5 things I’ve been doing wrong

I am a criminal mastermind.


Okay, maybe not… but I am at least a very devious machinator… the point is, I stole the idea for this piece from Chelsea Sutton, 2011 winner of NYC Midnight’s Annual Flash Fiction Challenge, and there is nothing you can do to stop me!  AAAHahahahaha!

Thanks for the inspiration, Chelsea.  Love your work, by the way.  🙂

Alright, enough of this.  Onward, I say!  ONWARD!

1. I can’t stop buying new books!


Okay, so this one is also on Chelsea’s list (ooh, maybe we’re long-lost soul mates… nah.), but I’ll be damned if I haven’t purchased close to 100 new titles in the past couple months.  Let me tell you, people.  There is no way I am able to read them all.  Not yet.  Oh, sure… I’ve made it through 5 or 10 of the shorter ones, but we’re talking serious shit, like Plato’s The Republic, textbooks on Philosophy and Anthropology from MIT’s MA program (I know, I’m super geeky), and The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Some other notable titles include: 1984 by George Orwell, The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle, a whole slew of great American and English classics (Animal Farm, Dorian Grey, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, War of the Worlds, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Illiad, The Odyssey, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Crime and Punishment, 2 B R 0 2 B, etc), and a  15 Story Megapack by PKD, among others.  So far I’ve been able to finish 1984 (and let’s face it, I didn’t have much of a choice, what with the whole US Government Spying on us Scandal and the rest of the world going to hell in a wicker basket), a couple essays by Mark Twain and Descartes, a few PKD shorts, and Ayn Rand’s Anthem.  Needless to say, I’ve got my hands full, and it’s going to take me the rest of the year to finish off even a fraction of these epic titles.  Moving on.

2. I made the mistake of watching Firefly


Let me go ahead and clarify this one by saying, the mistake was not in watching, but because I got HOOKED!  I spent an entire day watching back-to-back episodes of this amazing (although short-lived) Sci-Fi cult series on Netflix, and now what’ve I got to show for it?  A massive boner for Inara, a desperate longing to watch River kick the living bejesus out of some more goons, and all of it is for naught.  The show didn’t make it to a second season, and it’s been 10 years now… I think I’m probably the last guy to jump on this bandwagon.  I’m hoping though, at 6’6″, 340 pounds I can break the motherfucker and they’ll have to pull over for repairs.  Maybe that’ll make them think twice about standing up millions of cult viewers around the world, EH?!  (Please bring it back!  Pretty please?)

3. I’ve been cheating on my manuscripts


Sorry, Mr. Wendig!  This is one of Chuck Wendig’s (above) cardinal rules:  Don’t cheat on your manuscripts.  If you start something, finish the sumbitch before moving on to another piece of fine fiction ass.  Or… non-fiction ass.  Whatever floats your boat.  My boat’s been struggling to stay buoyant, frankly because I can’t stop bouncing back and forth between new ideas.  I’ll spend one day writing poetry, the next working on my autobiography, and then a week beginning 10 new concepts for Sci-Fi and Thriller novels.  This week, it’s apparently Flash Fiction.  I’m gonna need to say some Hail-Chuck’s or something.  If you are completely clueless as to what I’m prattling on about here, check this out: 250 Things You Should Know About Writing.  I just changed your entire world, with that one.  Well, okay… I didn’t do anything.  But Chuck certainly did!  This book brought me to the next stage in my own evolution as a writer.  It’s chocked-full of brilliantly-worded anecdotes and inspirational quips from one of the greatest minds in writing today, to boot.  Go. Get this. Fucking. Book.  NOW!   Mmkay, pumpkin?

4. I need to “accidentally” leave the front door open and get rid of both my cats.



Yes, yes.  They’re adorable and fuzzy and they sleep together in cute poses that make me want to vomit rays of sunshine all over my carebear collection bench press weights, but that’s not the point.  They are evil little shits, and I’m convinced they’re on a mission from Satan himself to distract me from getting any work done.  Not 5 minutes goes by without one of them jumping on the table, tearing up the blinds (in every room), romping through the house chasing after one another, or sitting in the middle of the hallway pouting, crying loudly until I lean around the corner and ask what’s wrong: which is when they look up at me with those big fat “I’M SO FLUFFY, LOVE ME!” eyes and then come over and walk around my ankles, meowing.  It is a ceaseless, monotonous, irritatingly bothersome distraction and if I don’t figure out something to do before too much longer, I’m going to SNAP  all of their furry little legs – I’m KIDDING.  I’m kidding.  No animal abuse comments, please.  These are my babies.  And I despise love them.  It’s a “love-to-hate them because they’re like my children” kind of relationship.  Also, their names are Tirami and Token.  Can you guess which is which?  I bet you can…. racist.

5. I have a horrible coffee addiction.


You’d think the caffeine would keep me focused, like Fry on that episode of Futurama where they get $300 Earth bucks back from Tricky Dick and he spends it all on 100 cups of coffee, but it doesn’t work like that (I’ve tried).  I get all jittery, start thinking of 618 things I need to do other than finishing whatever manuscript I was working on, and switch back and forth through Firefox windows checking email, and Facebook (DAMN YOU, Facebook) and doing God knows what else.  Point is: caffeine isn’t always the solution, people.  Especially when it is mixed in conjuncture with Adderall or Ritalin…. Sweet titty-milking Jesus.  I just. wanna. DANCE!


