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What reality is this? What fantasy have we created that makes us feel more important than those around us?

The dawn comes and with it the light, the brightness and the foundations of who we are. Throughout our writing there are two things that come together as a means to halt our writing.

  1. Our lack of faith in our writing.
  2. Those who wish to distract us or deride us from the task of writing.

Each of these are part of the Grand Bargain of Writing.

The bargain is that we knowingly accept what we’re getting into, even if we don’t understand what we’re getting into.

We knowingly accept that we may become famous as other writers have done. But, we also take into account that we’re alone in our task of writing.

The solitude of writing is one the things a lot of people either can’t handle or they’re worried about other things going wrong.

For myself, the things I worry about are the ability to multitask all of the things I have going on. From day-job, blog, wife, kids and my fiction writing.

My biggest worry is that something will get lost in balancing act.

My reason for this has a lot to do with childhood and the things I’ve dealt with my entire life concerning abandonment issues, which plays into the worry of losing my wife or kids through the solitary life of a writer.

I risk losing things I care about because I’m a writer and have known that for over twenty years, it just took me a while to take a chance on it, and that my wife supports me and tells me she just wants me to write makes the risk less, but it’s still in the back of my mind every time I sit down.

My day-job isn’t much of worry and honestly if it weren’t for the healthcare I’d quit.

But a lot of day-jobs are like that.

Reality and the life we choose as writers, the solitary life of doing something we love, something that we feel in our soul, is enough for us to say to hell with the Grand Bargain and do it anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

We find our lives in creative things by experimenting and finding a happy place that we call our own.

Just as I don’t believe I’m the person who goes to a day job and slings drinks for tourists on the Vegas strip. I’m the person who stays up late writing words on the page for me.

I was listening to a song the other day, “Wild Again” by Starship. It’s on the Cocktail soundtrack.

But the lyrics in the song struck me, “Is this life I’m living mine?”

The life I’m living is that of the person slinging drinks for tourists because it pays the bills. But what if I start living like the writer I am. If when I meet someone and they ask me, “What do you do?” and instead of saying, “I’m a bartender at a Strip Hotel”, I answer the question with, “I’m a writer.”

I’ve read the once you start calling yourself a writer, others will see you as a writer.

I’ve always thought of myself as a writer, but it was the little things I neglected about being a writer.

Saying your something, but not following what that “something” is are two different things.

Believing you’re something you’re not, at least that you’re not giving your life to. That is where the divisions lays.

You need to believe wholeheartedly that you’re this person, or do like Neil Gaiman says, “Act like a person that would be able to do that thing.”

I like Neil’s idea, and in believing you’re a person that would do something the other person wouldn’t do, for me it would be being the writer and not the person who works the day job.

For you it could be, Being the artist not the College Student, or being the actor not the Single Mom.

Each of us are different in our lives, that’s what makes us unique and it’s also what makes us who we are.

Be the Person you are supposed to be and ignore the person you have to tolerate in order to be that person on a permanent basis.

When the clouds get dark, the rain decorates the valley and the sun finally comes out, life feels better, though without thinking about it, our lives follow this path.

Life gets dark, bad things happen, but the bad things eventually go away, as do the bad people.

Throughout our lives we’re left with the people we work with, live with and are associated with one way or another.

These people can be forgiving, loving and supportive, but then there are the others.

The other people, they’re the ones who criticize what we do. They think we’re wasting our time writing and creating. They ask us when we’re going to be published, not because they’re curious, but so they can mock us.

Each writer has dealt with this, sometimes there are multiple people like this in our lives, we have to get rid of them one way or another, only then can we create without the unneeded distractions of being told we can’t write, we do that enough ourselves.

After a rainstorm the desert smells fresh, the cacti look greener and the animals are scurrying about, almost seeming to be playing in the puddles the way my kids do.

We only see the day in front of, the storm, but afterward our lives are greener, we see things clearer and we’re free to dance in the puddles left over.

Enjoy the rainstorm, seeing clearer and the puddles, without every rainstorm we don’t see life as something to enjoy, instead of something to tolerate.

Get out and enjoy the puddles.

 

I learned to escape in middle school, first it was the pool class we had, then it was writing.
I was bullied in middle school and the pool was the only retreat I had. None of the bullies had that class, and because of that I felt at home in the water.

I felt as if I was meant to be in the water, not just as an escape, but that it was something I should embrace, and I did for a long time, but I haven’t been a pool in years, not for lack of desire, but for lack of access.

Just after I got used to the pool I started writing, only for myself out of fear. I started filling notebooks and would use money I’d gained from doing chores for notebooks.
These notebooks are lost now and though I wish I’d retained them for myself. I’ve thought about them recently, only because I’ve begun feeling out of water again.

I’ve started writing more—a lot more—and because of it I’ve been thinking about when I’d sit up writing in bed, only the light from outside to fuel my frenzied scribbling.

