Things…etc.

When you feel life slipping and your goals trying, you have to understand that the world is difficult.

The difficulty of this life is that we have to get through it in any way possible.

Our any way possible can be whatever but our decisions along the road to our goals determines longevity.

I don’t usually think about these decisions but something changed. I’m not sure of the content of the change, but I do know it’s effects.

I’m aware of where my writing is going but there are times I’m unsure. I believe it’s impossible to be completely sure of our course. It’s not something we plan; only what we create.

I’ve written stories which were difficult to write and others I had no idea whether I’d come out the other side intact.

We get to where we need to be by working. There is nothing else.

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.

Carrying the flame…


We get to the other side of who we need to be slowly and often without merit.

Those around us will ignore what we’re doing or they may stare and wonder why.

To those who’ve reached the other side, I say take your life in the hands you’re given, run through the forest of your life and cherish the flame you’re bringing to others.

What we forget about the other side of your life is that it’s often reached through tumultuous beginnings and we’re unsure of the pain we’ve caused until we sit down with someone we’ve caused pain to.

It’s in this event that our lives have reached that other side.

We’ve gone through the fire, crossed over and begun to understand who we are, and sometimes we were.

 

We understand that the flame is often born from strife and we have to carry it to others so that they may know the flame as well.

Carrying the flame to others, no matter what your difficulty should be your life goal.

If you’re a writer, write about the pain that brought you to writing. Painters, stain your canvas with your pain.

These little things are vastly different from the rest of the world and what it does.

Our creativity brings us to the other side of who we need to be and without it, we’re the same as everyone else.

When You Realize What It Takes To Do What You Want.


There is a moment as a writer when you realize what it takes to get where you want to be.

You’ll be sitting, writing and thinking about other things, or you’ll be editing. And it will hit you.

I realized that to get where I wanted to be as a writer, I’d need time to myself. Not just any type of time, but silent time.

When you have young kids it’s difficult to find that time, but my wife gives me the time I need to get a few thousand words down every day on novels, short stories and poetry.

What it takes is drive. It takes mental strength and the ability to put the bullshit people tell you about who you are in the farthest recesses of your mind and lock it away.

You have to want to succeed. You have to want to see your book in a book store.

You have to want this bad enough to wake up tired and fall asleep exhausted.

When your family sees you come out of your writing cave their remarks should be, “I didn’t know you were home” or “How long have you been in there?” The second question should have you wondering what they’ve been doing.

If you’re willing to work, and work hard for what you want, you can do what you want.

It took me a while to understand how hard I’d truly have to work. You can’t half-ass it, you really have to want it, and want it bad enough to change the way you look at everything in your life.

If you really want to be a writer, you must create a schedule and stick to it.

But most important, you must write. From writing you learn and get better.

An athlete practices, which is exactly what writing is. Every time you write you get better.

I learned a lot on my path to being a writer, but most importantly, I learned you have to work harder than you have for anything.

Write and get better.

Getting Past Who I Thought I Was

I’m discovering I wasn’t who I thought I was.

When we reach a certain point in our lives, we find that the person we believe ourselves to be, isn’t the one everyone else sees. This is either by accident or design.

I’ve always thought of myself as shy, reserved, but in my family life that’s not how I was.

During my time with TM, I’ve discovered I’m not the person I thought I was, I was much worse.

I believed myself to be a good husband, father and son, though quite a few times it has been the opposite.

I’d been demanding, belittling and sometimes cruel. I write this because I’m doing my best to be better in all the roles I listed above.

A few weeks after I started doing TM I had a self-realization moment.

I watched myself, how I acted towards my wife, kids and parents, and I didn’t like what I saw.

I’ve put up this facade of who I was, what my family life was like and it’s time to tear it down.

I no longer want to be the person who tells stories about his life, I want to write stories about others lives.

Growing up lies were told to me many times about many things, and I’ve found myself doing that to people I care about, not because it was planned, but because it was something I took as normal and in truth, if you love someone you don’t lie to them.

The lies I was told as a kid grew to shape who I am, and what I believed, but in shaping me they’ve allowed me to create this facade and build a wall around myself which I thought protected me from being hurt by others, which was a constant as a child.

My self-realization moment happened and I sat down with my wife, apologized for the man I’d been and promised that I would be a better man, it was a true awakening moment.

When I realized the things I was doing, I was overcome with emotion and had to think about all the things I’d done to people. It was as close as I can get to make amends for the things I’ve done in my life and the way I’ve hurt people.

That I’ve caused pain to my wife, who’s stood by me through everything and put up with my attitude and being an ass, shows how much she cares for me.

I realized that my wife is the best thing to happen to me. She’s never judged me, or anything I’ve done. She’s loved me for who I am and ignored or tolerated the person I was.

I find myself in a new place, devoid of having people who only want me around for their own means and I’m learning that I have more control of things and who I’ll be in the future than I thought possible.

I say these words often to myself, but they ring true every time. Our life is our own, how we deal with it defines who we are to ourselves and others. Who we choose to be is under our control and no one can tell us who we are but ourselves.

 

When I Wanted the Story to End.

Looking at life from a writer’s perspective, there’s a beginning, middle and end, right?

What if like some novels, we choose to end the story in the middle or not quite the end?

