War Journal 47: The Muster

Tears will only make your manuscript soggy.

For those of you wondering, I haven’t died out here.  Although last month it felt that way.  I was in the dumps, wallowing in a quagmire of meh.  Life in Afghanistan was depressing me, my lack of recent story sells bothered me and my work on the second book felt forced and lackluster.  Even my lack of followers on this blog saddened me.

When it came to writing it wasn’t writer’s block so much as writer’s blah.  Writing felt like a worthless endeavor and if I just let entropy take its course my obscure ass could sink miserably into complete obscurity and that would be ok.  I was ready to throw in the towel.

Then I remembered my tagline.  War stories of a writer in the trenches.  It’s a constant series of battles for publication and mainstream acceptance and its a war that not only involves fighting it out with a million other stories in the slushpiles everywhere, but a war with yourself… your own self-doubt, self-loathing and despair.  Those are the chemical weapons in this war, the neurological agents that tell you its easier to lay down your arms and let others fight it out.

I readjusted my helmet straps and shouldered my rifle.  Time for new stories, new blog updates, an end to the second book.  Because those neurological agents of self-doubt, self-loathing and despair are right: it would be easier to let others fight it out.  But that’s not what I want, and I’m not content with just giving this thing a try.  How about I give it my all, and while I’m at it write a trunk full of awesome?

Sure, the lows suck.  But seriously, the victories wouldn’t be that sweet without them.  I’ll take the lows to the sidelines any day of the week.  So I spent the last couple days reading  everything I’ve written in book two to where I am now, and I had to admit, it’s pretty damn sweet.  And I looked at you guys, my followers, and realized you may be small in number but you’re hanging out cause you guys generally dig what I have to say.  I can’t ask for more than that… thanks for hanging out with a brother.

I’m back, baby.  I got a war to fight.



Filed under War Journals

8 responses to “War Journal 47: The Muster

  1. Stacey

    Well thank God, dammit! I missed ya! I don’t know about the rest of your fans but I’m number 17. That was about 6 months ago. Now you’ve got 50. Not too bad for a hack in the middle of the desert, if you ask me.

    • That’s what I was thinking… not too bad. That’s really what got me back on board, knowing you 50 (51 now woot!) can laugh with me, share some of this crap desert sometimes, and maybe pick up a few writing tips along the way. Keep reading and I’ll keep posting!

  2. A3

    Good for you, James! Yes, it’s a fight, but it’s a good fight. Pound that second book into shape so I can read it!!

    • I’m all over it. I have 17 chapters of frickin sweet, and I’ll be doing what I can to make the rest just as gripping. Who quits at Chapter 17? Some other hack in the middle of the desert, not me!

  3. Yup. That self-doubt and despair crops up for us all every now and then. But if we’re lucky, the magnificent writing highs and occasional nods of acceptance occur much more frequently. You’ve got to hold onto those even tighter when the neurological agents kick in, and know that you’ve got the means to fight them off, because you’ve done it before and you’ll do it again, goddammit.

  4. Carrie

    James: You are so quotable! I loved this blog entry, enough to share it on my Facebook since I have many writing cohorts there: “I’ll take the lows to the sidelines any day of the week.” It is inspiring and so true for all us writers putting ourselves out there. I’m so glad I found you!


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