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

Going with your instincts…

Yesterday my wife and I were talking about a story I’d written.

She thought it needed something else.

I told her, my gut instinct had been to take the story darker but was unnerved to do it.

This led me to think about other stories where I’d taken the safe route.

I thought about everything I’d written.

There were parts of numerous stories and some novels where I’d played it safe.

I chose not to do something in the story I wanted to do because there’s always a fear of doing something horrific.

Those moments came more often than I thought.

I don’t usually think about this but my wife insisted I go back and rewrite it darker.

As a writer, especially one who writes horror and fantasy, there’s a fear of judgment.

I worry that what I write may lead people to believe there is something wrong with me.

This has plagued me since I began writing in my teens.

As a teenager, it felt different because I worried how my parents would interpret what I wrote. I thought they’d want to sit me down with a therapist, hint, they did.

When I began to write again in my twenties, I felt what I wrote would worry my wife. I edited myself because of it.

After our discussion this week, I discovered I’m still afraid of what people think.

This makes it hard for me to move forward with improving as well as writing the stuff in my head.

There’s a quote, I’m not sure who it belongs to but I think its Stephen King, “Good writing is often about letting go of fear.”

I need to let go of the fear of judgment, move forward and write something that scares me for other people to see.

If I don’t, why am I writing at all?

Finding our hearts.

When we started our life, we didn’t understand what it was.

As we move through it, we begin to understand it better.

This discovery could leads us to uncovering who we are, what we want, who we love, why we struggle more than some, but lesss than others.

Along the road to discovery, we learn about ourselves. Not like the items I listed above, but truly learn.

We discover our hearts.

What moves us, what makes us cry, what changes us.

This heart attaches itself to our family members, children, partners, and sometimes art.

I found my heart in writing when I was in my teens.

Life intervened, I wasn’t able to write for a multitude of reasons.

Then, three years ago.

Life gave me a gift.

I’m able to write all I want. Play with my kids. Spend time with my wife and still have time to read.

I found my heart when I was allowed to write full time.

I’ve never been published. But when I sit at the keys, I feel like creating worlds is payment enough.

I enjoy writing more than anything I’ve done. It is my calm when the storm comes.

Have you found your heart.