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.

Finishing books.

Last summer I queried a book to 13 agents.

It was the first book I’d ever queried. I’ve submitted stories to magazines, receiving rejections on all of them.

I may have figured out why last year’s queries failed.

I spent time working on the novel, but I didn’t get it as good as I think I could have.

I wrote 2 rewrites and revision for it but I don’t think I learned how to dial in a draft, or what it takes to do so until the past couple of months.

The writing group showed me this as well as the improvements I’ve witnessed.

I don’t know what changed, maybe I’ve become less fearful of editing.

I used to look at it as something I knew I should be doing, but also as a thing I dreaded. Agents should just love it it’s current form, right?

That’s what I believed. Why should I change my story? They should adjust to what I’m writing.

Now, I’m looking at my writing and I see what needs to change. I’ve also read a lot in the past year. That changed my thoughts as well.

I’m putting away new projects to work on making this one book the best it can be.

I will either get an agent this year or publish it myself.

I’m hoping for the former.

Happy writing.

What fiction is to me.

The thought of what fiction is to me and what it means to me has been on my mind this week.

It’s the little spaces in between paragraphs when I’m considering what to write next. The moments when I write something well and amaze my self.

Most of all it’s freedom.

Freedom from distractions. Freedom to find purpose in the lives of the characters I create and the ability to try and scare them.

I used to write to impress people. I thought it would but most people don’t care.

When I write it’s to scare myself and maybe my wife. She’s my first reader and if I can scare both of us, I feel accomplished.

I gave up writing for others. There’s no satisfaction in it. There’s no reward in it. They won’t come to you frightened. Most of them won’t read what you write anyway so what’s the use.

Fiction to me is being myself. Finding purpose within the words and trying to make something memorable.

I may not be published but writing for myself is rewarding as hell.

A ledge, a death, and finding myself.

:TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of suicide.

Five years ago I stood on a ledge. I mean this literally.

I was in the parking garage of the hotel and casino I worked at in Las Vegas. It was the end of my shift and I didn’t want to live anymore.

Over the previous six months, my grandfather passed away, I stopped considering my biological father as my dad, and I contracted shingles.

All of this is related to why I stood on that ledge.

I remember standing, the dry Vegas air blowing through my clothes, and not caring what anyone would think about me not being here.

I was mostly just tired. I felt like I caused a lot of pain and I was tired of hurting.

Something happened that day that was nearly the deciding factor for my life. A co-worker told me, “No one cares what happens to you. No one wants to listen to you talk about your writing anymore.”

Those words, completely full of venom and hate, led me to standing on the ledge.

I stared down at the pavement. Feeling the wind brush back my hair and rippled my clothes. Then, I don’t know why, but I stepped down and called my wife. I don’t have an explanation as to why I stepped down.

I explained to my wife what happened.

No one, not even her knew how bad my depression was. I didn’t want anyone to know that I’d lost it. I’m not sure if its a guy thing, though I’ve come to believe it had something to do with it.

I talked to her through my Bluetooth on the way home. She had no idea. I know no one I worked with did.

Today, I turned 43. Life got better after we left Las Vegas almost four years ago. I see my kids more, love my wife more, and take care of myself. I enjoy life.

One of the reasons we left was the toxicity of casino work. When we left, I was getting migraines 2-3 times a week. Since we left, I’ve had eight of them.

One of my goals after moving was to write fiction daily. I do that now. I’ve written eight books and I’m planning on publishing a book this summer on Amazon.

If you have thoughts of suicide, please get help. Please tell someone and don’t let some asshole you work with drive you to end things.

I continue to suffer from depression, but after trying Transcendental Meditation after my breakdown, because that’s what it was.

TM has become a daily practice for my wife and I. It changed my life, as well as saving it.