VIP, The “I” Stands For “I” as in Me

Yeah, they pretty much let me in anywhere, any time I want. I know people. I can move furniture around. This is pretty much my second living room. If I ask, they’ll give me table service right now. But we ain’t staying long, we got other shizz to do tonight so I won’t order it. Next time, baby, next time.

Oh, yeah, I still have to pay. It is a business after all. Even in my living room, I have to pay for all them bottles of Grey Gooses. Grey Geese?

It doesn’t matter who you are these days, you still have to pay for stuff one way or another. Money or favor, that’s what they say. It’s basic economics, don’t make me mansplain it to you. I hate doing that. You know I hate doing that.

waynes world

No, I’m still a very important person, but I don’t abuse my power, that’s the thing about me and other important people I respect. I’m humble. I’m a VHP, a Very Humble Person. If only they treated humble people like they do for important people… the world will be a better place, I’ll tell you that much.

Ha! No way, I’m not Buddhist. I mean, I can be if I wanted to. There’s no license I have to get to become Buddhist, right? No? Well, I guess I’m Buddhist now. Bam! Just like that, I have a whole new identity. I like that religion is like that. It’s like being a sports fan, or a fan of politics… mindlessly idolizing an organization.

It’s surprising that I’m allowed to simply claim that I belong to a religion without having to partake in any sort of certification. So many things are bureaucratic these days, it’s like OMG kill me with a dynamite already. Do I have to wait in this line to be baptized or this line? Do I fill out this form or this form? Kafka would be rolling… 

But being a part of a religion doesn’t make you special or important, does it? I wish it did. I guess at least being Buddhist doesn’t make you important. Unless you are the Dalai Lama. I guess he’s pretty important. Probably the most important one. I guess all religions have their representative, huh? Like a Pope guy.

Either way, I’m going to stop talking about that before I’ll say something I shouldn’t have.

Should I order the most expensive bottle of liquor in this establishment? Did you know ordering the most high-end liquor is the best deal?

You see, the cheap stuff are usually what the business makes the money from, so it is marked up the most. A glass of beer for 8 dollars, are you shitting me? A glass of this piss is worth a dollar tops. Whereas, I can get a shot of Macallan aged in an oak sherry-seasoned cast for 18 years for 30 dollars? Do you even know how much a bottle of that stuff is worth? That shit took 18 years to make! That’s like the age of my son when I no longer need to take care of him anymore.

No, let me dwell on this a bit more. The time it took to raise a child into adulthood, this whiskey had been sitting in a barrel. Waiting for me. That’s special. Almost as special as having a child, one can argue.

Time flies.

So, should I call the server over… or what? Do you want some food? No, they don’t serve food here, but we can absolutely hit up that McDonald’s next door.

See, that’s what I like about freedom. It’s the fact that even if I’m a Super Important Person. A SIP. I can still do things regular people can do as well. That’s equality. The fact that I can walk into a McDonald’s and order a… you guessed it… a Big Mac, and then eat it in the restaurant and not feel overdressed is a privilege. A privilege of freedom. Freedom well earned.

This is what we fought for. Our enemies from other countries wanted to take that away from us. If they ever try again, I’ll be there. I’ll be there to show them what’s what.

Actually, I think McDonald’s are in most countries, right? It’s kind of an international mega company, a global icon, isn’t it? Hopefully, the downfall of America won’t affect the success of McDonald’s. It’ll probably help, in fact. I’ve seen how long those burgers last without decomposing. That’ll feed so many American refugees. I have hope. Either way, we are good. I don’t have to fight at all. It seems we’ll have freedom regardless.

Oh, prove me wrong if you don’t think what I think is correct. You can’t. That’s the funny thing. You can’t prove me wrong. You are hypothesizing the same way I am. Educatedly. I know things. I’m a smart guy. I’m also humble. I’m also pretty important. And I’m a person, damn it! And I want to be treated like one. I’m not some simple boy you boss around, who you make buy expensive liquor and take you to all the fancy McDonald’s. I’m not like that. I have no presumptions. I’m living life and you should be too. It doesn’t matter if you don’t share the same qualities as me. I think you are important as well. Remember I told you that. I want you to think about it when I’m not around so you won’t get sad, okay?