When we reach the point of ending the story prematurely, we discover who are friends are, who the people are that really care about us and whether our lives mean anything to someone else.

There are two times I’ve wanted to end my story, but I kept the writer guessing, wondering which way I would go.

When we keep the writer guessing, we keep life interesting, and if life is interesting, we want to discover how the story ends.

The first time I wanted to end the story, I was 13, I was bullied often and generally treated horribly.

I sat up late one night, holding a hobby knife as if it were a crucifix. I remember that night better than most. The way my sheets felt, the way I cried, and the way the story kept going.

I let the writer keep doing his thing because I wanted to see how the story would end, or at least how I would get out of the situation I was in. Things got better, I moved in with my mom and step-dad and I started a new school. I made friends, none of which I can remember, but I got through it. I let the story go on.

When I talk about these things some people believe I shouldn’t talk about how I wanted to die, not because I was selfish, but because I thought it was the best thing for my family. I believed they would be better if I weren’t there.

The second time, was more recent.

In February, I sat in my car after work, cried for 20 minutes and called my wife and told her, “I think I need to do something different.”

My work day had been horrible. I got in an argument with a co-worker. My work had been poor and didn’t really care if I made it home.

The whole drive home I hoped I would get in a wreck, I would die and my family would be better off. I believed that because my mind told me that’s what would happen.

That night, I sat at my computer, wrote a little bit and felt a little better.

I didn’t get in a wreck, or try to cause one, but I wanted to. The reason I didn’t was I wanted to see how my story ends, and I know it isn’t close to the final chapter.

I still have grandchildren I want to see. A daughter I want to see get married and a son I want to see turn into a man.

There are many parts of my story which are waiting in future chapters, the most important are still to come and I know that life isn’t done until the those two words come across the screen…The End!

When I Think About The Writer I Could Be…

Moon in the sky

Standing in the middle of the room, to my left are people milling about waiting for “him” to come on. On my right are people reading books, one particular book, my book.

I sit down, my hat pulled low across my head, hiding my eyes behind sunglasses, because they give me away every time.

My phone buzzes for an incoming text message.

Agent: Where are you?

Me: Milling about with my fans, why, where are you?

Agent: I’m trying to keep the people backstage under control. They think you’re not going to show. They’re going crazy. They got the food you asked for and the tea. They want you to come backstage.

Me: Alright, I’m on my way.

I exit through the front door–my fans never noticing I’d been sitting next to them–make my way to the rear entrance.

A large man who looks as if he worked for the mafia guards the door.

Mafia guy: They’re waiting for you.

He says in a very strong Scottish accent, which I wasn’t prepared for, open my phone–wondering whether I’m in the right place–look at Google maps and think it’s broken until my agent comes out.

Agent: B, where have you been? They’re losing their minds in here.

Me: It’s fine. I’ll start in a couple of minutes and everything will be alright.

Agent: Very well, I’ll tell them you’re here and that they should start getting the stage ready for your speech.

Me: Thanks. I’m going to use the restroom first.

Agent: Whatever, just be ready to go onstage.

#

The previous story is how I imagine my first signing going, though I haven’t written a published work, I do write every day, and not just blog stuff.

When I think about the writer I am and the things I think about when I’m published it always comes down to this scenario, I’m not sure why.

I’m sure other unpublished writers think about their first foray into signing, readings and speeches, but lately that’s not been on my mind, I’ve just been writing.

When you sit down to just write your mind goes through processes of trying to figure out whether what you’re writing is any good, but that happens when you’ve taken the next day to read through what you’ve read, though I try not to this always happens.

As I write every day, a lot of my thoughts are on the characters I’m writing at the moment and not what comes next.

I write the first draft just full-blown, the second draft starts after my first read-through when I get an idea about what the story is about, who my MC is and what will happen when I clean everything up when I do an outline, which is what comes after my read-through.

I only start the second draft after I understand what’s going on, and why. After my characters are thoroughly in my head, and not leaving there. I set out to discover what my characters are truly like, but thinking like them, talking like them–which is often fun but can scare my kids–and making choices the way they would.

After all this is finished and I have a better idea of things, I start the second draft, it wasn’t always like this.

When I decided to write a novel, I’d start then stop, just to get the opening right. I’ve written two books in ten years and I’ve recently had my eyes opened to a different way of doing things.

This eye-opening wasn’t just induced by meditation, but by reading more subjects and listening to books on tape. Listening to books on tape by a great narrator can help you understand dialogue better.

When I found myself reading books just to see where the story originated or where the MC first chose their path.

These little things have changed the way I write, the way I rewrite and how I perform my day job as well.

Keeping track of the small changes in your writing makes a huge difference in how well you understand your writing and how much you understand your characters and what they want in the story.

On a side not to this post. I’ll be giving away three books the end of September. Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch, On Writing by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. These books have helped me either learn about TM or helped me with my writing and I’ll be giving them away.

I’ll do this on my last post of the month, so you have plenty of time to get your entry in. Either comment on the blog, share on Twitter with the hashtag #delusionsofink. Share on Facebook and tag the blog. Here is a link to the blog’s Facebook page, the link for my Twitter profile is here.

Thanks for enjoying the blog and good luck.