Status 3: Screenplays

I don’t want to jinx it...

As it says in the subtitle of this post, everything is going well with screenwriting right now, and I don’t want to jinx it.

So I won’t.

See y’all tomorrow.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Drop me a line:

Follow me on Twitter: @jeremydnichols

Follow me on Instagram: @germynickels

My PayPal:

Status 2: Writing a song.

If I were a sculptor, but then again no.

Jennifer and I came up with song titles or first lines for several country songs a few weeks before I started this challenge, but I have not really pursued this goal yet. I will continue to add to this list of country songs. I suppose I don’t have to write a country song, but that is the music that I have been obsessed with for the last couple of years. It is just about all I listen to, other than Eighties music—which I’m always obsessed with. I don’t see myself being able to make something that sounds like 1999, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, or Eyes Without a Face in the next few months, but I do feel confident in my ability to write a simple “three chords and the truth” country song.

I do realize that simple does not necessarily mean easy. Most of Johnny Cash’s songwriting oeuvre is not musically complicated, but his songs will last for many years because of his talent and sincerity. He could also tell a song in three minutes. There’s nowhere to hide in a simple country song. You either have a good song that connects with people, or you have three minutes of polite silence. I think that I am a good writer of prose, and that I understand economy of words—when it suits me. I truly believe that if I don’t try to hide behind sarcasm, being funny*, or parody, that I will write a song to be proud of.

*Being funny is not the same as a sense of humour. There are many great songs that have a sense of humour, but are not trying to “be funny". Look at Buck Owens entire catalogue, as an example.

Going forward:

In the next ten days I am going to make a point of writing down into my bullet journal any snippet or phrase that could potentially be a song. I have gotten out of the habit of using my journal, and this is a good way to ease back into it. This challenge does not have a pressing deadline, but for once I would like to be not scrambling at the last minute.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Drop me a line:

Follow me on Twitter: @jeremydnichols

Follow me on Instagram: @germynickels

My PayPal:

Going Forward

Getting out of a slump the only way I know how.

I’ve told you all about having a daily writing practice for the newsletter. And how to bring more accountability to the project.

Here is how it’s going to go:

  1. I will write about my status on one part of the project. We will start with the first goal, Guitar, and end with the last goal, Drawing, and then repeat.

  2. This is where goals are discussed, made, and recalibrated (as needed).

  3. This is also where any feelings, thoughts, freakouts, meltdowns etc. are talked about.

  4. This section will be on the subject of the challenges, but it can veer, swerve, and careen wherever my thoughts take me—after all, that is how I communicate. However, it won’t ever be a completely off-topic discussion.

Status 1: Guitar

On the advice of my physical therapist I have taken a break from my guitar lessons. Tomorrow will be a week, and she suggested a week to ten days, so I think that I will pick the guitar back up on Sunday or Monday.

Let’s say Monday.

I have been really antsy to start playing again, and I don’t think that the guitar is what caused this particular flare-up (I’m looking at you, iPhone), but guitar is the one activity that I can cut out of my life that disrupts it the least. I suppose I could stop typing, cooking, and using my iPhone (and I have tried to cut down phone usage and have better ergonomics on these activities), but these are activities of daily living. Whereas guitar practice is the very definition of pastime, newsletter be damned. I did do some ear training and fretboard study over the last few days, but I really need to get the guitar strapped back on.

Left Handed guitar heroes


My hands do feel better. I just hope that they haven’t forgotten everything they have learned in the past two months. I sincerely doubt they have. I needed a break. It was becoming a painful chore.

That’s all for guitar for ten days.

The first abort/fail.

Let me start by saying that the fifth goal, Finish a century bike ride, is a nonstarter, a dud, a failure, a big nope. Abort. I repeat, abort.

There is no way that I will be able to be in the shape physically or financially to complete that challenge by October 2020, and I was a fool to think otherwise. I will think of another more suitable goal for to do in the next few days, and let y’all know.

Note of caution: Do not under any circumstances brightside me. Do not try any argument that says any variant of, You can do it, Buddy! or [Insert some insincere positive-sounding bullshit that you know in your most secret and honest heart, is a total lie].

I despise brightsiders, and the only ones in my life are there because of filial ties or because they are friends that are a legacy from a much earlier time in my life.

If you think you have a solution that ends with me finishing a one hundred mile bike ride by October, keep it to yourself, unless you have around $2000 - $5000+ to finance this folly*.

Note that the $2000 number is the extreme low end of an endeavour like this for someone in my present body situation. The least-expensive heavy duty road bike, one that will hold a near-400 pounder like me is at least $1900. The other $100 is to buy me one piece of XXXXL bicycling gear. Bicycling, like everything in America that used to be of the people, like fishing, or buying a house, is now a rich man’s hobby, or for whippet thin folx on fixies they built themselves. I ain’t neither of them people.

I will have my paypal with my contact info, if you want to put up the dough.

*Please note that I am certain that my readers have paid attention in the past where I said that all advice that requires spending over $10, must be fully financed by the advice giver. This one will require full payment up front of at least $2k, a request to give advice, and my emailed assent.**

**Please know that I haven’t given up on a bicycling challenge—I just need to find one that requires only my current bike and no new gear. And also respects the fact that I live in an apartment that does not have room for a cycling trainer, and that I live in a city with winter eight months of the year.

My little Townie is built for comfort, not speed.

Thank you, as always, for reading. I will see you all tomorrow.

Drop me a line:

Follow me on Twitter: @jeremydnichols

Follow me on Instagram: @germynickels

My PayPal:

A bit of a tweak.

A very short check-in about my daily writing practice.

Going forward with this project, I am writing something here every day. Even if it’s just a quick couple of sentences.

I will focus better on my goals if I write a daily post. And that is because I feel accountable to all of y’all. I’m paradoxically incredibly hard on myself and neglectfully lenient. That is why knowing that other people are rooting for me is very motivating. Honestly, knowing that statistically a few of y’all are hate reading my newsletter and wishing for me to fail is more motivating to my spiteful little heart. I’m a hot mess, but I’m my hot mess.

It is also important for me to have a daily writing practice. It’s the ‘eat right and exercise’ of writing. Boring, but way more likely to bring good results than fad diets or waiting for flashes of inspiration.

Writing my screenplays are where my focus has been lately, and frankly it’s the most important challenge I have. Followed closely by starting a profitable at-home business.

I have four screenplays going right now, and I’m thrilled to feel the urge to write—and then write. I am not sure if reading the book about writing a screenplay in 21 days flipped some switch in my head, but I ain’t gonna overthink it (for once).

This is how I want writing to be all the time. Speaking of, I’ve got some pages to write tonight.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

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