Cool. That really gives me peace of mind. I hate it when other people feel bad because of me and my importance. I’m a Very Sensitive Person.

 

What you’ve just read is the seventh post in a series entitled “A Fan Fiction of My Life by My Number One Fan, Me.” Please check out the first seven posts from the series:
Me, A Doctor
I Am A Controversial Artist, AMA
A Well-Respected Elderly Man, It’s Me
Bringer of Bad News, I’m the One
Yes, I Am Blind with a Broken Heart 
I Drive a $160 Million Ride
This is My First Time in Space

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5 Tips for Writing on Vacation

There is a surprisingly lot of downtime while traveling, but writing is also a lot of work. In transit or after a long day of excursion, you might not have the energy to sit down and write.

But that is because you are thinking of writing a big story. You are thinking you need to sit down and craft a whole novel. You don’t! Vacation time is not the time to immerse yourself in a new project, and it’s a bad idea to pack your epic work and bring it with you on your trip. The trip itself is the project, what you need to do is document it.

Yes, if you really wanted to you can most certainly piece together the first draft on your trip, but what I want to talk about is filling the well.

In our day to day lives, we are pulling water from the well. This is our creative inspiration, these are our experiences, these are our energy and motivation, these are conversations and ideas. We fetch water from this well every time we meet someone new or sit down to a blank page. Eventually, we find ourselves saying the same things or expressing the same ideas over and over again in the same way.  

Vacation and traveling is a good time to pause the fetching and begin the filling. Here’s another metaphor for writing while traveling, it’s more about collecting dots — then when you are home and you have the lazy Saturdays to get to work, that is time to connect them.

So how do you collect these dots? Here are 5 tips that will help you get your ideas down on paper while traveling.

Find Alone Time 

If you are traveling with companions, you will need to find not only time but alone time. It’s hard to write in the middle of dinner, during an excursion, or while everyone is watching you. So find 15-30 minutes here or there to jot down your thoughts. This can be early in the morning while you are out grabbing breakfast and coffee or while everyone is getting ready to head out for the night, find a few moments to make a drink, chill and do a bit of writing.

Take Pictures and Record Videos

Even if you aren’t carrying a camera, with a smartphone, you can capture a moment — not in the same way your memory will, but you can definitely get some of the physical details recorded. Then when you get back to a writing spot or even when you return home, you can reference those pictures and videos to help expand your writing.

Free Write

Don’t think too much about plot or character development — or the end result. With only a short amount of time to write before you have to head out for the day or crash for the night, you’d want to make the most of the time you have. This is the time to simply get the idea on paper. Make a habit to dump your thoughts, once a day or a few times a week.

Don’t Worry About Technology or Organization

I prefer writing in a notebook when I’m traveling. It’s much easier to deal with than lugging around a laptop. You want to be able to write in a moments notice, so none of that booting up the computer shit. I also try not to worry too much about the organization or have one clear thought going from page to page. I jot down my thoughts and ideas at the moment with a goal for me to reflect on later. If you bring technology with you, you are adding another layer of friction, which may slow your writing process down. Nevertheless, if you are writing captions for your Instagram post, that still counts as writing 😉

Remind Yourself You’re a Writer

It’s easy to go on vacation and completely forget your goals. You stop exercising, you eat more, you party harder. Yes, you paid a lot of money to enjoy your trip and if you don’t want to write, don’t! If you feel like you might miss out on something fun, don’t write right then and there, go enjoy the experience. There is nothing worse than being on vacation and feeling like you should be doing something else, like work. It’s all about a frame of mind. Be in the moment. You are a writer whether you write one word or a thousand words. It’s like sleep if you force it, it won’t come, soon if you are a writer, you’ll long to return to the pages.

There you have it. Bring a notepad on your next trip and jot down your thoughts. Don’t worry about what it can become. Collect dots and fill the well.

Follow my writing journey on YouTube! 

Safe journeys!

How to Spell Definitely | Common Spelling Mistakes

Back when I was in film school, I was a big deal. At least, I acted like a big deal. I had all these wonderful ideas for stories, and now and then, my scripts would be picked to move into production.

As a young filmmaker, there was nothing better than seeing your vision come to life… except for the fact that a simple misspelling can often ruin the impact of a line or description and assault your credibility — thus leading to embarrassment — and definitely was a word that I would misspell often.

