Posted in about archie, artist life, depression, fear, honesty, inspiration, living life, mental health, practice, self-care, writing, writing community, writing help

when archie writes – writing depressed af

I think I’ve only spent about ten percent of my energies on writing…
The other ninety percent went to keeping my head above water.

Katherine Anne Porter

I have already answered why, as well as where, so let me unpack when I write.

I write when not too worn out by my mental illness.
I write when my chronic depression isn’t so overwhelming that I struggle to function.
I write when I can, in irregular spurts, writing through and in spite of my sickness.

I’ve struggled since early youth with depression.
I remember as early as middle-school feeling at specific times especially anti-social and mournful, without any clear reason or cause. Highschool was a hostile environment for me where I felt plagued by insecurities, actively seeking out bathroom stalls and library cubbies to hide day after day. University saw me continue to try unsuccessfully to cope with self-harming as well as self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

It was easy in my adolescence to dismiss these spells of moody ’emo’ sadness as just stereotypical teenage angst. In my twenties, however, with my depression still undiagnosed, I felt ashamed for failing to have moved past an ‘infantile’ stage of dramatic mood swings.

Not until after completing a Master’s program, surviving a series of mental breaks and acute depressive episodes, was I hospitalized and finally diagnosed. It came as a surprise that I was actually so relieved to have a name, clinical depression, to explain these problems weren’t an inherent defect of my person but symptoms of an illness.
Suddenly a light switched on for me to see that help through medication and therapy were not character weaknesses but necessary choices for my survival, demonstrations of courage in the face of social stigma.

Soon after I became a writer.

Before committing to writing as a career,
make sure you’re not simply agoraphobic or depressed.

Nell Zink

Continue reading “when archie writes – writing depressed af”

Posted in advice, artist life, craft, fear, free writing, goals, habits, inspiration, practice, procrastination, writing, writing community, writing help

how archie wrote words every day of 2020 (so far, anyway)

Hey, thanks for clicking!
So yea, I’ve been following my own advice – and thus far in this strange year of twenty-twenty, I have been writing every single fucking day.
Imagine that?
Well, I’ve been journaling every day (3 pages, written by hand) and also writing fiction every day but Sundays (750 words minimum, written on a computer).
And no, I haven’t had an easy year either, what with global pandemics to family matters to my own personal struggles inside my head. 
Allow me to explain some changes I’ve been practising that help me be a bonafide writer.
Onwards… Continue reading “how archie wrote words every day of 2020 (so far, anyway)”

Posted in advice, artist life, artists, habits, honesty, inspiration, living life, practice, procrastination, writing, writing help

what archie means when they talk about writing [and not writing]

Life is … complicated.
Or perhaps ‘life’ is simple, and it is the ‘living’ of life that complicates things.
Complicates, as in, making things a hellofa lot more stressful and tiresome than needed.
I am skilled at that kind of living, through years of practice.

Yet I am also learning new ways to live, to be me, a writer.

A writer is someone who puts words together, tells stories, creates people and places.
To do that, you need to make the effort of literally writing, whether on paper or screen. Ideally, writing should happen regularly, not only to build the creative muscles but to improve at the craft of words and to also write more than a page per year.

For some time, as I tried to become and live as a writer, I would go through spells of productivity – writing regularly, meeting my goals and making good progress – followed by spells of anti-productivity – actively avoiding my stories, procrastinating with every conceivable excuse and committing increasing energy to feel like a failure for it.

Metronome pendulum scares cat

Always, inevitably, back and forth.
A pendulum of extremes.
Alls-or-nothings.
Blacks-and-whites.
Writing like a true bonafide artist one day, then the next day not writing like a wannabe/has-been artist, scared of seeing my own shadow.

“I put off another day of writing, so clearly I am self-sabotaging and should stop calling myself a writer…”

For SO LONG this was my routine, feeling like a champ for writing today or else feeling like my own worst enemy thwarting my growth as a writer.

When suddenly it occurs to me:
all of it – the writing and the not writing – is the practice.

Tim Gunn gif shocked Continue reading “what archie means when they talk about writing [and not writing]”

Posted in about archie, artist life, artists, hermits, honesty, writing, writing community

where archie writes – hermit hiding in a hobbit hole

In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude.
One must overcome the fear of being alone…

Rollo May

Having answered why I write (and blog and read), allow me to unpack where I write. 