6. I’ve really gotta stop masturbating.


Bet you weren’t expecting that shit….  The list is called, “5 things I’ve been doing wrong”, but I went ahead and said “fuck that, that’s not good enough for MY followers… I’m giving these assholes a sixth thing I’ve been doing wrong.”  But that’s what you get with Mr. Chronikal.  More than you expect.  I’m a more-than-meets-the-eye kinda guy.  I like to throw in a little something extra, that wasn’t even advertised.  And that also makes you blush.  But yeah, I really need to cut this shit out… At least during the hours of 8AM-5PM.  That way, I can keep my left arm workouts going in the evenings and squeeze in enough time for getting actual work done during the day (and I write with my right hand, so it keeps my body pretty well in balance).  Too far?  Okay, I might’ve gone too far.  Oh fuck off, everyone does it.
What’s that, you say?  You don’t masturbate?

You know what I call someone who says they don’t masturbate?
A liar.



About John Chronikal

John Chronikal is a blogger, storyteller, poet, artist, composer, and songwriter. He loves to drink bourbon and write things that make his poor grandmother cringe. He is a gigantic man –– his bear hugs can crush bones –– but he is a gentle giant. Give him bourbon and chocolate and he will be your bestest friend forever. View all posts by John Chronikal

9 responses to “5 things I’ve been doing wrong

  • Wanderer

    Oh gosh….I am a writing trollop…I’ve been cheating on my manuscript with countless other pieces. This list was hilarious—you’re not the last one to watch Firefly (it’s sitting in my instant queue) and I needed that Chuck Wendig reminder. The man is a genius.

    Your cats are adorable. Mine is fifteen and likes to meow loud enough to wake the dead, JUST in case you forgot he was there.

    • John Chronikal

      Haha me too, I’ve been a slutty slut-bag the past few weeks… I’ve got a couple *cough* DOZEN projects in the works at the moment, and I can’t seem to get more than a couple chapters into one of them before I get another “brilliant” whimsical piece that comes barging into my already thoroughly clogged brain.

      Awww sounds like a cutie. At least I’m not alone! Thanks for reading, dear. 🙂

      • Wanderer

        I went through MONTHS of the worst writer’s block I’ve had yet and now it’s like all those stories were just waiting to blast through it and now demand to be written. Normally, that would be amazing…except when it makes me a writing slut.

        My pleasure! I look forward to looking back through some of your other posts! 🙂

      • John Chronikal

        Oh no! Don’t say the dreaded “WB” words! *Knocks on wood*. I’ve been fortunate enough not to go through that yet… hoping I can keep the creative ball rolling and at least continue to chug out new concepts for the time being. At least if I do hit a moment where I can’t come up with anything else new, I can turn back and finish up one or more of the stories piling up in the Notes app on my iPhone. 😉

        Please do! Love your blog title, btw. Peter pan rocks – teaching kids it’s okay to trip balls on LSD and leave your house late at night with flying strangers since 1902. LMAO.

  • Meagan

    love your style of writing. is this your “job” or just something you are doing on the side? Curious as to what ur doing for cash money these days!! keep up the good work cuz!!

    • John Chronikal

      Thanks Meagan! 😀 It’s not my job, YET. I’ve been working on it for the past 7 weeks now, and I’m very excited to continue writing and building my portfolio! I’m hoping that once I get a couple novels out into the market later this fall and early next year, I can make it a full-time gig – that’s IF I get a major publisher to push one or more of the new books, and if they’re well received by the community. So it’s nothing set in stone, by far.

      As to what I’ve been doing to pay the bills: little of this, little of that. I’ve done some video editing on the side since I graduated in December, and fortunately that’s kept my part of the rent and other bills paid. I’m still looking for a full or part-time job to keep some extra cash flow coming in, but I’m doing my very best to transition quickly into writing full time.

      Thanks for reading! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Check out some of my other stuff and show your friends.

  • Chelsea Sutton

    This is great John! Idea stealing (I mean, inspiration) is our business anyway. I got my inspiration from Penelope Trunk’s blog: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/07/08/bad-decisions-i-am-making/

    I’ve been cheating on my work for a long time and still manage to finish things…sometimes you can’t really avoid it. I have Chuck’s book but haven’t read it yet (imagine that!) so maybe he’ll change my mind.

    I’m sorry it took you so long to get on the Firefly bandwagon, but I’m glad you’ve joined us. 🙂

    • John Chronikal

      Oh yeah, me too. We sing, we dance, we steal things.

      Read it. Start today! I promise you will learn so much, and it will inspire and motivate you in ways you cannot possibly imagine. I really wish I could get in touch with him, because I want to help him make a desk calendar with a daily bit of “Wendig Wisdom” to get me going every morning… or at the very least, have some sort of mailing thing that sends one of his tips out each day. Anything to get my fix.

      I’m totally on it, got a t-shirt and fanny pack, and I’m taking up a shit ton of space with all my bags. I’ve yet to watch Serenity, but I’m sure it’s an awesome “conclusion” to the series… I just wish they’d bring it back already! 😡

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