Friday, October 23, 2020

Monday is just another day / Happenings In The Outhouse 23-Oct-2020

It irks me when I hear people say, "Oh, God, it's Monday!  I hate Monday!  Ugh!  Why can't this day be over?"  Or, "No one talk to me until I've had my coffee!"  Or, "Can this year just be done?  2020 sucks!"

The last one, concerning 2020, was covered two weeks ago, so I won't rehash it.

Oh, I forgot one more: "Is it five o'clock yet?"  Or whatever time you get off work or whatever you see as the end cap to your day.

This negative mentality has to stop.  It's a self-fulfilling prophecy to tell yourself that a certain day is bad and that day ends up being as bad as you thought.  Everyone knows someone who tells themselves they're not a morning person or not an evening person or they have to drink (fill in the blank) before getting going with their work.

Think about the words you say to yourself.

And remember, Monday is just another day.  If we worked Saturday and Sunday, and had the rest of the week off, I'm sure there would be people saying, "Oh, God, I hate Saturday!"

Something to think about.

Friday, October 16, 2020

How much is too much? / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-Oct-2020

Too much research?

Too much thinking?

Too much planning?

These may lead to . . . not enough doing.

If you're putting something off because not "all of your ducks are in a row" or if you wonder if planning a bit more will make it better, chances are it won't.  Start now.  Whatever it is that you're putting off, don't put it off any longer.

Start today.

Right where you're at.

If something needs to be fixed, you can fix it later.

On a side note, I have surpassed the 20,000 word mark on the new thriller novel.  I seemed to have hit a stride the last few weeks, logging in 30-45 minutes of writing each morning before work.  By the end of the year, it would be nice to hit PUBLISH on it.

Friday, October 9, 2020

2020 Doesn't Suck. You Do / Happenings In The Outhouse 09-Oct-2020

Earlier this week, rock legend Eddie Van Halen passed away.  This caused many people on my Facebook feed to post things like, "That does it!  2020 sucks!"

Sorry, 2020 doesn't suck.  You do.

Let me say it a little different: your mindset sucks.

Each year, whenever some celebrity dies, people come out of the woodwork spouting off that (fill in the blank on the year) just sucks.  It doesn't matter if it was 2019 . . . 2018 . . . 2017 . . . 2012 . . . 2011 . . . or 2000.

Let me say it again.  The year doesn't suck.  Your mindset to it does.

Last year, my wife's health took a turn for the absolute worst.  I could have spouted off that 2019 sucked the big one.  But I didn't.  I had so many things I was thankful for, and wasting my time being negative wasn't going to be one of them.

On January 16, 2020, when my wife finally passed over into the glorious arms of God and Christ Jesus, I was devastated.  But at the same time, her passing was the end of a chapter in my life.  I have absolutely no regrets.  I cherished every single moment I was with her, even right up to the end.

I am not going to sugarcoat that the events of 2020 surrounding COVID-19 really aren't pleasant.  I feel bad for business owners who were forced to close due to government mandates.  I also feel bad for the employees of those businesses too.  But at the same time, many businesses have re-orientated themselves to serving customers in new ways.

How you view the world is a reflection of your life.  If you think everything sucks, then sorry you suck.  Can you change it?  Absolutely!  I relish those who do!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Focus on what is important / Happenings In The Outhouse 02-Oct-2020

It's easy to get distracted.

Especially in today's time where more and more are vying for out attention.  All of our social media channels thrive on people staying on their platform longer and longer.  The 24/7 news media companies are offering up the latest BREAKING NEWS.

But I believe this has always been the case.  We want to stay busy, work longer hours, constantly feeling needed by those around us.

Step back for a moment and ask yourself, "What's important?"

Health?  Family?  God?  Hobby?  Something else?

When I updated my quarterly "Top Five" for the next quarter, I reviewed last quarter's.  I had more than five things.  And I barely accomplished any.  So I kept it simple for the last quarter.  Just five.  Five goals.  Are they attainable?  Yes.  Will they be easy?  Depends on how you look at it.  I broke the goals down into smaller chunks of five total, so I should be able to do at least three, if not four.

