It's hard to write when you don't feel like it.

I've been trying to write whenever I happen upon found time, which is in diminishing supply these days, as I'm starting nursing school next week.  I want to keep up with writing at least semi-regularly across these next few years to keep my skills sharp for when I get out of school and start serious work on my next planned project, which will be a book about crazy people.  (My current preparatory work for that one involves 1) sorting out some kind of narrative arc in which to embed layman's introductions to a variety of mental health issues and personality disorders:  "How I became a psych nurse" for part two of my "Ill-advised career decisions" series of memoirs?  and 2) figuring out a way to capture the humor of working with mentally ill children in a helpful way, without seeming like an effing disgusting human being, and without risking HIPAA violations.  That likely will mean fictionalizing a bunch of experiences.  I haven't written any significant fiction since I was in 5th grade and wrote a ten page introduction to a fantasy novel about an elfen warrior fighting giant insect people, but that's not so different from my job on the psych unit, really.) 

It really is hard to write when you don't feel like it, and I think my attempt to become a triple-threat nurse, ultramarathon runner and good husband is getting in the way of my lucrative career as a self-published author.  Beyond having no time, I'm finding myself with little energy for quality thinking, writing and editing.  It's just hard to be witty, informative and well-organized after a four hour run when you're tired and preoccupied with trying to peel off your dead black toenails, or when your stupid professors are insisting that you complete your assignments on time, or when your wife keeps forcing you to clean up after yourself and fix something other than Hamburger Helper for dinner.  But a consistent running mantra that I've kept is that there is no such thing as a bad run, and I'm going to try to bring that attitude to writing:  there's no bad story, blog post, or book.  It's all part of the discipline of the craft. 

From a pretentious artist's perspective, Seattle's a great place to be because you're surrounded by musicians, performance artists, and literary types to keep your fire burning.  Along those lines I found a bit of motivation today in coming across an interview with Isaac Marion, a Seattle author who wrote a zombie love novel called Warm Bodies that is being made into a movie starring freaking John Malkovich, among others.  I've worked on a few projects with his brother Nathan, who runs the Fremont Abbey Arts Center and generally creates a lot of amazing community events, and I think I met Isaac once briefly a few years ago, before he was rich and famous and living in a camper somewhere on the streets of Seattle (see video below).  I read Warm Bodies a few months back and really liked it, and an interview with The Daily a month or so ago filled in some details of Marion's background that I hadn't known about, including a departure from Christian fundamentalism (not a huge surprise in retrospect - the book is full of messianic and redemptive themes) and a job working with foster kids and their families.  Knowing his history now, I think we have a lot in common, he and I, which is to say that I now fully expect my book to be discovered randomly by an agent on the internet, and to shortly sell a film option on my biography, which will star the youngest Culkin as me as a child, Samuel L. Jackson as me as an adult, and Natalie Portman as Angel. It will be marketed as a religious "Running with Scissors", and will perform slightly above expectations during its Autumn release in a weak year for the movie industry.  

In the meantime though, I'm just going to try to hold things together, write a blog post here and there, and keep trying to get my friends to tell people about my two books - the good one and the questionable one.  (I appreciate those that continue to do so, by the way - they're still selling a few copies a week somehow, and it must be due to all of you.)  I'll do my best to keep you updated about the gross things I see and learn in nursing school, and to write when I can. 

To conclude, here's a video of a buzzed hipster author giving a guided tour of his camper: