I’m as ill as the convict that kills for phone time

An update on my various plans for the year:

Fifty Books: I passed the halfway mark on my fifty books in a year schedule in late May. If I keep my current pace I can knock out another 17 by the middle of December, which would make one calendar year.

Investment: I went with Sharebuilder after they got their act together; the low fees turned me on. I now have $x riding on a combination of overseas exchanges, energy industries and inflation-adjusted bonds. My goal now: to ignore anything these ETFs do for the next six months. Being an investor is like being a casino: you make money on the long-run percentages, not on hustling everyone you meet. I avoid the temptation to cut and run by not knowing how my investment is doing.

Writing: Comes and goes. I don’t know much about writing, but I know this for sure: you’re not a writer until you’re writing when it feels bad. If you spend a night, or several nights, in front of a largely blank screen, grimacing at every sentence you type, then you’re a writer. Any jackass can write when they feel creative or clever, just like anyone can work out if they wake up in the morning with a lot of energy.

(I’m not saying that writing is all misery. Misery is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition)

In concrete terms: at about 73,000 words of what will shape up to be a 100,000 word novel. I hit a zone this past Wednesday that should carry me for a while until I need to start making decisions again.

Performing: I like acting more than improv, I’ve realized. People tell me I’m funny and smart and full of good ideas and I say yes, thank you, but none of those traits make you good at improv. Being good at improv – from what little I know on the subject – requires energy and a willingness to throw oneself into the new. I have neither and hate both.

I like having a ‘bit’: a little piece of business or a quirk that I can use to develop a character. I like polishing a scene until I’ve ground it down to a stone. I like practicing different aspects of a character until I find the voice and posture I love. Those are acting skills, not improv skills, and realizing it has made me happier.

Also, improv’s about trust, and my chronic inability to trust anyone I share a stage with doesn’t help.

Cash: Rules everything around me.

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