Finding a Balance

Update – My Review of Dr. Who Season 7 premiere: “The Aslyum of the Daleks.”

Some of you may know that I recently starting writing for the awesome website Geeksmash.com. It’s been a great experience so far, but I noticed that it’s led me to neglect some of my other writing, namely my blog. It’s not an issue of time but of content; I write about the same sort of things in my blog that I write about for Geeksmash. So, what is a blogger to do?

The answer is to find a balance. Write geeky articles for the site and write nerdy articles for myself. Sounds simple… right? Maybe… Well, regardless of whether or not it’s simple, my solution is to write a blog post each time I write an article for the site! That will be my balance.

I just got done writing my review of the Season 7 Dr. Who premiere, “Asylum of the Daleks,” which was AWESOME. Not only did my heart drop into the pit of my stomach during the episode’s second scene, but it stayed there until a very touching and tear-jerking scene toward the end. There have only been two other Dr. Who episodes that have made me cry, and this was the third. I know, I’m a sap, but I can’t help but fall for the love story between Amy and Rory. I’ll be sure to include a link to review once it’s posted.

To be honest, I struggled writing my review. It seems silly, since I’m a huge Whovian and a writer, so it should have been a breeze for me, right? Sometimes I let the pressure of writing something for a wide audience get the better of me. Every negative thought in existence probably passed through  my brain during my first attempt to write my review. Finally, I said hell with it, I’ll write whatever I write and if it’s not good enough, then so be it. Was it good enough? I think so.

I think all writers are infused with chronic doubt with regards to their work. There’s always the fear of rejection, though this fear usually manifests itself as the writer rejecting his or her own work before it can be rejected by the public. The motto of all writers should be “who cares,” but things aren’t that easy. For a writer, the words that go on the page don’t just arise as her fingers hit the keys; instead, they’ve been lurking, hiding within the writer’s subconscious for quite awhile. Putting them on the page means taking these well-hidden thoughts with which we’ve become familiar and exposing them for the entire world to see. Think of it this way: A painter has been working on a masterpiece and has grown to love the solitary relationship that exists between herself and her painting; once she’s finished, however, the solitary relationship will be no more. Soon, everything will be exposed, for the world to see… and to judge. Can you imagine how it must feel, not only to lose that working relationship but to put it on display for everyone to take part in?

Writing is like that, except these relationship exists within our minds. We grow accustom to our thoughts, ideas, stories and characters. Once we release them into the world, our relationship with them is gone. It’s like losing a trusty friend. And that is the reason why many writers suffer from anxiety when it comes to committing words to a page. It doesn’t matter if the thoughts are years or days old; they are still personal to the writer and revealing them makes one feel vulnerable.

The greatest writers have learned to overcome such exposure or have at least figured out a way to cope with it. My guess is that it’s the latter, fortunately for us readers. And such is the journey I find myself on now; learning to cope with the vulnerability that comes with bearing my innermost thoughts and feelings to the world via words. 🙂

If you’d like to read the articles that I’ve written for Geeksmash.com thus far, here are some links. If you like them, please show your support and click “like” on the page. Validation always makes writers feel better, no matter who they might be. Hell, it makes everyone feel better, am I right?

Comment and let me know what you think! If you have any ideas or news that you’d like to see written about in future posts, please comment and let me know!

Why I Fell In Love With Dr. Who: The Girl Who Waited and Finally Watched Dr. Who

NES Favorites: Top 10 Nintendo Games From The 80′s: Top 10 Nintendo Games That Stole My Heart(s) and Dominated My Console

Telepresence Robots from Double Robotics: Experience the World Without Leaving Your Home: Telepresence Robots, Courtesy of Double Robotics and Your iPad

Page Fright: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Words

One of my books says that you aren’t a true writer if you don’t feel a stabbing anxiety in your chest every time you look at a blank screen. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one out there that goes through a minor panic attack while deciding which words are worthy enough to fill the vast whiteness confronting me. Ralph Keyes, the author of the aforementioned book, “The Courage to Write,” calls it “page fright.”

How does one break through this terror in order to produce a book? That question has yet to be answered (I’m not far enough into the book), but even when it is, there’s a good chance I won’t believe it. I’m sure that I’ll understand the argument’s logic, but belief is another realm entirely.

It’s discouraging, because I have so many ideas that I want to commit to paper. Who cares if the world reads them; I just want to write them. You may be thinking, “If you don’t plan on letting others read your personal work, then of what are you afraid?” Honestly, I’m afraid of letting myself down and losing myself in the process. Ever since third grade, when I wrote my very first poem, I’ve been dubbed a “writer” by my family. Later, it was my teachers who encouraged me to pursue writing. For my entire life, my identity has revolved around being a writer — so what if I try to write a novel and fail? What will become of my identity then?

