Feeling the pressure…

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It comes at the oddest times and I’m not sure how to deal with it when it does.

The failure mindset.

Maybe because I’m not published that it comes harder.

I’ve submitted novels to 18 agents. 13 said no to one of them. Another said no to a different submission and one wasn’t accepting unsolicited manuscripts.

The others are out currently.

That’s 3 agents with one of my books.

I’m at the point where I could use a win. I guess we all get that way at some point. It’s happened to me a couple of times.

But right now, where things are in life at 43, a win would be good for my head and heart.

I’ll keep writing because I’m better at it than I am anything else but a win or even an agent to ask for a full would be great.

Anyway, have a great rest of your week. I’ll be over here with fingers crossed and hope in my heart.

Write for yourself first.

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In Stephen King’s book “On Writing”, he talks about his first reader.

For him it’s his wife Tabitha. I understand why and for him this works.

For the longest time I wrote with someone in mind. Someone I thought would like the book, understand it, and it would scare them.

To go along with my most recent posts, that’s changed.

I feel there is only one person I should write a story for. Myself.

I am the first reader of the story after all and while I may put things in it for certain people. I’ve become aware that some people won’t read what I write anyway so why would I write a story for them?

I put things in on the off chance they would but I’m no longer under delusion the will.

It comes to what terrifies me. What makes me think, “Damn, we skipped some levels.”

Those levels are the places I used to write from.

Living in fear of being judged of the things in my mind. The things I better not put in stories because someone will think there’s something wrong with me.

I no longer live in those levels, neither do my stories.

I have more to submit this week, as I said in other posts.

This week will be one with my wife and kids and it’s snowing as I put these words on the page.

Have a pleasant Thanksgiving and I may put another post up later in the week.

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.

How I stay focused through rejections.

With social media accounts and the continuous clamor for attention from all of them, not to mention politics and that headache, we are being pulled everywhere.

If you throw on trying to get published into all of that, it turns into a big damn pain in the ass.

But it’s also when your goals are either broken or you bust through and work harder.

I understand my situation is special. I have 2-3 hours of writing time every morning, bartend a few days a week and having an amazing wife supporting my writing and our family is incredible, but it wasn’t always like this. Which is why I work so hard every day on my writing.

I received 13 rejections on a book last summer, have received other for short stories. But I don’t stop and it has a lot to do with my wife and kids.

I understand what we gave up moving away so I could have writing time. My wife knew I couldn’t stay in Las Vegas any longer. It wasn’t conducive to my mental health.

My wife pays most of the bills, but I take care of the house and help out with 2-3 days a week of bartending. Sometimes it’s more. This time of year it’s more.

But I get through the rejections because I can’t let my wife and kids down, or myself.

I’ve wanted to write stories since I was a kid. I’m writing my ninth book and I’ll continue until I get published.

I do have a plan for self-publishing, which I’ve mentioned before. But I’m keeping that to myself until that book is ready.

I keep writing, ignoring rejections, and enjoying and hating it, especially when I get stuck. But I’m finding my way and I see a lot of improvement in the last couple of novels. Having a writing group helps immensely.

Anyway, have a good week. Keep writing, keep submitting, and I’ll talk to you about bartending on Wednesday.

Why I love writing horror.

This post goes to the heart of who I am as a person.

For as a long as I can remember I’ve loved horror. I read a few books when I was younger, but horror movies fueled my childhood.

I watched Children of the Corn and Halloween when I was eight.

In my teen years, my father wasn’t home quite a bit and I would stay up and watch horror movies on HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.

He wouldn’t let me get horror books when we’d go to the book store so I watched a lot of the movies.

As I grew up I loved to be scared and I remember my dad taking me to see “A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Dead.”

It was the first time I saw a horror movie on the big screen and parts of it were in 3D.

My biological father would never have taken me to see it but my dad, he’s always been cool that way.

I love to be scared and when I was able to buy my own books I devoured them. Clive Barker’s Books of Blood is a favorite.

Recently, my wife and I would read horror, then trade books and have a discussion about them.

I came to writing horror and dark fantasy because I enjoy being scared.

It took me a long time, my wife and mom would say too long, to accept that I’m a horror and fantasy writer.

Sometimes, as a writer we deny who we are because we’re afraid of judgment. But the only one who can judge us is ourselves.

Be free to write what you enjoy and don’t let what anyone thinks about what you write or create make you feel bad.

It’s your art, enjoy it!

Happy writing!

Why you must write for yourself.

I’ve ventured into this conversation before but this time feels different. I’m a different writer than I was the last time I posted a blog with this time of theme.

I’d link to it but I can’t remember how long ago I wrote it. So let’s just dig into why I’m writing this.

Throughout my life there have been things I’ve jumped into and failed. They failed for many reasons; some of them more to do with my work ethic and how much I cared about the topic at the time.

I used to get bored of things easily. I believe that came from immaturity on my part.

But I’d do something then quit when it either got to difficult or I got bored, sometimes both.

With writing, it’s never felt that way. I remember writing in middle school and high school and completely loving every moment of it.

I never thought writing as an avenue I could pursue as a career. This thought was influenced by my biological father’s feelings growing up.

Now that I have someone who supports my writing(thanks Anita)I feel more confident and comfortable doing what I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been difficult chasing this writing thing, but worth it.

I write every day, unless there is something planned with my wife and kids.

Writing doesn’t feel like those past failures. It feels like something I’m supposed to do.

I learned a lot about myself, and others, from those failures. But the one thing that became life altering, was that whatever your goals, you have to chase them for yourself. Not your spouse, partner, parents, siblings or anyone else who may have an opinion on your life.

Ultimately, it’s your life and you have see yourself in the mirror every day. Would you rather see yourself happy or doing what someone else believes you should do?

The decision is yours but you have to live with that decision, no one else.

Do what you enjoy because it’s your future, your sanity, and your choice.

Happy writing and get some shit done today, and have a great weekend.

Finding your voice.

There is always talk about voice. But there isn’t a great description of what it is.

I’ll give it to you easier.

Voice is that part of your writing that is you. That little part that sounds only like you.

Here’s how I do it.

I only have the things I’ve experienced, the life I’ve lived and I pull from those things.

We each have the moments we’ve experienced in our lives. Each of us can only think like ourselves, with those thoughts, we’re able to find our voice.

When you think about how life was growing up, when you’re thinking about what that time you ate dinner at your friends house and their family interaction was vastly different from your own, those are the types of moments you should pull from.

The awesome thing is, you can write with that type of knowledge in every genre. Everyone gets uncomfortable at their friend’s house. All of have been there at some point. Use it.

How you perceive the world around you is different from how I do or anyone else. Use that perception and build your characters with it.

While building you’ll discover a voice that is authentic to only you.