Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Latest Focus: Love and Money

I have been having motivational issues about writing my kids book, so this morning I decided to shut off my phone and just write undistracted until I was done. I wrote about 1000 words and then stopped. It didn't work. But thinking about it tonight I realized something, I don't have motivational issues. I don't think I can actually remember a time within the last few years when I've had motivational issues. Every time I thought I had motivational issues toward writing a book, it always turned out to be one thing; the story hadn't finished percolating in my brain yet. I didn't want to start writing because my subconscious knew that something very important wasn't in place yet.

I think that's what's going on now. Although I thought that I had all of the information to start writing, clearly I don't. This is how I feel when I'm not quite ready to start writing. And because this is the case I will stop. I don't think that I can think about any sort of time table anymore. Sadly, writing is more of an art than I like to admit that it is. And sadly, you can't rush art. If I never get to a particular book or story, then that's the way life goes. 

I had a very interesting conversation about writing the other night. This guy told me that he had an idea for a book and tried to write it. He said that he couldn't. It wasn't that he didn't have the desire. It was that he couldn't figure out how to fill in all of the moments between major plot points. He just couldn't give his characters the filler moments where readers get to understand who the characters are.

After explaining this to me and then I sought a better understanding, he said to me, "Let me be the first one to tell you that what you have is a talent. Not everyone can do what you do. Writing is a talent."

That really came as a shock to me because part of the reason I have such a disrespect for writing and writers is because I feel that everyone can do it. There has never been a time when I couldn't do it and I assume that the rest of the world is exactly the same way. The difference I see between me and those that don't do it, is their level of motivation.

But maybe there's more to it than that. Maybe there's talent involved with writing. Maybe what I do is special. I read these reviews where readers refer to me as talented and I just don't understand what they're talking about. Maybe they aren't just writing things because they want to be liked. Maybe they are referring to something real. 

In any case, tomorrow I am going to put the '10 Things' kids book aside until my mind is ready to write it. Clearly I'm not ready to tackle that book for some reason and I will trust my subconscious on this one. Instead I'm going to work on book 2 of one of my erotica stories. The last short story I wrote has turned out to be my best selling book in a while if not ever. That fact demands a book 2. I will write 4 books total and hopefully it will continue to sell well.

On a separate note, my roommate has given me a time tomorrow that he will be moving his stuff. I think this is real. I will get my office back. It's been about 8 years but I'm once again will be alone and free. I'll see how I react.

Again on a separate note, I'm stuck in a dilemma. I think that I might have to tinker with my neurochemicals again. The vitamin D really fixed the whole dopamine insensitivity issue that I had. Now I barely feel the need to jump out of planes or speed my motorcycle down the center of traffic. (FYI, the plane flying and scuba diving was more driven from the fact that they were super cool things to do.) The meditation that I've been doing has definitely raised the level of oxytocin in my body hence making me more satisfied with life. 

However there still seems to be something that's missing. I haven't felt like I was in love with someone in a long time. I haven't even felt like I was in lust with a particular person in years. Could it just be that I have gotten jaded in my later years? Or could I be what some have suggested in jest, that I'm dead inside indicated by the fact that the sight of a baby doesn't create an emotional response in me at all.

I have always been tweaking my levels of testosterone. Maybe I should increase my testosterone further and also increase my circulating amount of dopamine. I've seemed to have gotten everything to a point where I feel pretty great lately, but I think I can feel even better. 

As I think about it, this could be linked to my gnawing feeling that I really need to get a great massage. Like the way we crave a particular food when we're deficient in it, my craving to get a massage could me my subconscious telling me that a particular neurochemical has fallen out of balance. I wonder if the body actually does that with neurochemicals? If it does, then getting a massage is not going to solve my problem, whatever it is. What I will need is a constant stream of whatever neurochemical I'm craving. Hmm... I wonder which one it could be? 

