The effort to move past fear…

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The title may be wrong in wording for some, but today, for me, it’s correct.

I’ve been having difficulty parsing my brain with writing, editing, depression, and sobriety.

A couple of those go hand-in-hand(Sobriety and Depression).

But the writing, I don’t know how to deal with it.

I’ve always felt that I must write something new every day. Something on a new project must be written daily.

That’s been my go to for as long as I’ve been writing and maybe that’s part of the problem.

I wonder if the idea that something new has to be written daily destroys my confidence, absconds with my positivity and may actually be pushing my farther into a depression.

The feeling that if I’m not writing something new I’m doing this wrong has permeated my brain since I wrote my first book over ten years ago.

But it hasn’t changed. I continue to feel like something new has to come out of my brain or I’m failing at this writing thing, which is what some people have described it as.

My wife has told me that I need to work for myself. Not for what she expects of me and certainly not what other family members expect.

That last part is another issue which I’ve been dealing with, but won’t get into.

The writing usually makes me feel good. It gives me that needed energy boost, which is why I fall into a depression when I’m not actively writing.

I have over 50 short stories to edit, two novels, but it never feels right when I’m editing. It always feel different.

Let me explain:

Writing isn’t something that I do just for shits and giggles. I’m working to improve daily, but reading fiction, reading books on writing, and my attempting to edit.

But it never feels like other things.

When I quit drinking last fall I buried myself in working out. It was an outlet that I’d always used to cope. It’s always there in the periphery. But I’ve never thrown myself into my writing the way I do with exercise and I don’t understand why.

I can throw myself into a video game, exercise, alcohol, but when it comes to writing, I’ve not been able to accomplish such a thing and its maddening.

I don’t understand why my brain won’t do that.

Maybe it’s fear, possibly its the fear that if I write something really good I won’t be able to deal with the pressure that would come with it. This is a fear I have.

I’m also aware that I have my wife and kids and they’ve been my rock when the landscape is barren.

That my wife and kids are her with me and they back me regardless helps me get through the rough patches, though the patches have been continents lately.

Now I will undertake what I felt was impossible. I will put the effort of other efforts into writing because I can’t live in fear of this anymore.

Some things have to be conquered by straight of grit and determination. The fear that I have for writing and failing is causing me to descend into a depression that could sink me.

I will put forth and effort in my writing which I’m afraid to. I will commit to writing, editing, and improving in whatever way is possible and I will do it to the utmost of my ability as a writer and human.

Back into it

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Last week was Sundance and I worked my ass off.

Late shifts and tired mornings caused my writing to falter. I was too tired to work.

My last event was Saturday night and I returned home at 4:30 in the morning. I spent most of that day in bed, as well as a lot of yesterday as well.

One thing I learned from last week is that I need to get in better shape. Doing floor after floor of stairs in one particular venue was rough. My knees paid the price for that event.

There were other things I learned, but most of all I understand I must write, but I also must take care of myself. That goes for mentally and physically.

I haven’t worked out in the last few months because of depression and that’s why I started drinking again. Alcohol is the best thing for me when I want to abandon the world and say fuck it.

It is a long road back from that depression and I apparently worried a few people over it.

Today I’m taking a break for myself, going to the movies and pondering the next phase. But I’m thinking more clearly and more introspective of my work and thought processes.

I’m thinking a lot the last few days about how hard I work and whether its hard enough to achieve my goals.

Whether I publish or not this year is in my hands, and though I have a queries out with agents and short stories out with magazines, I’ll continue working. There is not stop except the peak of one mountain. After that peak, there’s always another mountain to climb.

I will continue to take a break when needed, but today I’m going to think about where life is going and what I’m doing.

Have a good day and I’ll post something tomorrow.

Much love.

What comes next…

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Last year I did a lot to work towards my goals of publishing, but there was still the bit of fear of doing it.

I realized that I’m completely in control of this whole thing and if I’m going to publish, no matter what form the stories are in, I have to do the work. I also must have the time to work.

