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Captain's Log - JSmith


JSmith

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Hey man been scimming through some of your past entires, and most of your new ones. This might be a sore subject, but when you relapsed, what do you think led to it?

 

I think i have a lot in common with you tbh, you seem to be motivated mostly by "logical" thinking, and have had troubles with fleeting interests. I'm really hope you have some insights into pitfalls, since i'm new into this venture

 

Anyways glad to see you are back on the wagon, and i hope you get your job mate!

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@JanG Which time? I relapsed a few times :(

Basically what it comes down to is that voice in my head that keeps telling me I don't need to quit gaming all the way, that I can somehow manage it and turn out alright. For the last month or so that's sort of been the case...I was writing daily and getting therapy and applying to school and work and I was still able to game, but what I realized was that A) I would progress much faster with my goals if I just dropped gaming, B) The games I was playing (particularly mobile games) were complete garbage designed only to make you spend money, and the games I really wanted to play I couldn't because of my living situation, which leads to C) I didn't even really like gaming in this manner, but I still did it because it made me feel better about my life, like I was still making progress in something. Needless to say I've snapped out of it.

College (right after I withdrew) was a little more complicated. I remember feeling upset about my lack of success despite giving up gaming, and jealous that all my college roommates were gamers (and fucking getting in my way at that) despite still being able to keep up with schooling. In retrospect, the first day I saw them all playing super smash bros in my dorm room, I should have got the fuck out of there, by any means necessary. Instead I thought I could handle it, especially since I only had like 30 days left in my detox, and afterwards I let my frustrations get to me. Oh well.

My Dad even warned me. He told me over a text that the conflict with my roommate was probably going to get worse but I should just try my best and see how it goes, something like that. Okay, no more brooding over the past.

Day 5

I did literally what I said I would do in my last post. Woke up, exercised, went shopping, then got to work. Took a bus down to the library of this nearby college. Banged out my minimum daily writing quota, and I only had to take two short breaks, which surprised me the most. My muscles are hurting, and I was afraid I was gonna fatigue out again like yesterday, but I held through.

Probably didn't need to go to the mall though, to be honest. Expensive and unnecessary treats :( probably would have been better off just grabbing food at home and heading back to the library. But I earned it and I had the time, so whatevs. Then I walked to the bookstore to try some more writing...and I fatigued out. Maybe only 30 minutes of extra credit? This outline is getting really big. So basically three hours today, though I think I'm gonna try and squeeze out a little more writing before bed tonight. Might as well.

My mind feels cluttered after just finishing this movie. Someone was watching reality tv in the living room, and there's no way I can try to write with that in the background, so I just let it go. It was this action movie and I was super hyped watching it, but now I feel this heaviness. Hopefully I can snap out of it. Haven't watched a movie in a while though, so I don't feel too guilty, and like I said, I don't think anything productive would have happened in that time period anyways.

Tomorrow is super easy. Wake up, exercise, and then writing. Okay, simple, not easy.

 

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Thanks for your thoughts.

I'm still new here so i don't want to sound like a wiseguy, but i have accepted that me and my friends are different beings, and that they can handle their games, while i cannot. They are not addicts, or they aren't nearly as addicted as i was, and are capable of having a life next to gaming. Sadly im not like that, but because i know that i wont feel "cheated" when other people are able to control their lives while having the pleasures of gaming.

It's my weakness, not their strength. But i feel healthy knowing that is how it is.

Stay strong pal!

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Day 6

I'm very tired.

In fact, I don't recall feeling tired like this in a very long time. It's only 11pm. My mental battery is empty. I'm ready to go to sleep. Feels kind of like back in high school, after long nights of homework, as opposed to staying up all night playing games until your body literally can't function. That's a different tired.

Exercise was fine. Hoping my muscles will regenerate enough for strength training tomorrow. Still feel like this is kind of an unnecessary goal, but I'll see how it goes. I'm getting better at the cardio every day, though.