Short answer?
I write outside.
As in, I write on the outsides.
I write as someone who regularly feels out of place, out of touch, out on the fringes – sometimes literally and oftentimes figuratively.

I write there, on the outsides, because that is where I spent most of my life.
Long before becoming a writer, I carried a sense of nervousness and unease that was there inside me wherever I went…
Home, school, church, sleepovers – everywhere I went, there I was.
It was a kind of vague anxious energy that gave me an agitated temperament because I was perpetually in fear-of-missing-out or else afraid of being included – confusing I know, and which was why I could only assume there was some inherent defect within myself.
Only once I began to write did I slowly realize this frustration and discomfort was not something simply to be avoided but could actually be an important part of myself.

Before we get there, though, let’s explore my wonder years some more… Continue reading “where archie writes – hermit hiding in a hobbit hole”

Posted in archie reads, artist life, children's fiction, fiction, habits, reading, writing

why archie reads – fiction as self help

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on Earth.

What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.

Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean;
they show us how to live and die.

Anne Lamott

I have already answered why I began writing fiction, so let me unpack why I read it too.

archie the writer in grade six

I think I have always been a bookworm.

As a child, I enjoyed reading stories of other people in other times and other places with other problems.

Why is it that we seek out more problems, about people who we don’t even know, who aren’t even alive?

Continue reading “why archie reads – fiction as self help”

Posted in about archie, addictions, artist life, cannabis, depression, drugs, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, living life, mental health, self-care, sobriety, writing

sobriety, drugs & writing something real

I hesitated about writing something about this – about drugs and me and my past and my childhood and my mistakes and my addictions and my shame.
I had to consider whether I would be, in a way, exploiting my past to simply have something mildly topical to write about on my blog.
Or for the people who know me in “real life”, do I need to worry about spoiling my reputation to them? Or ruining my image generally by becoming someone who sells embarrassing memories in my head just to get some attention?

Maybe? But also, maybe not…
I have little clue where this blog post will end up, so let’s find the answer together.

The Office focus sentences

Continue reading “sobriety, drugs & writing something real”

Posted in advice, anarchy, artist life, blogging, change, failure, fear, goals, imagination, inspiration, living life, reality, self help, writing

learning to love how nothing makes sense

It tickles me when I come across a channel or blog with their last post update something like “I’m finally back!” or saying “will resume uploading stuff regularly”, and then they never post ever again.
I find it amusing because I totally fucking get that.
I get their hope and intent at setting their goal to return to something with newfound enthusiasm and dedication, but it just doesn’t work out that way.
Priorities change.
People change.
Things change.

That makes sense, right?
Does it though??

Continue reading “learning to love how nothing makes sense”

Posted in artists, blogging, children's fiction, drafts, fantasy fiction, fear, fiction, goals, hope, inspiration, practice, procrastination, radical fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, visionary fiction, writing

archie’s ambitious pre-30 writing goal that can also get you inspired too, maybe?

I am turning the big three-zero in 2019, can you believe it?
I know, I seem so wise for one so young… lol?
No, but seriously – I’m pretty flabbergasted by that age.

Of course, turning 30 is a big milestone that not everyone has the privilege or good luck to ever reach, so naturally, this needs to be something celebrated with big fanfare.

Michael Dwight partyingThe Office Twirl

But still… 30?

Continue reading “archie’s ambitious pre-30 writing goal that can also get you inspired too, maybe?”

Posted in about archie, blogging, craft, egos, fear, goals, habits, practice, procrastination, writing, writing community

why archie blogs – xoxo attention-seeking introvert hopes for approval of strangers

Whatever [our] social identity, the writer is, by the nature of the act of writing, someone who strives for communication and connection,
someone who searches, through language, to keep alive conversation with … ‘the lost community.’

Even if what’s written feels like a note thrust in a bottle to be thrown to the sea.

Adrienne Rich

I have already answered why I began writing fiction, so let me unpack why I blog.

Michael Scott in therapy

Or, why do I keep a public diary?
I am writing my thoughts and worries for the Internet to gawk at, when I ‘should’ be working on my novels, or perhaps seeing a therapist for proper life coaching, or doing just about anything but this routine of irregularly posting online, hoping for strangers online to affirm my struggles somehow…

Surprisingly enough, there are a few excellent reasons for me to blog – and for you to continue reading this blog.

