All the Podcasts I’ve Appeared On

By Nathan On February 4th, 2016 | 63 views

I’m keeping today’s blog simple and helpful, especially for those who want a quick reference for all the places I’ve appeared online. Or, at the very least, the podcasts I’ve been on. So, here’s an index of the shows and episodes I’ve appeared in. I discuss everything from storytelling to video games to Godzilla (no surprise, right? 😛 ).

Admittedly, there are few not listed here. I recorded a podcast with Zachery Oliver for “Theology Gaming” that was lost when he had computer problems. The same thing happened with “The Bestselling Fiction Podcast” hosted by Dan Dynneson last summer. I’ve subsequently recorded two more episodes with him that he has yet to post. I also appeared on GigaGeek Magazine’s podcast to talked about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but I don’t have a link for that yet since it was broadcast live.

Regardless, happy listening!

Derailed Trains of Thought
A show on storytelling and creativity hosted by my friends Nick Hayden and Tim Deal

Episode 3: From Boredom to Book – They interview me when I published by first book, Pandora’s Box.
Sidetrack 2: Peeking Inside the Box – I’m not in this, but an excerpt of my novel is read by Nick’s wife, Natasha.
Episode 17: Magic, Muggles, and Morals – I read an excerpt from Destroyer.
Episode 20: Everything But the Kitchen Sink – I’m one of multiple guests who returns briefly for the show’s first anniversary. I announce I’m writing new books.
Sidetrack 6: Children of the Wells Round Table – I and my collaborators talk about working on our ongoing post-apocalyptic contemporary fantasy series Children of the Wells.
Episode 50: Guest Starring…Everybody! – In this anniversary episode, I’m one of several returning guests who “audition” in multiple segments to be a third co-host.
Episode 61: Shut Up and Buy My Book – I return to DToT to discuss how writers can promote their books. In this day and age, writers must also do their own PR.

Strangers and Aliens
A show about faith, fantasy, and science fiction co-hosted by my buddy Ben Avery, who’s a comic writer

Episode 127: GODZILLA (Summer Movie Series) – I review the new Godzilla film with host Ben Avery.

Theology Gaming University
A show about Christianity and video games

Podcast #58 – Video Games Inspiring Other Media – Theology Gaming – My friend Eric Anderson and I discuss video game adaptations to other media with host Zachery Oliver.
Podcast #62 – I discuss why gamers replay video games they’ve already played with host Zachery Oliver and TGU regular Bryan Hall.
TG Sessions #9 – Cheapness (I.e., You’re Not Special) – Zachery Oliver and I discuss what makes certain things “cheap” in both single-player and multiplayer video games.
TG Sessions #10 – Batman’s Fifty Shades of White Privilege – Remember when this video made me a troll magnet? I also incurred the wrath of trolls about an essay I wrote for TGU. Zachery Oliver and I discuss all of this.
Podcast #72 – One in a Mijinion – I join Zachery Oliver and Roberto Iraheta 20 minutes in, and in our ramblings we set out to solve a very important mystery: What the heck is an Infinity Mijinion? (In case you don’t know, that’s a Mega Man boss).

The Weekly Hijack
A “spin-off” podcast from “Derailed Trains of Thought” that discusses TV shows

-Episode 27: Doctor Who – The Magician’s Apprentice – I discuss the season nine premiere of Doctor Who with Nick Hayden, Tim Deal, and several others. (Scroll through the episode listing to find it).

Are Extroverted Writers at a Disadvantage?

By Nathan On January 29th, 2016 | 46 views

I do a Google search for “extroverted writer” and discover that an old TUFW classmate has a book on the subject. Who knew?

I sometimes wonder if my writing is hampered by my own personality. What do I mean by that? The fact that I’m an extrovert.

Traditionally, writers are seen as introverts. It’s not surprising since they have to retreat into their office (or, as I like to call it, the “Fortress of Solitude”) away from people and other distractions so they can pound out their daily word count. Writing is a lonely art and profession. That’s why it seemed best-suited for introverts, who thrive in such an environment. This isn’t to say there are no extroverted writers. Just look at journalists. They’re always out and about looking for material.