I won’t be doing any events this next year if they start before 12:30 in the afternoon. That will leave the morning open for working, which is what I should have been doing from the outset, but I wanted to be accommodating to the company I work for. They are the only ones who would hire me after leaving Vegas and I felt I owed them to work any time they needed me.

I still owe them a great deal. They saved my ass.

But I’ll be 44 this year and I wanted to have more done in my life by now. I had goals that for one reason or another I didn’t follow through with.

I set standards for what I wanted to have done by the this time. I tossed them away.

This year, I plan on focusing on editing and getting things out.

Those who have followed the blog(all 360+ of you) know how hard I’ve struggled with editing. I won’t struggle this year.

I have too much at stake to toss it away.

I will publish this year, in some form.

If someone who has multiple paying jobs can do it, I can do it with my one.

I think I’ve stopped looking at my writing as a side project. It’s my main focus. I will bartend events this year but I won’t let it take away my focus from my writing. If I have to bring my laptop to an event, then I’ll do that.

This year I’ll publish.

There is no other way to do it.

I’ll take breaks from social media. I’ll avoid things this year. Events I shouldn’t have gone to last year, I’ll stay away from this year.

This year I have three projects in mind and a few others I’m thinking about.  I plan on writing to books and a couple of novellas as well as a bunch of short stories.

I wrote seven stories over the Christmas break and I’ll be going through all of them in the coming weeks. I have a story to submit by the end of the month and I’ll do that.

I have set deadlines this year for projects.

I know I’ll have to turn things off, shut people out, but I must do this. I have to focus on getting this done.

My son will graduate in two years and I want the both of us to go to Scotland for a trip after he graduates. Scotland is where my ancestry is. I feel there would be no better place for my son and I to spend some time together before he starts his life.

I will continue the blog.

Its definitely therapeutic.

I wrote some good posts last year and received quite a few new subscribers. But its about the content not the views.

Its nice to have people read what I write, but its better to produce good content. That’s what I’ll be doing with the blog.

Happy New Year and may you find what you’re looking for and what you need in the new year.

Exercise, Anxiety, and getting my mind right.

I reached a breaking point.

This happened for a number of reasons. The main on being I haven’t taken care of myself lately.

I stopped working out, I’m not sure why. I wasn’t burnt out. My muscles weren’t sore or my joints, I just stopped.

Exercise, mostly weight training, has always been in my life.

My biological father did bodybuilding when I was younger and when I turned 14 he got me in the weight room.

Initially I didn’t care for it, spending most of my gym time in the pool instead of the weight room. I’ve always loved the water. It’s a Pisces thing.

As long grew older I fell in love with being in the gym. I enjoyed the feeling of the weights, the pump in my muscles and attended the Olympia on a couple of occasions.

Until recently I never associated the gym with my mental wellbeing. It was just something I did.

Then I looked at where my life was when I spent the most time in the gym or my muscles grew the most.

Those were emotional times.

In high school I used my weight training class to deal with my teenage anxiety. Never understanding then what I was doing.

In my early twenties I used it to deal with loneliness and that I was an awkward shy person.

I found comfort in the weight room. It was something I could do where my effort determined the results.

In my late twenties I used it to deal with our first miscarriage. Then in my early thirties to deal with my daughter’s early birth and first month in the NICU.

As I moved up on age I never noticed this, until now.

Most recently, I used it to deal with the death of my big brother.

When I struggle most I return to the weight room. That’s what I’m beginning again.

It’s another way to deal with anxiety, my writing frustrations, and just with every day life issues.

It has never failed in getting my mind right. It never failed in adjusting my attitude or my mindset.

TM keeps my mind in good shape, but with the combination of TM and exercise everything fires on all cylinders.

I’m back in the gym because I realized it keeps my mind more focused when I do it.

I may not thank my biological father for much, but a love of the weight room will always be one of them.

Have a good weekend.