Was forced to take a cold shower this morning, thanks to a certain someone I live with who likes to take long showers, despite sharing a single bathroom with two other people...oh well. I thought I was going to pass out from the shock. I've heard that cold showers can give you a good mental boost, and for a while I did feel kind of a silly sort of giddiness, if only for feeling so ridiculous for trying such a thing. But it was short lived. It was cold in the apartment, it was cold outside, and by the time I got to the library, I felt pretty miserable to be honest. Oh well.

Slow start to my writing quota. Spent a lot of time trying to organize this trip I have to take to my college soon, and then my therapist finally got back to me and I ended up crafting a rather elaborate post to answer her questions. By the time I opened up my novel outline, I was drained. Took some time to get going again, but eventually I did it. Okay, I need to go to bed.

 

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.19.2018 | Day 7

So work on my novel outline today came to a halt, and rather spectacularly I might add, after I found a massive scientific plot hole in my notes. So I spent the large majority of my time today going back to research. Nuclear physics is complicated...conceptual online sources are too disparate in their language, and a textbook I picked up on "Introductory" Nuclear Physics was too comprehensive, and math heavy. I didn't even know what questions to ask to know what I needed to know to create what I needed to create. Maybe I just need more time. Even got in an extra hour of work after reaching the quota to try and tackle this issue.

And now I just feel stupid about the whole thing again. Why am I working so hard to create fiction? It's just...fiction. But I already got this far, might as well finish it.

Well, it's not just about sharing fiction, when I think about it. It's about sharing an image, a vision. Still it feels silly, since it's not real.

Job interview seemed to go fine. Tried not to kill myself in the gym today, that went fine. Filled out my residential application for school in the Fall, scared about that. I really need a single. Gonna see if I can pull some strings.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.20.2018 | Day 8

Managed to come up with a decent enough fix for the plot hole I discovered yesterday, hopefully. The science is never going to be 100% on point, because the more you get into it the more complicated it gets, especially when you start talking about things that aren't real. I just hope it's realistic enough for the people that eventually read about it. Finally got to continue on with the actual outline, where I'm basically at the end of the novel and all of the major shit is about to go down. Unlike a typical story structure you might have heard in high school (rising action, climax, falling action...) mine so far appears as one giant rollercoaster climb, with no drop really. Well, not until the end. I'm so fucking scared.

Been feeling some gaming urges lately, particularly around that Star Wars mobile game I used to play. I just miss playing around with my collection of Jedi characters. All I need to do is remember that the game is a money grab that offers you no real control over how or when you play and takes advantage of its Star Wars fan base, people like me. Still, that feeling that I'm missing out...it's a rather strong FORCE...but of course that's exactly what they do, release new content at the right time to keep people interested, and by that I mean SPENDING. Honestly games like this shouldn't even be legal. Yeah yeah, it's our responsibility not to lose control, yeah yeah, but it's clearly predatory in nature. Whatever, I'm off the soap box.

I'm just gonna wrap this up and get back to my outline actually, because this novel isn't gonna write itself. It's only been 8 days? Damn.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.21.2018 | Day 9

Workout today was killer. Pushups, sit-ups, squats, 25 minute spin. Spent a long time in there too, longer than I thought it was going to take. I was so hungry too :( should probably have just gotten up earlier instead of letting it get worse while I'm in bed. Now I'm super grateful I can relax in the gym tomorrow doing only the spinning. I just hope I'm doing things correctly. Still not too sure about the sit-ups...they're more like very mild crunches, since I can't seem to get my back off the floor. Back muscles have been hurting a little too, but I hope it's just soreness.

Very productive writing day as well. Was nervous as first because my primary and backup writing locations were both closed due to "inclement" weather (the snow wasn't even sticking to the streets...people just wanna be lazy), but the place I ended up at wasn't too bad. I'm at a very exciting place in my novel outline. I like to try and at least partially design the dialogue ahead of time, and I had to go through some important ones. I should be finished either tomorrow or the day after. Then the real work begins.

