1.05.2018

Lost In The Forest All Alone

Sitting in a Starbucks off of the interstate. It doesn't really matter which state, or even which highway for that matter. Nor does the particular Starbucks matter. They are all the same. There is the corporate individuality that is not wholly unique to a franchise coffee shop. Some things are the same. Some touches of the individual manager's flair are evident. But for the most part they are the same. They are this way because it works.

As a writer, I personally take comfort in the fact that I can go in to just about any Starbucks in the country and get about the same experience. The menu will be the same. The seating will be approximately the same, and the vibe will be very similar. Some have a better feel than others.

Not 2 miles from this Starbucks is another Starbucks. It's darker on the inside. And it's smaller. The fuzzy phrase they are looking for is probably intimate. It doesn't feel intimate to me. It feels cramped. I can't stretch my brain there. My creativity seems cramped when I walk in. The flow is all wrong. People seem too close, even if the distance between the seats is the same as they are in the one I'm currently in.

This is the third night this week I have been here. Maybe the fourth. I've lost count. I've come because the areas of my apartment I want to write in are too cluttered. I've come because during the magical month of madness known as NaNoWriMo, or to most people-November, I was able to coax some delightful inspiration from the muse.I've come because I did one of the stupidest things I could possibly do. I shared my goals and projects.

Some would call that brave. Others would say that it's vital. That you can't have the accountability that comes with setting a goal if you are the only one that knows about it. And it's stupid. I know this. I got cocky. I set a goal in 2016 to publish a book by the end of my birthday in 2017. And I wound up publishing 2 books. So, I wanted to push myself.

That's the story I tell. That's the story that the short memory, ADHD set remembers.

I found the actual post that I made in November of 2016.

The truth of the matter is, I declared that come hell or high water, "The Treachery of Rainbows" would see the light of day by my birthday in 2017.

Don't bother looking for it on my Amazon author page. It isn't there. It's still sitting in 6 different folders and hopefully my Google drive. It's done. The first draft of it was finished in 2016. The thought was that I would edit it and take the literary world by storm with my particular brand of genius in 2017.

That didn't quite happen. 

Here's what did happen.

I was asked in December of 2016 (after my declaration for TTOR's birthday) to participate in an Urban Fantasy boxset set.

I did.

My first book, a novella if we're being  picky (I'm not..it's a book...a book I wrote), was published on Tuesday April 25th.

I had gone from writer to author at 12:00:01AM on that day. 

My world changed. I know that's cliche, but it's true. I can't go back to being someone who wants to publish a book. 

December 5th, also a Tuesday, saw the second book of mine available for public consumption.

I got cocky. I know writing is hard. I know publishing books is hard. I know that making a living as a writer is hard.

But I have never been one to not dream big.

So I did. I had big dreams. Scratch that--I have  big dreams.

I wrote my author goals for 2018 down in my bullet journal. Along with the unwritten goal of actually filling this bullet journal.

As of now, the plan is to do what it takes to hit all of those goals, even if it kills me. By December 31st, 2018 I will have some pretty amazing stories to tell.

And that's where the shit hits the fan, though. Because I did share the goals, I somehow feel obligated to hit those goals. I mean, if I don't hit them, somehow I've let you down, right? Because I hate to let people down, that fuels some frustration.

A friend of mine came to me with a similar situation. I realize now, sitting here in a standard Starbuck off the interstate, that I was able to help them through the situation because it was also something I personally needed to hear.

So, yeah. I shared my author goals.  And there are a lot of trees in that forest. I got so caught up with how many trees I was dealing with that I forgot to step back and realize how beautiful the forest actually is.

If made it this far, I'll give you a little bit of a treat. I have to be honest, I really didn't write this for you. I just needed a little reminder that I could still just sit down and write.

I can't wait to hit the next milestone. And the next one after that. And the one after.

"I'm not writing a book, I'm writing a chapter.
I'm not writing a chapter, I'm writing a page.
I'm not writing a page, I'm writing a sentence." Victoria Schwab




Have a great weekend my friends!

-Todd

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