In the last post, I talked about how AI text generation has gotten me excited about writing for the first time in forever. (No, that’s not a Frozen reference. Stop trying to distract me. We’re barely a paragraph in!)
That excitement / eagerness has not waned at all. But what has also not waned is my desire to write with AI. I’m having so much fun correcting NovelAI every time someone stabs the person in front of them and THEN picks up the knife. Yeah, continuity is hard even for computers sometimes.
Meanwhile, ChatGPT has been invaluable at distracting me from the important things in writing. Like actually writing. Every time I get curious about a little thing, I pull up ChatGPT to ask about it. I’ve even asked it about itself. And it’s not shy about telling me exactly how it works, even though I don’t really understand all the technical aspects. It’s something about tokens. The only tokens I know about are the ones I used to use at the arcade to play Space Invaders. Ask your parents, kids.
On the bright side, ChatGPT did one thing for me that I had been meaning to ask it to do but put off until last week. It gave me an outline for the base story I’m using as the framework for Axe to Grind. I’ve mentioned a few times that the AI has helped me outline a number of books. Anyone paying attention (and why should you, really?) might have arched an eyebrow at that. “Aren’t you a discovery writer, Darren?”
Why, yes. Yes, I am. But I’m still finding it fun to work on these outlines. And for Axe, I thought it might be a good idea to have the outline so I can follow the basic story. The AI is tweaking things where I ask, like setting it in modern-day Cranston, Texas rather than 16th-ish century Verona. And the best part is that the outline, skeletal as it is, fits with what I have already written.
My goal for today (the day before this posts) had been to continue writing it, but I got distracted with little things like making sure certain things in my not-writing life were attended to. And yes. somewhere in there I did that thing where I asked a text-AI to generate some prompts for me to use in an art-AI.
ChatGPT is better at creating prompts than I am, because its results are way better than the results when I try to come up with them myself.
Motivation, to bring it back to the topic of this post, is one of those fleeting things that is difficult to hold onto. Think about this: You’re lying, comfy cozy in your bed on a cold winter’s day, especially with the wacky weather we had over the last week or so. You know you have to get up to JOB or do your chores. You have errands to run. You need to pick up kids or accompany SPOUSE to some kind of appointment. The specific thing that needs to be done will vary depending on you and your life.
The point is you’re comfy. You don’t want to get up to do the thing.You have to convince yourself that the thing needs to happen or be completed. You have to motivate yourself.
And once you’re out of the comfy place and you’ve dressed and brushed your teeth, you would much rather go back to the cozy than do the thing. You have to convince yourself all over again.
Depending on who you are and what the thing is, you may have to convince yourself five more times before you finally get around to it. Maybe you go into the kitchen to tackle the dishes, but the pile is bigger than you remember. Maybe you’ve finally decided to go get groceries, but you open the door and a chill blows through you. Maybe you take one look at SPOUSE and that’s all the motivation you need. SPOUSE needs you, and you are always there for them no matter what.
The point is that whatever you need to be motivated to do, sometimes it’s not as simple as telling yourself to do it. (Sometimes it is.) For people like me, The Procrastinators of the world whose organization still hasn’t been created yet because we haven’t gotten around to it yet, all it takes to break the motivation is that shiny clickbait on the YouTube homepage. Or looking at your email and remembering fifty things you needed to do on fifty different websites that seem so much more important than writing a silly book full of Stabby Murder Death.
Three weeks ago when I wrote last month’s entry, I came up with a “plan” to catch up to my goal. Yes, I’m already way far behind. Pretend to be surprised. I didn’t even think about it again until I opened up my tracker in preparation for writing this entry. There were random numbers in a column toward the right of the list that made no sense to me until I looked at the formula. Those were my weekly catching up numbers to get to “on track” in a 10-week time frame.
Yup. I was motivated enough to come up with the plan, but not to follow through on it.
That’s the world I’m living in at the moment. And how are you?
In truth, as long as I’m even remotely motivated to write, I’m going to ride it. I may not get my next novel done until I write one in November, but at least I will still be able to call myself a writer, even if the numbers I’ve set for myself don’t add up.
And honestly? That’s a whole lot better than last year.
WRITING IN PUBLIC
Numbers-wise, no writing except the words for this blog post. Again, not overly concerned about it, because I am writing. Just not in a space or a format I am comfortable tracking. The words are not 100% mine, and I won’t claim words that are not.
Although this does not explicitly count as writing, the Seeing Red audiobook is coming along. The AI narration voice can’t seem to say the word “murderer” when it’s by itself but pronounces it just fine when there are other words in the sentence.
It’s not something I can fix.
The only downside to this project is the fact that I have to listen to Seeing Red. I know a writer is supposed to act like his writing is the best thing anyone has ever seen, but like I’ve said several times before, I’m an imposter and a con artist. This book is Bad. Capital B awful.
This is a project I have to take in small chunks. But there’s progress there.
There’s nothing to report in Games, and the only music I have to talk about is an album that came out probably 20 years ago — that’s not necessarily a disqualification, but I’m not as in love with the album now as I was back then.
So there you have it. Nothing but excuses, reasons I’m not writing countable words, and progress on a product no one in their right mind would want.
Yup. I’m an awesome business owner! Making all the right choices.
Talk to you next month. Stay magnificent!