Not Giving up on what I want.

There are dreams in the world that happen because we take a chance.

We’re capable of doing great things, but there are moments when we falter.

The truth is, for most of us, fear runs our lives.

It keeps us from achieving greatness.

I used to be one of those people.

I feared people would read my writing and hate. But they’d judge me based only on my writing, not on who I am.

A year ago I sent off my first short story to a magazine. The rejections have come in ever since.

Not one of my stories has been picked up. I don’t know why, but I’ll keep going. I’ll keep improving. The only way to get published it to improve every day. The only way to do that is to write every day or if you’re not writing, at least be reading.

This year I sent off a novel. It’s been seen by three agents. Two of them still have it. The third sent a form rejection.

But I’m not stopping.

I have eight more agents on my list.

When I get rejections from all of them, I’ll shelve it and work on the other one.

I have a goal. It won’t be achieved until I’m published.

I’ve written seven novels, over 100 short stories.

Some of them good, some bad, but I keep writing.

I won’t accept being unpublished.

This year I’ve improved more than any year. My focus hasn’t wavered.

I’m starting another novel next month, another novel I’ll be editing, and few short stories I’ll be submitting.

This road doesn’t end until I’m published.

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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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Things…etc.

When you feel life slipping and your goals trying, you have to understand that the world is difficult.

The difficulty of this life is that we have to get through it in any way possible.

Our any way possible can be whatever but our decisions along the road to our goals determines longevity.

I don’t usually think about these decisions but something changed. I’m not sure of the content of the change, but I do know it’s effects.

I’m aware of where my writing is going but there are times I’m unsure. I believe it’s impossible to be completely sure of our course. It’s not something we plan; only what we create.

I’ve written stories which were difficult to write and others I had no idea whether I’d come out the other side intact.

We get to where we need to be by working. There is nothing else.

Working, grinding, writing…etc.

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, but I have been writing.

I’ve been submitting stories, getting rejections and contemplating life outside of writing. That doesn’t mean I intend to quit.

I’ve been think about whether I’m working hard enough to achieve my goals. The conclusion is, I haven’t. I don’t edit after I’ve finished something. I let it gather on my hard drive, sometimes never to see the light of day.

There is a problem, as you’ve all guessed, in this. It makes it look like I’m not producing when I am. I wrote 25 short stories over the summer, finished a novel and started querying another.

I hate editing more than almost anything except spiders. I’m working to break myself of this.

I started the read-through for the novel I finished this summer and started editing short stories as well. The writing group I joined is helping immensely.

My goal was to be published this year, it’s still my goal but publication may look different from what I thought it would be.

Anyway, happy writing. I’m still here just busy with writing and bartending.

The act of creating still baffles.

When I write I wonder where everything comes from.

I’ve used beat sheets, outlines, and done discovery writing. My current project is at 52k after 29 days and all discovery written.

When the words come out, there are times I wonder where they come from. I finish my writing for the day, go back and read some of it and think, “that came from my brain, how?”

This little thing keeps me writing. I write not only because I love it but I’m often curious how the words will come out.

I think about times when I struggle to get the words and whether they’d be different if I hadn’t been struggling. I think of all the times I didn’t write and what I missed out on.

That last part is my major motivator.

What story was I not creating when I wasn’t writing? What worlds weren’t explored? What people did I not bring to life? These things keep me up at night more than the current draft.

I hope I’m not the only who thinks this way. I wonder what other writers are working on or whether some of my favorite books would be different if certain authors had written them earlier in the day or later.

Whether accidents they had or family issues they’ve dealt with changed the story because they were away from the page.

I write to find out these things. If I’d written longer today, what would be different from what I write tomorrow? What changes to the story would I have made and would they be good?

Without a time machine, there’s no way to discover these things.

I write because I like to wonder about how the story would turn out differently, how I would turn out differently.

If I had continued to write in my teens, would I be published today?

I know its not good to dwell on the past, but these things pop up when I work.

Mostly I think about the stories and how I create them. Where all of these characters come from and how I let them run the story.

When a character takes over a section of the story I feel like I’ve succeeded for the day. It’s happened a lot in the current project. I’ve never written as fast as I am currently. I know where the story ends, I know how, but getting there is fun as hell. I’m enjoying the process more than I have since the last book.

I’m working on my seventh book. I have one queried and another in revisions with my writing group. I submitted a short story last night and I’ll be working on others in the next couple of weeks.

My kids are back in school next week and I’m looking forward to all of us returning to our schedules, but most of all I’m looking forward to seeing where all of my stories go.

The doorways.

Today, I read an article on Tor.com and it got my wife and me talking.

We started with which books were our gateway to reading regularly.

For her, the books she read were the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and The Secret Garden.

For myself, reading was different. There were books I felt I had to read to satisfy my father. Then there were other books.

The latter books were ones I wanted to read, and I did, though not in the living room where my father could see the covers.

This second group came from the school library or on my weekends with my mom. She never judged me for what I read. I believe one of the reasons I write horror and fantasy is because of the books she read.

I remember seeing my mom with horror books. Today, along with my wife, she’s the person I feel my books are written for.

When it came to the books my father had me read, it was always techno-thrillers like Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, and others. I was reading those books in sixth grade. I may not have understood all of the text, but I read them because it felt required of me.