Received an interesting message from my counselor yesterday. We talk often about relationships, and right before I gave her several reasons why I thought being in a relationship right now would be a terrible idea, even though it's ultimately something I want. She then asked me to gauge my level of "true drive" vs "true anxiety" and ask myself whether I thought of the reasons as legitimate worries or am just coming up with excuses to not take any action on the matter. I was stumped for a little bit, but I do see them as legitimate worries. Sometimes I think it's smart to wait...okay I'll just list them here very briefly.

1. I have no private space. Taking my girlfriend "home" is out of the question.

2. I'm going back to college in 6 months...more like 5 actually. What's the point?

3. I have a sexual anxiety-related issue I'm currently working to improve. 

4. I have low self-esteem and very high physical expectations when it comes to women. I suspect this is because of porn.

I told her earlier I would rather wait until I was a better version of myself, and then perhaps I could find a woman that matched that version. Anyways I don't know if anyone else has struggled with any of this, so I figured why not put it down here. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Probably gonna eat now, and then see what more writing I can get done. It's amazing how much time goes by when I'm doing so little. But I guess that was the plan all along. Quality > Quantity.

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To me being in partnership is about growing together. When you speak to wanting to be at a certain "place" first before being in a relationship it's speaking to a fixed mindset of growth instead of a continued evolution of yourself (growth mindset). That doesn't mean that your current partner is one who you feel like you can continue to grow forward with, and that's totally OK, but making the decision out of your highest good instead of fear "I'm not enough right now" is to be navigated.

I'm not sure how open you are about your sexual anxiety-related challenge, but I relate to sexual anxiety as well and just as an example, last night was talking with the girl I'm dating about it. I believe it's important to have her support in my healing, and my healing is actually more powerful when done together, again as an example of partnership instead of trying to do things on my own (our own). It's our own internal work to do, but the support of partnership is welcome. 

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@Cam Adair Interesting thoughts, thank you. I have been told that concept of “growing together” before, now that I think about it. Maybe...if I was more focused on finding someone who wants to “grow” in the same direction as me, instead of someone who was already “there”, then I wouldn’t need to wait. 

That would be amazing if I found someone who was willing to help me deal with my sexual related problems, but from what I read and hear, women don’t seem to want to bother with men that can’t “please” them, so I just get scared. Of course, it could be all in my head. I don’t actually know if this is a real problem or not. If I do manage to get a girlfriend I’ll report back haha, otherwise I’m just going on my gut feeling right now. 

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.22.2018 | Day 10

Today was slow.

Felt really weak at the gym. All I had to do was cardio, but it felt like my legs were lagging behind, and my heart. Feeling a little nervous for tomorrow.

Crashed right after just 30 minutes at the library doing some writing. Don't know why I suddenly ran out of energy, but I had to take a short nap before I could continue on. Finished my minimum quota maybe 40 minutes ago? These ending scenes are taking forever, and they're so complex. It looks simple on a spreadsheet, but you don't realize how much detail is required until going further in. It's frustrating, honestly. I just want to be done with the fucking thing. Can't rush...good works take time. I'm definitely done for the night though. Gonna get back to my counselor and then I'll just watch a movie or something.

If anybody on here likes metal, you should totally check out this album called "Heart" by The Artificials. They're a relatively new band and their music is amazing. I picked up the album 2-3 weeks ago and I'm still listening to it. Just felt like sharing.

That's all for me tonight.

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23 hours ago, JSmith said:

@Cam Adair Interesting thoughts, thank you. I have been told that concept of “growing together” before, now that I think about it. Maybe...if I was more focused on finding someone who wants to “grow” in the same direction as me, instead of someone who was already “there”, then I wouldn’t need to wait. 

That would be amazing if I found someone who was willing to help me deal with my sexual related problems, but from what I read and hear, women don’t seem to want to bother with men that can’t “please” them, so I just get scared. Of course, it could be all in my head. I don’t actually know if this is a real problem or not. If I do manage to get a girlfriend I’ll report back haha, otherwise I’m just going on my gut feeling right now. 

As someone who probably fits the description of 'woman', I hope I can reassure you that there are those of us out there that would not be put off by 'men that can't please them'. 

