Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I follow a lot of various motivators on social media, Gary Vaynerchuk, Lewis Howes, Tom Bilyeu, and others. I follow these people for various reasons. I love Gary’s honesty, Lewis Howes the same. I follow Tom because I love his podcast.

There is something that’s been nagging me about following these motivators. I shouldn’t need them. I should be able to write without having someone tell me to keep going.

But that’s the problem, I don’t. It doesn’t compute that I can’t do this myself. I need that kick in the ass every once in a while.

Today was a good example. Gary posted on Instagram about doing one thing that makes you uncomfortable.

My thing is editing. I feel like the time I spend editing is the time I could be writing. I also feel that I’m doing it wrong. That there is some magical formula to editing. After writing seven novels, I feel like it should get easier to edit, it doesn’t.

The fact that I’ve written seven novels and I’ve only submitted one of them to agents is appalling to me. It didn’t use to be. I thought I’d get better at writing through writing, I was wrong. I get better through editing.

It’s taken me thirteen years to realize this. It shouldn’t have taken this long.

When I finished my first novel, a vampire book that I love, I thought I’ll just keep rewriting. There are 8 drafts of that novel on my hard drive. None of them will ever come out. At the time there was no one, other than my wife to bounce ideas off of. Now that I have a writing group, I feel like I can do this.

Editing is the hardest part of writing. The taking away of pieces I loved in the draft, moving them around and creating a coherent, cohesive story is more important than writing something new.

I hate that it has taken this long to understand this.

Here’s what I’ll be doing to finish, truly finish the last three novels I’ve written: By the end of March 2019 I’ll be editing each novel through my writing group. I’ll post the progress on Delusions of Ink for each project.

What are you doing that makes you uncomfortable? Tell me in the comments. Let us keep each other going.

Finding purpose in a minefield​.

When the world feels like its crumbling around you, look for things that make your life better.

Each day we consider what others think about is, we’re stepping in a minefield.

The minefield is littered with crushed dreams, faded photographs and the loss of peace of mind.

The minefield is bigger than we believe it to be.

It looks like only a few yards, but it goes on for years. Those years are lost to the judgment of self, loss of productivity and an absence of who we are.

Who we are is the most important of these.

It is what we believe ourselves to be that defines us.

It carries us through a forest of thorns, a no man’s land of pain and sometimes that no man’s land is littered with our lost dreams.

We only fail in our dreams if we stop following and the lost dreams in no man’s land will never have their second coming. They will never have that resurrection we desire for them.

We have to move past those lost dreams at some point.

When we discover that the minefield is an illusion and the words that others say don’t matter, we move into a new realm of who we are.

This realm is ripe with purpose.

It answers the questions of we thought we were and gives us guidance.

Summer Goals


Fear debilitates you, belittles you, and takes away your mind.

I’ve always been fearful of something, spiders, my father, losing my kids or my wife, but last night I had one of those writing epiphanies.

I write Science Fiction, Fantasy, and horror because they’re what I feel comfortable with.

I write them because writing something literary or something that wouldn’t be considered popular fiction scares the shit out of me.

I have moments in my writing where the words flow like wine in Napa, moments where the words don’t tell you what’s going on in the story but you see the cloud formations, catch the protagonists eye and feel their pain, unfortunately, those are only moments.

For me, these moments are the glimmer of better writing, the shining example of where my writing could go if I were to allow it.

I have a book to finish this month, though it may push into June. I also have a second draft of another book to complete by June, that one will be done by June.

For the summer, I’ll be working on my craft. I won’t write a book this summer, I will improve my ability to craft them though.

This summer I’ll work on improving my craftsmanship.

Who’s down for doing this with me?

 

 

Ignoring the shiny.

We’ll be working on a story, and it doesn’t matter the length of the story, and BAM, The Shiny appears.

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We writers, we have a problem.

There is this thing, it’s called “The Shiny“.

It comes when we least expect it, but it screams its damn head off when it appears.

We’ll be working on a story, and it doesn’t matter the length of the story, and BAM, The Shiny appears.

It could be a new thought on the current story, something that we didn’t anticipate or worse, it could be a new story, yelling, ‘look at me, look at me. I won’t let you get stuck, but if I do at least you’ll be writing five-thousand words while you wait’

The more we’re blocked, the louder the damn thing screams, but we have to ignore it, we must. There’s a part of us that knows we have to keep going on the current story, because, no matter how blocked we get, we still have more words on the current story than The Shiny.

We want to stop because we’ll get The Shiny to be quiet, then we have the damn things popping up to yell at us. It will happen when we’re going to sleep, taking our kids to school, reading a book. That last one, that’s the most frustrating.

