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Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Daily Grind, 10 Sep 17

Riding the Blimp

          This is my 100th post.  Most bloggers try to do something dramatic to mark their "century" posts, and while I don't have some grand publishing milestone to offer up, I think this will qualify.
          I feel better today, physically, than I have in months.  My arm pain is insignificant, and I don't know why; my last treatment was Wednesday, and I don't have another until next Wednesday.  Mentally, though, my old demons are back in force.  You will see below one of my writer friends talking about procrastination and writers block.  This isn't normal block, where I could change it up by working on a different project.  This is the nagging belief that I am wasting huge chunks of my life pursuing something I have already failed at.
          Do the logic:  Next month I turn 69.  I began writing to entertain others in fifth grade.  In my twenties I polished my skills. In my thirties, I developed my voice, style, and presentation.  In my forties and fifties I sought publication through every agent, editor, and publisher who would provide an address to send a query to.  There were no takers.  I became an independent author in my sixties, but that has the feel of going to a fantasy baseball camp; I may be able to show some of the other wannabes some tricks, but it ain't The Show.  Now, leaning hard on 70, the question becomes, how much longer do I begin every day with three to six hours of intense and solitary work on something that is never going anywhere that matters?
          The simple fact is that if I was going to be a major "successful" author, it would have already happened.  My wonderful daughter, who has never been one to mince words, and is a savage defender of what's best for her aging daddy, tells me, "This is your time, and no one knows how much you have left.  You didn't retire to take on another job.  If you don't feel like writing is filling a need anymore, then stop!"  Even as a child, she had a way of cutting through to the heart of the matter.
          So I don't know what's coming.  I was going to start another Nexus story tomorrow, but I've decided not to.  I'm going to push through to finish Stingaree, the San Diego steampunk project that is dear to me.  The Darklighters is underway, and I will use that as my alternate project to keep it fresh, but after that, I can't project anything further out.  The demons will give up, or I will.  My long-time motto has been, "Never fight a battle that you don't have to win."  The fact is that I don't have to win this one.  Stay tuned...

Friends in the Biz

          Karen Carlisle has run into a bout with procrastination, which you can take from me is just another form of writer's block.  She has chosen to combat it by offering a short story from her archives.  She's an excellent writer; take a look!
          Richard Schulte, the awesome photographer, is also a pretty decent author in his own right.  Visit his story site and enjoy The Dog's Tail free of charge, and be sure to leave your thoughts; he's very deserving.
          S.K. Quinn offers a page of magnificent advice on how to launch yourself as a new author; yes, it involves spending some money, but I have yet to see a better plan.
          Also, Sarah Zama is interviewed by Book Shelf Fantasies on the suspension of disbelief, while Jonathan Fesmire offers Episode 11 of his Wild Steampunk Podcast.  There's a lot of great material here, so settle in and enjoy your Sunday, and I'll see you tomorrow.
~  Jack


  1. Do what you love to do.

    1. Thank you, Richard, that's very simple and valuable advice. I do love to write. The question that needs to be answered is whether it's taking time from something I love more. Thanks for focusing my attention on a question I haven't been able to articulate. Stingaree WILL be finished, and by the time I work that out, I should know one way or the other.

      Thanks for taking the time, it was great hearing from you again!

    2. I come by from time to time! I enjoy reading your thoughts.