The thing is, women get sexual anxiety too, and this fosters empathy towards others in a similar boat.. not resentment. 

Also, relationships are so much more than sex. Yes, it's often an important component, but I don't think it should ever be the most important thing. Plus, when a couple are able to overcome issues together it makes their relationship all the more stronger for it. Rather than seeing your anxiety as a weakness, try and see it as an opportunity for growth. Finally, when it comes to an issue such as sexual anxiety - something I myself have struggled with - it's pretty hard to tackle on your own. You kinda need to just let go and allow someone to help, eventually. And if a person doesn't care about you enough to help, then they're probably not worth your time anyway. 

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.23.2018 | Day 11

Did a shit ton of writing today, because my outline was almost finished. And now it's done. 72 pages of meh, and I know I'll most likely be making tons of edits still, but it's good to know everything that's going to happen in my novel, and now I can just focus on making it sound good. Tomorrow I plan on doing a general plot review, making sure that the elements I give away are done just right and nothing comes off as confusing, and then I'll print it. My biggest fear is that the novel will still be too short. Typical length for a sci-fi novel is around 100,000 words, and I'm not sure if I have THAT much content. Needless to say I'm excited about moving forwards.

Okay so I thought it was 180,000 words, but I just looked up the source and 100,000 doesn't seem nearly as bad. Still though, I'll have to see.

Exercise was brutal today, again. My arms are still so weak, I've actually been doing less pushups than when I started over a week ago, because the soreness simply isn't gone. And I'm still struggling with proper form for crunches. Even tried putting my feet against the wall for the support, and it just hurt my back. But I don't have to tackle strength training again until Monday, so a nice break at least.

It's so weird standing in the middle of the exercise floor, looking at all of these muscular people around me doing all sorts of things. And here is my scrawny self struggling to do basic pushups. But I've accepted it. It's where I am right now, and if I keep it up, I'll get better. It is what it is.

@Bugg Thanks for your input. I guess I've been focusing too much on the negative stories.

My counselor is still pushing for me to think about "actions" I would take to get into a relationship right now, despite everything I already said about preferring to wait. A long time ago I was in a group therapy session and I went around the room asking everyone how it was they ended up with their partners. The one common trait among all their stories (male and female) was that there was no "trying" involved. They were just going about their lives and shit happened. Makes me wonder if I should bother. Obviously my chance is pretty much zero if I just stay home all day, but I've already been out the house WAY more often since I quit playing video games. Just...not trying to get girls.

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You’re writing a sci-fi novel?? That sounds amazing! That is going to feel so good when it’s finished. Also I feel you on the arm weakness thing - it should have a term like ‘Gamer Arms: Spent so long gaming that your arms are now jelly’. :’) 

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.24.2018 | Day 12

Finished the plot review and printed the full outline like I said I would. Was doing flips in my head on the way to the office store to get it printed out. I'm really doing this. It feels freaking crazy still. The printer took so long to get all the pages out, I had to sit down. Extra credit after my minimum quota was going over the whole thing again and then getting started formatting my technically second draft. My first draft was very unfinished, but I am starting over so technically it's a new draft I guess. I don't bother counting how much time I spend writing after the minimum; the quota is only there for me to hold myself accountable to getting work done every day.

Courier New is an awful font to read, I don't know how publishers look at it. I think I'll stick with Calibri and then switch once it's finished, to fit "Standard Manuscript Format".

@Tycoon Yes, I definitely have a mean case of Gamer Arms. Got this really bad sore spot from my right shoulder to my chest as well. Funny thing is I'm already starting to see the difference in the mirror. Then again, I suppose going from "no muscle" to "a little muscle" isn't very hard to spot XD maybe I should take a selfie and compare in 6 weeks, if I was into that kinda thing.

The bookstore where I had my job interview said they would get back to me this week, but nothing. Might have to his the job boards again soon. Other than that, simply looking forward to getting this draft going tomorrow.

