Future Contemplations and Current Plans of Action

I have a habit, particularly as I come near the end of an academic year, of thinking about the future. I focus on minor details, and big details, and very often it feels overwhelming and terrifying and full of horrible uncertainty. And yes, there is still some of that this time. The future isn’t clear, not so much so that I know what I’ll be doing this time next year, for example, but I have thought through some options.

The one that’s most appealing to me is simple: follow my passions.

As it happens, this means doing something quite similar to what I’m currently doing with my thesis, attending conventions and interviewing interesting people from the comic book industry, because it occurred to me – HEY, I really love doing this! So, that’s what I’m going to do.

This’ll mean doing a lot more research, a lot more writing, and a lot more of a lot of other things, but essentially, it boils down to me fully immersing myself in the world I’ve become so heavily involved in of late. I’ve figured out where the regular events happen. I’ve been talking to people across the industry, and I’ve been letting myself really and truly enjoy it.

The way I’m imagining it, right now, is a lot of long-form articles on comic book culture, history, developments, etc. I need to play to my strengths, and that’s not a news or reviews site. I know I can’t keep up with the quantity of content and releases in the world, so there’s no point in me attempting it, while also trying to manage other aspects of my life.

My plan, for all of this to work out as effectively as possible, is to begin post-thesis. I have other half-formed plans and ideas, though they’re either not worth talking about (due to a lack of detail) or too important to talk about before they’re ready (because secrets.)

It feels good to have even that one little thing planned for the future, as a long-term writing and video project (because I’ll want to be doing more of that). It’s a step in the right direction, having a thematic focus for some future work. In the meantime, I’m working on a way to make sure I can actually DO all of this.

My current plan of action is to play around with some ideas of neuroscience that I’ve become familiar with over the past few weeks. In particular, I’m working on making writing a habit, again.

I think it’s sometimes too difficult to do with blogging, because of the worry I won’t have done anything interesting worth talking about. That’s not necessarily a problem I have with fiction, because I have a lot of ideas that need forming. I’ve found that flash fiction is a good way for me to do that, and even if I don’t necessarily like where the story goes (in terms of expanding it into a longer piece), I can still work on developing both my writing skills and the habit of writing.

The science behind it, simply put (because that’s the only way I know it) is that it takes 28 days to form a new neural pathway, which is akin to forming a new habit. Your brain can become accustomed to doing something if you do it enough. It’s an excellent way of breaking habits, too, which is what Tim Ferriss does. (I recommend his podcast. It’s full of things like this, but explained much better.)

So, I’m training my brain into the habit of writing daily, again. I missed a day, so I’ve to start again, but all in all, it’s going to leave me with a lot of stories, and a reminder to myself of how to write properly, again. I went a while without writing, aside from a single marketing essay and a couple of blog posts, and when I tried to write again, everything felt boring and flat.

None of that, right?

I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress. Hopefully by the time August rolls around, I’ll be writing stories like there’s no tomorrow.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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