Tag Archives: changes

Here Comes The Guilt Again

Well friends, We’re over a month into 2015 and I’m proud to tell you, I’ve written every single day. Sure, most days I only get through a page or two, but at least it’s something.

And that’s where the guilt comes in. No matter how much I tell myself that a page or two every day is good enough, I have this nagging voice inside my head telling me that it isn’t. As much as I try to tell myself things like I’m just trying to build good habits or that I’m taking baby steps, it all has a familiar feel to it. All those things I keep telling myself feel remarkably similar to the excuses I used to tell myself back when I wasn’t writing much at all.

Part of the problem is that I’m still not exactly sure where the story I’m writing is going. I thought I had a definitive plot but it seems like page after page of people not doing much of anything other than talking. I’m really trying to train myself to finish what I’ve started, but I feel like I’m going around in circles. I’m tempted to start on something else, but I hate the thought of giving up on this one. (Yes, I realize this last paragraph has been yet another excuse.)

Still, I’m soldiering on. I am proud of myself for sticking with it and getting closer to my ultimate goal of sitting on a beach, earning twenty percent. I mean of being a successful writer. I just wish that I had started sooner. I have a feeling that a little down the road I’ll be kicking myself for not pushing myself to do more each day.

Maybe the solution is to get my page or two done on the current story as a warm up, and then switch to a new project. Perhaps some short stories are in order.

Other than that, I’m (sort of) looking forward to my birthday on Wednesday. I think I’m finally reaching that age where birthdays are something to be dreaded rather than celebrated. I just pray to god that I’m published before I’m forty.

As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter @JustinMKelly1 and on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/jmkelly60. I’m only two followers away from breaking triple digits. How about helping me out?

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I’ve Got Good News And Bad News

I know I’m a few days late with this update, but at least it’s not a few months this time like it usually is.

Like the title says, I’ve got good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good news, shall we?

The good news is this, It’s been over three weeks since I pledged to write every single day this year and so far, I have been true to that pledge. What’s more, I think it really has turned into a habit. Yesterday I came close to falling off the wagon. I realized I hadn’t written a word just before I needed to get some sleep before work. I was disappointed in myself but I tried to tell myself I would make up for it by writing twice as much today.

Although I was dog tired, the knowledge that I had failed ate at me and kept me from sleeping. Sure, I could have lied about it and nobody would have been the wiser, but I would have known. So I did the only thing I could. I got my ass out of bed, sat it down at the computer and proceeded to type. This is a big step for someone who has never been very good at following through with anything.

Now for the bad news.

This story sucks.

I mean it really, truly, SUCKS.

It still seems like a decent plot, but I’m having a hard time making it work. Each day I add to it, but I’m 34 pages in and it just doesn’t feel like the story is going anywhere. I feel like I’m spending too long on things that don’t really matter and glossing over the things that do. I feel like ninety percent of the story so far is people talking. There is nothing wrong with a dialogue heavy story, particularly for a drama, but this is supposed to be a fantasy story with lots of action. Other than the initial scene, (which I must admit is what sparked the idea to write the story in the first place,) not much has happened. It feels more like a day to day account of a person’s life. I really need to sit down and try doing a more thorough outline, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t feel like I have much passion for this particular story.

I really hate the thought of quitting in the middle of the story, but this one just feels like a dud. Maybe it just needs more time to ferment in my brain before it’s ready to spill out onto the page. I think I might step away from it for a couple of weeks and then reread what I have and see if I think it’s salvageable.  I do have a couple other ideas I’m itching to play around with.

Anyway, that’s about all from this neurotic mind. I’ll see you next week.

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Is It A Habit Yet?

I’ve heard it said that it takes two weeks to break a bad habit. I wonder if the same rule goes for creating a good one.

I’ve been writing at least a page a day for the past two weeks and a couple of days now and I don’t feel much different. Although I did consider skipping writing tonight and I couldn’t bring myself to. I just had to write, at least a little. I think it was partly not wanting to break my streak and knowing how disappointed I would be in myself if I did. At the same time though, it just felt weird not to write at least something.

I have to admit, I’m not thrilled with the story I’m writing right now. In the past, I would have chucked it and started something new. Luckily, I’ve learned doing that is no way to get anywhere. I have to push through and hope it all comes out right in the end. I’ve also learned that if I ignore these feelings of doubt, eventually it will be replaced by an abundance of confidence and I will love every word I write.

I’ve never been an outliner, but I think I may have to give at least a loose outline a try. I feel like I’m wandering all over the place. I’m forgetting some things I meant to put in that will help what comes later make sense. Then again, some things I know I want to have happen are happening too early. I really just need to sit down and organize my thoughts. As long as I’m not too rigid, it should all be okay.