But then you have those rare birds like me who are extroverted but also filled with stories to tell. It does have its advantages (I’m a pretty good salesman and enjoy networking), but I can be pulled away from actually writing if offered hang-out time. That’s partly why I had to institute a new plan for how much material I could produce. It doesn’t help that I’ve seemingly become popular lately. This weekend alone I have several friends, my old English/writing professor, and family who want my attention this weekend. In anticipation of this, I’ve been scrambling to get stuff done while also going to my day job, so you can imagine how stressful that can be. Admittedly, most of these deadlines are self-imposed, but they nonetheless hang over me. (I’m particularly disappointed I haven’t made a new “But I Digress…” episode in a month).

To use the old adage, it seems like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Either I produce new material but miss out on social activities or I socialize to reenergize myself but get nothing done. I can’t quite combine both activities (if you know how, please tell me!). What makes it doubly difficult is, as an extrovert, I’m more easily drawn to being around other people, and by extension taken away from my work. That isn’t to say that I don’t love my work, because I do. I’m a storyteller by nature. But I also know that if I didn’t have the discipline to say, “No,” sometimes—indeed, oftentimes—I’d never get anything written.

Yet as I type those words, I’m reminded that procrastination is a common problem for most writers. I’ve read many articles talking about how writers will often find anything else to do besides writing, how they’ll come up with excuses not to do it. It could even be important things like chores that need done. And as I mentioned above, the majority of writers are introverts, so even they’re guilty of not getting work done. They just have different reasons.

What do you, True Believers? Are extroverted writers at a disadvantage compared to their introverted peers? Do need to take special steps to remain productive in a normally solitary profession? What are those steps? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Alma-Con and My New Writing Regimen

By Nathan On January 26th, 2016 | 63 views

He kinda looks like me…if I was skinnier than a bean pole. :P

Just a quick blog today since I’m busier than a workaholic. At least that’s how it feels. But that’s a story for another time.

First, I want to announce that I plan, schedule permitting, to attend Alma-Con in Alma, Michigan, February 5-7. My friend/co-author Eric Anderson will be running a table for his ministry Nerd Chapel in the vendor’s hall, where he will also be selling our devotional, 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom. I’ll be there helping him with his table and a worship service he plans to have that Sunday. Feel free to come see us.

Now on to the main thrust of this blog.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I need to manage my writing time better, especially when I keep getting projects thrown at me and/or I bite off more than I can chew. So, in light of this, I wanted to share with you what I think should be a reasonable amount of material you can expect from me. It may take me a bit of time to get used to this new schedule, so don’t expect me to get into the rhythm immediately. I also reserve the right to change my output at any time.

Regardless, here it is:

-one (maybe two) articles a week for Examiner.
-at least two articles a month for GigaGeek Magazine.
-one (maybe two) blogs a week on my website.
-one “But I Digress…” video a month (with intermittent “Digression” videos as they come to me).

These are the things I want to do with regularity. I’m seeking other freelance opportunities while also writing books, among other things.

Did I mention I’m crazy?

Media Gluttons

By Nathan On January 14th, 2016 | 55 views

My usual New Year’s resolution to downsize and my recent frustrations with time management collided last week, and by their powers combined, turned my mind to a related topic. In this case, the consumption—or rather, overconsumption—of media.

Most of these speculative fiction books I haven't read yet. Don't judge me! (I'll let you guess which ones I have read). :P

Most of these speculative fiction books I haven’t read yet. Don’t judge me! (I’ll let you guess which ones I have read). :P

A big reason I need to downsize is I have a bad habit of buying books on impulse, especially when they’re on sale. As it stands, I have several shelves full of books I haven’t read but intend to. I want read them so I can eliminate them from my collection since I doubt I’ll want to keep them all. Unfortunately, I’m a self-described “story junkie,” so I enjoy multiple forms of media, including video games, TV, and movies. The problem is I can’t keep up with all of it. For example, I’ve lamented several times that there are so many superhero shows on TV, I can’t watch all of them.

