Essays, Eric Burns and the 99% you’ll never see

Once upon a time, I hated to write essays. In English class, which I always managed to get good grades in, even when I didn’t do hardly any of the homework, there were always the friggin’ essays. I never saw the point of them, and you know what? I was right.

Writing for an English class is completely different than writing for an actual audience on the WWW. The things I write here are (miraculously) read by more than just the teacher, or worse, a bunch of people I despise. Yeah, there were people I didn’t despise in High School. My best freinds were some of them. But I couldn’t just take classes with my freinds, and so I never had any real motivation to write essays before, and so I never turned in any essays on time. I still received good English grades in spite of this, which should tell you there’s a lot more to that story, but the incompetance in the British Education System is a subject for another time.

Writing on the WWW is a billion times more wonderful and easy than writing… eccccchhhh, I can barely write the word… homework for a class in a school where, every day and in every way they can get away with, most the other students are reminding you of how envious/spiteful/ignorant/stupid/just-plain-evil they are. It didn’t matter how nice and good a teacher Miss Story (who had the perfect name for an English teacher until she got married, dang it) was. It was the rest of the school, including a just a couple of the teachers who shall remain nameless, that kept me from wanting to do homework for “them”. Why, just why, should I bother doing homework for them when, in spite of how I tried to treat them, they treated me and my siblings like garbage? Yeah I could have said “I guess I’m really doing it for the grades, not for them”, but then why would we read our essays in front of the class? Feh, don’t give me that crap. So, yeah, this is waaaaaaayyyyyy cooler than writing for High School. This is writing on the WWW. Which brings me to Websnark.

Eric Burns, a.k.a. Websnark is a guy who’s only 4 years older than me and is considerably smarter. I know this, not just from the quality of his writing but also from this post in particular. http://www.websnark.com/archives/2005/11/waiting_for_the.html (Pomerantz kids be alert: he does use the f-word in that post) I have experienced some of the symptoms he described, but rarely to the same degree.

For example, when I get a new novel, especially a Terry Pratchett novel, I really like to read the whole thing in one day. We’re talking 400+ words, and I consider that light reading. That’s with 100% retention of the details. I can’t afford to buy new books anymore, because I would read them at a faster rate than I can afford to buy them with the wages I currently make. That’s part of why I like to watch TV so much: the show is presented at a nice pace, during which I can make up my own commentary in my head if I wish, and I’m forced to take it in weekly or daily “doses” so it doesn’t get “used up” all at once. Harry Potter book 6 had to be read in two parts due to work and sleep, but within 25 hours of starting it I was finished.

As another example of “Brain Demands You Do This! Do As Brain Says!”, when I’m on the Internet and especially when I’m typing You Don’t Bother Me. I have learned to tolerate some interruptions because the apparent temporary-helplessness of my mother seems to increase whenever I’m in the middle of a weblog post (Why doesn’t she bother my siblings instead? Because I’m right there and they’re not.). However, when my mind is on a thought, I like to get it out. Since I started this weblog, and especially since the advent of MyBlogWriMo I’ve had a lot of thoughts about blog posts/essays I’ve wanted to write and consequently I’ve been thinking more about writing about reality. Whereas, for about two decades preveiously I never, ever wanted to write anything other than fiction in many different forms. But regardless of what I’m writing, I’m Writing It Now. Mom doesn’t always understand this, and for the sake of not getting kicked out of the house I do come when she starts screaming, but generally when I’m sitting down to write, I Write And You Shall Not Stop Me. Unless You Are Mom.

Poor Eric’s brain is apparently wired much faster than mine, as you can read in his post. I can tolerate going to work, thinking of Buffy fanfiction/Savage Worlds stuff/weblog posts/Supertime/other stuff I want to write and knowing that 99% of everything I think of will never be written down. All day I think of things and say to myself “well I’ll probably never finish X, or heck even start X but maybe if I have time and I remember X I’ll make a couple notes when I have time”.

Because we need the money. I don’t have the on-paper qualifications to make real money (unless the Novel thing pays off, and Mom seems to be more supportive of my efforts recently), so I have to make sandwiches for money. So I (currently) can’t afford the luxury of getting upset that I don’t have the time to express all the things I think of creatively and maybe make a whole bunch of cool things I might get paid for. I can afford enough time away from making sandwiches for exactly two things right now: MyBlogWriMo, which is almost over anyway, and Supertime. Because Supertime is a genuine Potential Money Maker. Despite my mad programming and art skillz (that’s a Xenogears reference, in case you don’t get the joke), it would take too long to make Money off of them. Finishing a real game or doing a real web-comic would have been my first choices a year ago, but I can’t make money off of them fast enough. No, I don’t have the time to pull a John Carmack or a Pete Abrams, but I might be able to pull a J.K. Rowling. Because, in spite of what I’d like, my writing skills are much sharper than my coding and drawing. And maybe, just maybe, when I’m established as a book-writer, I might be able to land a gig writing for comics or video games. Or television. Or movies. Or RPG books like Eric does.

But apparently poor Eric’s brain isn’t as easily tamed as mine is. I used to be that way, especially in High School, before I was finally forced to dump 99% of what I thought every day because I couldn’t make money from any of it. Apparently, Eric gets stuck on all 100% until he gets some of it out some way. I guess that’s why Websnark has had so much content all this time and I’ve only been doing daily posts since a few weeks ago.

When I started this post, I was worried about getting a couple paragraphs down, because my brain feels a bit fuzzy due to the cold or flu or whatever is invading my body at the moment. Apparently my brain is working fine, even though at least part of it is screaming at me to go get an early night’s sleep even though I took a nap earlier. I hope I can work tomorrow. If I’m too sick to work, I guess I’ll be typing another nice long post.

That’s all for now.

EDIT: It turns out Eric Burns didn’t write that post. Wednesday did. I guess Wednesday really is smarter than me since I can’t even pay attention to the little “Wednesday: Waiting for the atomoxetine.” line at the top… But I do have a cold, you know.

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