Stressed, frustrated, and losing hope for my writing.

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I’ve written 11 novels, close to 100 short stories and I don’t have anything to show for it.

I submitted a novel today, and that’s a good thing, but I’m honestly at the point where submitting has lost its taste and I’m ready to move on to self-publishing.

My wife and I have talked about getting a collection of stories together and publishing those, and I believe that’s probably the best course of action.

I love to write. It’s the only thing I feel I’m good at. I’ve been doing it so long, like with bartending that I don’t know how to do anything else.

I could find a job doing something besides bartending, but I really enjoy it.

As far as my writing goes, I’ve written so many words in the last five years since we moved our kids from Las Vegas to Utah that I’ve made great strides in my writing. I’ve improved so much from the earlier stories after we moved.

The world is different from what it was five years ago, hell five months ago, but I get the feeling that something has to change soon, at least for my writing.

I keep submitting short stories and novels and they keep getting rejected.

I can’t afford an editor, it’s just not in our budget.

My greatest hope is that something I submit gets published but as I lose hope for that, I gain it in publishing it by myself.

Moving forward I’ll probably self-publish a collection of short horror stories. I have a few that I really enjoy and I’m looking for a theme among some of them. I may have one, but I’m still hopeful for my novels, though as I said, that hope is waning.

It’s not about the money, it’s about people enjoying what I write. If I only wrote for money that would be horrible. I can’t see myself doing anything but writing and that I haven’t had a novel picked up feels damaging to myself.

I know I’m wining about things when we’re in a pandemic, all of the racial injustice happening to Black lives, but sometimes I just need to put my feelings down on the page. True feelings.

I hope you’re all well. I will tell you if anything happens with the novel, but I think I’ll be moving forward with finding a throughway with the short story collection. That feels like the best thing to do right now.

Horror and dealing with things…

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Let’s be honest. All this shit happening around is bonkers to say the least.

I’ve tried writing something other than horror to keep my mind from thinking of all the terrible circumstances of our current existence.

But I’ve failed.

I spent three weeks writing an outline for a story that has failed to hold my attention.

I don’t think it’s the outline that did it but more along the lines of how my brain reacts to the world around me.

I thought I could write something more mainstream, or at least something non-fantastical.

That came to end this morning when I put away the outline and went back to a short story I’d shelved.

I do enjoy the world I created with that outline but I currently feel like I’m trying too hard to write something that a person would enjoy and that person isn’t me.

I like to read all flavors of books but the fantastic saved me more times than anything else has.

I’ve tried to deny it, but after writing ten books with nothing to show for it, I have to go back to what makes me happy and it’s not writing what someone who isn’t a part of my life would enjoy.

Of all the books I’ve written, they’ve all had fantastic elements. Whether they be vampires, apocalypse, Grim Dark fantasy, or any of the other derivatives of fantasy.

I just can’t write a regular fiction novel without thinking about where I could put a monster. It didn’t happen during the outline process but boy, it’s happened in the drafting process.

I keep thinking, “hey I’m could put a monster in here”, then I think, “No. That won’t work in the larger scale of the story.”

That’s my problem.

I tried writing something that wasn’t me.

Sure I read all those books when I was a kid, but I wasn’t given the option of reading anything else.

The books and comics I wanted to read I hid and read them at night when I was alone in my room.

I was always fearful of being found out that I read those books. There were always from the library at school or the public library.

Those stories got me through one of the worst parts of my childhood.

I’ve neglected the teenager and kid I was and what he would have enjoyed reading.

It was during those nights alone that I started to create my own stories.

It was those nights when I had the apartment to myself that I’d read, write, and think about stories and worlds.

I’ve forgotten those moments, or more appropriately, buried them deep enough to block them out.

I have to go back to those nights, weeks, and darkest parts of my childhood to find the stories the teenage me needed at those moments. I hated my life, who I was, and was unsure whether I wanted to continue living at all.

I owe it to the kid who survived.

The No Excuses Post

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know about how I planned on publishing last fall to only have it fall apart.

Well, that’s where the title for this post came from.

I made an excuse last fall. It was determined by other factors but I still wobbled and eventually dropped my plans for publishing.

It looks like I have a lot of time on my hands right now, so I’m thinking of doing that thing now, or at least soon.

Look, we’re not in a situation to ask for a professional editor. Just can’t do it.

So I’ll publish something. I know it isn’t perfect but I also am hoping that the little money I may make from it will help my family out.

My bartending gig is not existent right now.

I have no other way to make money and this is what I’ll do…No Excuses, right?

Change, fixing problems, and ignoring what people say.

I don’t even know where to start with this post.

I’ve had a running commentary for things for so long I don’t know where to narrow this stuff down.

So I’ll start with the relevant things.

I’ve been trying to get past that commentary.

It starts by admitting a few things.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

Words come to me when I don’t expect it and don’t come when I need them too.

This is a regular thing and I’m wondering if this is how it’s supposed to be.

The current project came out of a single thought and idea after bartending an event.

After telling myself to write an outline, I did. I thought after writing 9 books without one, I had to use an outline since none of those books are in print.

But here’s the thing, it had nothing to do with the stories. Some of them are really good.

It has to do with putting in the work.

I didn’t want to do that.

I punked out!

I would choose anything over editing. I would rather rewrite the book than figure out what was wrong with it.

It started to be a joke.

Then, after the last book, I realized I hadn’t found my voice. I didn’t know what I wanted out my writing or anything creatively.

I wanted to be published but didn’t want to do the work it entails.

I wanted the glory, so to speak, without the work.

That’s changed this last weekend.

I realized there are things I have to fix and it’s not having an outline.

Having a premise or idea about what happens is one thing. Have a rough idea of things that will happen, okay. An outline…sucks!

I will construct and idea of what is supposed to happen but planning and plotting are out the window.

I can’t. I’ve tried for three weeks and barely reached 22k, which is slow as hell for me.

Yesterday I gave up on what I had in the outline and just wrote. It was incredible!

I’ll do that from now on.

Getting comfortable

I have a tendency to stop just before things happen.

With my writing I’ll be doing good, then I back off. I don’t know why but I do.

I get into a comfortable mindset and forget that I’m supposed to be working. I’m supposed to be writing.

I told myself it wouldn’t happen again, and it hasn’t.

Something else has.

I’ve hit a point in my writing where the world I’m creating feels lived in. Feels real and it scares the hell out of me.

It’s the opposite of being comfortable, maybe.

There’s no fear but an absence of worry. I know I’ll get the project done on time. I understand where it needs to go and I’m finally comfortable with it.

I write these stories because the premise intrigues me.

I keep going with them because I made myself a promise to do it.

When I left Las Vegas four years ago I gave myself 5 years to publish a book. At the time it felt realistic.

In the next two months I’ll be doing exactly that.

The book isn’t perfect but I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it.

I’ll have more about that soon. But it will be wide and I hope you enjoy it.