I hear friends talking about the video games they’ve played this year, and many of them I haven’t even touched. People rave about TV shows I’ve never even seen. On Goodreads, people make yearly goals for how many books they want to read, some going as high as 100 books (that blows my mind!). Meanwhile, I’m surrounded by screens bombarding me with images and ads about the latest movies and countless other things, many of which I want to experience, but I’m already buried. It’s to the point where I’m finding creative ways to allow myself to be able to listen to audiobooks of some of the books on my shelf despite my car’s sound system being problematic (I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get it fixed).

Should I even bother mentioning that I also enjoy listening to music and podcasts?

It’s no wonder many people nowadays seem to be hyperactive: their brains are constantly being stimulated. I’m reminded of the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ classic book: “All the noise, noise, noise!” The human mind can only take so much. There comes a point where it gets overloaded. I can’t spend my entire day consuming media just to get some notches on my belt. Nobody can. It’s unhealthy. Even if I try to say I’m “socializing” by, say, watching a movie with family and/or friends, it’s not the same as focused attention on those people. It requires meaningful interaction and conversations to foster intimacy. I’m not saying it’s impossible to create that while consuming media (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some great chats with friends while playing video games), but too often media is a distraction. And that’s just one way it can be a hindrance.

Another is that people consume it mindlessly without taking into consideration what they’re consuming. We all know people who just lounge on their recliner and flip through TV stations while complaining there’s “nothing on,” yet they don’t turn the TV off and do something else. I’ve never understood that.

What’s my point in all of this? It’s good, perhaps even necessary, to unplug. Shut off the noise and enjoy people. Take some time for yourself. Your brain needs opportunities to slow down. Yeah, maybe you won’t binge watch season two of Daredevil on Netflix as fast as others, but you may be a more well-rounded person because of it.

What are some ways you overconsume media? Have you cut back? What are some ways you could cut back?

I Should Be Writing, Not Blogging!

By Nathan On January 12th, 2016 | 974 views

It’s been one of those days. Or weeks. Or months.

Not only have I let my writing projects pile up higher than the stack of comics I needed to buy at my local shop (it’s what happens when you neglect to pick them up for two months), but somehow everyone and his dog’s cousin is vying for my attention. I have friends who want to hang out just because, for their birthdays, etc. I sometimes run errands for my family or spend time with them. I have my increasingly demanding “day job.” I have hobbies I try to enjoy now and then.

All of this is eating into my precious writing time. I haven’t penned a word in the next Children of the Wells novella in a month, nor have I touched Hope’s War for a long time. My last Examiner article was in December. Yet here I am firing off a quick little blog because I resolved to be more consistent with posting content on my website. Blogging should be secondary to all my other writings.

I’ve heard that a writer should never blog about how he hasn’t been writing much. I broke that “rule” a long time ago, unfortunately. Besides, I hope I can use it as a lesson for aspiring writers.

Learn to say, “No.”

It’s totally okay to do that.

You’re only one person. You can’t do everything. If you want to be successful at anything—especially writing—it will take sacrifice. You’ll have to turn down many things, even good things, so that you can squeeze in that daily goal of 1,000 words or whatnot. You’ll probably upset some people, but the ones who love you most will understand. In fact, they may eventually adjust their expectations and schedules to better accommodate your goals.

I’m not sure how I became as “popular” as I am. I do, however, know that what I do with my time is my choice. I have no one to blame but myself if I miss a deadline or don’t get something done. I have an active mind that seeks as many creative outlets as possible. I’m also a bit of a weird writer in that I’m extroverted and have to come out of my writer-ly solitude to be with others. All of those things together can create a lot of tension. What am I saying? I know it does because I’m experiencing it right now!