I know that being a decent writer isn’t the only thing that defines me. I began to list within this post other things that I also consider to define me, and it turned into a huge overhaul of my “About Me” section — complete with pictures! So if you get bored, check it out, leave a comment, “like” the page; you know, all those things that validate my self-worth. (Kidding… maybe…)

Back to the topic at hand. I’m going to try reasoning through my problem, since I’m sure there are several invalid premises lingering around there somewhere:

I’m never satisfied with anything I write, so it goes without saying that I won’t be satisfied with any work I produce for my book. If I’m unsatisfied with something I’ve written, yet let others read it, most of the time they praise my work. It would seem unlikely that every person who compliments my work is lying (just to make me feel good, which is what I’ve always been inclined to think). As such, at least some of my writing must be good, regardless of the dissatisfaction that I feel. I shouldn’t put so much weight on what I think since I’m always going to think it’s bad, unless told otherwise (I’m a sucker for external validation, a habit that I need to stop). Therefore, I have no reason to expect that my book will turn out unsatisfactory and should NOT listen to myself when it comes to self-evaluation, period.

TL;DR — I should not let my harsh self-critiques stop me from writing, since my judgement is often flawed.

With that settled, where do I begin? I have several ideas: a children’s book where the princess saves the kidnapped prince; a futuristic, post-apocalyptic novel that deals with a society that rediscovers technology; and last — but not least — my thought-provoking and tragic zombie tale, which I’ll be writing with my brother, since we came up with the idea together (it’s just going to be one research-intensive book).

At least I can blog without “page fright.” That’s a start.

I’m starting a new tradition where I put a picture in every post. Today’s picture is courtesy of XKCD.

For Female Nerds: On Having Nerdy Guy Friends

(Note to readers: This is a revision of an earlier post. It’s been edited for both content purposes, hence my reposting, and because of some atrocious grammar guffaws. I changed the title as well, since I’m planning on doing a series of blog posts specifically for female nerds; you can consider this the first.)

Male nerds are a common breed. It’s not strange to hear of a guy fascinating with video games, comic books, anime, science and learning in general.

What about the less common, albeit frequently hunted female nerd?

We exist. And we share the same interests as male nerds. We don’t have many female friends, unless we’re lucky enough to make contact with another of our breed. Other women can easily spot us in crowds because we’re the girls without heels, designer purses or lipstick stuck up our rears.

At parties, we’re the girls in the corner surrounded by a group of guys. We aren’t hussies; we just happen to get along better with your man than you do because we have more in common with them. Give me a male nerd and we can talk about anything from astrophysics to finding the second hidden warp-whistle in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Unfortunately, this scenario eventually attracts the attention of the women we typically avoid… and we feel their ice-cold stares penetrating our bodies, from our Converse all the way up to our glasses.

Let me be clear: I’m not talking about every single girl who isn’t a nerd. There are plenty of women whom I respect because, while we may not have much in common, they don’t expect me to climb on top of a high-horse just to make eye contact with them. I could name a handful or two of women I know who aren’t going to judge me based on my purple kicks and aversion to dresses.

The hardest part of a male/female-nerd alliance is when the male-nerds start dating nonnerd-girls. It’s these kind of situations that suck. As far as making friends go, I’m already at a disadvantage as I don’t have very much in common with most girls.

So, what is a nerd-girl supposed to do when one of her male-nerd friends get a new nonnerdy girlfriend or, even worse, gets married to one? Brainwashed, leash-bound and completely whipped, most male-nerds eventually push us away, per nonnerd-girl’s request.

So, Ladies, listen up:

We’re not trying to steal your boyfriend/husband. I like male-nerds because we can talk without broaching those mysterious subjects “you ladies” discuss that make both men — and myself — tune you out. I won’t fall victim to your infamous girl-talk about manicures and shoes, which women like myself can’t process because we’re too busy thinking about things that matter.

Don’t deny your male-nerd the friendship of nerd-girls! We can satisfy their intellectual needs, leaving you free to never crack-open a book or hold a controller!

If my boyfriend became close to a girl who shared all of his same interests, I’d definitely be jealous. I’m lucky that I only date guys who are smart, play video games, watch anime and who are all-around the right amount of nerdy; those are the only kinds of guys that I’m interested in. Did I mention that they had to be cute? Yeah, cute male-nerds are rare but are out there. They’re kind of guys like my boyfriend, who bought me this bouquet of 8-bit flowers, since he knows I don’t like real flowers. Real flowers just wilt and die after a few days, making them not only a waste but a hassle!

There’s one last point I’d like to make. I have very few female friends and that is upsetting at times. There aren’t many of us nerd-girls in the world, so finding someone with whom I have things in common proves difficult. I guess I’m stuck hanging out with nerdy-guys; it could be worse.

– KillaJulz

 

As a bonus, here’s a somewhat on-topic article I found on Kotaku.com: “When a Normal Lady Chases After Nerds.”