The Decisions we make.

This week has been one of those where ideas come up. Things happen I consider doing things that aren’t in my ten or even twenty-year plan and I have to abandon them.

I’ve been trying to write another book this year and I haven’t been able to get any words on the page. I’m not sure of why. Maybe my mind is occupied with the world around me and I can’t shut it off as easily as I did last year.

Last year was a banner year for my writing: Three books were written and I’ll be submitting two of them.

I have big plans for this year and the one idea that came up this week would have thrown all those ideas out the window.

The idea was something I’ve always wanted to do, but it wasn’t in my plan so it got tossed.

When ideas come or opportunities present themselves there are decisions to be made.

I made the decision to finish my plans for the year and to ignore any distractions.

If it’s not pushing me towards my goals, it’s a distraction.

Anyway, move forward and don’t stop until you’re there.

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Looking at Failure Differently

The doubt bugs crawl in, infest themselves in your mind, control your thoughts and you suspend everything you’re doing because you failed at something.

Here’s the truth, failure happens.

Failure is required for improvement.

Without the punishment we feel from failure, we’re not able to step up and grind out our goals.

Failure hurts.

It makes us want to quit.

It will want to stop working towards your goals.

The pain from failure should remind you you’re human. Take it as learning and move forward.

Every time we fail its fate telling us we’re not there yet. It’s not telling us to stop.

If you stop, you’ll look in the mirror one morning, stare at the wrinkles, wonder where time went and wish you would have stayed on the path.

Go forward and keep working on your goals.

Keep pushing forward.

Frustration, Fate, ​and Writing.

Okay, hear me out.

This is not a post about how sad I am about being unpublished, it’s more about the frustration of working the day job while worrying I could be writing, querying, editing, but because the day job pays the bills.

I’m aware of the one in a million chance of being the author who gets a contract that changes their lives.

The moments of wonder when I’m at my day job are not small.

I think about these things a lot more than I probably should as an unpublished writer.

Though, I’m certain there are others who think these things as well.

This past week is a perfect example.

I worked the day job, four days last week, which is more than I usually work, but it’s the time of year that allows it.

January through March is quiet as an event bartender. Its the nature of the gig.

Don’t get me wrong, I love bartending. I love the interaction with guests. I enjoy making cocktails and do it often for my wife.

There are moments I’ll have an interaction with a guest. I roll my eyes and think about the story I’m writing and what I have to do when I get home or the following morning.

After that moment has passed I look around and wonder, ‘Is that all I’m supposed to be doing with my life?’ I know it’s not. I’ve known that since I was a kid. Those thoughts persist, especially now that I’ve begun to query agents with finished novels.

I try to put them farther back. I find I work harder when they’re at the forefront of my thoughts.

The more focused I am on getting published the more I think about the possibilities for publication.

Each of us is meant for a certain path, I completely believe that. I didn’t use to.

Something happened that made me believe it. Fate has a path for each us that we’re destined to take.

We have choices to make, we’ll feel them when they arrive.

Those choices are tough.

Keep going no matter what games your mind plays you.

Being a Force of Nature

There is a fierceness that comes with the pain we endure.

It doesn’t have a name.

We can find it and harness it when we need it most.

The destruction we go through discovering ourselves is only the slightest movement in this direction.

It is the wind pushing us through the tumultuous fire of discovery that makes our lives worth it.

This wind can guide us like a summer breeze or destroy us like a hurricane.

We are molded by this wind, no matter its strength.

When we get to the path of discovery we’re led there by the wind.

We’ve become the force of nature we’ve always desired and needed in our lives.

We are the storm, the strength we need in the darkest of times.

Without the storm, we never would have been molded into the person we are.

We are a force of nature.

Finding purpose in a minefield​.

When the world feels like its crumbling around you, look for things that make your life better.

Each day we consider what others think about is, we’re stepping in a minefield.

The minefield is littered with crushed dreams, faded photographs and the loss of peace of mind.

The minefield is bigger than we believe it to be.

It looks like only a few yards, but it goes on for years. Those years are lost to the judgment of self, loss of productivity and an absence of who we are.

Who we are is the most important of these.

It is what we believe ourselves to be that defines us.

It carries us through a forest of thorns, a no man’s land of pain and sometimes that no man’s land is littered with our lost dreams.

We only fail in our dreams if we stop following and the lost dreams in no man’s land will never have their second coming. They will never have that resurrection we desire for them.

We have to move past those lost dreams at some point.