 

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I'm so used to working out every day I actually forgot to mention it in this post. It was just cardio, but I noticed I was able to spin a lot faster than usual this time around. I don't really want to start doing the whole counters thing again, though it has its uses.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.25.2018 | Day 13

13 days, huh...I'm a little surprised. Every day feels really long, and yet they're coming and going. I don't mind.

Exercise was solid today. Pushed myself really hard on the bike, had a nice high heart rate for a while. I can't believe tomorrow is Monday already. Back to strength training...

Smashed that minimum writing quota early today, and did tons of extra credit as well. Strong start to my second draft. I'll admit it's pretty easy for now, since I'm still using most of the content I already had written on my first unfinished draft. Once I get to around 90 pages I'll be writing from the outline only, but like I mentioned earlier it's pretty comprehensive so I don't expect to ever be stuck thinking "what's going to happen next?" unlike my first draft. Pretty exciting stuff.

That's...it. That's the most important stuff. Wow, pretty short.

I really hope my counselor gets back to me tomorrow now that the weekend is over :P there's a thought.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.26.2018 | Day 14

Ahhhh, strength training sucks! It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. No seriously though, I'm actually doing a little better than last week. Did a few more pushups, still struggling with crunches but the amount was okay, and I killed it on the squats. Squats are so fucking intense, I hardly believe it. You just bend straight down and back up. But after a bunch in a row my legs are burning and my heart's racing like I just went on a sprint and my head's pounding. Freaking crazy. The last set is the worst. I had to do more in that set than any in my previous sets, and I just kept going until my legs buckled and I collapsed to the ground. Just like last week haha.

Very productive on the writing today. I'm at 10,000 words already. Again, still pretty easy while I catch up to the end of my first draft, somewhere around 25k, but I'm still typing everything from scratch. I just like the idea of retyping and making adjustments on the way as opposed to reading my old text and trying to cut and replace certain segments while keeping the rest intact. Seems tedious. Did lots of extra credit too. At least a solid hour bonus. Can't wait to get back at it tomorrow, after my cardio ONLY workout.

I've been spending too much money on eating out. It's easy, and it makes me feel good. I may be partaking in a mild form of "sad" or "stress" eating, to be honest. You know how it goes. I should really just pack a lunch or something for when I go to the library to write, but it's something to look forward to. I know it's slowly gonna burn a hole in my bank account. Unless the bookstore calls me back...like they said they would. Still waiting on that.

My counselor did get back to me, and apparently I should get my thyroid checked. I'm cold sensitive and apparently that has something to do with it, and it might help my mood. I do hate the cold, and ALL air conditioning. I feel like public places always overdo it. Always. During my summer stay at my old college (when I first started this journal!) I kept my room at 74 degrees and that way I didn't have to wear a sweater indoors. Is that too high?

I don't know what else to say to my counselor. We reached a sort of mutual understanding on this whole relationship thing I've been going on about, and she just told me to consider how I want to expose myself to opportunities to meet people and potential partners, when I feel ready. Makes sense, and I've definitely thought about it. I guess, when I am ready, I'll start tackling it. But for now, eh. My membership subscription renews in about an hour, and I'm not sure if it's worth the cost to continue. Damn, I should have thought about this earlier.

I suppose one more month can't hurt too bad, especially since I'm still getting 50% off until April. I really hope I get this bookstore job. I'll give them 4 days to call me.

I almost forgot to mention, I had a vivid dream last night about a video game. Well, two technically. I dreamt I was playing some weird combination of League of Legends and World of Warcraft. I really regret that the pinnacle of my gaming "career" also occurred at the lowest point of my real life, but I suppose that's typical, isn't it? I had it all - skill, rank, and probably the most important factor to me, respect. The respect of my guildmates. I was the best of the best, and they all knew it.

I have to share this story. One day many years ago I logged in to WoW to do some arenas. I needed points to get gear, just like everyone else in the ranked ladder. I got a message in seconds from someone in our guild. She was a really good healer and she was doing arenas with this other warrior in our guild, but as soon as I logged in he was like "no go do arenas with him he's much better and he needs points". So I accepted her offer and we did the battles I needed and we won all of them.

I was very happy. If that's not respect, I don't know what the fuck is.