The only thing we can do, write down the idea, put it somewhere we can see it and work on it later after we’re done with the current story.

Don’t give in to The Shiny.

Achieving Goals in 2016.

I had a couple of goals for the past year. A few of them were sidetracked but I kept to them as much as I could.

I wanted to get in better shape, which I did through half the year, but faltered in the latter half. This was my fault and I take full responsibility for it.

I wanted to finish a book. I finished two.

I wanted to spend more time with my family, especially my wife.

I’ve done this. I was able to attend multiple field trips with my daughter and watch my son perform at his Christmas guitar concert.

I wanted to read a lot more. The only way to improve you writing is by reading.

I read 15 fiction book and 11 non-fiction, which I’ll list below.

Fiction: The Darkness that Comes Before – R. Scott Bakker, The Fireman – Joe Hill, The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty, Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay, Haunting of Hill House – Shirly Jackson, Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb, The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan, The Shadow Rising – Robert Jordan, The Magic of Recluse – L.E. Modesitt Jr., Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence, Magician: Apprentice – Raymond Feist, The Man in the High Castle – Phillip K. Dick, Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson.

I’m also reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin and should have it done by the end of the year.

Non-Fiction: Ask Gary V – Crush It – Jab, Jab, Right Hook all by Gary Vaynerchuck. The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster – Darren Hardy, Go For No – Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz,  Go Pro – Eric Worre, Grit – Angela Duckworth, Scrum – JJ Sutherland, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson, No God but God – Reza Aslan.

There are a couple of books from each of these lists that have either changed the way I write or the way I think.

From fiction: Head Full of Ghosts and Prince of Thorns. Both of these books gave me a new way to look at my writing and others writing, I would put Left Hand of Darkness on this list as well but I haven’t finished it and am only judging for the first two-thirds of the book.

From Non-Fiction: No God but God, Crush It and Grit. These three changed my brain about a few things.

No God but God gave me insight into Islam, a topic that is reported improperly in MSM. Islam is something I’ve wanted to learn more about and this was a good place to start. Crush It was the book that changed my mind about my writing and how hard I wasn’t working to achieve my goals. Grit helped me identify where I’m lacking in preparation for my writing.

I accomplished my goals for the most part, but I still have a couple things to improve.

Next year I’ll be publishing.

 

Teaching my son, that learns like me…

 

When I was in junior high, I hated school. I dealt with bullies; my grades sucked and whenever I mentioned the bullies to my father, he’d side-step, “how are your grades?”

What I recently realized through watching my son struggle with school is that I may have a learning disability.

He has issues with focus, I do too, but mine isn’t as pronounced as his.

This realization came to when we got his grades and how hard school is for him.

My wife doesn’t understand it because she learns the way teachers teach. I always hated those kids.

School for me was hard. I sat in front of the room, couldn’t have distractions and my son, he’s the the same way.

Now that I’m aware of this, I have to remember how I learned and teach him to learn.

Some teachers don’t care what your issues are; they’re in the classroom to teach those who don’t have the learning issues, this was obvious to me many times in school.

When I had a problem or didn’t’ understand something and asked for help, they acted put out by it, “Why can’t you just learn this?”

I know this is why I read so much as a kid, and still do. It’s the main reason I hide out to get my word count for whatever WiP(Work in Progress) is befuddling me.

Books were my escape from reality; video games are his. It’s his way to escape from the world and problems he’s dealing with, and I guess my wife and I didn’t understand why until now.

I think I wanted him to be more like my wife and get the grades and not struggle, but that’s not the case, and he needs that extra attention.

Do your kids learn like you or your partner?

Gates Swinging and There’s Still More Coming.

We see the world, its many colors, shades and flowers unlike any we’ve seen through varied glasses throughout our life.

Our sight is often changed by instances of pain, reward and grief.

The change continues until we see the figurative light, which comes when we’re least expecting something to happen.

I saw it the other day, not the way I was expecting, but, still, it was something I’d been hoping to see. He’d never let me through the gate, or control the wheel, and this is, as I write it, is the first time.

You’ve met the deviant, Cubist, now it’s my turn. I’m a bit more sophisticated than that hack, and because of that the words are different.

I am Jackson Thomas Hunter, a name that is different than I planned, but still in a sense what he wanted and then we’ll discuss the other things you may see from me.

These things will be prettier, not because of anything other than the way I feel about the world and its beauty.

I hope you’ll come along and visit, there’s more of us, but I’ll always come when needed.

Regards,

Jack