and there, times both good and bad, and you start to wonder what happened to them. It has been years since you’ve seen them and you start to reflect upon the fact that there was a singular last time you’ve seen them and how at the time you never knew it was the last time you’d see them. You start to feel bittersweet and nostalgic and yearning for this lost past. People that are no longer part of your life but somehow part of you as they gave you a memory of them. They formed you into the person you are today. What exactly happened to them? And what did they mean to you? What did you mean to them? Did you mean anything to them?

As time passes you get a clearer image of how they altered your life. As pain, happiness, regret, yearning, joy, and sadness are dulled with time you’re left with only truth as to how they changed you as a person and how you feel about them. Exes and enemies turn from hated individuals to fondly remembered people for how they helped you grow and change. It wasn’t them that was flawed, it was you and them as a pair that were flawed. Old friends and coworkers also take on a new light as you find yourself wondering what happened to the vast number of people who have entered and exited your life, sometimes forever, and who have left small but permanent changes to you. Carving you in the slow and permanent way that flowing water carves stone.

I always find myself wanting to talk to these people just one more time. Not enough to break societal bonds and actually talk to them — that’d be weird — but enough to fantasize about when I’m unable to sleep at 2 a.m. Mental conversations with them as I run into them at a store. Facebook messages sent drunkenly at 3 a.m. on the weekend. Maybe the stray email here and there. Or, lastly, writing on a computer or in a notebook that might not be discovered until after I die. A sort of final “thanks for being in my life and sorry for not saying what I wanted to say when I had the chance to say it” to them. Maybe somehow ramblings about them in personal notebooks might make their way to them and they’d know how important they were to me.

Maybe that’s part of it too: kicking myself in the ass for not being as genuinely open to others as I should’ve been. I still do it too. You always have to play the “be cool” game with people you know. You can’t tell people you love them if they aren’t family, and conversely you can’t tell people you despise them, once again, if they’re not immediate family. While some are more open than others, every one of us walks through life carrying around a mask showing a certain face to everyone else we interact with. The times you actually get to see the soul underneath the person, the thing that really matters, are surprisingly sparse and I can’t help but feel that this is a major area of regret in everyone’s lives. It’s like life is a constant lie that we tell to other people…and that people are telling to us. Who are these people that we go to school with, work around, are friends with, are in love with, see in grocery stores, or get mad at while driving? We see them and we think we know them, but we don’t really know them.

Sometimes in one of these rare moods I’ve found myself writing letters to people, letters that I’ll never actually send but where I can trick my mind into getting some things off my chest. Say what I need to say to these long gone fragments of my past. It sort of worked too. I used to actually open up the Yahoo email app and write these things as drafts, writing a legitimate email and only stopping before hitting the send button. I’d write heartfelt letters to people totally ripping open my soul for them to see and just not send it. I’d feel better afterwards even though I knew I never sent the things. Apparently my brain and emotions are that gullible.

(I don’t know how I feel about complaining that we don’t open ourselves up enough while also saying that I purposefully write letters that I don’t send. It seems like I equally want to bond with people but also hide my true feelings behind some elaborate mechanism for hiding myself. I’m just point out that, yes, I’m aware of how dumb and hypocritical this sounds.)

This is where the pragmatic author in me appears and goes “that sounds like a great idea for a story!” and I really do think it’s at least an interesting idea. I can write all of these fake, never to be sent letters to people that I want to clear things up with, delete the names and any other pertinent information, and make it into a book. I don’t know what to think of it as it sounds: cringy, terribly thought out, like a good idea, kinda contrived, ungenuine, heartfelt, clever, stupid, and overly emotional. It’s all over the place. It can act as an autobiographical account of my average as can be life while also being a fragmentary puzzle that is purposefully vague. Plus, since you’re only getting my point of view you’d wonder how factual it truly is and how the people I’m writing to might have totally different outlooks on things.

A part of me likes the idea of doing some experimental rip open your soul work especially while trying to put together an actual narrative. Sometimes you just want your damn heart to bleed onto paper and this seems like a perfect thing to do just that. I don’t even care if it turns out horrible because it sounds like it’ll make me feel better and maybe even give me some closure to past events. At the very least I’m sure I’ll unearth a bucket load of demon buried deep within my subconscious and if that isn’t fun then I don’t know what is.

