Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Trying To Find My Way Back

   It feels like forever since I've felt like writing a blog, or anything else for that matter. Now that my dear friend is finally back to the point where she can do things for herself, I find myself strangely adrift with no purpose. The problem is after spending months focused on keeping someone alive, the importance of writing falls far short.
   Everyone tells me I should take time for myself, especially now that she is doing better. Honestly, I have no idea how to do that. I've never enjoyed doing things by or for myself. I enjoy life through the reactions of those around me. My children are all in their forties with families of their own, and don't have the time to spend doing the things we used to do. None of my grandchildren like the same things I do, so when we're together, they spend time on their cell phones or play games I can't get into.
   Somewhere along the path I lost confidence in my writing ability. I used to think I had some small amount of talent as a writer, but the lack of response to my stories tells me something else. My writing partners and critique group tell me I'm a pretty good writer, but they're my friends, what else would they say? Folks who I've never met tell me my stories aren't very good. Who do I believe?
   Will I continue to write? Probably. At my age and current health, I can't do much else. Plus I'm from a generation that believed you should always finish what you've started. I'll find the desire somewhere to finish the two story lines I've started and try my best to make them interesting and enjoyable to read.
   At least it looks like I'll have the critique group behind me for the foreseeable future. Our current leader wants to step down for personnel reasons, and it appears the group would like me to take over. I suppose I could fool myself into thinking they want me because they appreciate my knowledge of writing and ignore the truth that no one else wants the job.
   Sorry for the dark tone of this blog, but spending yesterday in the ER with all the signs of a heart attack must have set me off. Fortunately, everything is fine except my potassium level had dropped dangerously low for some reason and my heart was letting me know it didn't like that.
   Thanks for putting up with an old man's gripes, and hopefully the next blog will have a more positive outlook.

Pictured is my little one-eyed buddy who'd rather have me hold him than write.


  1. As a person who just isn't into the fantasy genre I couldn't say whether your stories have merit. However, I know enough about the capricious nature of markets to say that the lack of response you cited doesn't necessarily mean anything. Who are the strangers who rubbish your work? If they haven't got constructive criticism to offer, they're not worth listening to.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Travis. Several people who I don't know personally, but consider them successful writers, could not finish reading and told me why. At least they were considerate and didn't leave a negative review on Amazon. Some of what they said I didn't agree with, but it did make me question my ability to put together a good story. All in good time I suppose.

  2. I have to remind myself that not everything is for everyone. I read some work and go tell myself, why do I bother when there is such talent in the world the likes of which I just read.

    Then I know that taste differ. Some real sophisticated audiences might not like my work so much because I'm to simplistic or don't tie my plot threads together well enough - or both. There is a reading level for book. Your books are geared to the younger adult. Beside that, writers are a tough group to write to. They know to much. For instance, I'm reading a self-published book by Michael Allen Scott. Great read, but full of all the kinds of things we tell each other on Tuesdays not to do. Yet, I forgive him on the strength of his writing. Even though, I wish from time to time he wouldn't POV shift in the middle of a narrative. See what I mean. Before I started studying and writing in earnest, I wouldn't have noticed. Not that it's bad, just not as good as it could be, I suppose. Look at how much we beat Paul up about it until he stopped doing it.

    And the people that are successful at a writing career at your's and my age are far and few between. I've listened to interviews by a dozen of successful writers and even some of them that are old now was young when they started. The guy that wrote Forest Gump had it rattling around in his desk drawer for years before someone offered him something for it.

    I'm not saying that we can't be successful, just that time is against us. With the self-publishing world the way it is easy to publish a lousy piece of work. Especially, those that skip the editing process and go right to us readers. I have several books in my library that I couldn't get through. Your's isn't one of them.

    Let's tell the tale as best we can and someone will like it. I already have a fan of one (me).


    1. Thanks Jerry. Age is definitely a part of my frustration. When I started writing several years ago, it was with the hope I could add a little extra income to our household. It's not happening.
      Sometimes I wish I'd never started. Writing has consumed my life for the last several years and I've very little to show for it. I no longer enjoy reading like I used to because, like you, I now see the mistakes even popular authors make, and I have a hard time overlooking them.
      Maybe my books would do better if they were professionally edited, but my last book would have run close to a thousand dollars for an edit and I just don't have that kind of money.
      Oh well, I'll just keep plugging along and hope I can find the joy I once felt while writing my story.