Embracing the Unknown

Writing is all about embracing the unknown. Will my stories resonate with readers? Have I written the story exactly the way I want? Does it need further polish, additional editing, more sparkle?

You struggle with writing. And struggle. The ideas are fickle if they come. Sometimes they leave you behind and go elsewhere, taking a taxi to a seedy bar. Your ideas drink shots and play darts and have a lovely time while you’re home alone staring at a blank screen.

Sometimes the Muse giveth, and sometimes she keepeth. Some days, the ideas flow like water. Other times the well is drier than an Arizona summer.

Sometimes, your book fails. When the novel flops, it does so with a deafening echo, a resounding shifting of tectonic plates, a tumble and blast under your feet. Sales are nearly nonexistent. Reviews, if present, usually are dismal. Writing the stinker novel can drown your writerly aspirations even before they begin.

Should we pin our hopes on every book we write? Is there a desperation, a white-knuckle fear gripping us when we write?

If we write too scared, the words might never come. We sabotage our best efforts. if we’re too impatient, too frantic, too angry, our stories might come off as rushed, intense, or off-putting. Where do we draw the line between the artistic temperament and harnessing the discipline for successfully completing our work?

Fearing failure stymies a writer’s positive growth.

Failure and uncertainty are the eventualities you must face if you’re going to slap words onto the page and call it a coherent tale. Writers all crash and burn, even the great ones. There is a time, when you’re starting out, that your writing is completely unknown. You’re just a lone scribe toiling away on your manuscript in a Starbuck’s, another hopeful schmo tapping those keyboards and jotting down incomprehensible plot outlines in your Moleskin notebook.

Every step you take on your writerly journey, whether through the high peaks and low valleys, is significant. Even failure.

Sometimes books take years to find an audience and sometimes bestsellers fizzle out overnight. You never know, so take a chance and write the stories you want. Be braver than failure. Don’t surrender to that annoying voice inside your head telling you to quit. You’ve heard that annoying pain-in-the-ass voice before, it’s whiny tone critical and vicious. Don’t get dissuaded by critics or flagging sales. That you completed what you started and made it accessible for the world is a feat most writers should give you props for. You earned your place at the table by simply finishing your writing. hat makes you a rock star.

Embrace that unknown. Ride fear to the ends of the earth. Let uncertainty steer you towards new adventures. You’re a writer, so milk that fear for everything it’s worth.

GREAT WARS RELEASES IN SEPTEMBER

Great Wars, an anthology from Lost Boys Press, will release September 22. The book features my short story, “Make Lovecraft, Not War” plus stories from eight other authors. As a special treat a live event will be held at 8 p.m. EST on Friday, Sept, 23 featuring the book’s authors, including me! To promote the book, I recorded an excerpt of me reading a section of my story. I’ll post a link when it becomes available.

ACCURSED SON IS IN EDITS

That’s right! You read it here, folks! Accursed Son, my upcoming novel from Shadow Spark Publishing, is in the editing cycle. The book has undergone several rewrites and fine-tuning before I sent it to the editor in July. During this back-and-forth, I’ve smoothed the rough edges and crafted a more satisfying ending. I hope you dig it. Preorders go live November 12, with a December 12 release date.

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