An Ode To Stickin’ Around

Man in striped apron paints canvases in Bardolino
Eddy Klaus, Unsplash.com

I’ve been married for about thirteen years, been at the same company for nearly twelve, and pursuing the same art (writing) for twelve.

This may seem long or short depending on your perspective. All of those years in those areas of life have not been meadows filled with daffodils, but through the grace of God, mountains of encouragement from my writerly and non-writerly friends, I’ve stuck with them.

Recently, I wrote about how I haven’t been writing. How I’ve been uninspired and if I’m honest I felt that I wouldn’t miss much if I stopped. This would not be true but it’s how I felt.

This feeling has occurred multiple times with my art. But because of an awesome community and this nagging in my mind that just won’t go away I keep huffing and puffing along.

The reason I started writing again is twofold. One, because I want to publish a work of fiction. I have two books that I’ve been attempting to ship for a combined eight years. The second is because recently, I looked back at what has happened through the ups and downs of twelve years of chasing my craft.

I was astonished at their cumulative weight

Reading that list may have made you feel gross, like I was boasting, and I apologize. But what I wanted you to take away was that all of those mile markers happened because I stuck around.

There were failed starts, massive struggle, five kids being born (zero upon negative-infinity-absolute-zero hours of sleep) and all the while managing a full time job, and making sure that my wife and I have a strong marriage.

I wish life could be straightforward. I learn something, improve, and then move onto the next thing. But what I’ve come to understand is that sticking around for a while, staying in the game, and being downright stubbornly consistent can offer an opportunity to build a foundation then a first and second story and so on.

Are you thinking of stopping your art? I’d encourage you to keep working.

Who knows where you’ll be in twelve years?

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My Writing Update

I’m putting the finishing touches on my Jot Presentation and the organization that surrounds the conference. Not a lot of other writing time. Join me for this free conference in Three Rivers, MI on September 12th. If you have not signed up, please do so HERE. The sign up is for seats, not a charge. Again, the conference is absolutely free.

Next up is rounding out my Breathe Conference presentation on Worldbuilding. My books will have to wait, but I’ll submit a few short stories this week.

Photo Credit: mbshane via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: mbshane via Compfight cc

BLOGS FROM THIS WEEK

With any project or career we get to the point that we ask ourselves Should You Throw In The Towel Or Try Harder? check out this blog if you are struggling with this question.

Blogging can suck up our time. In the blog Can’t Find The Time To Blog? Create A Blog Checklist I discuss how I have shaved twenty minutes off my blogging time.

On the journey to our writing we can get tired. This post discusses what to do when we feel exhausted and need to rest Do You Ever Get Writer’s Burnout?

We all want more of something. More of life, from our spouse, from our bodies, from our careers and our books. In Laziness and Fear The Two Roadblocks To Our Dream I offer up ways to overcome and succeed in these areas.

Our blogs can invade our lives like vines. They can grow into dinner time, steal the portion of our day we use for our books, and become something we loath not love. In Creating Boundaries For Our Blogs I show you how to reign in this invasive platform.

What Music Gets You Writing talks about the music that helps you paint your scenes or gets you in the mood to write. Please share the steaming service you use or music you enjoy while composing your novel in the comments section on this post.

Write well this week. Take advantage of any spare scrap if time!

My Writing Update

Its been a rewarding and exhausting week in writing, work, and my home life. But that does not mean it hasn’t been great, because it has. I hope you had a chance this week to get tired by going after what you love.

Below is a summary of my writing activities this past week and a glimpse of what’s coming up.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Lynn. via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Vanessa Lynn. via Compfight cc

Blog Recap

10 Ways To Get Your Blog Back On Track

We all have times when we struggle in the middle of our blog. I’ve posted 10 tips to help you dig in and get back in the groove. Click Here To Read It.

How To Eradicate The Fear Of Failure Once And For All

Fear can follow us around like a shadow. We want to make a career jump, write that book, or try our hand at painting but we don’t because secretly deep down we are afraid of what others might think or what’s on the other side of our currently comfortable lifestyle.  Here I talked about taking consistent steps toward what we want. Click Here To Read It.

If You Don’t Succeed Is The Journey Worth It? Lessons From A Failed Novel

For the past decade I wrote multiple drafts of one story. It was terrible but better in the end. I’ve put it on the shelf for now. As I reflect back I wonder if all of the struggle and thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of words were a waste. Click Here To Read It.

On Removing Impulse And Instilling Good Habits

Life can be easily lived like floating in a lazy river. But if want to be brave and grab the life we want it means swimming against the current. Here I talk about how I tipped the scales at 200lbs for the first time in my life and what I am going to about it. Click Here To Read It.

Don’t Be A Cover Band

Many artists want to repeat the same success as the greats. In this blog I discuss how we need to blaze our own trail if we want to find our unique voice. Click Here To Read It.

How To Always Have Something To Write About

As a blogger or writer or anyone trying to fit their dream into their day stuffed with obligation, you can feel a bit like Sisyphus rolling his bolder up a hill over and over again. It can seem pointless and dull or overwhelming, trying to come up with something write about every day. Click Here To Read It.

My Current Project

I’m working on a middle grade book (4-8th grade target audience) and am nearly a quarter of the way through. I said last week I hope to get 10,000 written. Looking back, that was such an unrealistic goal! I probably wrote 1,000. My hope this week is to at least triple that. This should be realistic as I look at my schedule this week.

Speaking

Next month I’ll be speaking at the Jot Conference on Blogging. I’m excited to be a part of this conference again.

Plan to live this week. Life won’t just happen to you. Go and get it.

My Writing Update

This past week I’ve had a writing renaissance. Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to lately.

Photo Credit: rsmithing via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: rsmithing via Compfight cc

I’ve been consistently writing on the Jot Conference website for the past few months in an attempt to see if I could get passionate about blogging again. It was a struggle. But this past week, after revamping the theme and some widgets here at Part-Time Novel, I relaunched this blog. It’s not perfect, but this past week I’ve wrote nine posts here and two more at jotwritersconference.com a total of about 3000 words.

Books

I worked on a book series for over a decade and decided to set it on the shelf. Then I started a new book, but I’m not going to share details about it yet. I have completed about 50 pages so far and hope to have a rough draft between now and the next Jot Conference (September 12th). I wrote about 1500 words on it this week.

Speaking

The Jot Conference is moving to Three Rivers in September. I will be speaking about blogging basics and how it can help you in your writing career.

The Coming Weeks 

You can follow my posts on creativity, writing tips, and, chasing your dream job here and also on the Jot Writer’s Conference website. My goal is to write 10,000 words on my book this week and fulfill my blogging goals. Wish me luck.