I've tried to chase that in the real world in one day or another. I think my time in my school's karate club was the closest I ever got to it. I did pretty well and won some tournaments here and there and people were really impressed. But it still never felt quite the same.

I don't even know what the point of sharing this was. I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest. I really fucking miss those times. Maybe by writing about it here I'll think about it less during the day. I don't know.

Anyways, sorry if I triggered anyone. And sorry about the wall of text. It is what it is.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.27.2018 | Day 15

Gonna try and make this quick because my allergies are killing me again. I even took my medicine this morning. I need to see a doctor.

Exercise was good. Pushed myself harder than ever before doing cardio on the bike. Was less sore afterwards as well. This is a good sign I think. Got attacked by allergies right after. I've been taking Flonase to try and help with that (and it's not even that warm yet) but I may need to go back to double doses for a little while, and try to take them at the same time every day. Made everything else I did today just miserable.

Writing was productive. Did the minimum plus lots of extra credit. The draft is coming along nicely. I seem to be averaging about 5000 words a day, but again I expect that to go down once I'm only looking at the outline. Part of me want to get through the rest of it tomorrow so I can get to the truly fresh content. If I can get through 10,000 more words, haha. I even resisted eating out, and just took the bus home instead, as a little break in between for lunch.

Saw an old high school friend today right as I was about to go home, after I had enough extra credit. We didn't talk or anything, I just saw her in the window and she waved. I waved back. Made me miss my high school friends, but it also made me think about all the mistakes I made back then. It's a weird dual thing. I want to see my old friends again, but I'm also trying to leave the past behind. It's a struggle, and living close to where I grew up isn't helping.

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I had a really disturbing dream last night. Don't click if you're sensitive to current events, or just in general.

Spoiler

I was one of those mass shooters you hear about all the time in the news nowadays. I won't get into the graphic details, since they're not really relevant, and I'm sure you can use your imagination. I have no idea why I did the things that I did, and I don't remember feeling anything in particular. Not anger, not sadness, not anything, only this odd in-the-moment rush. But what bothered me the most was what happened at the very end. I've only watched myself "die" in a dream once before, and never by my own hand. But when I finally put the rifle to my head and pressed the trigger, I was, without being lucid, fully expecting to die, for my existence to turn into nothing. And for a second I though I had. But I didn't. I didn't even wake up. Instead my eyes opened again and I had fallen off a balcony and everyone had found me, and they started rushing at me and clawing at me, like they were trying to devour me or something. I found another gun lying by the side and I pressed it to my head and pulled the trigger and I felt my head throb, but again I didn't die. And all I remember is lying there in fear that I would be viciously torn apart. And then I woke up.

Honestly I think it's because of a movie I recently watched a few times. John Wick: Chapter 2. Still, it was a crazy fucking dream.

 

I had a second dream as well, though nothing like the first. I dreamt that I was reunited with this girl I was completely in love with, in kindergarten. I somehow found myself back to her house (which is odd because I never knew where she lived IRL) and she appeared and she took my hand and smiled, and then she offered her arm and I took it, like those fancy couples who are about to dance or something. I don't remember much else, I think we were in a car or something about to go somewhere. I guess the reason I bring up this dream as well is because it's been a pretty significant source of anxiety for me as well when it comes to relationships. I feel a lot of regret because back then I remember the moments I shared with that girl, even after kindergarten, since I still saw her from time to time, and they were really nice moments. But afterwards I felt a lot of guilt, like I had done something wrong, or evil, which now I know was completely ridiculous. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I spent my early school years in a church building, but that's a different story. But the point is, that thing I want so much now, I had back then, so many years ago. But I was unjustifiably ashamed, and so I let it go. I let her go.

The last time I saw her was as this church anniversary event/gathering my dad helped set up, since he was the pastor at the time. I was maybe 11 or 12 at the time. This lady who used to teach in my church summer programs said hello to him, and the girl was with her. Later on I was walking on a path beside this huge field, and she was on the other side, with her sister. I saw her look across the field at me, and I glanced back, but I didn't do anything.

