Instead of the Grateful Eight This Month, Let’s Celebrate My Neatness

Most of my old regulars know that I don’t do the award thing, although I have committed to letting Kacha give me one per year. I’ve been so wrapped up in my latest book project and just realized today that I missed my Grateful Eight post by at least 10 days.

So, I’m going to make an exception and accept the Real Neat Blogger Award and extend thanks to Nilesh Sharma, who nominated me. I urge you to check out his common sense blog when you get a chance. He shares a lot of great stuff he finds and I urge you to check out his Margaret Meade and Abraham Lincoln entries.

If you know me, you know I’m not nominating anybody else. Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments if you’d like.

Here are the questions Nilesh has asked me to answer:

1. Name any 2 lines or dialogues from books/movies that you found fascinating.

My favorite quote of all time is by Friedrich Nietzsche:

“That which is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.” It’s quoted in a bunch of his books, so take your pick.

I think the greatest character ever portrayed on TV was Lt. Bookman, the library cop on one episode of Seinfeld. If this rerun is on, everything in my house stops to hear his monologue, which is obviously inspired by Joe Friday’s staccato delivery:

I can’t write it all down, so watch it:

2. What type of movies do you watch? any specific director or actor preferences?

I like independent films that are well done, weird and haven’t been seen before, but I don’t like stuff to be weird for the sake of it. For instance, I think both Midsommar and Parasite were two of the best films ever made. Both came out in 2019. I also like documentaries. I’ll never watch anything that’s a period costume drama, has a theme of war or looks dumb…which means I don’t watch a lot.

3. What is your take about Politics?

Republicans are heartless hypocrites, Democrats are brainless hypocrites. If only there was a third party the Cowardly Lion could join.
4. Name three Habits you want to share with us.

  • I get up every morning at 5:30 to deal with the dogs so my wife can sleep
  • I enjoy likely unhealthy levels of caffeine
  • Unless somebody reminds me to eat, I often miss meals…yet my midsection doesn’t show it.

5. Which will be your go-to place for dinner, once this lockdown ends?

I miss sushi. Most of the other stuff I can get curbside, but the good sushi place in town shut down until this is over.

6. Describe your favourite Book.

It’s got pages and a cover and I can put it on a shelf. It was probably also written by me.
7. When you joined the WordPress community, what were your thoughts? Did you have any expectations? Was there any specific reason why you chose blogging? (Apart from being passionate about writing)

Damn it, now I have to learn to build a website. I started to promote my first book, but when it was delayed a few months, I just started writing to fill the time and here we are now, nearly three years later. Or is it four?

 

The First Draft of the ‘Porn During the Pandemic’ Book is Basically Done

I was asked to write a mini-book by my publisher and to make it 10K to 20K words 15 days ago. Since then, I have interviewed 19 people, some at great length and written 28,961 words. My short days were 8-10 hours and once the interviewing was mostly done and it was just writing, the days got longer. On Saturday, I wrote 9,735 words over 15 hours and yesterday I wrote 8,224 words over 14 hours.

I think I’m going to start reading it later today, but I needed to give myself at least 18 hours to kind of get it out of my head so I could start at the beginning with a fresh set of eyes.

I’m still looking for another porn addict who has successfully navigated the pandemic (Rollie, you fit the profile? If so, drop me an email), a cam model who has retired, and a therapist to talk a bit about healthy sexuality. If you’re any of these people…let me know.

I actually think more than my other books, this one best shows my ability as a journalist and writer. While I do tell this story in the first person as a narrative thread, there’s a ton of research and a pretty deep dive into analysis of statistics. I wrote on here at the beginning of the year that I think some of Pornhub’s reporting is faulty, but I really lay out my case in this book.

I also interviewed a bunch of cam models, which is something I’d never done before. I’m usually on the side of telling people it’s not healthy to watch them or participate in them, and I still believe that at my core, but I met a really interesting bunch of people, almost all of whom I would think could be, or could have been, my friends in real life when I was younger. Having them talk about the more technical end of their job and what it means to their real lives off-camera was something I haven’t read much about. It’s the longest chapter, probably because in many ways, I found it to be the most interesting since it was my first time tackling that subject.

I think writing this book has been very good for my mental health. I’ve kind of been wandering aimlessly the last several months, even before the pandemic, uninterested in the freelance/ghostwriting I was doing and unable to get up and excited for a new book idea I have — which I still think is great, but it’s not the time for it yet. And then I have another book idea for after that, which is even more exciting, but I’ve got to get them done in the proper order. Nonetheless, I didn’t need to hustle for money because I was doing OK and nothing was stoking any fires of passion for my work. Turning out a well-researched 30,000-word book in two weeks has changed that. If gave me a burst of much-needed adrenaline. I think it also helps that in these two weeks, the weather has got much nicer and I can sit outside in shorts most days. That helps my demeanor a lot.

