I took some time away…and

I stepped away from social media, only checking things on my computer. The only social app on my phone is TikTok, and it’s for comic relief purposes.

This break from social media led me to reevaluate how much time I spend on Twitter and Instagram.

Instagram has pretty pictures and Twitter, well it has as much drama as Facebook, or at least that’s how it’s felt lately so I’ve taken myself off from there, only logging in every other day. I may miss a few things but my mental state was getting bad prior to leaving.

This time away let me solve the issues I had with the story I was working on and finally finish the first draft.

I know what I want to write next, but I may take some time to read, while I let the story percolate a bit longer. It’s not something I always do and I feel that’s caused problem.

The story will also need some help from a family member and I need to find the correct questions to ask her. The story is similar to the others roaming in my brain. The political/military thriller x horror is where I’m heading with my current stuff, and this one will need a bit of help with it to make it good.

This time away led to progress with the story and it’s helped me navigate my mental issues.

My ego is messing with me.

Twice a year, my ego screws with me. This comes in any manner of way, but lately, as I see other writers kicking ass, getting contracts, and generally doing better than I am, my ego is questioning what the hell is going on.

I know it’s my ego, that little bastard doesn’t shut up long enough to let me take a breath, much less acknowledge why and where I’m failing in my writing.

The thing is, I’ve been working. I’ve been writing and I know that I’m not sending things out all of the time, but I can’t. I have a life outside of writing. I have my wife and kids, and a bartending gig I do.

The bartending gig is something that pays the bills, but I’d rather be doing anything that bartending. That’s probably to do with how people are treating those of us in the food service industry. People became horrible in the last year and maybe they were always that, but something else has triggered them into believing it’s okay to act this way, but that’s another blog post.

I’d like to push things out of the way and get to writing, but I worry about neglecting my wife and kids. That’s something I did when I lived in Las Vegas and can’t to that route. I also worry about asking for things from people because, well, I’m not certain my writing is very good.

Ego is kicking me in the ass, envy is kicking me in the balls, and I’m sore as hell about it all.

I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I’d like to take a break from bartending to focus on writing, but it’s the busy season for catering and it’s impossible to do that.

If I could find a crossroads that would work, I’d use that.

I’m so bent right now that I’m unsure of everything.

Am I writing well? Am I doing what I need to get noticed? Is there something I’m not doing?

All of this comes down to pushing things away and dealing with my mental issues.

I have to knock those back sometimes in order to gain some semblance of who I am.

The ego kicks my ass, but my mental issues do more damage.

Depression sucks, and I’ve tried to use it as a motivator, but I’m at place where my ego and the envy I have for others knocks me on my ass.

I guess I’ll keep going with this writing, but I wish I didn’t have to do these events sometimes.

The mental focus it takes to do these events and not scream at the top of my lungs as some half-wit berates me or my staff about how rich they are or that it’s their house and they can do what they want in their house makes me want to scream.

Some people are just assholes.

My ego is screwing with me and I’m working on getting it under control.

I’m planning on getting to this blog more often. I get stuck on things and then I try to get away and it just gets worse.

Anyway, have a good weekend.

Come and go

There are many times when I struggle with writing, but not many more than the last week.

I took a break from the novel I was writing to get away with my wife and kids. We spent a couple of nights in a hotel, observed Covid-19 protocols, and had a nice time.

It felt good to have some fun with the family. Then I got home and discovered I’d lost the threads of the story.

In the days prior, I thought that may happen, but tried to ignore the warning signs.

The story stopped at one point and I had to backtrack. I felt the story going in one direction, but I moved it in the direction I wanted and it felt like it was falling apart.

I told my wife this morning that I thought it would be difficult to merge the two genres I enjoy, political/military thriller and horror, but it’s a lot harder than I anticipated.

I really want to merge these two genres as they’re what I grew up reading, but hell it’s hard.

After I wrote a few hundred words this morning, I threw in the towel. The story as a novel is dead, though I’m going to resurrect that sucker as short story or novella.

I have things to work on. There are quite a few submission calls out there and I’ll work on those.

Not sure what’s going on.

There are days when everything feels right. That I’m doing everything I can, this is not one of those days.

I feel things crashing against waves that wash over me, tossing me into the surf, and slamming my head against the rocks,

It’s hard to figure out where it went. How it got so convoluted, and when it started to get worse.

I’ve tried talked. Things have been discussed but the rocks, the surf, and the waves striking me haven’t stopped. If anything they’re increasing in frequency.

I work, I write, deal with family, but I’m not sure it’s helping. I’m at the pit and the sides are muddy from the waves. I try to claw my way up, but there’s nothing to grab onto.

Sometimes things are futile and I’m not sure where they’re going and now I’m rambling because the words aren’t coming.

The words to explain that I’m trying so hard. Doing all I can but after yesterday, it feels for nought.

I’ll sink back into the shadows. Work through it because the choices are minimal I don’t know up from down

The terror sets in…

It happens when I least expect it…what if.

I’m writing whatever is the project and those words pop in. What if this project does well? What will I do if that happens?

It’s something I’ve thought about a lot after Stokercon. Watching all the other writers. Writers I’ve read, writers I’ve listened to during other events or classes. What if I get to that point? What will I do?

I know it’s a trivial thing. Most of us never make it to the mountain top. Some of us are left at the base camp, cleaning our boots, and sharpening our ice axe for the next ascent.

The events like Stokercon remind me that others are working day jobs, just like me. They’re out there teaching classes, bartending, or working in retail.

I like to write. I enjoy the craft more than anything I’ve done in my life, I mean anything. I’d rather be at my desk working on a project than at any sporting event, concert, or anything similar. There is nothing like that feeling of creating a story.

I bartend because it helps pay the bills. I used to like it. At one point in time I enjoyed making drinks. That time left years ago. Now it’s not very fun. During Covid, it’s been horrific.

I’m good at bartending though and that’s where the problem is. I know my cocktails, know the history of some types of alcohol, where they’re made, why they’re made in that place, and I can tell the difference between various types of whiskeys. But it’s not what I enjoy. It’s not what makes me want to get up in the morning.

I wake with a determined heart every morning, focused on whatever story I need to finish, or add to.

It’s these little moments of terror that remind me I have a ways to go yet and a lot more work to do.

I know at some point all of this will pay off.

I feel that there are points, forks in roads, and I’ve crossed a few off recently.

But I know it’s the start of a long weekend for most, so I won’t keep you.

Enjoy your holiday and I’ll see you Tuesday.

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