February ‘24: The Month of 10,000 Days

Thanks for reading! 

Any support, even just giving these posts a read, is always appreciated.

Recent Updates:

I’m still querying my Dark Fantasy project. Received a couple more rejections and sent a few more out. 

The third entry in my Stephen King readthrough with The Scoop came out earlier this month. Read it here. This one is about THE TALISMAN.

Project Progress:

I am ALMOST finished with the rough draft of this post-apocalypse story that has been haunting me for what feels like a lifetime. I look forward to eventually saying that I finished the son of a bitch. 

Recent Fascinations: Learning to Appreciate Winter

I think I can speak for a lot of folks when I say that January felt like it was about eight years long. It feels impossible that 2024 just started a little over a month ago, that Christmas wasn’t even a full two months ago. At the same time, I don’t think I can identify a single truly productive thing I accomplished during that time. I didn’t finish any projects or make any significant moves in my writing life. It was, if I’m being honest, a month that felt like it was about 10,000 days long in which I accomplished almost nothing. 

I try not to quantify my writing career with progress or achievements, that’s what LAST month’s whole blog post was about, but I think there’s another aspect that applies to how I felt throughout most of January: I hate the winter. 

I don’t mean that as a moment of over exaggeration. I genuinely hate just about everything about Winter, especially the unbearable part of the season between Christmas and blessed Spring. The cold, the dead look of the world around me, the persistent freezing rain, and, perhaps most of all, the short days. 

In a moment of uncharacteristic vulnerability, I will lay out for all my readers that I have seasonal depression (or whatever label you want to give it), which mixes pretty poorly with my grab bag of anxiety disorders. Basically all of my hobbies besides music require me to go outside, which is decidedly difficult when it’s cold, pouring rain, or both. Winter is just very difficult for me, despite the momentary release from the Mississippi heat it offers.

That being said, as January kept trudging along, I started trying to find some joy in the Winter time. Warm cups of coffee on my front porch, evenings on the back patio spent watching the birds tear my dry and dying grass apart. I’ve tried to spend time finding the little moments of beauty in these cold, desolate Winter days. 

Funnily enough, as I’ve started being mindful of what there is to enjoy in the Winter, I’ve found myself making steadily increasing progress on this post-apocalypse project. My mind is preoccupied with finding beauty in a time of year that normally fills me with nothing but disdain, and that has turned out to be pretty useful in writing about the beauty that might come when the world is forced to slow down, even if only a little. 

I also found that it was easier to focus on my essay writing for The Scoop, my hobbies (the indoor ones), and a whole host of other things that there’s no point in going into here. The point is: this whole concept of focusing on the porch-sitting and not the freezing rain is pretty important to the writing process. You gotta focus on the positives of the process, not just the negatives.

A while back I did a blog post about seeing the beauty in the process, and I think this revelation about Winter time is just an expansion on that. Sometimes the weather sucks, sometimes writing sucks, sometimes querying sucks, but sometimes you get to sit on the front porch with a warm cup of coffee and things aren’t too damn bad. 

Thanks for reading.

January ’24: Heading Forward

Thanks for reading! 

Any support, even just giving these posts a read, is always appreciated. 

Recent Updates:

Obviously, the biggest update is that I’ve shifted away from Substack to my own platform, which gives me control over how it works and what I host. If you were subscribed on Substack, you’re already subscribed here. Not subscribed? Do so Here:  

Project Progress:

No major updates. I am still pending queries, I’ve had a few rejections and sent out a few more submissions. 

As always, read my essay work at: The Sinister Scoop

Recent Fascinations: A New Year and Heading Forward

I’m not really one for New Years resolutions, either in my personal life or as a writer. I do keep up with some writing career goals every year, things like getting some stories published or finding an agent, but nothing grand like yearly word goals or lofty ideas. Despite the fact that I’m a pretty perpetual optimist, I’m also a pretty pragmatic realist. 

When 2023 kicked off, I didn’t expect to be moving 10 months later, much less buying my first house and settling into a decidedly different life than I have ever lived before. Building personal resolutions or professional ones is typically just an invitation for life to firmly remind you that you’re not the one that calls the shots, so instead I just try and make sure I am always headed forward. 

Forward progress is something I have focused all of my attention on since I started (trying) to take this whole thing seriously in 2021. I am always trying to improve my writing with each new project. Always sure to submit at least a handful of short stories a year. Always trying to move to the next step in my goal to find traditional publication for one of my full-length manuscripts. No matter what, I always try to keep heading forward. 

Even when something stands in the way, like a surprise life change, if you’re heading forward, standing still for a little isn’t really a big deal. It becomes less a setback, and more like a momentary pause. A redlight. Sure, you’re stuck for now, but eventually the sumbitch will turn green and you can get moving again. 

So if I have any advice for my fellow writers who’re trying to decide what resolutions and professional goals they need to be focused on, it’s that. Just keep heading forward, and when you have to stop, just be patient. 

The light’ll always turn green, eventually. 

Thanks for reading. 

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