Moving Forward and Finding a Place

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Not sure where to start with this post.

Every once in a while I’ll get a bit philosophical. I’m not sure what causes it, sometimes it’s my emotions, but it happens. I like it when this happens as it lets me know I’m moving the correct direction.

I’ve been on a bit of a journey lately. I don’t know why this happened, but I’ve felt something missing.

I gave up on beliefs a long time ago, but lately, something is missing. My journey led me to look at Norse mythology and in looking I found something that fits with who I am.

These types of journeys are somewhat odd as for the longest time I gave up on spirituality, belief, and Gods. I never thought I’d find something within that wanted to go that way. I never felt a desire to go that way, but as I write these words, there is something, maybe an ancestral calling, that brought me to Norse Heathenry.

I’ve looked at numerous blogs about beliefs in my lifetime and there have always been the words, “when you find what’s you, you know.”

This always stuck with me.

I happened to be looking at Norse Mythology for something I worked on recently and wandering around the pantheon of the Norse beliefs, I found me.

I had not wanted to write this as it should be a personal thing, but you may see a few changes on here, and if you know me personally, you’ll see them as well. They will be small, but you will see them.

Now, to this, I am not talking about where Norse beliefs have been hijacked by others. I choose this as who I am, the same as another chooses their beliefs. It’s a weird place to be in for me. It’s an odd situation and because of it, I am making adjustments to how I handle writing, life, and all of the things beyond those other two.

This journey is difficult for me. As what I grew up believing is vastly different. Having no beliefs for over 20 years and suddenly to have this land in my lap, takes adjustment, but I know this is where I should be.

As my mental health hasn’t been great this year, this could not have come at a better time.

I’m learning, but make no mistake, I will always be moving forward.

Are you working hard enough?

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When I contemplated giving up writing, I wondered if the problem was my work ethic.

This is never a question at my day job. It’s never been a question for any job I’ve ever worked, at least not since I grew up, which is a subjective statement.

Each of us grow up differently.

My wife was more mature than I was when we started dating. I am aware that it took me a while to understand a few things. It’s not that I’m not smart, it had to do more with who we are as people. It had to do with our life experiences. My wife went to college straight from high school. I did a year of college and hated it. There are many instances of this in our relationship.

She’s told my I intimidate her because of how my mind works, which makes me uncomfortable. There are other instances, but I digress.

Why do I have this trouble with my writing when it’s not in any other job?

Let’s analyze:

  • Imposter syndrome is a big one for me. I often wonder if there’s something else I should be doing. That I don’t owe it to my writing to focus as much as I know I should.
  • Not setting work hours. I do that with my current project, but once I’m done for the day I put everything away and do something else. I know this is the wrong approach, but I guess there’s a part of me that has difficulty accepting what I’m doing. It’s the guy part. The part that says I should be working. That I should be making money to support my family. That’s the big one.
  • Putting away things that get in the way. This has a bit to do with my day job and how I’m not really happy with it. I feel my day job gets in the way of my writing. It stresses me out more than the writing that’s for certain.
  • Exhaustion from working late night events. This is a big one. I am tired as hell some days and pulling myself out of bed at 6:00 am when I got home at 2:30 is difficult. Today was one of those days.
  • Telling people no. This relates more to my day job, which is for a bartending service. They send an email or text and ask if I can work. I say yes or no. But there are days when I want to say no because I’d rather be writing.

All of these are difficult when my brain tells me I need to work harder, I wonder if it’s screwing with me.

What this all leads to is starting to set a real schedule. Only doing events after a certain time in the day.

I know my managers don’t look at my writing as a real job, and I guess sometimes I don’t either.

It’s hard to consider something you’re doing a job when you don’t get paid for it.

There are moments of hope during the week, but they’re few and far between.

I have received about $48.00 since I published my collection last year. I know it’s more than I received the previous year for anything, but it’s not much.

I’ll be setting up a real work schedule: Mornings are for new stuff, edits are for after lunch. I’ll be more stingy with what’s important to me. Some of these are folded into others when they’re done.

I’ll start tomorrow.

Truth be told…

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There is this life we have and we have a lot to do in it.

We must manage our personal lives, our work lives, and our relationships, but there’s one thing a lot of use forget about.

We must consider our dreams, for they push us to be better in our other managements situations.

Our dreams and whether we pursue them are some of the most difficult situations we undertake. It’s these undertakings where we may struggle the most. Where we may get our most strident resistance from others.

But, for the large majority of these resisters, it’s more to do with who they are, what they have or haven’t done with their lives, and how hard it was to give up their own dreams.