That’s why saying, “No,” is an important skill to have. You can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try. You have to learn to make priorities and stick to them. Otherwise, you’ll lose your mind. I’m sure most loony bins have wards set aside for writers and other creatives who went crazy. You’ll have plenty of collaborators and time to write, but I doubt anyone will publish you. 😛

Anyway, I have places to go, stuff to do, people to kill. (Wait…did I say that out loud?)

My Top 5 Most Viewed Posts of 2015

By Nathan On January 8th, 2016 | 77 views

Happy (belated) New Year, True Believers!

As is common around this time, people are doing retrospectives on the past year, so I thought I’d do something similar. In my case, I’m sharing My Top 5 Most Viewed Blogs of 2015. Admittedly, I didn’t publish blogs as consistently as I should have–consider posting more to be a resolution for 2016–but it was interesting to see what was viewed most often.

So, without further adieu…

Number 5:
Proxy Characters and Wish Fulfillment
Nearly a year ago, I wrote about how authors sometimes create characters who are “Mary Sues,” or characters that they see as idealized versions of themselves. I used Robert E. Howard and his most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian, as my example. I’m still trying to remember where I read that Howard saw Conan this way. I couldn’t find it anywhere online. It must’ve been in a book.

Number 4:
Attacking the Idol
A blog I wrote in response to the backlash I received when I made this satirical video that dared to bash the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It was one of several instances–all within a short span of time–that made me an internet troll magnet. (The other ones being my follow-up video and this essay for the Theology Gaming Blog). I was new to dealing with trolls, so I was a bit overwhelmed. I didn’t handle it as well I could’ve I think. Regardless, it was a learning experience.

Number 3:
Religious Freedom, Discrimination, and Gen-Con
Another controversial blog. It wasn’t necessarily a troll magnet like the ones I mentioned above, but it did get me a lot of attention. Being a Christian, a born-and-raised Hoosier, and a fan of Gen-Con ( I’ve sold books there since 2012), I was disappointed to hear that the convention’s founder was taking Governor Pence to task for the RFRA law he passed, erroneously believing it legalized discrimination against the LGBT community. It sparked some heated debates when I shared in in some Facebook groups.

Number 2:
‘Marvel vs. DC’ Movie coming in 2020!
This was my April Fool’s Day prank. I originally wrote this after seeing a slick fan-made trailer featuring superheroes from both DC Comics and Marvel Comics battling each other. It was published on my Examiner page for about ten minutes before being removed. That annoyed me since I’d seen plenty of joke articles published by other news sources. Regardless, I was proud of satirical efforts. Perhaps I should write for The Onion.

Number 1:
Upcoming Book Signings for 2015
I’m as surprised as you are. This was nothing more than a simple announcement–no bells or whistles or anything–and yet it’s by far my most-viewed post of 2015. Maybe it’s because of all the tags I put in it? Or all the Facebook groups I shared it in? The world may never know.

What was your favorite blog post from my website in 2015?

 

The Christmas Dance

By Nathan On December 24th, 2015 | 132 views

(Author’s note: I haven’t been posting much this month. It is December, after all, and I’ve been busy with the holidays. Regardless, I couldn’t let the season pass by without giving all of you, True Believers, a little gift. So, here’s a Christmas-themed flash fiction for your enjoyment. As you can see, I can write things other than weird speculative fiction. 😛 Merry Christmas!)

The Christmas Dance
By Nathan Marchand

I can’t believe I’m here, I tell myself as I enter the natural history museum’s doors.

A rambunctious crowd of well-dressed people flows through the entry with me. Some of the guys are wearing Santa hats that clash with their fancy suits. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” belts from the huge speakers at the center of the makeshift dance floor under the full-sized whale skeleton suspended from the high ceiling. With deer-like grace, a few couples are already practicing their dance moves. The smell of cookies and hot cocoa is in the air.

I should be with family, not at some…gala, ball, whatever, on Christmas Eve!

Seeing the practicing couples reminds me why I hesitated to come. I’ve only been dancing for a few months and only knew a few styles, some of which I got mixed up, much to my embarrassment. Worst of all, I didn’t have a steady partner.