I guess that getting that massage and then analyzing and classifying the dominant sensation afterwards is the only way to really find out. And since my roommate does seem to be moving, I guess I will soon get to find out. Yay for sensual healing.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sensual Healing as a Cure for what Ails Me

After long last, my roommate told me that he is moving out. There is a large part of me that doesn't believe him. The last thing he said to me in person was that he was going to live here and not pay me rent. After that he texted me a question about getting his deposit back if he could find a place at the end of the month. A couple days later he texted me saying that "It looks like it will happen" and asked again about the deposit. First I thought that it meant that he was moving, but after thinking about it, I realized how vague he was. He never really gave me notice. I don't think the psychological war has ended yet.

Having to prepare for both scenarios, I have to give thought to living in my place by myself. On a positive note, I will definitely be having much more sex. On a negative note, I will have to cover all of the expenses by myself. Can I afford it? Yes. But that means that I won't have as much expendable income as I used to.

Will I still be able to make my Mexico surfing trip this year? I don't know. I know that I could if I devote myself to writing erotica for the rest of the year. If I really devoted myself to it, I could double my income by Jan 1st 2013. But what that means is that I would have to not have a life again. And I would have to not write my non-erotica books.

I know I had this internal debate just a few days ago, but here I am again. This time the motivation is losing a person who is sharing my rent. I knew that I would be back here when it finally happened and like I suspected, I don't know what I will do.

I guess another motivation for me to devote myself to erotica for the rest of the year is that I, once again, would like to retreat from life. Sure I've been having a great time engaging in life, but losing myself in one of my obsessive behaviors has always been my answer for everything whenever something unpleasant has happened to me. Unfortunately something unpleasant has happened to me, and adding to it the fact that I will be shouldering all of my expenses, gives me a great excuse to retreat.

Thinking about it, maybe instead of retreating into my work, what I instead need is some sort of sensual experience. I either need to spend some time in a very good Jacuzzi, get a really great massage or have some  awesome sex. I'm starting to again have that feeling where my skin feels like it's on fire and I need something to counteract it. It happens whenever I experience an isolating disappointment. Sadly, my meditation is no longer working like it used to. On top of that (or maybe it's because of it) I'm feeling very distracted as well.

Maybe I'll set that as my goal for this week. I have been needing a massage for a while now. So if my roommate leaves, I'm going to celebrate by getting me a little sensual healing. You know what? That is exactly what I'm going to do. Hmm... this week has just gotten a little brighter and more exciting.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I finally see myself for who I am and I'm OK with it

When you are confronted with something that you fear, how do you react? I have managed to nobly face fear in the last few years. I've never feared much, but certainly there were definitely times when insecurity gripped me.

I have thought a lot about my current self doubt. It really is quite unusual for me. If you know me at all, you would know that I am generally over confident. I don't doubt myself and I tend to charge into what others turn away from. That isn't by chance. It is by design. I have always been taught fear is the opposite of spiritual enlightenment. So whenever I could, I looked fear in the eyes and walked toward it. That certainly isn't the case in all areas, but recently it has been true even in the areas that I too used to walk away from.

 Keeping this in mind, today I thought that how unusual my self doubt has been. So what I did was what I often do when I can gain enough perspective on a topic. I asked myself, if someone else came to me explaining exactly what I'm going through, what would I say to them. What came out surprised me.

What I would say to myself if I were to elicit my own advice is, "Cristian, what you are experiencing is nothing more than fear. Think about it, has there been any time in your life when you made the choice of money over contributing to society?" And if I asked myself that, the answer would be no. Even when I was at my low points I still chose to remain focused on my goal. Even when I was offered jobs that others only dreamed about, I passed them up in order to stay on my path. Even when the money was really good, I walked away so that the vision that I had at 17 could be realized. "So what has changed now?" I think I would ask myself.

I think what has changed is that for the first time I am incredibly close to having what I've always wanted. This is the life I imagined back then and when it was easy to see the difference between what I was being offered and where I wanted to be, it was easy to walk away. But now that what I risk losing is everything I've always wanted, it's not so easy to walk away.

But ultimately I have to ask myself, "What is it that I believe in? Do I believe in this shit or not?" This is the second time I have had to ask myself this in 2 weeks. And hey, there is no way of telling what exists beyond this world, but there is nobility in devoting your life to a principle, even if the basis of that principle turns out not to be true. 