When we discover that the minefield is an illusion and the words that others say don’t matter, we move into a new realm of who we are.

This realm is ripe with purpose.

It answers the questions of we thought we were and gives us guidance.

Faith, journeys, ​and progressions

Every day we have the opportunity to solve our problems.

We have a chance to stand out in the world for who we are, what we want and whether we’re going to do what’s needed to accomplish our goals.

Today, I sit in a better place than I’ve been in a long time.

I still struggle with depression, though its no longer a constant.

In the past, I would blame others for my failings. I would stoke fires of hatred towards those who I believe wronged me.

In this life, our journey’s and endings are determined by how hard we work for what we want.

I never thought about working hard enough to achieve my goals. I never understood what it would require.

There were times when I’d have little glimpses of what I thought it required. Those glimpses allowed me to narrow my focus.

Understanding the journey and the faith it required in myself created a radical change in how I approach my writing, life, and daily challenges.

I use to hide from what I wanted. Expecting it because I believed I deserved it.

Nothing comes to those with those beliefs. The only way to get what you want is to work your ass off.

Today, I understand that faith in myself and my writing will bring m to where I want to be.

I understand the journey I’ve been on has led me to this place.

I believe the progress I’ve made in recreating who I want to be has made all of the above possible.

We can get through life without failing ourselves. We can understand that our faith will guide us to where we are required.

Somewhere in the middle of all of it, we’ll reach the place where we’re needed.

Coming around…

The world changes, the night comes and we wonder where the hell everything that made us feel good about what we’re doing went.

It happens in mysterious ways.

We feel we’re destined for great things and they appear to fall apart. As if the strings that tie them were pulled and we’re left with a pile of yarn.

It’s the persistence that moves us closer though it feels more like pestilence has ridden through our lives.

What we thought has become past and what we want is continuously in the future.

It’s in this future that the world we want resides.

We need to work harder.

There are moments when the world continues its run. Where it continues to be bothersome. These are the moments we need to keep grinding.

We want what we want but sometimes for one reason or another, we’re afraid to.

We feel we’ll alienate those around us.

We feel our spouse, partner, children or whatever will be angry for spending more time with ourselves than with them.

If they feel that way than we’re not telling them enough.

We’re not showing them what we’re doing or how much we love what we’re doing.

In the end, our lives are proof of either how hard we worked or didn’t.

Your writing…

Your writing and your life get to where they need to be through persistence and hardship.

You never truly know how far you’ve come until you’re sitting at your writing desk leafing through past books and you’re truly thankful every day that you get to do what you do.

When you stare at unfinished books on your hard drive or books that you’ll never publish you’ll understand why you grind every day.

When people ask about your writing you tell them your working but never give specifics because you can’t.

There are days you only get a few hundred words and you get worried or depressed that you’re not pulling your weight with your family.

Those days are the hardest.

Then you hit a new goal, figure something out and you’re back at it.

You’re still not published because you’re afraid of what people will say.

You continue to work because it’s in creating characters, worlds and stories you find the most peace in your life.

You’re not always happy but you get to a place when you’re writing that makes you feel something that nothing else gives you.

You have to keep writing for no other reason than you love to create lives.

Keep going.

The Struggle of Something New

I started writing a new story this past week and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the struggle I was going through midweek.

I’ve always pantsed my books and they’ve never gone anywhere.

I’ve written 5 books, but they were all pantsed.

When I looked back at what I’d done wrong with them there was only one explanation for what I’d done wrong.

I didn’t use an outline.

With this new story, I’m using an outline, beat sheet and a story development sketch.

I figured if, after five books that I didn’t feel good enough about, I should try something else.

The definition of insanity is doing something over and over expecting new results.

That’s why I’m writing the new story with a beat sheet, outline, and story development sketch.

The need to move my writing forward, get published, and help my wife out more is what drives me to write, that and I really love the work. I love writing, I love it more than almost anything.

I love writing, I love it more than almost anything.

My goal this summer has been to improve my writing. I’ve done that by reading books, practicing sentence structure, and writing stories that I wouldn’t write otherwise.

This last step–an outline–is where I’ve struggled most.

It’s like learning to write all over again. Following the beats, outline and other pieces within

Following the beats, outline and other pieces within the structure, I’ve set for the novel is more difficult, but I know the book will be better for it.

It’s hard but without the difficulties, my writing wouldn’t improve and that was my goal for this summer.

I hadn’t planned on writing a long-form story this summer but things change and we have to improve to grow our craft.

 

 

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