The Next 1000 Miles

It’s Been Awhile…

Mostly, we all have a calling. Something deep within or sometimes beckoning is from afar to do something that will make us complete. For anyone reading this, I hope you’re already there doing it or in the process of reaching it. 

For me, I’m still on my way. I got a late start in life toward my passion of writing, but all of our journeys give us perspective. My calling doesn’t pay the bills, hell it barely pays “a” bill sometimes. I put more in than I have gotten out and because of that it’s really more of a hobby. Those are those money burning projects that Pinterest lures you in with.

That said, tiny moments make it so worthwhile, which is why I decided to write this post. At my part time job the other day, a woman was in line and out of the blue asked how my third book was coming. I was shocked on a couple of levels because even though she looked vaguely familiar, I know we weren’t related. She ended up being in the audience at a teacher convention I spoke at months ago. We chatted as I rang her up and she mentioned how her daughter enjoyed the books as well.

A few patrons go by (I work this PT in retail and have a profound soft spot for any of us during the holidays now), there’s a slight parting in the line and some sighs. Then, in front of me (with direction from her mom) the little girl was at my register. She thanked me for writing it and told me how she enjoyed the books, I shook her hand and they were off.

What they left behind was the best part of my day. A glowing sense that my words and thoughts touched someone enough to brave cutting in line during the holidays, to acknowledge me when I can sometimes feel invisible and to make my hobby feel like a goal in training. 

We all have something we know we were meant to do. Never lose sight of it just because it doesn’t make money. If you want something bad enough, there will come a way. 

Merry Christmas if I don’t write before then! And let me know some of your moments like mine, I can’t be the only one.

The Next 1000 Miles

What Am I Doing?

Over the summer, I have been attempting to find my way (author-wise) and in the midst of doing so I realized something. I can be better. Falling back on the notion of “why does nobody like my book?” first has me over-analyzing my abilities. And anyone who knows me is fully aware of my pension toward self-deprecation. Well, as a method to improve, I’ve come to the hard conclusion to truly take a look at myself.

For all the good things I’m capable of accomplishing, I get hung up on the little things no one else could possibly see and if affects my everything as a writer. I see people who have lots of fans, lots of books, opportunities opening up for them and, truthfully, I get jealous. Then I have to actually look at why. Long story short, I’ve been lazy. Those people we see and love following the careers of aren’t busy moping and whining and begging. They’re hustling and trying and having fun with the experience. Me, I’ve been rushing to popularity for no real good reason. Because I thought a good story equaled recognition.

After today, I fully plan on enjoying this part of my life. No expectations and no excuses. No more waiting for something good to come to me. I have to work for the goals I want, we all do. And the more and more I approach it with half-hearted effort and expecting it to come to me, well, that’s about the same thought as throwing a ball into the forest and complaining when it doesn’t roll back.

There’s a reason they call it chasing your dreams. Now, if you’re like me, get off your ass and start running.


Journey of 1000 Miles

Mile 3 / 1,000

Tell me if this is familiar… The more you want something, the more difficult it is. I’ve seen this through friendships, relationships, goals and efforts. I believe there is a fine, invisible line out there where balance lies.

The more you want someone’s attention, the less they give it. The more you want to get to the top, the more you see others getting there first. The harder you try to win, the more likely you are to lose. What’s this tell us? Not try? Sorry, but not trying doesn’t get you anything except more work or even more heartache.

Just live. Let that be your mantra. Enjoy life while striving toward the thing(s) you want. If you don’t get it, guess what? It’s not the only thing out there. It has never been a choice of A or B, there is a whole alphabet behind those suckers and if those dry up, we’ll dive into numbers.

Just live. Live the life you have around you. As bad as it may seem at a given time, here is the proverbial light being switched on for you. Because the only person who can change that is the same person reading this. Yup, … you.