Another item for consideration is cutting down on the amount of podcasts I listen to.  Yes, again.  My list seems to grow and grow, and although I get through them all in a given week, I still wonder if I can cut them down more.

Look back in the archive of this blog and search "podcast fast" and you can see I've done this before.

It's okay to quit something.  Nine years ago, I resigned my part-time job as a licensed peace officer.  Sure, the extra cash was nice, but other areas in my life suffered.  Do I regret it?  Nope.  If you need to quit something, do it.

Remember to focus on what's important in your life.  God gave you a purpose.  Fulfill that destiny He gave you.

Friday, September 25, 2020

A Brief Pause / Happenings In The Outhouse 25-Sept-2020

I am currently around the 15,000 word mark on the fifth book in the Central Division thriller series.

But I am going to pause.  Briefly.

I have a contest to enter.

The Writers of the Future contest is a quarterly contest, and the deadline for the next submission is next Wednesday.  As of this writing, I am around 2,000 words into a new short story that I'll be submitting.

But be assured, once it's complete, I'm diving back into the thriller novel.  At first, when I realized the deadline for the next contest was coming up, I contemplated not entering.

Needless to say, I changed my mind.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Lessons learned from David Fincher's The Social Network / Happenings In The Outhouse 18-Sept-2020

Ideas are a dime a dozen, or so says the saying.  Most ideas turn out to be nothing without a power behind them to turn them into something tangible.

One can say that most ideas are crap.

But are they?  My feeling is that those who say it are covering up their own insecurities about failing to produce something while comparing themselves to those who did.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I watched The Social Network, directed by the amazing David Fincher.  I understand that the movie was based loosely on true events, and there is a scene in the film that struck me.  In the scene, the Winklevoss twins are speaking with the Harvard University president, pleading their case about Zuckerberg's theft of their social network idea to create Facebook and how it went against the college's ethics.  The president dismisses their claim and tells them that students at Harvard create ideas all the time.  He then advises them to move on and do something else.

In other words, create something else.

Earlier that day, I watched another program and someone in the show said, "Go show them the ropes."  That phrase of showing someone the ropes just wouldn't leave me for the longest time.  It kept rattling over and over again in my head.  I kept seeing someone being promoted and then, in the end, a noose is tied around their neck and they fall to their death.

Creepy, huh?

It's an idea.  I wrote down the idea, putting it away for another time with all the other ideas I have.  Will I get to it one day?  Possibly.  It may be a novel, a short story, maybe even a piece of flash fiction.  At this point, I have absolutely no idea--no pun intended.

But if someone takes this idea and makes a million dollars out of it, good for them.  I don't need any credit from it.  Because, chances are, my idea would've turned out differently than theirs anyway and they just made a better mousetrap.

Do something with your ideas.  If you seem to have too many, just pick one and do something with it.  Create.  Stop with the excuses.  The world needs you more than you think.

Also, don't horde ideas.  Share them if you wish.  Ideas really are a dime a dozen.  Be good at creating ideas.

Friday, September 11, 2020

What if I don't? / Happenings In The Outhouse 11-Sept-2020

I've read from many time management gurus who proclaim that their way is the best way.

And, of course, I've spouted many of their anecdotes on this blog.  Things like, set up a daily (or weekly monthly) goal and set aside 30 minutes a day for X.  Sounds easy, right?

But something hit me last week: what if I don't?

Everyone is different.  On top of all that, we all go through various seasons of life, sometimes several in a single week.

What if I take a week off?  What if I don't write for thirty minutes today?  What if I don't finish the novel this month?

What if I don't . . . and fill in the blank.

I can't change what I didn't do tomorrow, but I can change what I do today.  And if something doesn't get done today, do it tomorrow.

Accomplish what you need to do in little baby steps, if you have to.  Let's say I only write for five minutes before heading off to work.  Good.  It's better than nothing.  What if I watch a movie instead of working on my craft?  In my creative world, even if it's not adding pages it may be giving me ideas for something.

Don't be too hard on yourself.  You can't change the past.

You can only control the future.

Take back your future.

Remember, if you need to do baby steps, do it.  If you need a break, take it.