My stomach ties itself in a knot as I hit an invisible wall. I start to turn back—when I see my reason for coming.

Kara.

She stands at the edge of the dance floor about twenty feet away. Her long strawberry blonde hair hangs over her shoulder in an intricate braid. Her holly-green dress hugs all the right curves of her petite figure while its knee-length skirt all but demands to twirl. White open-toe shoes make her look an inch or two taller and as poised as ever.

She turns and sees me.

My face burns.

She waves at me.

My feet are too heavy to run.

Suddenly, someone brushes me aside as he walks past, jolting me from the trance.

“Nice suit, Ethan!” scoffs a familiar voice. “Where’d you get it? Goodwill?”

I glance back and see Jimmy snickering at me. He’s wearing a black suit and tie that probably cost more than my car. I can’t believe I used to be friends with that jerk. As usual, seeing him leaves me torn between running away and punching him. He smirks at this and starts mingling with the girls.

He always has to rub in what a charmer he is.

The emcee welcomes everyone and plays “Jingle Bell Rock.” I look for Kara, but she’s already on the floor with another guy. It never fails. She’s popular at ballroom dance parties.

I sigh as I lean back against the wall. Jimmy runs by me, leading some poor girl—the first of his many conquests, I assume—by the hand onto the floor. He smirks at me again as they partner-up. I feel like I’ve been stabbed.

The night wears on. I dance with a few girls, but they never seem excited to be with me. Is it because I’m a novice or ugly? Or an ugly novice? I look for Kara after each song, but no sooner does she step off the floor does another guy ask her to dance. Even the Flash wouldn’t be fast enough to catch her! All the while, Jimmy goes from one girl to next, charming them onto the floor. He dances as smoothly as he talks. The entire night I’m never sure if I’m red with anger or green with envy.

I look at my watch. Only ten minutes left. Another song starts playing. Where’s Kara?

I glance over my shoulder and see her standing by herself at the food table, sipping cocoa.

I take a deep breath to steel my nerves. It’s now or never.

I cut through the crowd. She sees me coming and grins. I swallow hard and keep walking. She puts her cup on the table and folds her hands as I approach.

I suddenly find myself within arm’s reach of her. I can smell her lavender perfume. Her emerald eyes meet mine.

“Kara…”

“Yes?”

Jimmy swoops in, grabs Kara’s hand, and leads her away, saying, “Let’s dance!”

Just like that, she’s gone.

I look back at the dance floor. Kara is looking over Jimmy’s shoulder as they foxtrot to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” (Am I the only one who thinks that song is kinda creepy?). Kara smiles awkwardly, her eyes pleading for a rescue.

Clenching my fists, I turn to leave.

I stop.

“No,” I say to myself. “I won’t let that punk steal another girl from me!”

With newfound courage swelling in my chest, I storm onto the dance floor and march toward them, maneuvering between couples. I tap Jimmy on the shoulder. He glares at me, but I don’t care.

“May I cut in?”

Before he can say, “No,” Kara jumps from his arms and into mine.

Instinctively, we start foxtrotting.

A few seconds later, my courage wanes as I realize I’m dancing with the prettiest girl in the room. My palms are so sweaty, I fear my hands will slip from Kara’s grasp.

The song ends. My arms fall out of frame. “Th-thanks.”

I drop my gaze and step away—but Kara grabs my arm.

“This is the last song,” she says, “and I owe you a full dance.”

I shove the words out: “Uh…sure.”

She beams.

I’m breathless.

“All I want for Christmas is You” starts playing. We swing dance to it. I’m so flabbergasted, I can barely do the basic steps and only remember to let Kara turn a few times. Her billowing skirt looks like a blossoming flower each time. She never stops smiling.

The song ends all too soon.

“Thank you for the dance,” Kara says.

I nod. Then I sigh and walk away. The fantasy is over. The clock’s striking midnight.

“Wait!” calls Kara.

I glance back as she rushes toward me. My stomach twists so much, it looks like her hair braid.