Definietly

Defineity

Definantly

Definetly

… and on and on.

Thanks to auto-correct, I never really understood where my error was. I knew there were some ‘i’s and ‘e’s, but I didn’t know where they went… sometimes I even thought there was an ‘a’ in there.

I finally decided to examine why I kept spelling this word wrong. Was it me? Was it the word? Was it a little of both?

Then I tried something, instead of simply writing the word and hoping I would nail it. I decided to stop and say it out loud.

If you speak with any editor, they will tell you that reading out loud is one of the most basic methods of catching errors such as typos and grammar.

That was when I realized, I was jumbling up the syllables at the end of ‘definitely’. By mumbling the end of the word, my brain was not able to comprehend what letters are actually there and in which order.

The word that once confused me, now made sense structurally. There were no silent letters trying to trip me up. Like many words, it was logical. It wasn’t trying to be fancy. Yes, due to its nature, it’s still a tricky word to spell, but it’s much less of an inigma now… sorry enigma.

Sounding out words doesn’t always work when trying to spell, but sometimes it does. As we grow as writers and keep adding vocabulary to our arsenal, we must remember to keep our tools sharpen and not constantly rely on autocorrect to save us, because autocorrect might not always know what we are actually talking about. One of the oldest tools is saying the word out loud. Are you seeing a lot of red lines under a specific word? Pronounce it and see if it helps. 

Thanks for reading. I’m documenting my writing journey here and on YouTube. Please join me as we become “legitimate” writers together.

Understanding A Character’s Motivation |Tony Robbins’ 6 Human Needs

When you are writing, you often wonder whether or not you are leading your character in the right direction.

You ask, “is this actually what they will do?” The better you understand your character’s objective in life, the better you can pick the logical paths for them to go down.

The 6 human needs were first introduced to me by Tony Robbins from his book Money: Master the Game. In the book, he discusses the motivation for money, and that often times, people don’t even know why they want more money. They want to be millionaires and billionaires but have no real idea about what their dream life cost.

I gave myself an exercise, I asked myself what is something seemingly unachievable (due to finance) that I want to experience in my lifetime. The one that popped into my head was being able to live in a hotel for a year. So I did a bit of math and shared it on my Instagram account.

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 12.47.34 PM.png

But back to the point, the better we are at understanding what motivates our characters whether consciously like wanting to live in a hotel forever or subconsciously like feeling safe from danger, the better we will be at making choices for them and writing a believable storyline.

6 Human Needs:

  1. Certainty: safety, security, stability, comfort, consistency 
  2. Uncertainty or variety – surprises, challenge, excitement, adventure, difference, novelty 
  3. Significance – to feel special, pride, wanted, needed, important 
  4. Love and connection – approval, attachment, intimacy from another human, part of a community 
  5. Growth – constant emotional, intellectual, spiritual development 
  6. Contribution – the need to give, nurture, protect, and serve others 

 

Some of your characters might attribute multiple human needs. They might be very needy. Others might be more focused. Nevertheless, whenever a character is making a choice, regardless of where they are in the storyline, odds are they are driven by one of these human needs.

What do you think? What is your most prominent human need?

Want more writing tips and inspirations? Follow my writing journey on YouTube! 

Little Bets: How I Make Decisions Without Feeling Stressed

Making a decision can be hard. What if you make the wrong one? What if you pick the wrong restaurant? What if the food is terrible and the service is insulting? What if you leave hungry and you have to get drive-thru on the way home?

When making a decision, it’s easy to be bogged down by the negatives, but here is how I’ve changed that. I bet that I’m going to have a great time. I will put my money (and time) on the table and bet that this restaurant that I pick will be great.

If you can make decisions the same way you place bets at a roulettes table, by going in with a sense of optimism, you can change your mental state. Our heart rate increases when we make a decision, one that breaks our usual routine, big or small. You know that the odds are always against you, but there is an excited hope. It turns indecisiveness into an opportunity. You willingly allow yourself a chance to hit the jackpot.

Anything is possible, but you have to put yourself in the position for the opportunity for it to happen. You have to give yourself a chance.

Next time you are faced with a tough decision. Take a chance, make a bet for your time and efforts, and feel rich and optimistic even in the smallest of choices.

Take a chance, buy me a beer, it helps to keep me inspired.