Be Brave and Enjoy the Sunlight.

I wonder often about the life I’ve lead.

It comes to me at night. I’ll ponder the things I’ve done. People I’ve wronged and consider whether the life I have has been worth the things I’ve been through.

Those moments are surrounded by others.

These others are filled with the laughter of my kids, my wife’s kiss, and my morning writing.

For the first time in a while, I feel like my life is going in the correct direction.

Yes, I write fervently. I get my word count on a new WiP every day.  I work on revisions and edits every day on another story or novel.

But all the tired nights, exhausted mornings and cups of coffee are worth it for what I’m attempting.

Each person reaches a point where they want to stop. I have a couple of times.

When this point is reached, we have to look around and think about how far we’ve come. And all we’ve done to reach this current state.

That moment may come while we’re in the shower or it may come in a flash of fireworks erupting over our heads as we look at our wife and kids.

Today, I’m in a good place. I know they aren’t all good so I’m going to recognize this one. Have a good rest of your day.

Not Giving up on what I want.

There are dreams in the world that happen because we take a chance.

We’re capable of doing great things, but there are moments when we falter.

The truth is, for most of us, fear runs our lives.

It keeps us from achieving greatness.

I used to be one of those people.

I feared people would read my writing and hate. But they’d judge me based only on my writing, not on who I am.

A year ago I sent off my first short story to a magazine. The rejections have come in ever since.

Not one of my stories has been picked up. I don’t know why, but I’ll keep going. I’ll keep improving. The only way to get published it to improve every day. The only way to do that is to write every day or if you’re not writing, at least be reading.

This year I sent off a novel. It’s been seen by three agents. Two of them still have it. The third sent a form rejection.

But I’m not stopping.

I have eight more agents on my list.

When I get rejections from all of them, I’ll shelve it and work on the other one.

I have a goal. It won’t be achieved until I’m published.

I’ve written seven novels, over 100 short stories.

Some of them good, some bad, but I keep writing.

I won’t accept being unpublished.

This year I’ve improved more than any year. My focus hasn’t wavered.

I’m starting another novel next month, another novel I’ll be editing, and few short stories I’ll be submitting.

This road doesn’t end until I’m published.

Heart And Soul

There comes a time when we must challenge ourselves.

This challenge comes after months of thinking.

Sometimes, at least with me, it comes from dealing with depression and a feeling that I should quit and get a real job.

The challenge is this: take 3 months to improve your writing.

Ask those who read your work what you’re poor at and take 3 months to get better on those things.

I did this last year and I improved more in those 3 months than the previous 3 years.

This year I’ll push myself harder to get where I need to be because I won’t quit.

I’m unpublished but not for long.

In order for me to do this I have to take a break for social media.

My site isn’t a part of social media and now that I’m using it again, I’ll keep going.

As for other social media, the break begins this week.

I know where my writing suffers. I understand that getting better at the craft must happen in order to be published.

Have a good Tuesday and I’ll keep you updated.

Frustration, Fate, ​and Writing.

Okay, hear me out.

This is not a post about how sad I am about being unpublished, it’s more about the frustration of working the day job while worrying I could be writing, querying, editing, but because the day job pays the bills.

I’m aware of the one in a million chance of being the author who gets a contract that changes their lives.

The moments of wonder when I’m at my day job are not small.

I think about these things a lot more than I probably should as an unpublished writer.

Though, I’m certain there are others who think these things as well.

This past week is a perfect example.

I worked the day job, four days last week, which is more than I usually work, but it’s the time of year that allows it.

January through March is quiet as an event bartender. Its the nature of the gig.

Don’t get me wrong, I love bartending. I love the interaction with guests. I enjoy making cocktails and do it often for my wife.

There are moments I’ll have an interaction with a guest. I roll my eyes and think about the story I’m writing and what I have to do when I get home or the following morning.

After that moment has passed I look around and wonder, ‘Is that all I’m supposed to be doing with my life?’ I know it’s not. I’ve known that since I was a kid. Those thoughts persist, especially now that I’ve begun to query agents with finished novels.

I try to put them farther back. I find I work harder when they’re at the forefront of my thoughts.

The more focused I am on getting published the more I think about the possibilities for publication.

Each of us is meant for a certain path, I completely believe that. I didn’t use to.

Something happened that made me believe it. Fate has a path for each us that we’re destined to take.

We have choices to make, we’ll feel them when they arrive.

Those choices are tough.

Keep going no matter what games your mind plays you.

Busy and stuff 

I missed last week and this week isn’t promising either.

New project, a lot of bartending gigs and trying to spend time with the kids before school starts up next month.

We’re planning for Wizarding World next summer with the kids after school gets out all while I’m scheduling the publishing of 3 books.

A busy year, but well worth the effort.

Have a good week.

Do you have anything published? And other things.

I bartend events on occasion and I get asked, ‘What do you do when you’re not doing this?”

“I write.” Is always my reply, then I wait for those words to compute, sometimes I get a follow-up like this, ‘Like freelance or books?’

‘I write novels and short stories.’

‘Do you have anything published?’

‘Not right now, but I’m trying to get a book published soon.’

‘Oh…” they reply and that’s the end of the conversation.

Here’s the truth. I have written four books, I’m working on number five right now and the reason I haven’t published is I guess I just haven’t.

That’s the truth. With the first two books, I got scared of publishing because they weren’t very good, first novels rarely are. With the last two, I want to get one of them published, but I’ll probably be doing Indie or self-publishing them.

Having written nearly five books, I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t in the story, having never published I don’t bring in any income aside from the bartending gig.

My goal for this year is to publish two books, it doesn’t matter how, just that they’re out there for readers.

My daily routine consists of writing in the morning after dropping off my kids, working out after writing, reading in the afternoon, picking up the kids, eating and spending time with my family then editing whichever book is on the editing table at that time.

I would love to get published so I can say to these people who attend these events I bartend, “yes, I do. I have books on Amazon, iBooks, and a few others.”

I love writing more than anything else. I enjoy creating stories more than anything else and I want to share those stories, but honestly, I just haven’t gotten around to getting them published because I hadn’t found a system that works for me until recently.

Now that I have that system, I’ll be publishing in one form or another.

I write short stories and have submitted numerous stories this year to various magazines, but haven’t had a nibble, yet. I’m hoping to get one soon so I can contribute more to my family’s finances, because working one or two days a week bartending, doesn’t cut it.

Ignoring the shiny.

We’ll be working on a story, and it doesn’t matter the length of the story, and BAM, The Shiny appears.

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We writers, we have a problem.

There is this thing, it’s called “The Shiny“.

It comes when we least expect it, but it screams its damn head off when it appears.

We’ll be working on a story, and it doesn’t matter the length of the story, and BAM, The Shiny appears.

It could be a new thought on the current story, something that we didn’t anticipate or worse, it could be a new story, yelling, ‘look at me, look at me. I won’t let you get stuck, but if I do at least you’ll be writing five-thousand words while you wait’

The more we’re blocked, the louder the damn thing screams, but we have to ignore it, we must. There’s a part of us that knows we have to keep going on the current story, because, no matter how blocked we get, we still have more words on the current story than The Shiny.

We want to stop because we’ll get The Shiny to be quiet, then we have the damn things popping up to yell at us. It will happen when we’re going to sleep, taking our kids to school, reading a book. That last one, that’s the most frustrating.

The only thing we can do, write down the idea, put it somewhere we can see it and work on it later after we’re done with the current story.

Don’t give in to The Shiny.