Get shit done, have some fun, and keep going.

Keep going, you’ll get there.

When my brother passed away I thought about all the times I didn’t talk to him and when I could’ve stopped to see him and didn’t.

After a couple of weeks I realized my brother wouldn’t want me to think about that.

He’d want me to think about the time we did things together. The weekend I spent at his house. Our times wrestling in the living room and how we could laugh at what an asshole I was as a teenager.

He’s been gone for a year and a half and though I’ll never get over him being gone I’ve used that year and half to motivate myself and focus on my writing.

One of the last interactions I had with my brother was on social media and it was when I was working on a project.

He told me keep going, you’ll get there.

For the last year and half those words have pushed me to work and get there.

I’m close to finishing my ninth book and I’ll be submitting queries for another next week. One book is in the hands of my writing group and I’m editing that as they go through it.

I’ve struggled to get through days thinking about him then I go back to his words.

I’ll keep going and I’ll get there.

Finding hope, and the motivation to write…

I missed posting on Wednesday. There were issues and I had things to deal with.

Life comes at us hard when we’re not expecting it. It will punish us. Make us feel like we’re worthless and keep kicking until we can’t breath.

This punishment can be brought on by our actions, our inactions, or by not paying attention to our own thoughts.

Our own thoughts will beat us worse than 3 rounds in the octagon. It will take what we believe tear it apart and leave us asking how it happened.

Getting through that pain is the hardest thing we will do in our lives.

I’ve dealt with the loss of my brother, my father-in-law, who I felt close to, and the pain my mind inflicted on my felt worse.

Your mind will torture you, call you names, and when you think it’s done, it’s back for another helping of tossing you bullshit to doubt yourself.

That doubt will sink your dreams, your marriage, and any friendships you’ve created.

The only way through is to have a belief in your goals stronger than the bullshit in your head.

That belief will get you past the loss of anything. It will guide you in the darkest night and be the light to lead you.

This week has been one of reevaluation, digging in when I didn’t think I could go deeper, and trusting the process when I wanted to quit.

I really thought about giving up on writing this week. I hate to struggle and I feel like I’m struggling, not with writing but with life. I know it will get better but right now, staring at nearly nine unpublished books, it’s hard to be confident.

I’ll be pushing harder to get things published this summer and I’ll keep you posted but damn, I’m struggling to keep writing and it has nothing to do with the words.

I’m averaging 1500 words a day, reaching g 2700 words or more on some day.

Have to keep going.

How I stay focused through rejections.

With social media accounts and the continuous clamor for attention from all of them, not to mention politics and that headache, we are being pulled everywhere.

If you throw on trying to get published into all of that, it turns into a big damn pain in the ass.

But it’s also when your goals are either broken or you bust through and work harder.

I understand my situation is special. I have 2-3 hours of writing time every morning, bartend a few days a week and having an amazing wife supporting my writing and our family is incredible, but it wasn’t always like this. Which is why I work so hard every day on my writing.

I received 13 rejections on a book last summer, have received other for short stories. But I don’t stop and it has a lot to do with my wife and kids.

I understand what we gave up moving away so I could have writing time. My wife knew I couldn’t stay in Las Vegas any longer. It wasn’t conducive to my mental health.

My wife pays most of the bills, but I take care of the house and help out with 2-3 days a week of bartending. Sometimes it’s more. This time of year it’s more.

But I get through the rejections because I can’t let my wife and kids down, or myself.

I’ve wanted to write stories since I was a kid. I’m writing my ninth book and I’ll continue until I get published.

I do have a plan for self-publishing, which I’ve mentioned before. But I’m keeping that to myself until that book is ready.

I keep writing, ignoring rejections, and enjoying and hating it, especially when I get stuck. But I’m finding my way and I see a lot of improvement in the last couple of novels. Having a writing group helps immensely.

Anyway, have a good week. Keep writing, keep submitting, and I’ll talk to you about bartending on Wednesday.