I believe the hope is that the book will be out in late June, but with the slowdown in production, I have a feeling that July is more realistic. With the way states are acting about the epidemic, I’m sure it will still be around and make the book still relevant in the moment. If not, I think it will always be an interesting look at how this time caused people to act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.

During the creation of the book, I got another piece of very cool news that should be a big boost to me professionally, but I have also signed a non-disclosure agreement that says I can’t announce it for a little while. They haven’t given me a timetable, but I think it will be July or August on this one.

And, as always, you can buy my first two books from Amazon. The most recent book is on sale at the moment, 27% off the regular hardcover price and 19% off the softcover. No idea how they get those figures. You can see that book HERE.

All right, time for lunch, a little sunshine and some editing…

Looking for People to Interview ASAP for New Book on Pornography and the Pandemic

I was commissioned by my publisher yesterday to write a small book that dovetails the blog posts I’ve done and podcasts I’ve appeared on, talking about how porn addiction has escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it’s obviously easier to produce a book 25% the size of one of my normal ones, I have much less than 25% of my typical time to produce it. It’s more like 2%.

Like the blog posts, there is going to be a level of research in this book, although it will end with a self-help aspect.

I’m trying to get interviews with people who fit into one of the following categories. If you or anybody you know fits any of these profiles, I would like to talk to you. Everything for publication will be kept anonymous. You can email me at jshea.writer@gmail.com to participate and/or for more details.

I’m looking to interview:

  • A person in longterm recovery who has worried about relapsing during the pandemic or has felt tinges of potentially heading toward relapse, but has not relapsed.
  • I’m looking for the same person above who has actually relapsed.
  • A person in short term recovery who has worried about relapsing during the pandemic or has felt tinges of potentially heading toward relapse, but has not relapsed.
  • I’m looking for the same person above who has actually relapsed.
  • An active addict, or heavy porn user, who can talk about how their viewing habits have changed during the pandemic.
  • Someone who is worried they have crossed into obsessive or addiction territory based on their use of porn during the pandemic.
  • Someone who has seen their porn use increase, but is not too worried about it in the long run.
  • Someone who previously rarely looked at porn but is now engaging at any level.
  • A person who worked in cam rooms or some other form of Internet porn work prior to and during the pandemic.
  • A person who started working in cam rooms or some other form of Internet porn work during the pandemic.
  • Someone who launched an OnlyFans page prior to the pandemic.
  • Someone who launched an OnlyFans page during the pandemic.
  • A professional therapist who will speak to any change in use of pornography reported by their clients during the pandemic.
  • Any friend or family member of somebody whose porn use escalated during the pandemic and they are now more concerned than ever.

If any of these people describe you and you’re willing to go on the record anonymously, please drop me an email at jshea.writer@gmail.com and I’ll be back to you within hours.

Excerpt from “Jesus Is Better Than Porn”

Note from Josh: Today I turn over the reins to Hugh Houston, who has written the inspirational and successful book, “Jesus is Better Than Porn.” He has graciously allowed me to excerpt a piece of his book that talks about what a mind that focussed on porn needs to be replaced with. I know Amazon is taking a bit of time getting real books to people these days, but there are also Kindle and Audiobook versions available. A link is at the end of the excerpt.

From Jesus is Better Than Porn by Hugh Houston

There were times when I reasoned that dealing with porn was worse than an addiction to alcohol or cocaine because everywhere I went, my thoughts went with me. I had a library of impure images filed away in my brain.  How could I ever get rid of them?  These obscene thoughts had invaded every corner of my mind.  They were with me when I laid my head on my pillow at night and when I woke up in the morning.  How could I avoid them?  I felt like my brain was a haunted house inhabited by a million ghosts.

Imagine an empty glass.  It’s not really empty, it’s full of air.  Now imagine trying to get all of the air out of the glass.  You might try using a vacuum cleaner, but that probably won’t work. The easiest way to get the air out of the drinking glass is to fill it with something else, like water.  The water goes in and the air goes right out.

That’s what I had to do with my brain.  How could I get rid of all of those obscene thoughts that hounded me day and night?  I had to focus my mind on good things.  As I learned to dwell on healthy thoughts, I began to win the battle against those lusty images that attempted to take control of my mind.