 

Anyways, I guess I just wanted these dreams put down for record or something. I didn't mention this in my entries, but I recently started sleeping without my phone for once, to see if I could sleep better. I seem to be able to recall more dreams. I'm going to work on my novel now, lots to do.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.28.2018 | Day 16

Wrote about 6000 words today, which I'm pretty proud of. Got through this massive sequence I had to write and redo parts of, and I'm liking how it looks. At the very end of writing I got this surge of excitement as I was writing this one part. Sometimes I get this feeling that I've really got something here, but of course only time and external reviews will tell. I shared my first draft with only one other person so far and she seemed to really like it, which made me feel pretty good. But she's just one person haha, and a friend at that. Need some neutral eyes. When it's finished.

Nothing else really important happened today and I already talked about the dreams, so I guess I'll just end it here (yes I went to the gym).

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.29.2018 | Day 17

This is by far the longest period of time I've gone without playing any video games, since I completed the 90 day detox more than a year ago. I can't believe how long ago that was, and how different my mind was, compared to now. Just a quick thought.

Exercise was fine. I'm still so not looking forward to strength training tomorrow, and I don't even know why. Once I'm actually there, in the gym, I don't feel dreadful at all, I just do it. But whenever I'm home, I feel different. I know eventually people start actually looking forward to going to the gym, but I guess I haven't reached that point yet.

I was afraid I was feeling a little burnt out today while working on my novel. I was on the bus to head to the library, like I've been doing every day for over two weeks now, and this realization just hit me. I'm going to be doing this for a long time. Every single day, for weeks, months, maybe even a year or two. Hopping on the bus, walking up those stairs to the quiet floor, sitting my ass down in one of those cubicles, and getting to work. Every day, until my novel is done. Until it's freaking done. It'll be a little different once I go back to school, but I'll still be in a library doing a bunch of work every day. Despite everything I've already done, despite how far I've come, it all feels rather daunting still. For a moment I thought "where in the hell am I going to get my motivation from?" but then I remembered, success doesn't come from being motivated. It comes from hard work, from following a system, from grinding. I have to grind. Perhaps counting the days is counter-intuitive.

Good news is I finally finished rewriting all the content from my first draft, and am now working solely from the outline. Did my minimum quota plus a decent chunk of extra credit, but honestly, I don't expect to be doing too much extra credit from here on out. As I predicted, writing from the outline was far more taxing on my mental faculties than writing from a draft, for obvious reasons. I needed a nice long break after some time, and I haven't gotten back to it yet, unlike yesterday. But that's okay. I've done more than enough for the day. I think I'll watch another movie, and then go to bed.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.30.2018 | Day 18

Today hasn't felt like a good day.

Really wasn't up to going to the gym this morning, but I did anyways. Was doing okay until I hurt my leg doing squats. Now the side of my left knee feels swollen and inflamed. I put some ice on it but I really don't know what to expect in the days ahead. I feel like this is my fault; I should have put more effort into making sure I was doing the exercises correctly. I think I was going too far down on the squats. You only need to bend the knees at a right angle.

Completing the writing quota was tough. Night and day difference, now that I'm only following the outline. I thought I had gone into detail enough, that things would be easier as opposed to when I didn't have it before. But the amount of energy it takes to design even the simplest looking scenes...it's astounding, really. Wiped me the fuck out. Didn't feel like doing anything else for the rest of the day after. Nothing productive, anyways. At least I did the minimum. Sitting there at the desk struggling to translate pictures in my head into words, and then I see the words on the page and they read like shit. I know I'll just have to redo it later. Felt like I was wasting my time. Oh well.

Felt some pretty powerful urges to return to gaming today too, once even while I was writing. I think my writing may have caused it even, at least in that moment. Star Wars.

Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars. Star Wars.

GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HEAD.

