I wrote 86k last December. Here’s what happened and why I won’t do that again.

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly.

I finished a 86,000 word novel in one month. But here’s the catch, it wasn’t executed very well.

I know I need to go back to it but damn, it’s a daunting as hell task.

It’s not quite cohesive and that’s where the problem is the biggest. The smaller ones are it feels like a few short stories compiled into a novel.

I had no idea what I was writing at the time. I only had a first line and went from there.

This month I plan on writing a lot but not 86k, but we’ll see.

I had an idea the other day about a story, actually a few stories with one character that holds them together.

I’ve taken to sketching, connecting, outlining and figuring out what the hell its about.

It may take me a few months to do this as I’ve allotted a great deal of 2020 with construction of this one.

I did this with a couple of stories and I really enjoyed writing them and their respective outlines.

This one though, it’s different.

You know that excitement when things click? The feeling of trying to catch your breath with the possibilities?

That’s what I feel with this one and it’s why I’ll be taking so much of the year working on it.

I will also be submitting short stories and novels to magazines, contests, and agents.

I had planned on doing that today but had a bartending event to prepare for.

I’ll be submitting a novel to agents over the next couple of days as well as preparing a couple of short stories to those magazines and contests.

Have a good week and keep writing.

Feeling the pressure…

It comes at the oddest times and I’m not sure how to deal with it when it does.

The failure mindset.

Maybe because I’m not published that it comes harder.

I’ve submitted novels to 18 agents. 13 said no to one of them. Another said no to a different submission and one wasn’t accepting unsolicited manuscripts.

The others are out currently.

That’s 3 agents with one of my books.

I’m at the point where I could use a win. I guess we all get that way at some point. It’s happened to me a couple of times.

But right now, where things are in life at 43, a win would be good for my head and heart.

I’ll keep writing because I’m better at it than I am anything else but a win or even an agent to ask for a full would be great.

Anyway, have a great rest of your week. I’ll be over here with fingers crossed and hope in my heart.

Time to buckle down…

Every now and then I see a blog post or tweet from an author where they announce they’ll be mostly absent to finish a certain project.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve considered this as a last resort for myself.

I had issues within my own head to deal with, struggles with writing, and other things.

But I keep coming back to this.

I have this novel to finish by the end of the year, and though I have my bartending job that pays some bills, it’s not where my heart lies.

I also don’t have the exposure, social media following or whatever as these other authors and we’re told to build our brand before publishing, submitting, or the like.

So, I’m going to take a break from the blog and social media to finish this project, get others ready for either publishing or submitting and do what needs to be done.

It may last until the end of the year or not, but I will check in with short posts about how the writing is going, or isn’t, as well as what is going on with the other projects.

I’m not quitting the blog, only refocusing on where it’s more important.

Have a happy next few months.

Forgetting, hating, and pushing through.

I’ve been fighting with myself lately, you may have noticed if you’ve been following the blog for a while.

Between my writing, my head, and alcohol, it’s been a constant argument.

The argument goes like this.

Head: “You need to continue to stay sober. Look at all the benefits. Better sleep, great sex(not that it was bad, but it’s been really good since I quit).

Writing: “You haven’t written well since you quit. The writing hasn’t flowed as well.”

Alcohol: “listen to the writing.”

Head: “It has to do with we haven’t been writing for us. We’ve been trying to write someone else’s way. That’s what’s wrong.”

Writing: “Maybe, but what if we put limits on alcohol. We have to have a good reason to drink, and it can’t be to dull or senses, or using it as a medication.”

Alcohol: “Don’t listen to either of them.”

Head: “It’s all about why you’re writing. It has nothing to do with the alcohol. It’s why you’re writing. Why are you writing?”

This is about the time I think, Brian, you’re having a conversation with nonexistent things.

Then I think about what’s going on in my life. I don’t know whether I’ll ever drink again. For now I’m sober and a lot of things are going well, but my writing isn’t one of them.

I think I did an outline because I was too afraid to edit. Too afraid to take time away from writing stories to fix things.

That’s a huge problem.

It’s one I’ll be fixing with the current project.

I’ve gone back to just writing. I have the outline but I know what’s in the story in my head and I’m still publishing something this year. It won’t be perfect, but I will publish.

The above conversation happens a lot.

I don’t know if it will ever go away, but I just want to write.

I hate that the conversation is happening, but it’s been almost three months since my last drink and the last couple of weeks have been the most difficult.

I’m trying to push through but some days I want to see if the alcohol helped with my writing. I know it didn’t but a part of me says it is. Which makes it more difficult.

Other than the writing issues and alcohol cravings, I’m good.

Have a good day.

Change, fixing problems, and ignoring what people say.

I don’t even know where to start with this post.

I’ve had a running commentary for things for so long I don’t know where to narrow this stuff down.

So I’ll start with the relevant things.

I’ve been trying to get past that commentary.

It starts by admitting a few things.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

Words come to me when I don’t expect it and don’t come when I need them too.

This is a regular thing and I’m wondering if this is how it’s supposed to be.

The current project came out of a single thought and idea after bartending an event.

After telling myself to write an outline, I did. I thought after writing 9 books without one, I had to use an outline since none of those books are in print.

But here’s the thing, it had nothing to do with the stories. Some of them are really good.

It has to do with putting in the work.

I didn’t want to do that.

I punked out!

I would choose anything over editing. I would rather rewrite the book than figure out what was wrong with it.

It started to be a joke.

Then, after the last book, I realized I hadn’t found my voice. I didn’t know what I wanted out my writing or anything creatively.

I wanted to be published but didn’t want to do the work it entails.

I wanted the glory, so to speak, without the work.

That’s changed this last weekend.

I realized there are things I have to fix and it’s not having an outline.

Having a premise or idea about what happens is one thing. Have a rough idea of things that will happen, okay. An outline…sucks!

I will construct and idea of what is supposed to happen but planning and plotting are out the window.

I can’t. I’ve tried for three weeks and barely reached 22k, which is slow as hell for me.

Yesterday I gave up on what I had in the outline and just wrote. It was incredible!

I’ll do that from now on.