The Biggest Problem I have…

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When it comes to writing, I have things I enjoy and things I’m afraid of. You’d think at 44 I’d get over some of them, but they’re still there.

The biggest among these is the enjoyment of horror. Whether it’s writing it, reading it, or watching it, I worry about the judgement aspect.

I guess that happens to a lot of writers, but lately its been creeping into my mind and stopping me from enjoying things that otherwise I would have.

I’ve loved horror since I was a little kid and maybe it’s because I grew up in very conservative environment where horror wasn’t given the respect it deserves. Then there are the people in this world who turn up their nose at horror.

There are so many of those people.

I think it has to do with a lot of that. The being judged part of my brain still has a problem with it.

Take the book I just finished, it wasn’t in the horror genre, mostly because I felt like I needed to try something new.

After writing 10(now 11) books I felt that something wasn’t working. I’d submitted books to agents, short stories for collections and anthologies and heard nothing back. Maybe it’s my writing.

It possibly is. But if it is, I’m going to take the next few months and work on improving that.

I have story ideas all over the place. I can’t stop writing now, it’s the one thing that keeps me going daily, if I were to quit, I’d have to quit other things as well.

Its the feeling of being alone in this process that drives me crazy. I can’t afford to get and editor, especially not during this pandemic. All of our money is focused on continuing to survive.

I’m grateful my wife is able to continue her job and we can continue to have our house, when I know a few people who aren’t in our position.

I’d like to get a push. Some kind of win on this, not that it matters money wise, but for my sanity. it would be helpful.

I’ll keep writing horror and work through the issues I have with sharing them with others.

Sending them to a contest, collection or anthology doesn’t bother me, but having others know what I write does freak me out a bit.

I’m aware that most of my family, other than my wife, won’t read what I write, and maybe I need to get past their approval and stop caring about what they think.

That’s probably for the best.

Getting life taken care of

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I’ve worked on a new project for most of the last month of all this crazy new reality.

It started with wondering whether I should write the current project, something I discussed in another post.

I also talked about dropping this project because it was different and wasn’t the horror stories I believed I should be writing.

But cooler heads prevailed and I’m at almost 30k on this project.

It’s the first time I’ve used an outline this thoroughly.

I worked for three weeks on this outline and now that I’ve got a handle on how it’s supposed to work I’m enjoying it.

There are minor points I’ve set within the outline that I must reach and they’ve allowed me to write to the story I want as long as I hit those points the story works.

That I’ve written ten novels and never approached my writing this way says a lot about where I’ve been and even more about how my mental attitude has changed towards an outline.

I’ve tried this approach numerous times but now after having a MasterClass account and listening to David Baldacci, Dan Brown, Robert Patterson, I’m more comfortable within this construct than I’ve ever been.

My wife got me a subscription to MasterClass for my birthday and I’ve watched all of the ones I’ve listed above.

The Baldacci one is my favorite.

I’m able to get 2300 words or more every day, sometimes reaching into the 3k range.

But having the comfort of this new way to work makes me more confident in my writing abilities.

I miss writing on this blog three days a week but have been focusing on reading and writing so much that the blog hasn’t been part of that focus.

I’m not going make a promise I can’t keep and tell you I’ll write more posts, but I will keep you updated on how the writing is going as much as possible.

I have a deadline set for the end of June for the first draft and will probably finish sooner.

As to the rest of my life.

Kids are doing school from home. I’m unable to bartend for obvious COVID-19 restrictions. My wife has worked from home for the last 9+ years and is busy.

I work, play video games, keep the house, and yard clean.

I miss bartending. I’m an introvert, except when I’m pouring drinks.

I miss that.

I hope you’re all healthy.

Stay home, stay safe.

You’ve always known the way

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There are all these books and speakers to tell us what we need to do. But the thing I’ve learned is, we’ve always known what we need to do.

It’s the same as losing weight. We know what we have to do but we don’t because it’s hard.

Like exercise, writing and other creative endeavors have the same theory.

We know what we must do to achieve the things we want but we’re so afraid of failure and what could happen we stop ourselves from doing what’s necessary.

This is counterproductive to our goals and we have to keep our heads when it comes to our life, creativity, and check ourselves mentally.

The way forward has always been blocked by whatever we have in our heads that it difficult. Whether it is the editing process or worry about how someone will judge us by what we create. It’s all about what’s in the way.

Getting through it is as easy as that.

We see the obstacle. We know it’s there and we can choose to ignore it or continue to struggle.

But it is entirely up to us.

We have to get through that obstacle if we want to challenge ourselves and if we want our project and life to progress.

But we have to do it. If we’re truly certain of our path, there is no other way through.

Muse and Motivation, where have you gone?

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If you’re a long time reader you know my struggles with motivation. Well, I feel someone else has flown the coop.

I’ve been trying to stay motivated lately but I stare at my phone more than Scrivener.

When I do write, it doesn’t feel good and the fiasco of the missing 25,000 words hasn’t helped.

I feel like any motivation I have at one moment is gone the next. That my muse has flown away. I hope her wings have been singed by the frustration and anger pouring off of me.

So I feel I’ve reached that crossroads, the move on or die point. What I call waypoints.

It’s been hectic, to say the least. My mind has broken itself up into separate entities to deal with shit. Now with the motivation to write, the feeling that I’m failing myself, and that sobriety is making me feel better, I’ve reached a waypoint.

I can stop this train right now. Get off and never struggle with writing again, or I can what I know, fix what I’ve struggled with(hint editing)and do this shit for real.

I’ll have to do things I’m not comfortable with. I know I’m not happy with how my writing or how I’ve dealt with childhood trauma, but getting better is an everyday journey.

One step after another brother, one step after another.

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

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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.

Continuing, finding me, and the path to where I need to be.

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I find writing more enjoyable when there are other things going on in my head. Let’s take yesterday as an example.

I bartended last night, had writing to finish or continue(not sure which it is day-to-day)and I discovered that I got better, more focused work.

This comes as I’m trying to find a story for compilation I’m submitting to.

I’ve written two and started a third. It doesn’t need to be ready to go until the end of January, but I’m trying to find a story that fits and the best way for me is to write a few until something clicks.

That click hasn’t happened, though I’ve written two short stories, very short. One is under 1,000 the other is just over. I’m trying to get one that’s about 5-6k then I can clean it up in editing.

I’ll keep going, keep on the path and find where I need to be in my writing and life. I’ve found a few things that are working and others that aren’t. It’s all trial and error. But I’ll get there.

Have a good weekend.

The point of no return.

There’s a moment when I’m writing and something sinister comes to my mind about the story.

I could do something really messed up to the characters and they have to deal with it. Or, I could not and it won’t be as much fun.

It’s in this part of the story that I realize I can write some twisted things if I just get past the perceived judgment of others

Most of my family wouldn’t read what I write anyway. They don’t like horror or don’t read books.

I used to wonder what someone would think about the story and I would hold back.

Now I write something and think, “damn, that was sick and twisted” and don’t think about what those people think or what they’d say.

If they read it fine, if it freaks them out, even better. But I won’t stand hand on hip waiting for their opinions of what I write as if it’s a reflection of who I am.

It took me a long time to break that thought process and I won’t go back.

I hope you’re all enjoying NaNoWriMo and getting words on the page.

I’m plotting something for a contest and I have words to write.