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29 days

This month is gonna be busy. 29 days left to turn this turd fire of a manuscript into gold, okay maybe silver or bronze, but still, something pretty.

I’ve struggled creatively since the 2016 election – I know I’m not alone here. *sympathetic fist bumps to all the writers*

Anxiety and depression reared their ugly heads again and again and again. I won’t go into specifics because ew no not today mthrfckr.

I did what I could to alleviate the daily numbing  horror.  I attended resistance rallies, spoke nearly daily with friends and family as we buoyed each other on days there seemed to no hope, canvassed for my candidates (who won!!!), and watched in tearful joy at the midterm results. The tide has turned, hasn’t it?

YES IT HAS I LOVE BLUE WAVES SO MUCH

I’ve been dancing…and writing…again for the past few months. This one is fun and has become the unofficial song of this book. Go on, get up and dance you know you want to

Sigh. I love sexy times.

The fight isn’t over, I know. A cornered dog is dangerous as hell. This month though, that orange bag of shit and his complicit buddies are kicked out of my head and heart. No room. I’m on a deadline and intend to make it.  I’m coming out  swinging, not for the fences because come on, no. I’m shooting for base hits every day to win the game.

Ugh, I’m stopping with the baseball metaphor medley right freaking now. Yuck.

So anyhoo.

I’m gonna be busy; writing early before work, rewriting late after work. Holiday parties will go on without me. Shopping is online only because time is ticking. Christmas Day is reserved, naturally, for hanging with family and animals (and maybe sneaking a little editing). The only other exception will be if, hmm idk, news of a resignation or perhaps an indictment. On that day I shall be joyful and deliriously intoxicated. I’ve prepared my coworkers for this and they’re cool with it .

Deep breaths. Here we go.

29 days.

WRITE ON;

Tackling the rejection blues

Confession: Hi everyone. I’m a writer and I have an inner running back.

It’s not a peduncled growth scooting along on my body. Good guess, but no. It’s a position on a football team and I have an imaginary one.

I was able to make the leap from writer to author because my inner running back wouldn’t let me give into the rejection blues. My second book, Omega Rising, wouldn’t be coming out in two weeks without it.

Oh no, you’re thinking, this post is about football about which I care diddly-squat. First of all, football and writing are surprisingly connected. And second, football is awesome.  GO BEARS!

In football, the running backs take a lot of punishment in pursuit of their ultimate goal – scoring. Their job is to take the hand-off from the quarterback and find a way through the defense, whose job it is to stop the run.  It’s called grind-it-out football. Yes, it’s a thing. Google it. A running back gets tackled a lot. A helluva lot.

I see you are beginning to make the connection.

Succeeding at writing is freaking hard. Writers get tackled. Perhaps not body slammed to the turf by several 280-pound angry men in pads and helmets (if that is the case with you I must point out you are doing this writing thing ALL WRONG), but tackled nonetheless.

Rejections = tackles. Rejections bruise our pride and rattle our confidence. It can have the emotional impact of being steam-rolled by a defensive line. Writing is hard. We are rejected. Running backs are rejected at the line of scrimmage ALL THE TIME.

It takes courage to submit our words out there then wait to deemed worthy or unworthy by strangers. The fact you can do this at all makes you a badass already. Take a bow. You’ve earned it.

It’s hard to remember that a rejection is a business decision. It is simply a no-thank-you-it’s-not-right-for-us-at-this-time. Or in the case of a RB, no-you-shall-not-gain-yards-on-this-play-in-fact-you-lose-yards-now-haha-boom.

(For those non-football folks still reading that’s a terrible outcome for your team which causes people to throw down their chicken wings in disgust and yell at the TV)

It is NOT omg-what-in-the-name-of-all-that’s-holy-was-this-hot-garbage-you-submitted-we-vomited-after-reading-it-you’re-awful.

Your inner running back already knows rejection, while sucky, isn’t personal.   Do RBs give up? Um, big fat NO THEY DO NOT. They get back into the huddle to grind it out a few yards at a time.

And yes I know they get paid millions but they also have a love of the game and a burn to succeed, just like…wait for it, you know it’s coming… writers who want to be successful authors.

My personal inner RB drops an F-bomb or a ten after a rejection because it clears my angst allowing me to evaluate the “no thanks”, learn from it if someone took the time to offer encouragement, then put it aside and write on. You can take a page from Stephen King and nail those rejections to the wall. Shoot at ’em with a staple gun. Let your dog eat them then excavate the paper from a steaming turd pile and offer it to the poop muse. Whatever.

It can’t stop you because you are a badass. Try again. Practice harder. Get better. Get back in the huddle. Try again. And again. Until you find that hole in the defense  and slip through. Get your end zone dance ready.

LET’S GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL AND

WRITE ON;

But I don’t wanna…

Ugh. Endless days of gray. Horrible shootings on television. Bad moods because everyone around you seems Christmas-happy, the worst kind of happy. And that makes you kinda want to stab someone in the eye with a pen.

All of it adding up to a giant, maybe even petulant, whine of I don’t wannaContinue reading But I don’t wanna…