I have had a lot of amazing things happen to me which confirms my beliefs. They seem to be still happening to me. My most recent is recent enough that I shouldn't have to question myself now. So now, after thinking about it, I say that I choose to follow my beliefs. I have never chosen money and security over making the attempt to make the world a better and easier place for others and I'm not going to start now. 

I now accept that by stepping away from erotica, I will lose money. I accept that I could, some how, lose my momentum and I could lose the easy life that I have finally found. But on my death bed, I don't want my life to be about anything else except how much better I am leaving this world than I found it. I was blessed with a lot of things, and I have always said that the greatest sin in life is to not live up to your potential. 

I have no control over how people will respond to the things I do. Obviously I have done things in the past where I overcame my fears about discussing my sex life and embarrassing moments and I had a greater affect on others than I could ever imagine. And there are times when I have done the same and failed. But one thing is true, if I had decided in either case to remain safe and comfortable, the things that I am now the most proud of, would never have happened. 

So taking all of that into account, just now I finished the final project that I said that I would before I started working on the kids books. I am done with erotica for a while. It is now my time to try to contribute to society in a meaningful and long lasting way. I could horribly fail once again. I could succeed. But ultimately I want my life to be about the pursuit of something more important than money and pleasure. Life is pretty short. Death is infinitely long. I could stand to suffer a little longer if necessary. I don't need more stuff or trips. What I need is to live up to my greatest potential. And for me, living up to my greatest potential is me using my intelligence and life experience in a way that makes life better for others. Hopefully that is what I will achieve with my next few books. I will accept failure if that is my fate. I'm not scared of it any more. Fear never did really look good on me, I've always thought that I looked better in courage. I think I'll slip courage on for a while and remember how that feels. 

And I'm not going to be working on my next projects for the praise from readers. I'm not going to even do it because of some need to gain a sense of purpose. I'm will be writing what I will because, this is who I am. I make attempts to make other people's lives better. This is who I have always been, and that is who I will continue to be until I die. The arrogant narcissistic is no more who I am than the humble sage. I am neither of them. All I am is a guy who does what he believes he was put here to do. I couldn't be anyone else if I tried. I get that now. And with that in mind, I'll get back to work now. Actually, I'll go do some scuba diving this weekend, then I'll get back to work. :-)

I have found myself again. I feel better now. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

20 Years Later and I'm Now Doubting the Purpose of My Life

I happen to have seen an old blog before writing this. It's title was "I might have made a mistake 20 years ago". I wrote it slightly over a year ago. I remember writing it. It was near my darkest time. I was off unemployment but barely making rent. I wasn't at the worst depressive place that I could be, but it was pretty damn bad.

The blog was talking about how 20 years ago I was a very spiritual kid that meditated twice a day and was very sure about my future. I had this psychic impression that I had to leave the spiritual path in order to gain life experience. I knew that I was supposed to be a spiritual teacher when I was older, and I was willing to give up anything to become that.

In the last 20 years some truly hellish things have happened to me. More than once I lost faith in my beliefs as well as god and any sort of purpose to life. I dipped in and out of depression and though I always maintained that fading memory of who I was, I changed.

What is ironic is that the vision that that 17 year old had for me is where I am now. It's airy and a little surprising. Since I wrote that last year, my life has changed so much. I make my living writing. What I write to make a living is very surprising but every erotic sentence I write, and every wanting protagonist that I create, with every turn of phrase makes me a better writer.

Since a year ago I have written about 35 short stories. I make what I made as the starting salary of my last corporate job, and I now have the time to write the book that 17 year old envisioned me writing. How did this happen. How did that 17 year old envision this? Or how did I hold onto one vision of my life for so long?

