A few years ago, I had started ejspurrell.com initially to showcase my writing and my work. That period of my life was a time of upheaval and change. I had just moved to a new city, had started a new job, and was at long last granted custody of my daughter.
Unfortunately, it was something that fell by the wayside in favor of far more important things. (Like having running water, electricity, and raising a kid.)
However, in June of 2016, my daughter graduated from high school. (Also enjoying her second consecutive year on the honor roll I might add.) And as all kids must, she moved out on her own to start her life fresh.
That opened up some time for me. Time to write, time to spend maintaining and improving a website, and more importantly, time to interact with any community associated with either.
In 2008, I finished my first epic-length novel. Running at close to 250k words, Children of the Halo took nearly a year of my life to write, refine and publish, which I eventually did in 2012 to generally positive reviews.
I followed up Children of the Halo with Persephone: Twenty Past Midnight, a project I’d been dabbling with on and off for a couple of years, but soon after I shied away from the spotlight, focusing instead on my role as a single father, a provider, and an amateur pundit on various social, cultural and political matters via my Twitter account. A practice I still maintain to this day.
About a month ago, something changed. I was feeling listless, without direction. I’d been struck with empty nest syndrome to a degree; my daughter no longer lived with me and I was having trouble finding productive ways to spend my time.
But then I came across a controversy that garnered my interest. A Clinical Psychologist, former Harvard educator, and current educator at the University of Toronto had made waves as a Professor Against Political Correctness. Jordan Peterson is a well-spoken man, who one can tell just by watching him is a man who very carefully constructs his words. I began to become interested in him due to the controversy, and found him to be, in a word, brilliant. He had a way of putting thoughts that I had been wrestling with for years into incredibly well-formed statements. I began to watch his lectures on YouTube, and found a particular synergy with his Maps of Meaning lectures. He was able to break down many stories told over the millennia into fairly simple-to-understand formulas. I’d followed the Hero’s Journey for most of my writing career. But Peterson introduced me to a whole new way to look at fiction.
Peterson was the co-author of an online course called Future Authoring. A course designed to help people organize their goals and plan ways in which to achieve them– not by giving you a set of tasks, but rather, guiding you to develop your own methods of achieving them. In the month since I’ve taken the course, I can say I’ve been more productive than at any other point in recent years by a factor of four. I’ve been writing every day, getting housework done that I’ve been putting off for months, and instead of wasting time watching YouTube or Netflix, have instead been investing more in my own future. I’ve taken self-help programs before. But Future Authoring was the first one that actually seemed to work. As such, I suggest it to anyone who is having trouble finding their motivation.
Anyhow, getting back to the topic at hand– this website– I’ve got a specific plan set up, which I will reveal in the coming weeks as I tweak the site to be both user-friendly and to my liking. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to subscribe to this blog, add me on social media, and stay tuned.