I have been away from this blog for a few months due to my insane work and writing schedule. That has since calmed down a bit and so I will be posting regularly.
Its been an amazing few weeks. I had an incredible summer. I have also taken on training seriously. I realized that a healthy body facilitates a healthy mind which means I can write more.
That’s me doing a 500 lb dead-lift and making the only face possible when lifting that much-we call it a squat face lol.
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the third book in the Sepia Blue series and it has been a blast to write. Book Two(cover above) will be released this month and the story is twisting in some unexpected and surprising ways. By the time you read this-Sepia Blue Sisters will be available. Grab a copy and let me know what you think.
I’ll be releasing some new content soon. I have a new kind of story rolling around in my head and I would like to bounce some ideas here, before I pursue them elsewhere. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. I truly hope you have had a pleasant and exciting summer.
I made peace with that. Understand that this is MY OPINION and you are welcome to disagree with me. Hell you can even completely ignore this entire post. That is your prerogative. Still here? Good. Strap in and lets go. If this one raises your hackles or if you feel the need to illuminate me on the error of my ways…I direct you to the comment section below.
There is no such thing as writer’s block.
Barring depression and or anxiety which are real things and can stand in the way of your writing (and if you suffer from these I strongly urge you to seek medical help) the other reasons that writers come up with to attribute to writer’s block sound like so many excuses.
For every ‘reason’ out there that has stopped a writer, there are countless others who have had the same(or worse) setbacks and have continued to write. It’s time we let go of the crutches and get to walking on our own.
Take ownership of your writing. Stop ascribing near mythical properties to these challenges in your life.
Not enough time? Reevaluate how you spend yours.
Demanding Job? Do what needs to be done then get to writing.
Family responsibilities? Meet your responsibilities and then get to writing.
Death of a loved one? Grieve, grieve some more. Remember that you are still alive and choose life. Use your writing as a catharsis if you must, but get back to it.
Lost your desire? Remember why you started writing in the first place… and then start again.
Dont fall into this trap. Dont make excuses. Dont put it off.
Develop the discipline to see it through and FINISH WHAT YOU START.
I’ll leave you with a quote that sums this up for me.
“Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”
― Robert McKee
We live in a era of connectivity. Never before our time has communicating been so easy. I can on my phone, get the weather, check my email, call someone across the planet, schedule my day, surf the web, play a game, send a multiple texts and do this all before breakfast. We have arrived at a point where if we leave our homes without our devices we feel distraught and in many cases return to pick up said device. I remember the time when a cell phone was a luxury, now a smartphone is a necessity. Or is it? Continue reading Make Time to Unplug→
I recently joined a local gym after many years of not being in one(long ago I used to be a personal trainer). I was focused on my kettlebell work and had reached a plateau. So I opted for a gym which meant getting up at 4am and travelling 30 mins to this facility. I recruited my son in this adventure of gym going because if I’m going to get up at 4 its only fitting to share the wonder of being up before dawn. I get the impression he doesn’t see it as wondrous as I do. Right O?
So we meet at the gym at 5 am and get to work. Yes, it takes me about 20 minutes to fully wake up get sorted and out the door. Another 30 minutes has me at the door of the gym(I walk there at least now while its not freezing). A five minute wait has me inside the facility where I claim one of the power racks.
In fact my first book (The Spiritual Warriors was almost entirely written in the starbux my neighborhood. What I have realized with my insane schedule is that its not ideal to have only ONE place to write. for starters it sets me up to skip writing on those days when I dont “FEEL” like writing (another subject altogether). It gives me an out if I cant get to starbux to write. So I have decided to embark on a different writing journey for my second book which is now almost two thirds done. I call it guerrilla writing, which I’m sure is not a new nor solely mine.
Basically what it means is that I will begin to steal snatches of time and write wherever possible. The fact that I write longhand makes this ideal, but I’m certain if you have a laptop it can work as well. It means not buying into the whole ” I must write ten pages today or I have failed!” mentality and write snippets. A paragraph, two sentences even a very awesome word furthers your writing along by that much more.
I suggest this to all writers out there. This is not to say that your method doesn’t work. We all write differently, I am suggesting taking this up to see if it can make you freer about your writing, something like the difference between writing being a monolithic and ponderous THING that must be carried out in a set way and writing becoming mobile, nimble and free, happening wherever you may be. I will let you know how my own journey goes.
Fast forward three years and I no longer write longhand, even though I still think it’s a great way to write. However forcing anyone to edit my handwriting is a crime punishable by flogging. Now I walk around with a moleskine in my back-pocket everywhere I go to capture the story ideas that occur at the most inopportune moments. I have realized three years and six stories later that Guerrilla Writing is not a new or unique approach to writing. Every writer does it to some degree, some more effectively than others.
I was discussing this with some friends and family recently. They asked me when did i have time to write. I gave it some thought and came to this realization: I never have time to write. I have however become very good at stealing time from my days.
You have all heard it before. Writing is difficult. Writing is a long haul, its a marathon not a sprint. This is all true. There are days when you will question your sanity (what little you have remaining). There is a way around this. It doesn’t make it easier and it doesn’t shorten the time, but it gives the illusion of being easier and faster. This works especially well for those who believe in writers block. I don’t particularly, but that’s a topic for another post.
The method i suggest is what I all guerilla writing and much like guerrilla warfare where a small group of fighters take on a larger group using irregular tactics and strategies like hit and runs, ambushes and mobility. You can approach your writing the same way. Instead of trying to block out several hours to write, sit down and write for ten minutes and only ten minutes. Carry a notebook with you and jot down ideas or parts of your story like a hit and run. Carrying the notebook (or any other idea capturing device) is an example of mobility.