Another Note: As with everything, you might think you have a good idea until you find out it’s been done already. Not that I’ve found an actual story or collection of unsent letters (mostly because I don’t even want to look and be discouraged) but I have found a subreddit with basically the same thing going on. People writing anonymous letters to others so they can get things off their chests, vent, feel closure, and whatever other reasons people feel the need to write anonymous letters. It’s really interesting.

An Introduction to The Introductions

Elaborations on possible future stories and an impending mental breakdown.

I’m writing this more for my benefit than anyone else’s. But since people sometimes supposedly actually read my shit I think I should post whatever trash I actually write down here. Usually I write a draft in Google Docs and then post it here, but this thing is being written right here. At the very least it should serve as sort of an outline for what the reader can expect of me in the future and at the most it should shine some light on what is actually going on in my (I’m guessing) immensely flawed mind. Maybe a snapshot into how a supposed writer actually writes? A disjointed method to the madness? Let’s get into it, shall we?

I’m about sick of my Apex story. It’s not that I’m sick of it, I guess, it’s that it doesn’t work as an outlet for me. I began work on my Apex novel (a place I used to work) because it had the most stuff written so it was mostly piecing things together, formatting, proofreading, and making sure it all makes sense together. I’ve constantly said that it lacks an actual cohesive plot so I’ve also been trying to do that as I post chapters on this blog. As you can imagine, much of this is “grunt work” where I’m not actually writing what is on my mind. While I do write a few new chapters here and there as I’m inspired, the Apex story is mostly a chore in memory recollection and piecing things together that are already written: there isn’t much creativity going on. There isn’t any outlet.

Other writers should know this well; when you start writing, ideas, feelings, and connections blossom out of nowhere within you and you find yourself spewing out deep and disturbing things nearly constantly. It’s almost like you have to write daily just to clear your mind. Given this, I need to get these things out while the Apex novel doesn’t allow for it. The shitty Apex stories don’t give me an outlet to self-expression, and isn’t that what writing is all about in the first place? A way to express yourself to others?

I’ve found myself with a few ideas floating around in my head that make little to no sense which I’m tempted to pursue at the expense of actually finishing the Apex novel, at least in the near future. I really don’t care either. It’ll get done when it gets done and I’m okay with this as I’ve realized that writing is much more complicated than I expected. Writing seems to be a reflection of the person and people are complex as hell, especially when you don’t even understand yourself. It’s no surprise that I have about four or five ideas going on where I’m just spewing stuff out of my mind with no cohesiveness at all. It’s messy. And it’s scary to be honest.

Here’s a few of the ideas I might pursue here, so if you do follow this blog or its Facebook page you might expect a disjointed mess of all of these topics to be posted in the near future.

There’s idea for an Apex sequel that involves my current job at UPS. This “novel” is meant to be much more direct, focused, and mature than the disjointed Apex one, and I’ve already been throwing around a few chapters for it with the ending being especially fleshed out. There are a few issues to be worked out, namely figuring out names that both hint towards and obscure the real inspirations behind the people in the story (also I still work with these people. It’s hard to write stories about people who you see almost daily, especially if you shit on them in your story!), but the ideas are there and I’m tempted to put pen-to-paper about it, or finger-to-keyboard because it’s 2019. I also expect it to be really fucking dark.

A few weeks ago I came upon the idea of writing imaginary letters to people from my past. You know, people that you want to say something to that you either can’t or are socially-bound to not contact. I’m talking ex-girlfriends, ex-friends, people who you’ve fallen out of contact with, or even people who you’ve wanted to say something to and never got the balls to say it. A list of things unsaid. A sort of tribute to people everywhere wearing masks and never saying what they actually want to say until it’s too late when they can’t actually say it. Lately I’ve been feeling really raw emotionally and like I want to set things straight with people in my past. I’m still debating whether this is a totally cringy and terrible idea (which it seems to be) or if it’s a genuinely good idea. We’ll see I guess.

