Too Many Avenues for Excuses

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Our society has created too many avenues that we can use to find excuses in life.

Despite what the gurus have been spouting lately, life is not easy. Love, making money, reaching your dreams; these things are not easy. Existing is, but living is not. Success in anything takes hard work, perseverance, and often times, a lot of failure.

It is so much easier to find a reason to not try. Anymore, it seems that we are actively finding excuses that allow us to avoid the unpleasant feeling of failure, but in that we also lose the ability to fully experience life. Its the ups and the downs that show us what true joy is and we may never find it without falling hard on those low points.

We have to move aside those blocks that we have put up with excuses and fears in order to make things happen for ourselves. Looking deep inside ourselves we know what our real hurdles are and what we have maintained as mere excuses. Both hurdles and excuses can, and need to be, cleared in order for us to get what we are after but it us up to us and fully within our ability to do so.

The constant barrage of new reasons to remain complacent or unmotivated will not end, it is up to us to move forward despite them.

UPDATE: Kindle version free through Mar. 2nd; Extended through the 10th

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The free promo was supposed to end on the 2nd but I have decided to extend it through the 10th due to the incredible response that it has received. You can get it on amazon.comcover-new

Walking Through Quicksand – Goodreads Giveaway

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Goodreads is running a giveaway for 20 signed print editions of Walking Through Quicksand through February 24th.  Enter the giveaway here

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Writerly Advice

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I have been writing for quite a few years now but I’m still new to this idea of making a go of it professionally.  Naturally, I tend to scour the internet in search of all the advice that I can get my hands on.  I’ve read everything from the big spills about how to build your email list to the simplest and basest of things such as to write what you know.  Both avenues can be considered correct and with advice there is no wrong answer, but neither are they universal -with the possible exception of something such as “you can’t write if you don’t make the time to sit down and write.”  However, there is bad advice.  Even if not necessarily wrong, it is bad -at least in my opinion.  The thing about bad advice is that it is just as plentiful as the good, and it doesn’t sound bad either.

The string of words that got me started on this rant was located while sleuthing through some online forums seeking the input of other indie writers that I could realistically apply to my own journey.  Instead, I found -based on the phrasing and general tone of the message- a bitter bunch of spittle typed out by someone who was soured due to their own lack of success.

The advice that they gave was, in short, to write what was selling and not bother with pouring out what was inside of you otherwise you would not be successful.  Now, from a business standpoint this might not look to be bad advice, but we are dealing with an art form.  And, while this could be a successful tactic, it cheapens the art, brings down the whole idea of writing, in the end costing both the readers and writers.  If someone has a passion that happens to fall in the subject that is selling, then great, there is a better chance that we can all benefit from a great book.  But forcing it, jamming yourself into something that you don’t necessarily care about, will be painful to the writer and often painful for the reader as well.  There are some writers that can pull this off, great writers that could be successful in any subject, but this advice was directed to the profession as a whole and, as we have all seen from Hollywood, this formula doesn’t produce the best products.

In closing, I hope that anyone who may stumble on this thread will realize that it is better to focus where you would actually like to focus, write what you know -which should be an ever-expanding realm, we can always know more so this idea is actually unlimited- but most importantly write what you are passionate about.

Writerly Advice

Standard

I have been writing for quite a few years now but im still new to this idea of making a go of it professionally.  Naturally, i tend to scour the internet in search of all the advice that i can get my hands on.  I’ve read everything from the big spills about how to build your email list to the simplest and basest of things such as to write what you know.  Both avenues can be considered correct and with advice there is no wrong answer, but neither are they universal -with the possible exception of something such as “you can’t write if you don’t make the time to sit down and write.”  However, there is bad advice.  Even if not necessarily wrong, it is bad -at least in my opinion.  The thing about bad advice is that it is just as plentiful as the good, and it doesn’t sound bad either.

The string of words that got me started on this rant was located while sleuthing through some online forums seeking the input of other indie writers that i could realistically apply to my own journey.  Instead, i found -based on the phrasing and general tone of the message- a bitter bunch of spittle typed out by someone who was soured due to their own lack of success.

The advice that they gave was, in short, to write what was selling and not bother with pouring out what was inside of you otherwise you would not be successful.  Now, from a business standpoint this might not look to be bad advice, but we are dealing with an art form.  And, while this could be a successful tactic, it cheapens the art, brings down the whole idea of writing, in the end costing both the readers and writers.  If someone has a passion that happens to fall in the subject that is selling, then great, there is a better chance that we can all benefit from a great book.  But forcing it, jamming yourself into something that you don’t necessarily care about, will be painful to the writer and often painful for the reader as well.  There are some writers that can pull this off, great writers that could be successful in any subject, but this advice was directed to the profession as a whole and, as we have all seen from Hollywood, this formula doesn’t produce the best products.

In closing, i hope that anyone who may stumble on this thread will realize that it is better to focus where you would actually like to focus, write what you know -which should be an ever-expanding realm, we can always know more so this idea is actually unlimited- but most importantly write what you are passionate about.

Living of Two Minds

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My dad read my book just a few days ago then called me with a few questions about the subject matter. He asked the first few merely to try and delicately steer the conversation to the question that he actually wanted to be answered. Basically I had to reassure him that I didn’t have a drug problem. After the phone call I realized that my dad didn’t really know both halves of me. I had had this same thought before, but it was fleeting. This was the first time that I really reflected on it. You see, the book, while it is about drugs and addiction, is also about anxiety and depression. I have now, just within the last few days, allowed myself to freely admit that I suffer from anxiety.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with what an anxiety condition actually is, its more than being nervous or worried; it’s a roller coaster of emotions, often without reason; its quick mood swings that can be shifted by the most menial of things; its disparaging yourself, your decisions, everything that you have ever done; it’s the highs and lows of that roller coaster. The deep troughs are usually only seen by close family and maybe some close friends, but my dad had only really ever seen the top half of the coaster. My parents had divorced a long time ago so it wasn’t hard to keep that half of me from being seen by him and I have grown quite adept in hiding that part of my life from the world. My mom, brother, sister, and now, my wife all know it well but not really anyone else. They know the balance that I have struck and witnessed the steep drops followed by the steep climb back up the other side. But, like I said, the lulls are reserved to be viewed by only a few people in my life. Most see what my dad sees, the normal, above ground, highs and lows.

It is less like there are two halves of me than there are two minds. Each has its own perspective. They battle for control of thought, one a motivator, the other an oppressor. The motivator drives life forward, encouraging and hopeful. Even when life requires a reevaluation due to a bad direction of poor choices, the motivator moves in a positive direction.

The oppressor can accomplish the same end of examining poor choices and direction but does so by self-deprecation. It pushes one back into a small, loathsome corner by reliving past regrets and poisoning confidence with self-doubt.

Once the two start battle, the oppressor usually wins out, it is far more aggressive. The motivator can win on its own from time to time but more often than not it will need some assistance. The trick is to find some form of relief to fall back on, something that can vent out some of the oppressor’s steam so that it has less power to wield. That relief could be anything and will vary for everyone; something as simple as sitting outside to watch the trees blow or be much more complex like solving differential equations, for me that has been writing, and recently, sharing my thoughts. I let the oppressor’s ideas soak into paper which takes away some of its aggression, not all but enough that I can feel like I am in more control. All the while I pass through the world with a select few individuals ever knowing both of the minds that battle within me.