Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why Do I Keep Trying?

   The holidays are upon us once again, and along with that comes the challenge of dealing with it. Many folks have a hard time during the holidays for many different reasons. For me, other than my usual depression which is a never ending battle, it's the passage of time.
   Every year my Christmas card list gets a little shorter. Parents are long gone, most aunts and uncles, and a number of favorite cousins. High school classmates are disappearing, and old Navy buddies are no longer there to swap sea stories. It pains me to wonder who may be next.
   It's also a reminder that another year has passed and I still haven't reached any of the goals I set for myself. It's been almost a year since I published my first book, and I had planned to publish at least two more this year. Didn't happen. I had hoped to make some extra money on a few side projects so I could afford something nice for all my family this Christmas. Didn't happen.
   All this brings me to the question of why do I bother, and the answer is hope. As long as I can get out of bed in the morning, pick up a pen and write something, there is hope. My depression and low self-esteem keep telling me I'll never succeed, but I refuse to believe that. No one can go their entire lives and never accomplish at least one thing positive.
   One thing I do know is I would be lost without my critique group and writing partners. They genuinely seem to feel I help them in some way, and they consistently appear to enjoy what I write. Some complain that I write final drafts and leave almost nothing for them to critique. I don't know if that's good or bad, just the way I write. Maybe it saves a little time by not having to write multiple drafts, but when it takes a week to write a thousand words, it feels like I'm not making much progress.
   I am making progress though, even if it's slow. I will publish the first book in my epic fantasy next year, and hopefully the second book in the series I started last year.
   If anyone is interested, I'll be offering both short stories and the novella for free for five days starting on Dec 19th. Please take a look if you can and let me know what I can do better. I'd hate to think I've just been spitting in the wind.
   Thanks for reading.


  1. I am generally not the sort of person to be saddened. Yet, I can identify with some of your posting. My Christmas card list is zero. Over the past twenty years my ships reunion has declined by 2/3rds and it isn't because they are to busy.

    I drove a couple of my granddaughters over to Des Moines, IA to see where I lived from 3-9 years-old. I couldn't find the house. What was wrong with me? I drove up the street till I found a house that might have been my folks and knocked on the door.

    An old man answered and as I was about to ask my question a little old lady stuck her head around from behind him and looked at me. "Jerry Hall?" she asked.

    After I picked my chin from the ground, they invited me in and I learned I use to play with their son, now long departed. I learned that except for one kid on the next street up every children and almost all the parents were gone, dead, even the ones much younger than I. That I had the right address, but the house and garage were torn down and it was an empty lot. I went away sad.

    I and my wife Christmas shop all year. Rarely do we extend ourselves with end of year shopping. It's always done by end of October. We have found the expense of the Holidays is mitigated that way.

    Depression is a soul-eater. It robs a person of will, desires and ambition. I've seen it around me. I've felt it's pull tug at me lightly. I find myself getting chocked up at the silliest scenarios on TV and read that is attributed as part of the aging process. If that is true I'll be a bliffering hot mess getting up in morning. After all, I really don't care if two make believe strangers kiss in the heat of the moment or not; so why do I cry. (you didn't hear that from me.)

    We buck up. Gird our loins and jump into the fray and attack another day. Then sleep like a baby that night.

    By the way - I bought your works and enjoy reading them and I am a tough sell. You are not wasting your time, not even if you didn't share.

    1. Thanks Jerry. I always appreciate your comments. Somehow you kinda expect parents and older relatives to pass before you, but when you start losing younger cousins and friends, it really starts to hit home. I thank God every morning when I wake up again, and have the opportunity to spend one more day with my loved ones.
      Thanks again.

  2. Good thoughts, Roland. I'm missing two younger brothers this Christmas, both gone with cancer. But there's always hope that tomorrow will be better, that my grandkids will remember to call, that somehow somebody will make the day a good one. I've had my own tussles with depression, which probably was brought on by the stroke. Like you, I just keep on writing even if it's only a sentence a day. Know that you have a friend here.

    1. Thank you, Paul. Your friendship means a lot. If it wasn't for the new friends I've made from the critique group I would have given up a long time ago. Fortunately for me, all my kids and grand-kids live close by so I get to see them on a regular basis. Have a Merry Christmas, and I'll see you next year!