The apostle Paul gives this advice:

“Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

Motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar urged people to get rid of “stinking thinking”. Well, there is nothing worse than a carnal mind using other people for its own selfish ends.  The best way I know of to push all of those immoral images from my brain is to replace them with thoughts which are pure, true, noble, admirable, and excellent.  Our primary battleground in the war against this plague (or any other undesirable practice), lies in what we decide to think about, what we allow to occupy the space between our ears.

In 1427 Thomas A. Kempis wrote the following in The Imitation of Christ:

“Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.  First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.”

This has certainly been true in my life. When I resist temptations right off the bat, I do just fine. But if I give in just a hair, leave the door ajar just a fraction of an inch, it soon becomes almost impossible not to yield.  My best strategy (really the only strategy that works) is to avoid every impure thought and to stay as far away from the slippery slope as possible.

Impure thoughts cannot be toyed with.  Only a fool tries to see how close he can get to the edge of the slippery slope before sliding down all the way to the bottom.  The best way to head off feelings of lust is to nip them in the bud.  Act quickly, vigorously, and decisively.  Be radical.  It is the only way to ever break free from the compulsive cycle of porn and lust.

If you’d like to learn more about Hugh Houston or order a copy of Jesus is Better than Porn, click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DMF6ZQS

No, It’s Not The Coronavirus That’s Making Me Depressed

The thing that sucks about heading toward a depressive/anxiety episode, as my body is telling me that I’m doing is that there is very little I can do to stop it. It’s just part of the deal with bipolar disorder. I can call the doctor and ask them to up my meds, which I may do in the coming days, provided they don’t demand an office visit. I refuse to pay $152 for something they can just do over the phone. When they insist, I usually just tell them “Never mind, I’ll try to get by” and then I get my way.

I have to make sure that I’m also not helping along some self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t want to feel shitty and I have to constantly make sure that I’m not overblowing it. My grandmother left me scarred as far as knowing when I’m actually sick or not, so I constantly have to assess the situation and make sure I’m not telling myself that I’m better or worse than I actually am. It’s a little easier with a physical ailment, especially if it’s bleeding, but with a mental issue, I have to double-check that I’m being honest with myself.

One of the slightly annoying things is that I don’t feel like I have the manic upswings I once did. If I have to have the lows, the trade-off should be the highs that I experienced when I was younger. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t happen now that I think about it.

I’m off to see my therapist in about an hour. I only visit her about once every three weeks now, but I’m going to suggest that we make the next appointment a little sooner. I really hope she doesn’t ask me what my mother and wife have: “This doesn’t have to do with being scared about the Coronavirus does it?”

I wrote about it last week and may have dismissed it a little more than I should have, but no, it’s nothing to do with that. I do think if Tom Hanks dies from it, we should rename it Tom Hanks’ Disease, like we have Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Maybe that’s morbid. No, that’s definitely morbid. The thing that hit me last night was that my uncle who died in late January has no idea that any of this happened. I don’t think his death has actually hit me yet. Maybe it won’t.

Mother Nature can be a bitch, but I think it’s important that humans are reminded now and then that we don’t have the power we think we do. We still can’t control the weather, nor natural disasters and we still can’t control pandemics. The world has had its share of volcanic eruptions that destroy the ecosystem or floods and fires that wipe out huge swaths of land. We’ve seen hurricanes and tsunamis take hundreds and thousands of lives and yes, there have been many diseases and plagues that took the lives of even more.

All that said, the human animal is resilient. We’ve gone 200,000 years and we’re going to go a lot more. In the coming days, you’re probably going to hear a lot more negative news and a ton of new cases, which is going to cause some people to have fatalistic, “the sky is falling” attitudes. To this, I say, “I don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

It’s interesting how people who haven’t experienced depression or anxiety think it works. When most people hear depression, they think sadness and when they hear anxiety they think scared. While I do get helpings of each, it’s more about a physical and mental paralysis with me. I physically feel both a tightness and a sense of detachment from my body and mind. For those who have smoked marijuana, it’s a little similar to that high. I just can’t operate at normal speed as I feel impaired.

Last year, I had a horrible bout of this, but I don’t see this one being even half as bad. I think what may have made it worse last year was that I didn’t recognize it soon enough and get the necessary rest to help move things along. I’m not going to make that mistake this time. I’ve cleared a bunch of my work for the next couple weeks and aside from a major radio show this weekend (if you’ve got Sirius XM, I’ll be on Sunday at 6 on Channel 131) I’m stepping back from marketing the book.

Anyway, I think I just needed to get this babbling out of my system before I see my therapist. I hope everyone has a good day. Wash your hands.