For some they gave up early because it was too hard. For others life got in the way of the chase, but there is a group who are offended that you dare chase something because they couldn’t.

This last group will tell you whatever you want hear, but in the dark, they’re saying other things. You should look at these people when your goals and dreams feel hard. These are your motivation. These are where you find the energy to do what you need to do.

The rage and anger you feel when you hear about the words they’ve said should push you harder than anything else. Your mind tells you to leave it alone, but that little voice in your head, it tells you to rip their throats out.

Listen to that little voice. Your mind says play nice, that voice…well, it says darker, more disturbing things.

Truth be told, that little voice, it’s your darkness. It’s the truth of who you are. Use it.

It’s difficult…

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A while ago, I don’t remember when, I came across a quote. I don’t remember if it was about writing or not, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t, but it was something to the effect of, “When things get hard, that means you’ve leveled up.”

I must have leveled up like a mother f’er, because things have been difficult as hell. I know my regular readers will acknowledge that.

Here’s the thing, you have to fight through it. I’ll continue to take some time off because I’m still struggling, but this quote popped in my head today, I don’t know why, but it did.

Now, there is this quote and there is my writing that I haven’t done shit with, at least not enough for me.

I’m also thinking about how I’ve looked at my writing. How I’d hoped getting published would help my family out, even a little bit, but that hasn’t happened, but this realization has.

So, let’s do a bit of retcon:

I’ve written 6 or 7 books since my family moved from Las Vegas to Utah six years ago. I’ve submitted nearly all of those books and received rejections on all of them. But with those stories I didn’t edit all of them. I wrote them and they’re on my laptop, but they’re only there, and that’s when another quote hit me, “If you decide rejection is the scariest thing to you, you’ll always avoid it, but if decide regret is the scariest thing, then you’ll continue. No rejection could be as painful as the regret of not trying.”

Rejection hurts like a mother f’er, but that act of not trying and the regret I’ll feel over that is more painful.

Back to the retcon:

Finding a way out and deciding to limit my exposure to social media as well as writing for me instead of writing to get published will change how I feel. I will continue to submit, but I will not submit so I can say, “look what I did.” That’s not going to work.

I will submit based upon whether I have something or if it’s a finished project, I’ll submit it, but as for submitting just for the act of it, I’m not doing that anymore. It’s too damn hard.

I will continue to write horror and maybe other genres, but my dark heart requires blood and I’ll feed it.

Where from here…

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I worked a bartending gig on Saturday and it was boring. I used that empty time to try and figure out where I go from here.

I love writing stories, but trying to get anything published feels like I’m wasting my time.

Here’s a bit of history:

  1. I started this blog in one iteration in 2004 I think. I’ve gained a lot of readers, but that never translated to readers outside of this blog.
  2. I’ve written 11 novels. I’ve submitted half of those to agents. All of them received form rejection letters.
  3. I’ve written over a hundred short stories, at least half of which I’ve submitted, with the same response as I listed above.
  4. I feel like I’m improving in my writing, but the submission grind has worn me down.
  5. It feels like I’m trying to prove something to someone, and maybe that’s where I’m screwing up.
  6. After over ten years of this I’m not sure I have the mental strength to keep submitting while only receiving rejections.
  7. I feel like I’m doing this alone. I don’t mean in the sense that I’m writing alone. It feels like the little bit of support I get isn’t enough to keep me writing.
  8. I’ve considered taking a step back for a while, without the blog or social media. I don’t use this blog as much as I once did and I don’t feel I get much of out of it anymore, and social media feels the same way.

That list is a lot to take in. As I read what I wrote it feels like I’m bitching, which maybe I am.

I once used this blog as a way to get my thoughts out, I’ve stepped away from that and used it as something that feels like I’m ranting constantly.

I get a few people reading here and there, but for the most part it and social media feels like a waste of time. There are a couple of reasons I’ve stayed on Twitter. I love the horror community on there. When everyone isn’t fighting over bullshit we do great. The second reason is, it’s the only place I’ve found reliable listings for submissions.

Maybe I need a reboot, a hard reboot. I hate to lose all of the followers of this blog and Twitter, but anymore, they’re only numbers.

I have a short story out for submission and a novella, but with my 10 year track record I’m not holding out hope for either of them.

Ten years ago my wife and I lost a storage unit. We had a lot of stuff in there, but it was just stuff we’d collected as kids or adults. We were upset, but I told my wife, “It’s just stuff. What’s important is us.” That’s how I’m feeling about social media and this blog. It’s just stuff.