“I have a gift for you,” she says, reaching into her dress and producing a card. She takes my hand, puts the card in it, and folds my fingers onto it. “Merry Christmas!” she adds, gazing at me for several long seconds.

She walks past me.

I’m a frozen statue as people clear the floor, but eventually I look at the card.

It’s her phone number!

I turn around just in time to see Kara walk off the floor and wink at me.

My mouth curls into a smile.

I know what I’m doing for New Year’s Eve.

But I Digress…, Episode 33: How to Make a Great Book Selling Pitch

By Nathan On December 1st, 2015 | 95 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand
Finally! A new episode! It’s my 3rd anniversary special, which as usual is all about selling books at conventions (sorry–“Avengers: Age of Ultron” review will come later). In this episode, I give tips for crafting a great pitch to use to attract readers and sell your books to them.
The blog post I mentioned: http://www.nathanjsmarchand.com/?p=2012
Please comment, subscribe, and share!

100 Things I’m Thankful for in 2015

By Nathan On November 26th, 2015 | 110 views

Happy Thanksgiving, True Believers!

As is my annual holiday tradition, here’s my list of what I’m thankful for this year (it’s kinda what the holiday is about, right?). It’s a great exercise not only to keep one humble but also to remind oneself of what he has instead of focusing on what you lack. It’s a great way to keep perspective.

So, without further adieu and in no particular order (except the first few)…

  1. God the Father, for His unfailing love and faithfulness.
  2. Jesus Christ, Whose death and resurrection saved mankind.
  3. The Holy Spirit, Who guides me everyday.
  4. My salvation.
  5. The Bible.
  6. My wonderful family.
  7. That I’m an uncle.
  8. My nephew, Landis.
  9. My amazing friends.
  10. My equally amazing writer friends.
  11. For all the conventions I attended this year.
  12. My car, which I named Silver Sable.
  13. My church.
  14. For volunteering with RemedyLive.
  15. All my gaming consoles and video games.
  16. My book collection.
  17. My movie collection.
  18. My “new” laptop.
  19. My music collection.
  20. My day job.
  21. That I’ve paid down my student loans almost $2,500 since February.
  22. My cosplays.
  23. That I’m a published author.
  24. Hades Publications, which published my first novel and still has me under contract.
  25. CreateSpace, which publishes my self-published books.
  26. That I published two new books this year (Ninjas and Talking Trees & 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom)
  27. My strong sense of justice.
  28. The house I live in.
  29. My talent for writing.
  30. all for One Productions.
  31. Volunteering for afO (see #25).
  32. My YouTube show, “But I Digress…”.
  33. For being part of the team writing Children of the Wells.
  34. For writing for www.Examiner.com.
  35. For writing for www.GigaGeekMagazine.com.
  36. That I joined Twitter.
  37. That I was able to pitch a book to a publisher on Twitter.
  38. For all the podcasts I’ve been on this year.
  39. That I’m creative.
  40. My intellectual mind.
  41. My poet’s soul.
  42. My warrior’s heart.
  43. That I can read.
  44. My “new” iPhone 5S.
  45. That I’m an American.
  46. That I’m a Hoosier.
  47. Summertime.
  48. October (wonderful month!)
  49. Changing seasons.
  50. Fans For Christ.
  51. Christian Gamers Guild.
  52. GameChurch.
  53. My “famous” T-shirt collection.
  54. My sense of humor.
  55. Puns.
  56. The Constitution, which lists my inalienable rights.
  57. My “superpowers” (rarely get sick, my “BS” sense, look much younger than I am, heal fast from injuries).
  58. My health.
  59. Netflix.
  60. That I got to meet some awesome celebrities this year (Jenna Coleman, Carey Fischer, Sophie Aldrich, Summer Glau, Marina Sirtis, John de Lancie, etc.)
  61. My camera.
  62. My knack for photography.
  63. Pretzels.
  64. Exercising at the gym.
  65. My TARDIS cookie jar.
  66. Freelance Writers Den.
  67. My comic book collection.
  68. Chimp’s Comics.
  69. B.E. Comics.
  70. My board game collection.
  71. My nerdiness.
  72. The police and their service.
  73. The military and their service.
  74. My journal(s).
  75. My website (www.NathanJSMarchand.com).
  76. My fandoms.
  77. Gen-Con.
  78. The family pets (6 cats a dog).
  79. Barnes and Noble.
  80. Spaghetti.
  81. Highland toffee (the family recipe)
  82. www.Amazon.com.
  83. Movie theatres.
  84. My college degree.
  85. Running water.
  86. That I’m tall.
  87. That I still have all my hair.
  88. Football.
  89. That I got to play softball with great co-workers/friends.
  90. (Most of) My coworkers.
  91. The generosity of others.
  92. The TUFW Alumni and Friends Center.
  93. That I attended TUFW.
  94. The YMCA.
  95. For living in the countryside.
  96. Plumbing.
  97. The Internet.
  98. Ballroom/social dancing.
  99. Dance Tonight and its magnificent staff.
  100. And finally…that there’s a new Star Wars film!!! 😀