It's my fault again. I just finished watching The Last Jedi, which came out on dvd recently. I have this mad fucking obsession with being a Jedi Grand Master. Or a Sith Lord. Or something in between. I don't know. And now I'm thinking about that damn Star Wars mobile game I used to play, all the damn time. Those same thoughts I had earlier are back. If you have all this extra time and you're too tired to do anything else after writing, why not play? You can do both. You're missing out on new content. They might release more of your favorite Jedi characters. You don't have to be hardcore about it, you can just play for fun. And of course, I'm not hearing the counter thoughts right now. They are there, I'm just not hearing them.

Part of me feels like I shouldn't even be here. I'm not getting what it is that I want. Maybe I'm in the wrong place. I just want to talk to people. Or maybe just one person. Here we go again.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 3.31.2018 | Day 19

Managed to get cardio in at the gym today, despite the pain in my leg. I think it's improving.

Writing was brutal again, like yesterday. My word count has gone down significantly, and I feel like I'm writing pure junk. This is where the self-doubt comes in, where I feel like I'm wasting my time, that I'm not meant to write a novel, that I should give up. I must push through these feelings. I think, at this point, having a time-based quota is hindering me, because I'm more worried about getting through the pomodoros instead of focusing on the words. So, tomorrow, I will not count the minutes I spend writing. Instead, I will write 2000 words. And however long it takes, is however long it takes. I shouldn't be too worried about quality anyways. One blog I read from a guy who wrote a novel said the purpose of your first draft is solely to discover what it is you're doing wrong, and I know I'll be making edits anyways. I should really focus on just getting something on the page, for now.

Part of me has started to think about what to do if I wanted to meet cool, likeminded people in the real world. Is there somewhere specific I should go? I've been to a dance club once, and I've been inside of a bar this one time (to use the bathroom). But dancing isn't really my thing and I don't drink. Plus, the dance club was full of college kids for some school I don't even go to, so I just felt out of place. Malls are for hanging out with people you've already connected with, something I learned recently, and libraries are for working lol, not socializing. Or maybe I should just talk to random people? That sounds dangerous, though. You don't know who it is you're dealing with. And I don't want friends just to have friends. I'm looking to connect, something a little more specific.

I feel like most of the people around me aren't really like me. I could be wrong, of course, but I've also lived here a while now. The people closest to me, my own family, they are not where I want to be, they don't share the values I have. They're still my family, but they are not a positive influence on my life. In my last job I met plenty of people my age who I easily could have befriended, had I put in the effort. But it was the same kind of thing. They did things I wasn't into, or they just weren't very nice, or there wasn't a connection, plain and simple. I don't know what to think, honestly. A young self-made millionaire told me in an email that if you can't find anyone positive to help you on your journey, you have to go it alone until you make it. I wonder if that's me.

Am I looking for a friend, a girlfriend, or a mentor? I should probably answer that one first. Maybe all three, or at least, elements of all three. I'm just rambling now.

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Captain's Log - JSmith | 4.1.2018 | Day 20

Didn't write this last night like I usually do, because I was busy talking to an old friend I haven't spoken to in a while. I dated her online for a little bit, about four years ago, then we went our separate ways. But she's always been there, it's really odd and complicated. I feel like online dating isn't real dating, and I certainly want nothing to do with that anymore. I'm struggling as to whether or not I should keep her in my life, since I'm still really curious about her but at the same time we live different lives in different areas. And I'm making all these changes, I don't know if she would be compatible with them. Like she still plays video games, for example. I think it's because I was feeling lonely again, and she was right there, and I had nobody else. But still I try to do things differently. No spamming messages, instead we talked over the phone. And I told her I couldn't trust any of my feelings unless I met her in real life first, which may or may not happen in the future. Anyways that was that.

Doing the 2000 words was such a pain in the ass. Almost everything was closed because of Easter. I did the first 1000 in some student building of that university nearby, where the dining hall was. The intense air conditioning forced me out. Had to wait until night when my parents went to bed to do the other half. But I got it done.

Got a nice message from the bookstore about the job I applied for, the one they said they would definitely contact me again about. They finally did alright. Over email. With a rejection letter. The dream is officially dead. Oh well.

Exercise was fine, especially since it was only cardio. Leg is still healing.

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