Things I Kind of Want to Do, but Not Really

I have a lot of goals for my life, and I rarely get to see them accomplished because, well, they’re not very good goals. Recognizing the good ideas and the bad ideas is an important things to do, but sometimes I wonder if that’s just an excuse I use to not follow my dreams. Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. To start off, I kind of want to …

1) Give up soda.

I feel like a good indicator of how bad my acne is gonna be tomorrow is by the amount of soda I’ve drank (drunk? drunken?) in the past twenty-four hours. If I stay clear and stick to water? Dolphin-smooth skin, motherfuckers. If I cave and end up chugging a two liter bottle of Dr. Pepper? Well rest in peace skin, it was nice knowing you.

Plus, soda messes up your teeth, it leads to diabetes, alzheimer’s, and cancer. I think it’s safe to say that I would be a lot better off if I gave up soda.

So why I am not going to?

Because soda tastes like, really good. Okay? It’s bubbly, it soothes the stomach. It makes you burp, and if you hold in the burp it’ll go out your nose, and you’ll feel the CO2 from the soda travel through your sinuses. Not sure if this is good for you or not, but it feels cool.

Also, I must address this whole “soda is bad for your health” complaint with a follow up question. You know what else is bad for your health?

  • Heroin.
  • Meth
  • Crystal meth.
  • Bungee jumping without a cord.
  • Watching TV.
  • Sitting down for too long.
  • Standing up for too long.
  • Sleeping too much.
  • Sleeping too little.
  • Doing one handed pushups without ever switching to your other hand, because then all the muscle will be in one of your arms, which will cause you to constantly lean towards that arm as you walk, which leads to scoliosis, followed by paralysis and then death.

Compared to all this, soda doesn’t seem too bad. Besides, by the time I get diabetes, which I am, genetically speaking, bound to get anyway, those hardworking scientists will have already found a cure. So I should be fine.

2) Start a political blog.

I don’t know how it happened, but I am now one of those people who always wants to talk about politics. I have a lot of rants going on in the back of my head right now that I want to shout out into the void, and it would be cool to have a place where I could say them unabashedly, and hey, maybe someone will even people me to write this shit. I mean, I’m completely unqualified, but that hasn’t stopped anyone before.

So why won’t I?

Because every time I write something political, I always end up regretting part of it. Like that time I compared the 2016 election to a black guy being falsely charged with rape. Yes, I actually did that. Sure, I called myself out for it ahead of time, but I feel like someone definitely should’ve commented on that post and said, “hey, Matt. Knock it off.”

Oh well. I think I’ll only get political on this blog if it’s really important to me and I feel like no one else is talking about it. Or to unabashedly support Tammy Duckworth for president. (Hey, DNC chairpeople, you reading this? Do you want to get veterans to vote democrat? Because Tammy is your way to do that. She lost both her legs fighting for our country, while Trump weaseled out of Vietnam thanks to a stubbed toe. Think about the campaign ads you can make from that! They write themselves.)

3) Become an editor.

I’m talking about becoming the person who reads manuscripts and approves or disapproves them for a publishing company. (Is that called an editor? I’m gonna look into this more.) The way I see it, I’m literally being paid to read books for a living, which at the moment sounds like my ideal job.

So why won’t I?

To be honest, I may actually try to do this. I just got to look into it a little more, because I assume getting this job is a lot more difficult than I’m making it out to be. Plus, a lot of the manuscripts are going to be terrible. Though I suppose I could just stop reading if that’s the case. But what if there’s too many good ones, and I can’t accept all of them? And what if I end up rejecting the next Harry Potter and have to live with that lost opportunity for the rest of my life?

I suppose that’s a risk I’d have to take.

Now I’m sure if I were to think extra hard, I could come up with a fourth option to put on this post, but hey, good things come in threes. A post with four bullet points would be unbalanced and therefore, irresponsible. I suppose I could add a fifth point but I’m not exactly Einstein over here.

So if you know anything about becoming an editor, let me know. And if you want to pay me money to write about politics, let me know as well. And if you know of an alternative to soda that’s still bubbly and delicious, I would also be interested.

Guest Post: Editing Sucks

The lovely Susannah A. Martin was the author of the 1,000th comment on this blog, and was rewarded with the opportunity to write a guess post for my billions of viewers to read. And here it is:

I want to make something very, very clear: I love writing. I really do. It’s hard for me to not spend at least part of my time writing on any given day. I would prefer to spend at least an hour or two a day just writing. But there is this one little thing about writing that I don’t like. Editing.

I completely hate editing, and it’s not just because it’s boring. It is, don’t get me wrong. It’s really, really, reeeaallly, boring. But that’s not the only reason I don’t like it. The whole idea of sitting down and reviewing and fixing something that I have already written and pronounced good is—distinctly uncomfortable.

I don’t like having to fix things. I know for certain that I will never purchase any of those do-it-yourself books on fixing stuff because I just don’t want to. I especially don’t like fixing things that I have created. It makes me feel like I’m ripping my own heart out. It hurts. I know the first draft of anything is never perfect, but that’s the way it feels to me. I do a lot of editing while I write anyway (that isn’t as bad somehow), so I think that I’ve done my best, that I can’t do any better.

And then I’m forced to read sentences and paragraphs and, God forbid, pages that are just, well crap. Garbage. I don’t like doing that. I don’t like admitting to myself that I messed up, especially on something like my writing. I don’t like having to change things. I know that I’ll always feel better when the editing is over, and it will make my material more readable and pleasant, but I just don’t like it.

Let me illustrate this for you. I started writing my first book, Super Star, when I was 15 during spring break. I finished writing it a year-and-a-half later. It is now almost Thanksgiving of my 17th year. By all accounts, I should be done editing the blasted thing by now, but I’m not. Part of that had to do with how long it took other people to finish their editing of it, but most of it is that I just don’t like the process. When I do get down to work on it, it usually only takes me a day to edit one chapter. My book only has thirty chapters. I am at the beginning of chapter 22. I have nine chapters to go. Given what I already told you, this should take me about nine days. But it won’t. It will probably take me a month or so.

The good news is that it’s getting easier as I do it more often. With my book in particular, it’s getting easier because, shocker, I got better at writing after a year-and-a-half. Therefore, there’s less to edit than there was at the beginning of the book. Which is awesome. So maybe I will just hunker down and finish the bloody thing. It can’t be nearly as painful as the tripling up on calculus homework that I have to do.

Thanks for writing this, Susannah!