The first time I read a book that I loved was The Indian in the Cupboard. It was one my mom bought for me. I read that book a few times.  I didn’t enjoy the second book as much and by the time the third came out I was bored with the series.

After we discussed our early beginnings with reading, my wife and I talked about books by authors we don’t read anymore.

For me, it’s Anne Rice, for her it’s the Lisbeth Salander books.

The first time I remember seeing Anne Rice’s books was with my father. I showed him Interview with the Vampire, I was fourteen. He said, “No, you’re not getting that.” Then he handed me a techno-thriller. I read the techno-thriller but remembered the cover for Interview.

It was years later when the movie came out that I read that book. If I had read Interview at fourteen I may have turned out differently. I loved that book, though The Vampire Lestat is still my favorite. I can still quote sections of the book.

I fell out of love with Anne Rice when she started the new Lestat series a few years ago. I’m not sure why I did, but it no longer holds power with me as it once did.

I believe we outgrow books sometimes.

Sometimes it’s the authors themselves.

My wife and I agree on that point.

With my own kids, I used to push books on them. Now, I let them read what they enjoy. I know what feels like to have a certain genre thrust down your throat until you gag on it, it’s unpleasant.

Today, I read a lot in the horror genre, but in order to improve my writing, I’m reading more regular fiction.

If you follow me on GoodReads you’ll see what I’ve read this year. It’s diverse but not as much as it needs to be. I can’t help it, I like to be scared or unnerved by what I read.

I like the challenge of getting through books that terrify people.

When I write, I try to have my wife and mom in mind. I think what would terrify them. Then I do that.

Continuing to level up…

When my son was little my wife and I played World of Warcraft after he was in bed.

Then it grew to be too much to handle with kids. But there was one thing that was always fun: Taking a new character and running it through dungeons.

My wife would use her high-level or I’d use mine and we’d run one of each other’s characters through the low-level dungeons.

It was a chance to say in Guild Chat, ding ___ hit level ___. It was fun.

Now that I don’t play, mostly because of lack of time, sometimes I mark advances in my writing by chokingly telling my wife, ding, I hit another level.

I don’t do it often, because the little thing achievements aren’t a big deal.

It’s when I achieve something big that I say it.

This week I dinged.

I bartend for events for a bartending service. I work weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, corporate parties and similar events.

Our company works with a particular caterer constantly and one of their leads is a writer.

A few weeks ago, he asked me to join his writing group.

Yesterday, through a conference call, we went through each other’s work.

It will be a regular thing, every two weeks, and I get someone else to read my work.

I’ve been wanting to find a writing group where people take it seriously. This is the first time I’ve found one.

I leveled up in my writing this week, Ding!

Creating and pushing through.

Creating, either in writing or any other endeavor requires fortitude and focus.

Today, I wanted to quit early because I was tired and I’m ahead in the draft.

I thought, okay, I’ve written 7 books, this is the eighth one, I should just coast.

Then I realized, I couldn’t coast.

I had a story to write, one that I’d given up on earlier in the year and it needed to get finished as soon as possible.

I pushed through it, finished the section I’d been writing and hit 28k on the draft in 15 days.

Focus is hard with everything going on in the world.

Fortitude and resilience are important items to have in your war chest. Keep them close at hand.

Busy…

The last couple of weeks have been busy with bartending, writing, and submitting.

It’s not a decent excuse but it’s all I have.

I’ve joined a new writing group and they’ll be going over all of my writing along with my wife.

I’m back to writing a project I stopped in March. It took the past 5 months to figure out where it was going.

I discovered I needed to ignore what my head tells me even more than I thought I should.

So that’s why there haven’t been any posts.

I’m not being lazy, just busy.

Until Thursday…

It’s​ the little things that keep me going.

When I think back about life in the past couple of years, there were little things that kept me going.

From a few replies from authors on Twitter to comments about my writing from my son.

He asks me about what I’m writing. I tell him about a story I finished, what it’s about, and how much fun it was to write.

Last school year, he took a creative writing class. My wife and I thought he’d enjoy it, and he did.

This summer, he gets up and writes when I write in the morning. I’ve restricted him to 500 words a day, but a few times he’s done more than that. I have a story of his I need to go over with him, and I’ve been trying to find time for it.

I’ll do it tomorrow since I won’t be bartending, and I only have my regular WIP word count to get.

There are other little things, but my son enjoying something I love doing, and him doing it with me, that makes me feel accomplished as a dad.

He’s a good kid. He works hard.

If I can help him avoid the issues I had with my writing early on, then I’ve done well.

I could list a lot of things, but this one is most important to me.

Busy and almost missed today.

Today is the first time I’ve nearly missed writing a post in a few months.

I’m not going make some bullshit excuse.

Our power did go out last night but it was on in time for me to write a post today or yesterday.

The fact is I’ve been writing a lot.

I finished two short stories in the past couple of days. I received a rejection from an agent for the novel I submitted; this is the fourth rejection for this particular novel.

I have other stories. I’ll write more. I’ll continue writing and after I get a acceptance letter I’ll go quiet for a while and work on other things.

I took a lot of time off from Delusions of Ink, I don’t intend to do it again.

Happy writing.

Brian

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