You Can Run, BUT…

All this time and no new post.  Seems you have to have something of value to say… figured that I didn’t so why waste anyone’s time, right?  Not that I have anything remarkable or earth shattering to say now.  Checking in, exorcising demons… flexing the brain in hope that the muses come back.

And they already have… more on that in a minute.

Been an eventful year thus far.  Working steadily for the past seven months  (unlike this time last year), finished my first novel, saw my eldest daughter pass her state boards to become a certified nursing assistant after she paid for 80% of her tuition, saw my youngest daughter get accepted into one of the most prestigious acting schools on the planet and last, but not least, have completely transformed my body from a 265lb blob to a 230lb (and dropping), leaned-out dude with one last layer of fat hiding a six-pack that I NEVER thought would be seen on this body in this lifetime.

Continue reading

Six Draft, Seven Draft, Eight Draft, Nine…

It occurred to me less than five minutes ago that I may have missed my calling.  Did the rock / r&b drummer thing (loved it, miss it!), me and Excel are tighter than pantyhose two sizes too small but accounting is a bit, well, soulless.  I love, love, LOVE writing!

Expected a “but”, didn’t you?  No buts on that one, I love to write!  Still determining the difference between writer and storyteller because I don’t like to use a lot of words.  I often feel inadequate because my style is so raw and lean compared to the average author.  On the other hand, my readers (the ones I’ve discussed this with) think that it sets me apart.  I liken my style to The Atkins Diet: all protein, no carbs.  But I digress to…

Editing?

Continue reading

Loss of Confidence… (and that’s alright!)

That’s me.  Zero confidence in my writing.  Not writer’s block.  Creating content isn’t the problem.  Reread my recent work on Chapter 20 and it was garbage.

It was a rushed four-paragraph, section of a first draft.  In other words, it should have been garbage.

Wanted to finished in October, work on the second draft through the end of the year.  Didn’t quite work out as planned.

…and that’s alright!

Continue reading

My First Book Signing

“Akil, I went to my first book signing today.”

“What? I didn’t know you finished the book!”

-Conversation between my brother and I on Sunday night.

Never been to a book signing before but my old friend Kat (feel free to like her Facebook page here) works with an author named Colette Freedman who had two signings in the L.A. area this past weekend to support her week-old release, The Thirteen Hallows.  I forgot about Friday’s event in Pasadena but Kat was kind enough to text me on Saturday night with a reminder about Sunday afternoon’s event in Burbank.  I agreed to go and then looked up Colette’s bio

Almost had an anxiety attack five minutes later.
Continue reading

Thankful

I hate missing deadlines.  It’s embarrassing.  Unprofessional.  Hate missing self-imposed deadlines even more than those agreed to with someone else.  Why?  Makes me feel like I lied to myself, and I don’t like lying to myself.  Feel dishonest afterwards.

Planned to finish my first draft a couple of weeks ago.  Sounded good but I didn’t come close.  Was on a great roll until Chapter 18… two months-plus and counting as of last Monday.  TWO.  MONTHS.  PLUS!

Knew the job would slow me down but damn if I haven’t visited, hung out with, taken to dinner, treated, tried to spend time with all the friends who kept my spirits up while I was unemployed.  No complaints, mind you.  My people will tell you I’m a very loyal friend.  It was time to get back to work, is all.

Went to pull the trigger, nothing happened.  Misfire.

And then I read about a book on Jeff Goins writing site called “The War of Art”.  Jeff has become my writing mentor, been taking his online blogging class and I can see improvement since checking him out.  The text on the cover reads, “Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.”  See, I didn’t think I was blocked,  I thought I was busy, big difference!  But Jeff swore by it so that’s all I needed to hear.  Took me a few days to track it down at the local B&N but I did.

The book’s author labels anything that stands between you and your creativity as Resistance.  Made sense, easy read.  My eyes were opened.  And then they tried to roll out of my head and onto the floor when I reached the following page:

Continue reading

Dear Chapter 18

Dear Chapter 18,

I have been a neglectful bastard and I know this.  I learned to love you via Part 1 over a month ago but then I had to do something so ridiculously selfish and wrong that it will never be right…

I got a job.

But damn it all, I’m here to tell you…

Daddy’s home.

(“…to stay-ay-ayyyyyyyyyy…”  sorry… had a Jackson 5 flashback!)

Continue reading

Happy Accidents

What a day, what a day.  Started with four hours of sleep, a deleted blog database… and one shaved knuckle.  It ended with a rebuilt blog and the knowledge that a silly ole’ day job doesn’t have to stand in the way of finishing my manuscript in the coming weeks, stay on schedule to begin the representation quest in January.

 

My previous post discussed focus and discipline, how the disruption to my creative cycle has slowed my writing output to a crawl.  I decided to pull all-nighters this Friday and Saturday but blowing up the blog during the migration to WordPress last night prompted me to take the laptop to work, re-edit the posts during my lunch break so that I could put them on the new site tonight.

 

I was shocked that it only took twenty minutes in a packed break room!

 

Figured that the chaos would throw me off but it sharpened my focus, instead.  My mother cleaned the house to loud music when I was a kid, I grew up around live music… tried to write a school paper at the library a few years back but couldn’t.  Had to go home and blast the television to make progress, one of those freaks who can’t focus when it’s too quiet!

 

I opened the story file to see what would happen and lost track of time… got off ten minutes of effortless work.  Might not sound like a lot of time but I’ll accomplish a lot over three forty minute sessions per week.  Never imagined I would be able to create while tuning-out multiple conversations occurring only a few feet away, talk about feeling blessed!

 

Still don’t know where this drive came from, blows me away because I’ve never wanted a goal so badly that I was willing to work night and day to attain it.  But writing isn’t work anymore, hasn’t felt like a chore in ages.  I should be asleep now, but…

 

I have to write and when I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about doing it.  I feel empty when I haven’t put anything down in a few days.  The motivation for this journey started as an avoidance of regret but it’s evolved into much more.  The need for expression has overwhelmed the fear of failure… she makes me smile, completes me, “had me at hello”…

 

Writing is my viral obsession and I hope it never runs its course.

 

Ah, finished just in time to get another four hours of sleep… perfect!