TenPoundHammer wrote: ↑
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:09 am
I've never seemed to find a way to make things stick. Even if it's something I actually am passionate about (country music, cartoons, shopping malls/retail), I constantly draw blanks or fail to internalize something after seeing it 9001 times. I'm starting to seriously wonder if something is going wrong in my brain. Winning on Wheel was one of the only things I had any ounce of confidence in, but that's only one thing. It's one of the only times in my entire LIFE that I've had something go "right" for me. But there are a bajillion things that I've been trying and trying for, only to fail so many times that I might as well have not tried at all.
I find also that I want the gain without the work. I want to be more knowledgeable, but I don't want to learn; I just want the info to already be in my brain. I want to be comfortably rich but not work for it -- not even "working" at something I love, because work that you enjoy is still work. I have a passion for creating new and interesting characters (yes they're furry -- keep your ignorant hateful comments on the fandom to yourself), but I often don't know what I want to do with them. I've had nearly a decade's worth of world building, but I don't know what kind of stories I want to tell. Which spirals into me seeking inspiration, but not knowing where to turn because I've rarely read books or watched movies or episodic television and have no idea what might catch my interest -- nor have I had many interesting real-life experiences to draw from, or even the means to make something interesting happen in my life. (In fact, that's probably one of the biggest reasons I go to these cons -- to surround myself with like minded people with whom I can easily socialize.) I've got characters who are 400 years old in-universe; surely they've got SOMEthing cool going on, but hell if I know what at this moment. I want THEM to show ME their stories without ME working for it, but it doesn't work that way.
I've got a lot stacked against me. I'm 31, I have no job skills, little capacity for learning, I'm still constantly held under the thumb of a bigoted and unsympathetic control freak, I'm not "disabled" enough to qualify for disability, and there doesn't seem to be any other way of getting the help I need.
Maybe I just need to learn to drive that Mazda I won, load it up, and drive any fucking where but here.
Wow - you've got a lot going on there. Let me say a couple of things.
Gain without the work. That's a pretty common thing. I have felt that way many times in my life. I suspect a lot of people have. When I was in school - especially the earlier years through perhaps Jr High - I was able to do that. I was a pretty smart kid. I could read before I started kindergarten. I could always impress my teachers because things stuck in my head easily, and I was intensely curious. I'd read the encyclopedia for fun. Unfortunately, that got me used to getting some gain without working hard. I became (and still am) lazy. I don't like to work hard at things. By the time high school rolled around, I was a genuine underachiever. I could have got straight As, but I wouldn't do the work. I could get an easy B just by attending class and taking tests. I rarely did the assigned homework and my grades suffered for it, but that was good enough for me because I learned the material. I didn't take the more difficult classes that I should have because they were too much work. (Hence my ongoing problem with literature topics on J!)
All of that affects me 4 decades later. I still haven't learned to consistently work hard. I do just enough to scrape by. When I do work harder, it's because of crisis, not to avoid the crisis in the first place. I can see the train wrecks coming and often do nothing about them. (Heck, I'm avoiding a crisis right now by typing this instead of doing some critical work!)
On the other hand, you have developed some characters that have the potential to be interesting. You say it's a passion, but that's what takes the work out of it. Or maybe that's what makes you work hard at it. You have accomplished something there, just like you have accomplished winning on Wheel.
Don't diminish those accomplishments.
You've mentioned you're a church organist. That's another significant accomplishment. And it could be the first door to open to get some help. Even if you don't consider yourself a member of the church you're playing for, try talking to the pastor there. They often have connections in the community who can help with some of your issues. Perhaps he or she can recommend someone more appropriately trained to help with your specific problems. Maybe they'll help advocate for you. You've got to start somewhere, and that can be a pretty good place to start.
You might also try to find an online discussion group (like this one) that's for aspiring writers. It sounds like you've got the beginnings of something that could be interesting. Maybe you can toss ideas around there. Talk about what makes for interesting stories. Find out what makes stories bad so you can avoid that. Figure out what the next steps are to creating a story. The best part about this is that you don't have to be a public failure. Write something and put it aside. Go back and read it again and see if it still works for you. If it doesn't, change it. It's your world - you can do whatever you want with it. You just need to get on to the next step. Maybe just take two characters and tell a little bit about how they met or how they relate to each other now - whenever "now" is in their world. Then do the same for two more. Or for three more. Whatever tickles your fancy. Find a way to keep your passion for the characters moving forward. If you find the characters interesting, chances are that other people will, too.