Trying to get through…

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I’ve become stuck on my recent project. I don’t know where it broke. What happened or how to fix it.

The one thing that I did different from the previous project is I didn’t think this on through.

I didn’t plan. I didn’t plot. I didn’t create a pathway to get where I need to be; where the story needs to be.

I’ve been writing a dozen short stories over the holiday break, and maybe that’s why I thought I could wing it with a longer form story.

It hasn’t worked and I can’t go back to writing multiple drafts again.

I have the story I finished before Thanksgiving and I’ll work on improving that one.

It’s strange how you write one way for so long, then you start a new way and it’s like finding the holy grail.

I’ve written 10 novels and eight of those were written by pantsing. The other two I either wrote a beat sheet or did an outline and it’s those latter ones that I feel are my best work.

They have a better flow through, a better story, character development, but after using and outline and beat sheet, I’ve gone back to a few of those and discovered what went wrong and fixed it.

I’m querying one of them right now. It’s out with three agents.

This year I want to push what scares me and that leads into a conversation I had with my wife the other day about the current slate of horror. But I’ll talk about that on Wednesday.

Enjoy the first full week of the new year.

What comes next…

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Last year I did a lot to work towards my goals of publishing, but there was still the bit of fear of doing it.

I realized that I’m completely in control of this whole thing and if I’m going to publish, no matter what form the stories are in, I have to do the work. I also must have the time to work.

I won’t be doing any events this next year if they start before 12:30 in the afternoon. That will leave the morning open for working, which is what I should have been doing from the outset, but I wanted to be accommodating to the company I work for. They are the only ones who would hire me after leaving Vegas and I felt I owed them to work any time they needed me.

I still owe them a great deal. They saved my ass.

But I’ll be 44 this year and I wanted to have more done in my life by now. I had goals that for one reason or another I didn’t follow through with.

I set standards for what I wanted to have done by the this time. I tossed them away.

This year, I plan on focusing on editing and getting things out.

Those who have followed the blog(all 360+ of you) know how hard I’ve struggled with editing. I won’t struggle this year.

I have too much at stake to toss it away.

I will publish this year, in some form.

If someone who has multiple paying jobs can do it, I can do it with my one.

I think I’ve stopped looking at my writing as a side project. It’s my main focus. I will bartend events this year but I won’t let it take away my focus from my writing. If I have to bring my laptop to an event, then I’ll do that.

This year I’ll publish.

There is no other way to do it.

I’ll take breaks from social media. I’ll avoid things this year. Events I shouldn’t have gone to last year, I’ll stay away from this year.

This year I have three projects in mind and a few others I’m thinking about.  I plan on writing to books and a couple of novellas as well as a bunch of short stories.

I wrote seven stories over the Christmas break and I’ll be going through all of them in the coming weeks. I have a story to submit by the end of the month and I’ll do that.

I have set deadlines this year for projects.

I know I’ll have to turn things off, shut people out, but I must do this. I have to focus on getting this done.

My son will graduate in two years and I want the both of us to go to Scotland for a trip after he graduates. Scotland is where my ancestry is. I feel there would be no better place for my son and I to spend some time together before he starts his life.

I will continue the blog.

Its definitely therapeutic.

I wrote some good posts last year and received quite a few new subscribers. But its about the content not the views.

Its nice to have people read what I write, but its better to produce good content. That’s what I’ll be doing with the blog.

Happy New Year and may you find what you’re looking for and what you need in the new year.

2020 and doing the hard things.

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This last year I pushed through a few issues.

I found my writing groove and I was distracted at times by video games.

But I didn’t do the hard things.

I didn’t publish because I was undecided and nervous about the quality of the book I planned on putting out.

I made a promise to myself I wouldn’t do that. I did it anyway.

I also had a few personal victories.

I pushed past the things I felt comfortable writing and wrote some truly freaky shit.

I sent out more queries than I ever have and I plan on doing the same in 2020.

I decided my writing and my time to write is worthy and needs devotion.

In 2020 I’ll make priorities for that time and not let others take it from me. My writing and editing time is me working even if I’m not currently published.

That will change and the mindset I have going into the new year changes too.

I will not be held back by things or people.

I will move forward, ignore and resist what others think of me and will never let people in who don’t understand those things.

I fought with a few demons, found a couple more and I’ll kill every last one of ’em until I’m where I believe I should be.

Go out and get it and take no prisoners.

The point of no return.

There’s a moment when I’m writing and something sinister comes to my mind about the story.

I could do something really messed up to the characters and they have to deal with it. Or, I could not and it won’t be as much fun.

It’s in this part of the story that I realize I can write some twisted things if I just get past the perceived judgment of others

Most of my family wouldn’t read what I write anyway. They don’t like horror or don’t read books.

I used to wonder what someone would think about the story and I would hold back.

Now I write something and think, “damn, that was sick and twisted” and don’t think about what those people think or what they’d say.

If they read it fine, if it freaks them out, even better. But I won’t stand hand on hip waiting for their opinions of what I write as if it’s a reflection of who I am.

It took me a long time to break that thought process and I won’t go back.

I hope you’re all enjoying NaNoWriMo and getting words on the page.

I’m plotting something for a contest and I have words to write.

Depression and fighting to be myself.

So I’ve been depressed. You may have noticed.

It’s permeated the blog my personal life and my writing.

It started after I had too much to drink in front of my kids and got sick, so since June.

I don’t usually drink to excess like that and it freaked me out. I stopped for almost 3 months.

Wednesday night I had a drink and it felt good to have it and not care who’s going to judge me for it, I’m at the point I don’t care.

What I have done is make up rules for when I drink.

I can’t have a shot because I’m stressed. I have to deal with my shit and what’s causing me stress.

I can’t use it as medication. Which means when I’m at a family function, I won’t be drinking.

In the past, as I mentioned last week, I’ve done this. I’d drink so I could ignore how people have treated me in the past.

Now I won’t drink or I won’t attend those events.

My wife said it was okay that I wanted to drink and it’s not like I drink to get hammered.

That night in June I drank so I could deal with shit. I had people at that event that I’d either not talk to or that if I said what I really wanted too it wouldn’t go over well.

So, since that event, I’ve barely been writing. It’s not that the alcohol fueled my writing it was that my mind wasn’t there.

I was constantly worrying about drinking and how people would look at me if I went back to it.

After discussing this with my wife she said, “Don’t worry what others think. It’s more important what you think.” And that’s why I’ve been married to this amazing woman for 20 years.

She knows me better than I know myself. She understands me.

She gets it!

Since I accepted that it’s more important what I think, I’ve wrote 6,000 words in two days.

Accepting yourself for who you are, not who others want you to be for their convenience, is a breakthrough for me.

I’m having a better week and I hope you are too.