That’s about all I’ve got right now. I’ll see you guys next week.

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Building The Habit

Well, friends. It’s been a week since the start of 2015.

I’m proud to tell you that I have written every single day so far. Sure, it’s only been a couple pages a day, but it’s much more than I did the week before that, or the week before that. I figure if I can write just a little each day, just get my butt in the seat and do it, sooner or later, I’ll have a respectable body of work. Talking myself into whipping out a couple pages is much easier than talking myself into spending an entire night exhausting my brain. Right now, I’m just trying to build the habit. Once it’s a habit, then I can work on making it an obsession. I promised myself one page a day, and some nights that’s all I’ve been able to produce. But other nights I’ve gotten through two or three without even realizing it. I’m already wanting to do more, but I want to wait until the habit is fully ingrained before I start pushing myself. I’m just stretching the muscle right now. I don’t want to strain it just yet.

Of course that analogy brings me to my other resolution. I’m sorry to say, I haven’t been as successful with that.

I have been trying to make better choices as far as meals go, but now that the holidays are over, I find that we still have an abundance of sweets in the house and more are still coming. It’s funny how friends and family will judge you for being fat and tell you how you need to lose weight, but when they need to get rid of sweets because they don’t want them in their house, guess who they dump them on. Yes, I know. I could just throw them out. Unfortunately I have a problem with wasting food. Combine that with my well documented absolute lack of will power, and the sweets get eaten, then I hate myself for doing it. Okay, rant over. I just hope the weather climbs above freezing once in a while so I can get out and get some exercise.

That’s about it for this week. I think I might crank out another page of two before bed. See you next week.

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I’m Not Normally a New Year’s Resolution Kind Of Person, But…

So like the title says, I don’t normally do new year’s resolutions. I generally feel like resolutions are a sure way to be depressed at the end of the year. Still, I keep making promises to myself and breaking them. Maybe having a realistic goal for the coming year will help.

First, and foremost. I WILL write every single day in 2015. This is whether I feel like it or not. Whether I’m feeling sick, or tired, or just plain don’t feel like doing it. I WILL sit down at the desk every day and force out at least a few paragraphs. I have a terrible habit of procrastinating until I have no time left to write. If Grisham could finish a novel in the courtroom during recesses, I sure as hell can do it on my schedule. I daresay I could finish at least a few thousand words during the roughly six hours a night of downtime I have at work. The bonus is, after a long night of writing, my mind is usually exhausted and I sleep the sleep of the justified. The main thing though is this. Write every single day, even on my off days, sit down at the damned computer, put on my headphones and write.

I also want to get healthier. Yes, I know everyone makes this one. In my case, however, I am not setting unrealistic goals. I am not expecting to become some Adonis that makes all the women swoon. I already have one of those at home that swoons no matter what I look like. Nor am I making some ridiculous claim like “I will run a marathon by the end of the year.” I would however like to be able to run down the block without getting winded. No friends, I just want to get healthier because I’m starting to worry about myself. I’m not even 40 yet and I already feel my body breaking down. The once nearly inexhaustible strength is gone. I creak when I stand up. Even more worrying is the ever present threat of diabetes. I want to live long enough to at least see my books become bestsellers.

Finally, and I know I make this promise to you constantly. I am going to blog more regularly. At least once a week I think. I owe that to you guys at the very least. You have all been so supportive and the very least I can do is check in once in a while to let you know how everything’s going. Once again, if you notice I haven’t posted in a while, please call me on it. I need you guys to keep me honest.

Oh, one more thing. Although I won’t be upset with myself if this one doesn’t happen. I want to be published by the end of the year. I realize I can’t control publishers or the publishing industry, but I would like to have at least a couple short stories in print. The only way I will blame myself if this doesn’t happen is if 1. I haven’t produced anything worthy of publishing, or 2. I haven’t submitted my work like crazy. That’s all I can do. The rest is up to the gods. Wish me luck.

Well that’s all for now. See you next week.

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It’s Time To Nut Up Or Shut Up

Friends, today I received some bad news. At the end of summer my current job, which I have worked faithfully for the past seven years, will no longer exist. I received this news just before it was time to go to bed and thus, rather than sleep, spent the day tossing and turning in bed as I progressed through each of the stages of grief. In the end, believe it or not, I found serenity.

Serenity ship

I wish

After much considering and a little gentle prodding from my wonderful girlfriend, I realized I had two options.

1. I could start looking for another job where I’d be miserable and earn a pittance while making someone else rich. Or…

2. I could stop talking about becoming a successful writer and actually work full time at making it happen.

The first option would be the smart route. I would have a steady paycheck which I could count on to be there and maybe even get something with some benefits. But would I really be happy? I think we all know the answer to that.