Many of the times when we say we don’t have time to write it is because we have made writing something exotic and special. Rid yourself of that notion. Make it plain. Make it everyday. Make it your new normal. When you do this you will find that it frees up your writing and the ideas generated. I especially suggest the small notebook. Before carrying one I was that deranged writer looking for a pen and a napkin to write my next great idea on. Now I swear by my moleskine notebook because they are impervious to almost anything and are stylish in the process. Plus when I’m writing in mine it feels almost scholarly and reminds me of my days in grade school.
We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. What you do with them makes all the difference.
Welcome to the Nascent Novel redux ( I enjoy that word so this was a perfect excuse to use it).
After a snafu with my previous hosting company I discovered that my last site, nascent novels is down. As in any situation involving two or more parties there were several different versions of what happened. Let me cut to the chase, they said an email was sent notifying me of the impending closure and I said no email was sent. End result? My site is down. The bad news? Many posts are now in limbo and missing and the site has lost continuity, which I am told in this day and age of short attention spans is the death knell for a blog.
The good news? I have all my posts backed up and will over time be restoring them to this site. This was also an opportunity to take the blog in a different direction.
Initially I had three active blogs. One on martial arts, one for writing, and one for my photos and daily life observations. When I shifted my attention to my writing blog I neglected the other two. Over time I realized that this was a mistake. I’m not only a writer or a martial artist or a person who enjoys photography. I, like each of you am an amalgam of many interests and pursuits. By trying to compartmentalize who I am, my blogging suffered. This site will address that. It is not strictly a “writing blog”. I will discuss those things which make me, me. Some of that will resonate with you and some will not. That’s okay. I’ll do me and you will do you.
Here you will find posts about writing, books I enjoy, movies and video games. You will also find posts about martial arts and martial philosophy, being a practicing martial artist for close to three decades makes it impossible to separate this aspect of myself from everything I do. It is a filter which shapes my life and actions. You will also see pictures of things I find interesting and my family. My family and fatherhood is the source, my source of strength and my greatest adventure. The good thing is that I have many large families. I have my immediate family, blood of my blood. I also have a large dojo family which is blended with my immediate family. This is a natural progression. My other family is the writer/reader family which grows and is growing by leaps and bounds daily.
So as you can see the aspects of me are diverse and complex and exciting. I do live a blessed life. If you go back into the history of this site you will find the old posts from the other sites now comprise the body of this site. That was intentional. Take a moment to go through them and read. I am certain you will discover something fascinating or something to disagree with me about. I enjoy and invite all kinds of discussion and interaction. Leave a comment and let’s talk.
So what have I been up to? Well I’m currently in the midst of edits for my third book in the Warrior of the Way series. I had the first book edited by my excellent editor, Lorelei, (if you are a writer and need an editor go here NOW) which required her to use extensive editorial kung fu to make into a coherent story. The end result is impressive. The second book, The Ascendants, is being soft launched and I haven’t given it much publicity. It is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Nookpress.
I also had the covers to several of my stories redone. Here they are:
These great covers were done by Derek Murphy. A few things about Derek. He is a talented and gifted cover artist. This means he is also in demand. If you want amazing covers by him be prepared to invest time and money. You can find his site here
I have been also speaking with writers, martial artists and fathers( moms too) about guest blogging here on this site. I look forward to the different voices that will be showcased here.
So why Creative Warriorship?
Throughout history warriors have always been known to be creative. I find that it is within the warrior nature to be creative. If I look at my own life and those of my fellow warriors I find this to be true. In the dojo alone we have writers, architects, graphic designers, painters, performance artists, dancers, calligraphers, musicians and singers among both the adults and the children. This is not an accident or coincidence. I truly believe that the warrior spirit is also a creative one. Creative warriorship to me is not a dichotomy or paradox. Rather it is the expression of warriorship in its full sense. A warrior knows that life is balance, light and dark.
It is my sincere intention to make this blog a weekly event. Whether with my own posts and observations or those of others. They wont all be this long, (although I cant guarantee that) but they will all be an expression of what I consider relevant and important to my life.
Leave a comment share your thoughts and say hello!
Here it is day 21 and I’m 34k in to my month of writing. If there is one thing I want to say about Nano, its this. You want to hit 50k? You need to have discipline. I also have a new found respect for writers that can produce more than one book a year. Writing is work. After the muse has left town, and inspiration is a dim memory, that’s when discipline comes in. It sidles up to you paddle in hand and glares. Then it whispers: “What now? Are you going to dream your way to the end of the book? Maybe if you wish real hard it will write itself!”
Discipline is what it takes to put pen to paper or your fingers to the keys. not when you feel like it, because as I have discovered there will be times when you most certainly DO NOT FEEL LIKE IT.
The important thing is that writing is not about feelings. Writing, whether it is a novel, screenplay, short story, blog or anything else you choose to do is not about your feelings. Its not about starting the project. Writers have great ideas about things we can start. Writing is about FINISHING. Its about writing until it surpasses good and becomes great. Its about getting the first, second, third, and how ever many you need drafts done. Then when you finish that its about editing and polish. Its about having relationships in the world with people who love to read, who may want to read your work. Its about going into this with both eyes open. DON’TBELIEVE THE HYPE. It’s never easy but it is always worth it.
I have 16k left to get to in 9 days, even though the story I’m writing is considerably longer than 50k. I will arrive at 50k in few days. I’m smiling as I write this because that in itself is an accomplishment. It is only the beginning. Remember it takes discipline.