What’s going on?

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I’ve dealt with my stomach issues over the last few months, but that’s not what this post is about.

After I had my initial visit with my doctor, I asked to be put on anti-depressant/anxiety medication. If you’ve read this blog for a while you understand my reasons for that; now I’ve run into a problem.

I started taking the medicine in November and I haven’t written a word since. I don’t feel like writing, reading, or watching anything with my wife. A malaise settled in over my life. One that I’m not comfortable with. Writing and books are where I get the most enjoyment. They’ve always been my safe space. Not writing feels worse than depression.

I’m not cured of depression. That doesn’t happen. I understand that the medicine takes away the depression and the lows in causes. It’s also taking away my desire to work. I get to my desk every morning and stare at a blank screen. I may write something but I delete it later because I’m not interested in what I’ve put down.

I usually start exercising to help with my depression issues. I don’t want to do that either.

I’m going off the medication to see if that fixes this. I can’t live without writing. It’s causing me more mental issues than it’s solving.

I had wanted to publish this year. I don’t desire that either. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t posted here.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Getting better…

I’ve fought with my stomach, my mind, and my temper over the last week. I’m winning the battles, but the war continues.

I started writing a new story today. I don’t know where it came from, as I often never do, but it’s words, and I’m grateful for them. I’ve barely written since my time in the hospital and while I’m working to get better I’m also struggling to maintain my writing.

I took a hit to my mind, my body, and a bit of fear crept in. I’ve never spent time in the hospital. It was a new experience for me and I didn’t much care for it. I’ve always been relatively healthy and spending 48 hours in the hospital, mostly alone, did some damage. You can only watch so much bullshit TV without wanting to pluck your eyes from you school. I’m just glad they gave my plastic spoons for my meals.

Writing post-hospital is difficult. I’m on some new medication for depression and anxiety. It’s something I’ve needed to do for a while, but held off. I reached a point of needing that help while in the hospital. It wasn’t an epiphany, but a realization of sorts.

I’ve struggled with depression most of life and getting better is part of our journey as humans. I have to get better for me. That started with taking something for my anxiety and depression. I’m moving onto the next part, stay with me.

Writing horror is challenging for me. I grew up watching horror. I read a little bit growing up, but I mostly read Tom Clancy style thrillers. Which is why my most recent novel is a thriller in that vein.

Horror feels difficult to me. Maybe it’s because I watched more than I read growing up. I’ve worked to fix that as I grew older. I’m working on a few projects and I’ll put them up in the next couple of months.

I hope you’ll follow along as I make my way and get better.

The Fear Of Pushing Too Hard

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I have this fear. It rouses its ugly head every so often. I’m working on whatever project, then I think about how much harder I could be working on my writing, on my life, and other things.

This fear becomes complicit in my not pushing my projects when they come out. On not trying hard enough to edit. Each and every one of them deserves my attention, but then there’s this fear.

It tells me that if I work too hard, I’ll alienate those I care about. That they’ll not like me as much. That I’ll break those relationships. I’ve dealt with abandonment issues since childhood. It’s one of my overarching issues.

Within this fear is the worry that if I don’t work harder, what I write won’t go anywhere. I don’t care anymore if it makes money. I care someone gets something out of it. I don’t write for anyone but myself. Some people won’t care about you’re writing. Others will. I stopped worrying about those who won’t. I focus on those who will.

Writing Disunion By Force took me to a few places I hadn’t dared tread since my teenage years. I wrote this book for my teenage self. He read a lot of these kinds of books. Most of them to keep him sane, others to keep him from killing himself.

I found solace and a bit of peace writing this book. I’ve come a long way from the kid afraid of screwing up. He continues to pop up, but I’ve shoved him down a little. I know he’d enjoy this book. I know there were times he was done. Times when it was just him in an apartment reading, watching horror movies, and trying to keep his head above water.

I live through the fear of pushing too hard, but it comes out right. I write for us.

Gained A Level, or a few.

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I sat down the other day and wrote out all the projects I’ve written in the seven years since my family moved from Las Vegas to Ogden, Utah.

I have 10 projects either done, outlines, or ready to be written.

Four thrillers in the military/political/espionage realm and six in the horror genre.

I’ve been hard as hell on myself for the last few months. Writing these down feels like I’ve gained a level in my writing.

I’m a big gamer, and I have been since the ’80s. Looking at all this feels like I gained a level in one of my games. The fear of rejection and the fraud police will always be on my mind, but I have a date for my military/political thriller novel, November 1st. Here is the link.

But I want to thank everyone who commented on my posts over the last few months. I’m working through some things personally, and all of your support has been amazing.

I have a whiteboard above my desk, and I have all of the books I’ll be publishing until 2024 listed. There are seven with dates. I have one of the 10 I listed above out on submission. As soon as I get a reply on that, I’ll add it to the queue.

I write horror and military/political/espionage thrillers. I grew up watching horror and reading thrillers. Tom Clancy will always be my favorite in the genre, but Mark Greaney, Jack Carr, David Baldacci, Brad Thor, and Brad Taylor are my favorites right now.

Here‘s my list of what I’m currently reading.

I hope you have a good rest of your week.

Getting through it

There have been many days where I wanted to quit. When it all felt worthless. When I wanted to throw my laptop and all the stories I’ve written in the trash.

This last week I spent time with my family at Disneyland. It was fun but we have our issues sometimes. I’m sure it’s that way with every family.

It made me realize that my head was getting in the way of my progress. I was letting my thoughts run my life. That’s not a way to live. The thoughts were terrible and I wish I could forget all of them, but they’re still there in some empty space in my brain.

I didn’t write on that trip. I barely took any pictures. I stayed as much in the moment as I could. And it was hard. I can’t remember the last time I put everything away and stayed in the moment so solidly. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve done.

I’m usually on my phone looking at social media, but I only did that on a couple of instances last week.

Being in the moment was as difficult sober as I knew it would be. There were too many times I wanted a drink to steady my brain. It made me want a drink and it also made me lash out at my family. That was my fault. I wasn’t prepared for all of what was going on around me and I wanted to dull it.

No dulling happened and I stayed a bit angry. I’m angry at myself today for not handling it better and for not understanding how difficult it would be to manage all of the stimulation around me. Which I should have.

Now I’m back at the desk working this week. I’m making my way through Tim Waggoner’s Writing In The Dark Workbook and will have a review with some of the exercises up when I’m done.

I can’t say enough about how this book has helped me. I’ll save that for the review.

I hope you’re going to have a good week and as I struggle to deal with my behavior I hope you’re managing your own.