Continue reading “why archie blogs – xoxo attention-seeking introvert hopes for approval of strangers”

Posted in about archie, advice, artist life, artists, change, education, failure, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, living life, reading, reading list, writing

wasted potential, potentially wasted…

Hi bonjour – welcome back.

Despite sporadic blogging habits, the rest of my offline writing life is progressing well. 

  • I continue to be reading books, including ones that have sat waiting on my reading list for many years and I am also listening to audio-books too (for when I prefer to just hide away under the covers in bed). Currently listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and also listening to the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
  • I continue to work away at my various stories, though to be honest, less of this is writing and more of it is cleaning and sorting my notes – the mass of jumbled ideas, germs and inklings. Currently, working at my children’s novel series on Animals.
  • I continue to try at keeping myself grounded and present because I find this practice essential for a healthier state of mind necessary to keep making art. Currently, I’m realizing again how important it is to pay attention to the details of my life, to repeatedly will myself to shake off the clouds that would otherwise leave me living in a hazy fog of repetition and boredom and dissatisfaction.

Continue reading “wasted potential, potentially wasted…”

Posted in about archie, artist life, blogging, children's fiction, goals, habits, life updates, living life, reading, writing

it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)

Aloha!

Thank you for clicking on over here. Welcome welcome, or welcome back.

It’s been too long since I wrote on here, and so I thought y’all deserved a brief update on my doings and my pondering and all. Continue reading “it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)”

Posted in about archie, advice, artist life, depression, failure, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, practice, self-care, writing

on fuck-ups, neither the first nor last

Fuck.
I should be writing more. 
Not good – me writing so little.
Not enough words.
No, not enough good words.
I need a break.
Already?
Tired after writing this?
How embarrassing.
This is nowhere near good enough.
Never good enough.
Fuck.
Why do I make this so hard?
That’s what she said.
Fuck.
And I call myself a writer.
This is pathetic.
I am pathetic.
Give up.
Grow up.
Get up.
Go, do something else.
Exercise for once goddamit.
Walk, lift something, hit something.
Do anything but this.
Another bad day for writing.
That’s all.
Yeah.
Another bad day in a long line of them.
How many will it take for me to take a hint?
Fuck.
Maybe if I read more, that would help.
What to read?
Too many choices – so little time.
Will this inspire me, or discourage me?
No, my time needs to be spent writing, not reading.
So I need to find more time then.
Need to cut out more of my social life.
What social life?
Cut back on my leisure activities, maybe.
So I can become another worker drone?
More writing, less working.
Gotta quit my day job.
Working too much.
Need to work less, write more.
Simple as that.
But need money to live.
And I call this living?
Pathetic.
Fuck.

Continue reading “on fuck-ups, neither the first nor last”

Posted in Afrofuturism, fantasy fiction, feminism, fiction, hope, imagination, inspiration, radical fiction, reading, science fiction, speculative fiction, visionary fiction

empowerment through radical fiction

I don’t have to tell you things are bad.

Everybody knows things are shit – it’s a gd depression.
Nobody can find work and if they do they’re scared of being harassed and exploited.
Everybody’s exhausted or too tired to care much, to speak of anything of real meaning.
Governments and Corporations are running wild in the streets.

Hardly anyone anywhere seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it.
We know the air is unfit to breathe, the waters are unfit to drink.
And we sit inside, on our phones and laptops, scrolling and swiping.
Tweets and Stories telling us about what that shithole 45 has done, said, fucked up, and we can only watch in disbelief, smh as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Yeah, shit is bad – worse than bad – fucking dystopic, catastrophic, apocalyptic.
So what do we do?
We don’t go out anymore.
We hide in our rooms, where we are safer, trying to forget our responsibilities, our privileges.
“Please, just leave me be.
Let me have my iphone and my coffee-maker, and I won’t say anything…
Just leave us alone.”

Well, I will leave you alone but I know that is not what you really want right now.
That’s why you are still reading.
So what is to be done?
I don’t want you to protest, or to write to some official because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to protest about or what to write.
I don’t know what to do about this gd depression, about nuclear war, about the drones, about all the refugees, about the NSA, about the trump nazis, about our dying Earth and her Animals or about the prison industrial complex.

So what, then?

I'm Mad as Hell Network Art

Continue reading “empowerment through radical fiction”