But here is the thing, I wonder if what I will write will matter. I could just continue to make money. I could write more and more and try to hit 6 figures by the end of the year. I could have more adventure trips and maybe buy a house. I could just play for whatever time I have left in life and I could just turn my back. After all, how real could any of the vision I had for myself be. I may get some good reviews and there may be a few people whose lives are better for having read my books, but are a few strangers' lives worth the heart ache that comes with mediocre sales for a book that you have poured everything you've had into? Is having a  profound effect on, what, 20 or 50 people's lives worth it? It certainly doesn't feel like it from where I sit.

I write erotica and I have people writing me telling me how much they like my stories and asking me when the next one is coming out. 'Samurai Zombie Hunter' was friggin' brilliant, yet 1 guy asked me if I was going to write a sequel. 1 person! If I pour all of my remaining time and passion into this friggin' young adult book and 1 person finds it worthy, then what is the friggin' point? What would be the friggin' point?! I'm starting to think that there isn't one.

Then again, there are little things that makes me doubt my doubts. I can't deny that things have happened in my life that reaffirms its purpose. How is it that I think that dead people talk to me and then the things that they say come true? How is it that coincidences always so clearly answer the questions that I have presented to "the universe?" How is it that the hurricane thing happened when I was 16 or the psychic thing happened on 9/11? These things did happen and they continue to. And if these things are real, if they continue to pepper my life, then there must be more to life than what we see. And if the 17 year old version of myself saw that greater vision, then how can ignore it.

The problem is that I've worked friggin' hard my entire life. When did I stop giving and simply enjoy? Who knows how much time I have left. Shouldn't I get to enjoy the fruit of my hard work at some point? And if I don't do it now, will I ever get the chance again. Do I want to put forth the monumental task of writing a series of 5 books when in the end only 1 kid could email me to say, "hey, I got something from your books"? If my life were a novel written by some depressed guy, maybe that one kid would enough, but my life isn't the work of a depress novelist. It's my creation.

You know what else makes me feel like I can step away and just enjoy my life? I know that I have fundamentally changed the lives of at least 1000 people. I only had about 200 people write me and tell me specifically, but for every person that writes, there has to be at the very least 5 who don't. I'm talking about from the series of youtube videos that I created. I've changed the direction of lots of people's lives. Haven't I done enough? Haven't I already done more than 90% of the people on this planet?

Yet, what if the reason that I should write this book isn't for some one else, but for myself? What if I need to write these stories for me? What if I'm trying to puff myself up in my own mind by thinking that I'm this great  wise person, when the only people that writing these book will ever help is me? And not in some profound spiritual way, but in some basic way like, my simply needing to tell stories. What if I need to write these stories more than the world needs to read them? Jesus, how sad would that be? Fuck! Maybe I'm just some sad little writer that just needs to be heard to justify my life. And if I really step back and think about this logically, that does seem like the more reasonable explanation. Wow, how sad. How heartbreakingly sad.

On a separate, or maybe related note, my happiness mediation isn't working as well as it used to. I think that I need a massage to recharge it. The mediation is based on remembering what my last hand and foot massage felt like. But it's sort of like what happens when someone keeps rubbing the same spot on your arm, that spot goes numb. My hands and feet have gone numb to the constant remembering of the massages. I think I need to refresh those memories with actually massages. The question is who can I get to give me a massage?

I think I need to attract someone into my life that likes the idea of giving me massages. I know there are people like this out there. Oh how I remember the Swedish dancer and the other one who inspired my character in 'Happiness Thru the Art of Penis Enlargement'. I wonder if the the universe would hook me up with someone like that again. I wonder how I can make that happen?

And on news about the roommate wars, the whole thing is about to take a really dark turn. I realize that at this point, I want to win more than I want him out. He did this, though. Instead of just being reasonable, he basically said that I couldn't get him out of my home even if I tried. He challenged me. I would never back down to a challenge like that. I would never back away from a challenge over who controls my life. So now I have to win and I have to pay for my apartment by myself.

Ya know, I liked having another live body in the apartment; not him, but everyone before him. And there is going to be a lot of pressure for my books to sell once he does move out. And here I am about to devote months of my life to writing some crap, non-selling books. I rarely doubt myself, but I am having doubts right now. I am having doubts.