There were a lot of stories in those notebooks which I don’t remember, a few poems too.

When life got out of control I had the pool and writing, both of which have always given me the comfort of escaping my life.
The pool was a physical escape from the troubles I faced in the halls of the middle school.
Writing has always been my mental escape, my way of getting my mind off the things that distracted me from living.

Today things are distracting me which I’m trying to control, but like middle school the writing, much like the meditation I practice, keeps me grounded in the now and makes my life complete, at least in my mind.

The reality of life is nothing is ever as perfect as we want it to be, not our writing, our personal lives or the relationships we have with our family and friends.

With perfection we’d have nothing to write about.

With the troubles of daily life, we keep our heads down in our laptops, notebooks and PC’s.
Writing is an escape from reality that I need, without it I know I wouldn’t have made it through middle school, without the pool I know I wouldn’t have gone home every day in a good frame of mind.

Without the pool and the pen I’m not sure where I’d be today.

A few weeks ago I talked about, “The minutes you have left”, with the new year, there come resolutions; something I don’t believe in.

I do believe in a fresh start, which is what New Year’s is supposed to be about, not this whole thing about changing who you are. Be who you are, love the person you are, but make a fresh start with your writing.

If you’ve been struggling to get words out, write something for yourself and see where it takes you. Quite likely you’ll enjoy the ride more and may want to camp there for a while.

Once you’ve started your new journey, you’ll discover you’ve found something you like; writing for yourself does that quite well.

The year comes with great hope for our projects.

We hope for that breakthrough project. We hoped for it last year, but last year wasn’t this year and we’re going to kick that book’s ass.

With a new year comes new vigor, motivation and hope.

Our hope is to do better than last year.

Make a plan to have that book done within in the first four months. Set aside a time to write, Live your life and enjoy the journey, it’s your journey after all and no one can take it for you, so enjoy your writing the way you did as a child when you told that first story to your friends.

Because it’s a new year, find the time, make the time and write like your minutes are running out, because they are.

 

My daughter loves carrot cake, the frosting, the mix of certain spices…alright, mostly the frosting.

Last week I decided to bake a carrot cake with my daughter. On the recipe it said to use spring form pans, this is possibly because it’s easier to take the cake out of the spring form than a regular cake pan.

We don’t keep those types of pans in the house; they don’t get used enough.

Instead of the spring form I used basic cake pans, and they worked beautifully.

Recently with my writing I’ve been trying to write something more literary than the sci-fi stuff I usually write, well I haven’t written a word I actually like, then I made the cake last week, and like the cake I was trying to fit my writing into a mold, a pre-form of what I thought I should write.

I started writing something that is more like my other writing and discovered I shouldn’t try to be a writer I’m not.

As long as the writing tastes good on the reader’s palette you shouldn’t try to fit into a mold of what you think you should write.

Don’t use a mold, and write what you prefer.

It’s good to experience new things, but sometimes you’re either not ready for that new experience or your mind hasn’t settled from another story.

Remember, You’re the writer, write what you want and break the mold.

Night_Sky_Stars_Trees_02
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~ Harriet Tubman

Oftentimes, we’re stuck in a reality of chaos, wrapped in an enigma of what we believe our lives should be. And through the chaos time stands still.

We see where we’ve wanted to be with our lives, where we are and how far we have to get there or maybe we think that our lives are under our control and not fate. If fate is in control why don’t we just walk through the middle of the freeway during rush hour and “take our chances on fate?”

Our reality is we must keep doing what we’re doing, ignore the mystery of who we are. Wake up tomorrow and plan better than we did the previous day, or days.

If we’re going to reach for the stars we need to create a better star chart. Without a star chart we’re wandering, staring at a sky full of blinking lights.

Your life is in your hands, as is your ability to create. Your ability is given to you to do as you please, but if you don’t use it wisely you’ll be like every other creative who gave up and threw away their star chart, or worse…burned it!

The gift every writer has is a story. It doesn’t matter how good the story is, at least not at first, as long as you enjoy it. You’ll learn to hone your ability the way a comic book character learns when to use that super strength and when is the worst time.

Your life goes by faster than you believe, and when you don’t stop to write it down, sooner or later it will be gone and you’ll discover you don’t have any notes or stories.

When you discover your gift for writing you’ll learn that you can write better than you thought and it will teach you that all those people who support you were really right, and those who said you’d never succeed didn’t know your drive or willingness to achieve great things.

Go out with the gift you have and amaze yourself and eventually you’ll learn your reality isn’t chaos.

You’ll discover that enigma of who you are, it was staring you in the face the entire time.

That time you believe was standing still was only a dream and you’re control the time circuits.

Deal a blow to time and do something amazing with your gift.

Have you created your star chart? Answer in the comments.