Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Climbing a stairway to nowhere

Another decent exercise day, though it was pretty late for a variety of reasons. Trudging uphill for 30 minutes at a stretch is not quite as gloriously exciting and pleasurable as gliding along relatively flat at a faster pace for longer stretches, but I'm burning just as many calories and I have to admit that it's easier on the feet.

It's funny, when I exercise I don't get as hungry as I normally do. Part of that seems to be mental, I don't want to undo all the work by chomping down on tons of crappy food, but part of it is definitely physiological. I can't explain it. Tonight I had to force myself to eat dinner after exercise, since it's never a good idea to work out and then go for a long period without eating (Among other things it tends to dampen your metabolism because your body thinks that it's being forced to expend a lot of energy without any guarantee of a close food-source. It doesn't have to be a whole meal, even a handful of nuts will re-assure the old homo sapien sapien form that there's stuff around.)

The real problem I'm having right now is writing. There's a lot of stuff I want to write and I'm having no trouble coming up with ideas, I'm just not sitting down and doing it. I'm still churning out the 10 jokes a day, of varying quality (Trust me folks, this is NOT an easy exercise. You'd be surprised at the frighteningly sparse number of topics that Americans actually care about according to the major news outlets. You can't do jokes about stuff from page 14 of the New York Times because nobody reads page 14 of the New York Times and people just get confused, so you're stuck trolling CNN or looking for inherently funny stories that you can sum up in one set-up line.) and that's good, but frankly it's not where my real talent lies and the other stuff isn't getting written. I'm giving myself a little leeway here because last week was the exact opposite of conducive to getting writing done, and right now my re-start of my exercise regime has me needing more sleep, which is something I want to respect. Sleep is essential for weight loss and getting 8 hours a night is something I really want to do, even though I know it's just a pipe dream.

Still I need to sit down and write, or at least watch and read, a whole lot more. I can't treat it like a hobby if I don't want it to be a hobby and I don't. I need to put in at least 6 hours a day and realistically more like 8 or 10. That's going to be tough but I'm going to try come Monday, assuming my boss doesn't call me into work to muck the stalls or something.

One thing I have been working on and doing well is taking criticism or personal attacks without firing back. It's something I need to get used to. I grew up in and spent most of my life in Academia. Now I was in hyper competitive schools, so there wasn't that "You showed up! GOLD STAR" bullshit you get a lot of places, but a lot of value was placed on ideas and generally if someone disagreed with you you were given a chance to argue your point until your argument proved absolutely specious or time ran out. I can remember one class where I argued that current copyright law was a big threat to the first amendment and my professor basically scoffed. I proceeded to demand the right to do my term paper on the issue, and 30 decently-researched pages later he found enough merit in my arguments to give me an A, and I think I convinced him at least a little.

The real world is not nearly so permissive. If someone doesn't find something funny or interesting you can't prove to them that it is, even if you are, as I always am, absolutely correct. They've already moved on to something else. People aren't being paid to spend their time listening to you, so you end up getting rejected and insulted a lot even if you're the most brilliant person out there. Charlie Kaufman couldn't get a sniff of Hollywood into his thirties because studios are run by mindless hacks. Getting beat up is part of the process and I want to get used to it without expending pointless energy defending myself. It's rough but I'm starting to get the hang of it. It's a real Jim Dandy.

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