Two Years In An Instant

I’m very pleased to announce that I was able to contribute to Ghost Parachute with my new article “Two Years In An Instant.” It’s all about being diagnosed with a life threatening disease and learning how to cope using writing as an outlet.

I hope you’ll all check it out right here and subscribe/follow Ghost Parachute:

A Brief History With Comics

I grew up reading Archie (Jughead being my favorite character), Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. As I got older I moved onto stuff like Frumpy The Clown, The Far Side and webcomics like Questionable Content, Least I Could Do and Fanboys. Now that I’m an adult I find myself reading more traditional comics from companies like Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse (who publishes my favorite comic of all time, MIND MGMT by Matt Kindt) and Vertigo. Recently however, I have started diving into the world of manga. I’m trying to do my best to broaden my horizons when it comes to this format of art.

My reason for sharing a brief overview of my past and present life with comics is that it reminds me of how constant comics have been in my life. Creating a comic has always been a desire of mine and the desire hasn’t dwindled. It just always seemed absurd or out of reach. I want to be less afraid of failure and this is my first step toward that goal.

I’m going to write and release some form of comic online. I hope you’ll all check it out when it’s launched. Wish me luck!

Returning To The Path

Getting back on track can be hard. No matter the situation, having to recalibrate yourself takes a lot of effort and in some cases a lot of tries. I haven’t written in a while and I’m just now starting to get back into the groove of things. Months have gone by where I hadn’t even typed a word for a short story, a game idea or a TV/film script, but even though I wasn’t writing, my mind always pushed out new ideas each day. Now it’s time to focus all my efforts on my work.

I’m excited to get back to writing blog posts because there are so many things I wanted to talk about and rant about, but never got around to and I think that for once I should finish what I started. I’m going to resume the list of my most influential CDs and then I’m going to try to do weekly posts on projects I’m working on so I can show you all the progress I have made on them.

While a blog post once a week might not seem like a lot, I think it will do me good to have a bit of a schedule and some consistency.

Now it’s time for me to retrace my steps and figure out where I left off with my most influential CDs.

See ya soon!

When It Hits…

It’s been over a week since my last blog post and that makes me pretty upset. Most people who know me probably wouldn’t think much of it, but it’s actually a big deal to me, especially since as of late I’ve been really passionate about keeping this blog active and alive.

But there’s another reason why it’s really important to me.

I don’t like when my anxiety and depression take over me. It makes me absolutely useless. My ability to do simple tasks is stolen from me and I’m left lying on the bed trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong. So I do a lot of things to try to deal with it and unless you have someone in your life who has depression or have depression yourself, you may not fully understand that these few things that I do to try to cope and “fix” myself suddenly become insanely important.

What I do is I try to get myself to the shower. If I can get myself into the shower, that’s almost the ballgame right there. The act of getting out of bed, moving my feet across my room and into the bathroom is my first step of gaining a bit of control again. I’m no longer sinking deeper into my bed sheets or drowning myself under blankets. I’m being active. I’m walking. I’m bathing. I’m drying myself off. I’m putting on clothes. I’m doing a plethora of things. All of which are slowly building me up to getting out of the house and on with my day.

But sometimes I don’t make it to the shower or when I do, I make it there too late. It’s 7:38 PM right now and it’s almost too late. The cut off point for me is when I can no longer go outside and go to a store and talk to people. If I had to be honest and tell the people at my local GameStop that one of the reasons why I’m a regular and talk to them so much is because it is to help keep me sane, I honestly don’t know what their reactions would be, but I’m hoping they’d be supportive. Talking to people and connecting with people helps me fight back and shoot a steady stream of anti-depressant filled bullets into my brain.

I’ve been on medication for years. I’ve been on ones that work and ones that literally have made me want to crash my car into a tree and I thank the people that prevented something like that from happening to me. But medication only does so much. There’s so much more to it than just taking a pill and smiling for the rest of the day. When you grow up with depression and anxiety people tell you all sorts of things that you should start doing to better yourself such as doing something you find fun. It’s not that simple. I love playing video games and I love watching TV shows and I can do those things, but while I’m enjoying it, I’m miserable at the same time. I find that momentary happiness is what tends to keep me alive a lot of the time. The spark of a good conversation. The unexpected joke at the most inopportune moment. Those are just a couple of the moments I need to keep going.

But for me when it hits, it all starts with getting to the shower.

Opening The Mind

Whenever I walk into a store, specifically a store that sells movies, books or games, I always know I’m going to be disappointed. I will spend half an hour perusing through the promotional displays and inventories expecting to find something that will rip my eyes right out of their sockets and say to me “hey, I’m interesting, buy me.”

That never happens.

I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I don’t have an open mind. We all have our comfort zones and I’m starting to believe that mine is a two bedroom apartment that I’m afraid to paint because I might hate the new colors five minutes after the paint is dry. When did I become so stubborn when it comes to trying new things? Is it really because I’m getting older or is it because I’m not willing to take the time or the “risk” to venture outside and into the unknown world of my Netflix and Amazon recommendations?

These thoughts have been bombarding my brain recently and I’m curious as to whether or not it’s affecting my writing as well. Do I just write what’s safe and familiar? Do all my stories and sentences sound the same? Would anyone be surprised to learn that I wrote that short story? Should I care whether or not they’d be surprised? These are all questions that I find just a little worrisome because it ultimately means one thing: I am insecure with my writing.

I don’t think any writer is 100% happy with their work, especially not all of it, but shouldn’t I at least be happy with some of it? I constantly find myself re-reading my works and saying to myself that there are too many sentences that begin the same way or that all my characters sound the same. It gets to a point where I start thinking that every story is just an extension/expansion of the story I wrote before it and that’s not a comforting thought. I don’t mind re-using certain ideas or concepts from previous pieces of work, but I don’t want to copy and paste my way through a book.

They say “the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one.” I suppose this is where I go “I’m Garrett and I have a closed mind,” but I don’t think we really need to do that whole shtick.

So where am I planning to go from here? I think I’ll take it one day at a time. I’m not going to say I promise to try one new thing a day, but I will promise that every once in a while I’ll read a book from an author I usually wouldn’t give a chance or I’ll go to a new restaurant that serves a style of food I’ve never had. And when it comes to my writing, I’ll think the best thing I can do is share it with as many people as I can and talk to them about it. I need to be more open if I want to grow as a writer and I don’t want to be insecure about my writing.

At least not as much as I am now.

Write Angry; Post Calm

I don’t like being angry. It’s good to feel it every once in a while just to know that I can experience more than four emotions, but otherwise I don’t like being angry. I also don’t like to post anything online while I’m angry. I guess this is my own version of Ernest Hemingway’s “write drunk; edit sober” sentiment.

A lot of people talk without thinking about the potential impact of their words. Some people take that to the internet and will comment on someone’s status, video, tweet, article, or what-have-you with a response formed simply out of anger or another like emotion and I have failed to see an instance where it has ended well. I think the most basic solution is this: write angry; post calm. I have caught myself failing to do this many times. I’ll read an article or someone’s comment on said article and I’ll take out my Gatling Gun of Words and Anger and I’ll start shooting all over the place, but it’s never made me feel any better nor has it ever truly expressed my sentiments toward the situation in a presentable and logical manner. I always end up going back to reread what I’ve written days later to only think to myself how I could have better explained my frustration.

I’d like to improve on this and I’d very much like to pass along the torch to you all as well. Feel free to write down everything you’re feeling in that moment of pure anger, where you are completely livid, but then save it and put it away. Go back to it later when you’ve relaxed and see if your anger is justified and even if it is, that it’s properly expressed.

Write angry; post calm.