Just live. Be the best version of you. Not the one you think will make you happy, the one that actually does make you happy. Your happiness will filter out and down to your family, friends and anyone around you. Seeing your happiness could inspire others. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take yours today.

Journey of 1000 Miles

Expectation vs. Reality

Dreams are a monumental part of the human spirit. No, not the REM type dreams, but those that rest somewhere deep inside that tell us in hushed whispers what we were meant to do in order to be happy. For me, creativity is always something that brings me peace. It helps channel the beauty I see as well as the tragedy that occurs. It gives me an indirect voice to my opinion at times without stamping it as my own. I can relieve frustration (nothing like killing off a character) and it allows me to play God when I feel I have no control.

During my early years, I was an avid movie watcher (still am actually). I took ideas from what I’d seen and channel it through my own dialog or spin it into a new story. The older I got, the more I enjoyed the random thoughts and knew I could make one awesome-sauce story out of it. I sat down and wrote about 30 pages and was feeling on top of the world. Then the gas in my imaginarium (definition below) tank ran dry.

The fumes that sputtered out made no connective sense and it was a literal struggle to make anything productive happen. My expectation was that it was easy, the reality was that without a map to guide me, my path led me in an infinite amount of directions. It was a long journey of starting and stopping before I finally reached the age of decision.

For myself, I had been thinking, talking and hoping to become an author since before I graduated high school. Circumstances and timing had me putting those dreams on hold up until the last couple of years.

I was sitting in my car one day, watching the stop light change colors from one block to the next and I couldn’t realize where my life was at. I wasn’t unhappy, I was just not fully myself. I looked at all the aspects of my life at the time and wondered what was missing. I had a decent job, a loving wife, a wonderful daughter, my health and I wasn’t destitute. So, what was it?

It took a few days to really see the missing piece of me that had not made it into the puzzle. I was a writer, I was not an author. As I see it, we are all writers. We each have a story to tell. Whether it’s short, an audio book, a novel or a biography; we all are capable of relating to one another through those experiences, fictitious or not.

Authors, in my opinion, don’t have to be published. What they have to be is dedicated. They have to sit at a computer or typewriter or pad of paper and transcribe their thoughts until a story is present. Then they have to edit the shit out of that. They have to get help, be shown what’s good, what sucks and what can make it great.

I was a writer, jotting down ideas from one month to the next. I was doing it as a hobby, telling others about how I was trying to write a book but literally the chain was off the spoke. I had been spinning in place for so long that the momentum to take my ideas anywhere was fading. It was the age of decision. I was getting too complacent with where I was and it started to make me subconsciously unhappy. I like my job and the people I work with, but if you were to ask me if this is where I see myself upon retirement, “hopefully not” would be the answer.

I had to make a choice. Either pursue or surrender.

I know that I am meant for different things and I realize over the last year that I had been giving a lot of explanations, excuses and justifications when I simply needed to do it. And whether I actually get picked up by a literary agent and a publishing house or wind up self-publishing, getting my story out there is what I truly care about. If I break even with sales vs my expenses, I’d be a happy cat.

My expectations growing up had me thinking that writing was easy. You think of a book, you write it, someone publishes it and you make your living. That, much like any career in the world, was where I first went wrong. Not believing in myself and just going along with where life was taking me was my next false step.

The reality is that dreams are wonderful and motivating, but make no mistake, they’re still work. Nothing in this world is easy and we can all attest to that. If anyone’s reality exceeds their expectations then they are either setting the bar extremely low or they are some pretty fortuitous bastards.

If you have a passion, do it. Don’t wonder about it, do it. If you’re good or persistent enough, it will happen. If you don’t get famous enough or rich enough, guess what? It’s not a passion. Simply doing it should make you happy.

Leave comments, let me know what your calling in life is.


imaginarium (n)

  • i·mag·i·nar·i·um [i màjjə naree əm]
    1 . made up word that is the place where I get all of my creative ideas from
    2. the well for creative thought