Lastly is this idea for…whatever the hell it is. I’ve been fascinated with the film Eraserhead for supposedly being a batshit insane film from auteur David Lynch. Despite my best efforts I haven’t been able to watch it which upsets me greatly. Even though I haven’t seen it, I’ve listened to the soundtrack, read the Wikipedia page on it, and have seen Lynch’s influence in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Even though I haven’t actually seen it I sort of understand what it is: a dark, creepy film without a clear plot or theme that just plops up random scene after scene leaving things to your subconscious to piece together. Real creepy music and imagery. Some out of left field total bullshit.

And I’d like to write a novel like that. Like just get my mind in a certain mindset and just write and let things happen. Let a story develop or totally disregard a story. To just write whatever happens to appear in my mind. To take a snapshot of whatever is going on upstairs and get it out there, a sort of photo album of my current mental state over the next year or so. Just writing total bullshit and gluing it together and seeing what actually happens. I don’t even know what a finished product like this would look like.

To close, the Apex novel is not cutting it in terms of self expression; other works seem like they would give me more of an outlet to my current fucked up mental state. I got the UPS novel: a cohesive and dark novel with an actual story. I got the stupidly-titled Unwritten Letters novel which is just a collection of emo rambling about my past life and sounds like it’s a terrible idea. And there’s the Who-The-Fuck-Knows story that is me trying to make a David Lynch movie (which I’ve never actually seen) in book form where I let my subconscious unguided writings write the story.

Look, if anyone has any feedback let me know. Because as you can probably tell I have zero damn idea for what I’m trying to do anyways. Literally any feedback is better than no feedback so let me know what you think.

Getting to Work or Waiting for Creativity?

Black Haired Guy thinks about what is more important: creativity or determination and hard work?

Sometimes you hold a certain set of beliefs about the world and upon inspection realize that they’re contradictory.  Both views sound good enough to be taken as fact but together they don’t make any sense. I’ve recent ran into a set of these contradictions upon thinking about goals, success, and “getting somewhere” in regards to long-term dreams. I want to be a writer, a blogger, or something along those lines. As you can guess these take a certain about of blatant creativity as well as dedication to keep working on goals and remain determined. On one hand I believe in the “sacredness” of creativity and how you simply can’t force it. In the strictest sense if you have no ideas for a story or a song (or whatever artwork you do) and you sit down and try to “force it” I think it will turn out to be shit. Like if I forced myself to write a blog post without having any inspiration behind it it will be shit. Take this for an example. I’ve been thinking of this topic for a week or two and I’m not “forcing it.” My other mantra is something about hard work being required to get somewhere, and not just hard work but that determined focus on goals and an insatiable appetite for working towards them. Trying to do anything means getting shit on over and over again and this requires some determination to keep going despite the shit. Taken separately they sound pretty good and I can give examples for both. But taken together? “You can’t force creativity but you need to fucking keep going and remain determined.” What?

That leads to some really shitty times where you’re sitting down wanting to write a story or a blog but not being inspired to write. You end up sitting there and staring at the computer or paper and just getting angry. According to my first mantra if you’re in this state you shouldn’t sit down and try to write some uninspired bullshit because it will suck. Obviously if you have an idea then you need to work on it but what the hell do you do if you aren’t inspired? Force yourself to write shit?

I think what started me thinking about this was some Stephen King quote about writer’s block being bullshit, or was it Jerry Seinfeld? Fuck. I’ll try to find it now…

Fun fact: it’s both. Seinfeld said in a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread that “Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.” and Stephen King said that “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” They meant that, yes, there will be times where things don’t come easy with art where you aren’t inspired but that it is no excuse: the second mantra of hard work and determination is more important that being inspired. They use the term “writer’s block” but we know what that means; it means not being inspired. Confronted with that information from actual successful people who are considered experts I’m inclined to nearly abandon the first mantra of creativity not being able to be forced. I suppose I still think of it that way, but you can’t just sit around and wait to be inspired. Perhaps by working on something you will get your mind active and thinking of ways to be creative. Either way it seems the “hard work” part is more important and must outweigh sitting around waiting to be inspired.

Have a blockquote too. I never get to use them.

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.

-Stephen King