“Learning to do things with patience, and without any expectations; to do things slowly, and just for the sake of doing them. That's one of the hardest lessons to learn, and one that a person could spend their entire life trying to get their head around.”Christopher Magnus Øvringmo Nilssen
“They can't all be bangers.”CMØN
It's been a long, grinding journey to get here, and one that seemed at times impossible. Have all the things I've written been amazing, worthy of publishing for money? Of course not, nor was that ever the intent. Just as the regular lifting of weights is almost never considered when admiring the physical form they produce, so this exercise of putting pen to paper—or in my case, characters to screen—has been about the steady, disciplined practice of writing.
One of my hobbies is running, and when I run it's in looping ellipses on a standard 400-meter athletic track. I do up to sixteen laps of that rubberized circuit, three times a week, usually around dawn and always alone. When I started, it felt like it was one of the most horrible, mind-numbing things that I could be doing with my time, outside of regular employment. In the face of game development, writing, playing video games, sleeping, or any of the other activities that I could choose to make up my day, the pounding 'round and 'round seemed to be the worst choice. Yet slowly, over time, I learned to appreciate the process, and to feel each stride as a focused step forward in a kind of meditative self-improvement. I discovered the joy in it, so much so that I now look forward to the hours I spend running in those circles. So it's become with the writing: what was once a dreadful grind is now a task that I approach with zeal. The ideas might not always flow with ease, but after 365 sessions there's so much precedent to look back on that it's become impossible to sit there and say "I can't do it", because I have done it, hundreds of times. That's the sort of empowerment that true disciplined practice will grant.
I'm doing this because I have to.
It's astounding to me that it's been six and a half years since I devoted at least an hour of each day to writing. At the time, I'd hoped it would re-ignite the discipline that had seen me through three published books, four completed NaNoWriMo entries, and two major video game narrative projects.
So, much like a retired man with a garage full of power tools, I'm trotting this old project out and spit-shining it. The 365 entries that comprise the original work are all first drafts, meaning I wrote and published them without any revision. Here, I'll take at least a superficial run through each piece. In the end, I just want it all collected here where I can easily link to it if needed. Nothing can ever take away from the prior accomplishment, but I'm hoping that I can improve on it in some way. Part of me is fearful. I'm fearful that this act of looking back is a waste of time. That I should be writing new things instead of digging through the dirt of the past.
I guess we'll see.
I'll be brief.
It should not have taken this long, but it did. And now that it's done there's a hole in my day that I feel compelled to filled. I think that was always the goal: to create a sense of obligation around my Art that was not borne out of a need to perform, or make money, but to simply do the thing.
Thank me for my diligence. You're welcome, and remember: they can't all be bangers.
2015.04.15 – 2022.12.31