What are you thankful for this year?

Setting Boundaries (or, “The Line Must Be Drawn Here!”)

By Nathan On November 19th, 2015 | 180 views

Remember that classic Picard speech from Star Trek: First Contact? Lately, I’ve found myself quoting its most famous line:

Except it’s supposed to be “farther.” That was the actual line and proper usage. (Yes, I’m a grammar Nazi). Silly meme. :P


Why? Because I’ve realized I need to set boundaries for myself. No, I’m not talking about ways to keep people from touching me or whatnot. This has to do with time management, something I’ve written about here in many past blogs.
The problem I have is I tend to take on as many projects as possible. Some of them, like my YouTube show, are self-imposed. Others I volunteer for impulsively. For example, my editor at GigaGeek Magazine said she got an advance copy for a hardback book collecting reprints of early Superman comics and wanted someone to write a review. I jumped at it despite 1) already trying to make a video with a fellow Giga writer (which still isn’t done); 2) attempting to write at least two reviews a week for Examiner.com (which I’ve been lax on); 3) writing a new novella for Children of the Wells (which I wanted to do as a mini-NaNoWriMo); 4) writing the sequel to Pandora’s Box (which I haven’t touched in months); 5) going to book signings (which I’m thankfully done with for the rest of 2015); 6) working a part-time day job that feels like a full-time job; and 7) trying to spend time with family and friends. Among other things.

Phew!

I think I might be something of a workaholic overachiever—except I’ve let my attention get so divided, I haven’t made much progress on many of my projects. Heck, I haven’t blogged in nearly a month despite the fact that I promised myself I’d post one each Tuesday and/or Thursday each week. I used to be crazy-good (for the most part) at time management back in college. I had set routines and rituals. I knew how long each assignment would take me. But I was just concerned with getting good grades, not making a living. On the other hand, not everything I do to make money I enjoy, so I look for avenues through which to be creative and/or promote myself (hence my YouTube channel).

The worst part of being an independent author is most, if not all, of the promotion I have to do myself. I can’t just sit down and write all day while a marketing department makes me famous. I really, really wish I could most days. Then I could feel like what I do in my free time—i.e. my social life, etc.—didn’t have to compete with everything else I do. At least, that’s what I’d like to think would happen.

Being that I have a very practical/pragmatic father and graduated college shortly before the “Great Recession,” I picked up this habit of taking whatever opportunity I could get and not wasting it. Subsequently, I developed a desire to try new things to get myself out of a subpar situation (again, hence my YouTube channel) because it seemed like traditional methods weren’t working. It’s a weird combination of what seems like diametrically opposed mentalities. (Have I ever mentioned that human beings are weird, and I tend to be weirder than most?) 😛

With 2016 approaching, it’s time to make some changes. I’m not sure what all of those will be, but I do know that it’ll involve saying, “No,” to some things I’ve been saying, “Yes,” to, and vise versa.

More on that as it develops.