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.

Busy…

The last couple of weeks have been busy with bartending, writing, and submitting.

It’s not a decent excuse but it’s all I have.

I’ve joined a new writing group and they’ll be going over all of my writing along with my wife.

I’m back to writing a project I stopped in March. It took the past 5 months to figure out where it was going.

I discovered I needed to ignore what my head tells me even more than I thought I should.

So that’s why there haven’t been any posts.

I’m not being lazy, just busy.

Until Thursday…

Busy and almost missed today.

Today is the first time I’ve nearly missed writing a post in a few months.

I’m not going make some bullshit excuse.

Our power did go out last night but it was on in time for me to write a post today or yesterday.

The fact is I’ve been writing a lot.

I finished two short stories in the past couple of days. I received a rejection from an agent for the novel I submitted; this is the fourth rejection for this particular novel.

I have other stories. I’ll write more. I’ll continue writing and after I get a acceptance letter I’ll go quiet for a while and work on other things.

I took a lot of time off from Delusions of Ink, I don’t intend to do it again.

Happy writing.

Brian

Going with your instincts…

Yesterday my wife and I were talking about a story I’d written.

She thought it needed something else.

I told her, my gut instinct had been to take the story darker but was unnerved to do it.

This led me to think about other stories where I’d taken the safe route.

I thought about everything I’d written.

There were parts of numerous stories and some novels where I’d played it safe.

I chose not to do something in the story I wanted to do because there’s always a fear of doing something horrific.

Those moments came more often than I thought.

I don’t usually think about this but my wife insisted I go back and rewrite it darker.

As a writer, especially one who writes horror and fantasy, there’s a fear of judgment.

I worry that what I write may lead people to believe there is something wrong with me.

This has plagued me since I began writing in my teens.

As a teenager, it felt different because I worried how my parents would interpret what I wrote. I thought they’d want to sit me down with a therapist, hint, they did.

When I began to write again in my twenties, I felt what I wrote would worry my wife. I edited myself because of it.

After our discussion this week, I discovered I’m still afraid of what people think.

This makes it hard for me to move forward with improving as well as writing the stuff in my head.

There’s a quote, I’m not sure who it belongs to but I think its Stephen King, “Good writing is often about letting go of fear.”

I need to let go of the fear of judgment, move forward and write something that scares me for other people to see.

If I don’t, why am I writing at all?

Why I Felt Guilty About Following My Dream.

Following my dream of being a writer is something that’s haunted me for most of my adult life and I only now understand why.


As a writer you reach a point in your life where you either have to figure a way to keep writing or give up on it.

This often happens when you’re close to reaching your goal of publication, but you’re unaware of that.

Throughout my life I’ve told stories of one manner or another. I told them to people so they’d think I was interesting, to myself so I’d like me and to my parents so they’d think I was a good kid.

I learned through those stories that I love to create characters from nothing and that with them I could do anything, but something stopped me on the way.

I felt insecure about my writing, which happens often to writers. Something Amanda Palmer has called the fraud police.

At some point I thought people would accuse me of not supporting my family in the “traditional way” and this led me to wonder whether I should keep writing.

In my early twenties, a friend who knew that I loved to write said I should write a book. So I did, a horrible, awfully constructed vampire book.

What I learned from that book is that finishing a book was possible and that I really enjoyed it, then the fraud police showed up in the form of someone else and I stopped writing as much.

It was after I started writing again and finished another book I felt the fraud police again, in the same form as the last time.

I stopped writing for a while, again and fell into a deep depression which I’ve talked about here, which led me to transcendental meditation and getting through my depression.

After I began TM I started writing again. Little bits at a time until I was ready to tackle something bigger.

The something bigger is the second novel I finished and I’m now in my third rewrite and fourth draft of it.

When my wife and I moved, with the promise of being able to write full-time and bartend part-time, I felt guilty about writing. Not because I was afraid of the fraud police, but because I wanted to follow my dream.

Following my dream of being a writer is something that’s haunted me for most of my adult life and I only now understand why.

I’m doing something most people can’t or won’t do. Follow their dream.

When we decide to follow our dreams and our life allows that possibility to creep in, we think we’re getting away with something, at least I do.

I see all my friends and I know they have dreams they want to follow, and some of them are, but there are others who I really want to help, but they’re so used to being in the life they have they’ve forgotten about the dreams they once had, and the fact that I’m able to follow my dream, makes me feel guilty.

Now that I’m getting past the guilt of following my dream and embracing it I understand who I once was as a writer and I love him because he allowed me to be who I am and create the worlds I love.

Dump the Negative and Live The Life You Want.

We see the darkness, it dances across our eyes. It pleads with our souls and steals our desire.

Within our lives we’re stuck living the life we don’t have, but the thing about being stuck, there’s always a way to get out of it. It takes force, it takes effort, but we have to get through our life, because why should we live life we don’t want?

There are zero reasons to stay in in a job you don’t like. There are zero reasons to live a life that you’re not enjoying.

But, there are things you must do, and a path you must follow.

The first step is clearing all the bad stuff from your life. This could be friends, family and the best way to get rid of these people is to ignore them.

In the social media world, you’re probably connected to people who you don’t talk to on a daily basis. You possibly see their posts on Facebook, Tweets, Snaps, Instagrams, but you keep seeing what their saying.

Their negativity is infecting your soul, filling it with rage, hate, anger and strife.

The faster you rid your life of them, the better you’ll life will be.

It won’t be easy, these are people you care about, but they are infecting your dreams. They’re stopping you from becoming great.

They’re limiting you to be the person you’ve been, when you see someone else you’d want to be.

You know the person, you see them your reflection, your future reflection.

Change your life and live that reflection.

Paperback Landmines, Barbwire and Flies

The part about writing that always confuses, the writing.

We write, because, well…it’s what we do. There’s nothing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, definitely not my day-job. I don’t want to be slinging drinks at 50.

I have books by King, Maass and one or two by K.M. Weiland, not to mention Strunk & White.

These books have gathered at my desk for an intervention.

They’re not in a pile, they merely litter my desk like paperback landmines.

One or two sit open, they’re pages alight in streams of fading sun filtering through the blinds.

I see a few of my notes about this, that or the other and find myself drunk from the new knowledge of outlines, plot and character dissection, which oddly sounds like some medieval torture.

I’ve never been fond of these books, but my writing, well it’s on the verge of discovering what landfill flies actually eat, don’t ask.

The headaches are back, the stress of not getting things on the page, when I desperately need the release.

The little synapses are firing, but there’s not much to fire into when the stories are stuck in a no man’s land surrounded by paperback landmines, gas canisters of regret and bullets made of that little gooey stuff that comes out of bugs when you squish them.

I see the books, they’re little bugs telling me to do things I don’t want to do. Outline, plot, character dissection and a myriad of other little things my heart doesn’t want, but my mind keeps telling me, “Listen up, it will help.”

My heart is torn between what my writing wants and what my mind knows needs to happen.

I’ve read all the books, done some of the exercises, but that doesn’t feel like enough tonight. The pillow calls, but I’d rather wrap it around my head with barbwire than leave the desk, because I’m a writer and I have to write.

The writing doesn’t come, it spurts and spills like fresh blood from an artery, cascading across the page in large arcs.

The arcs begin small, but then, something amazing happens…I begin to write.