Admittedly, the second option will be downright terrifying, but as they say, fear is an excellent motivator. If failure is truly not an option, then I can’t let myself fail. Besides, all the best writers had something I don’t. They were hungry, both figuratively and sometimes literally. The fact of the matter is, I’ve gotten way too comfortable in my current job anyway and spend far too much writing time doing other things than writing. (Damn you Netflix.) It always seemed like there was more time. Well my friends, time has suddenly gotten exceedingly short.

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting my writing to pay a living wage right off the bat. Fortunately I have other hobbies that I think with a little hard work could turn enough of a profit to pay my bills. I am an amateur blacksmith and also make copper jewelry which I sell here. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MythicFlames I admit there isn’t much in it right now but keep checking back. I’ll also post to this Facebook page when I add new items. https://www.facebook.com/MythicFlames I plan to add items on a regular basis. I am also going to be setting up an eBay store to sell some of my items as well as swords and knives not made by me. I will post the details here when it’s up.

As always, please follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jmkelly60 and Twitter @JustinMKelly1. Also, check me out on Tumblr  http://www.tumblr.com/blog/justinmkelly.

I also have some informational e-books in the works on topics from wilderness survival to romantic advice and everything else I’ve learned in my time here on earth. I’ll post a link as soon as they’re done.

So basically, it’s time to make my dreams happen. Or as Tallahassee put it…

nutup

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Time To Unplug

First things first. I actually have a good reason for my absence this time. As a result of my appendectomy last October, I developed a rather large hernia at the site of my main incision. As a result, I had to have it repaired and have been recuperating. I still have another month before I’m considered fully healed, however, I can finally think straight enough to catch you guys up with what’s been going on.

Now for the meat of my post.

Lately, I’ve had a real problem with writer’s block. I haven’t been completely blocked, I can start a story as well as I ever could. The problem is, once I get about fifteen minutes into the story, I just hit a wall. I can’t think of what to do next. So instead, I sit there staring at the screen.

Tonight, I decided to really analyze what happens. It seems, I can work for about fifteen minutes straight before I get distracted. That’s right, I apparently have developed an attention span only slightly better than your average goldfish. I begin thinking about food, or Facebook, or the fact that I haven’t posted to Twitter in a while, or made a post here for that matter. In short, social media and the like have ruined me as far as attention span goes.

Or maybe it’s just that my subject matter isn’t interesting enough to keep my attention.

No, I’m blaming Facebook. After all, the reason I started making up stories in the first place is to keep away boredom. In this digital age, there’s no time for the mind to be bored.

I’ve decided that there’s only one remedy. I have to quit social media all together… Yeah right. Like that’s ever going to happen. Seriously though, I have to severely limit my access to it. I’ve been working out a schedule to devote more time to writing. I’ve also decided to severely limit my internet time. I’m thinking maybe a half hour when I wake up so I can see what happened while I was sleeping, then maybe another half hour when I get to work. Finally, the last hour of my work shift (that isn’t spent doing actual work) I can spend on blogging, updating my professional Facebook page (ahem https://www.facebook.com/jmkelly60), and posting to Twitter (ahem again @JustinMKelly1), or perhaps even updating my website (http://justinmkelly.com/) which, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t touched in years.

Wish me luck. If all goes well, I hope to start finishing a couple shorts a week in addition to making progress on my novel. Some of the shorts will be submitted to magazines while others will be put into small e-books and made available for purchase on Amazon.

unplugged

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ChChCHChanges

Okay folks. I’m finally back, I promise. I really mean it this time. I swear. So I’m not sure if anyone even checks this blog anymore. God knows I don’t. But again, that’s going to change.

Anyway, part of the problem is that I’ve been trying to keep things focused on my career as a writer. Unfortunately, so far I only have variations on two themes. Either I’m working really hard on writing and things are coming along swimmingly or alternatively, I haven’t written a damn thing lately and here are my whiny excuses why. Either of these can get very boring when I type them over and over again. Not just for you but for me as well. Especially when as of late it would mostly be the latter.

So here are the changes. First, I’m going to make a serious effort to write a blog every day. Well, Monday through Friday. Well, most of the time. I’m only human after all. Don’t yell at me.

Second, I’m not going to limit things to just my career as a wannabe writer. I have other hobbies and interests and will be on the lookout for cool things that appeal to my geeky nature or really just anything that catches my interest. I will do my best to keep things light when it comes to things like religion and politics. I do have views on both subjects, some of them very strong, but in my experience arguing about those things never accomplishes anything but hurting feelings.

In short, this will become my public journal. A peek into the madness that is being a writer. If there are topics you would like me to weigh in on, feel free to comment and suggest them. If they don’t violate my personal rules I probably will.

Oh yeah, I will still update you on my life as a writer. I just hope there will be something notable to report soon.

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