A Chance

I used to play a lot of music when I was a teenager. It ranged from tuba, sousaphone, piano, bass guitar, guitar, and singing. I mean, I really enjoyed it. Loved it! Back then there were no worries. Just passing classes and the typical drama. I’ve been thinking a lot about different things that have been happening the last year or so since I stepped down, but I want to go even further back. I want to go as far back as when I started my first band.

The band was called Into the Primitive. Now, it wasn’t a very fancy name or anything crazy, but it was just three guys who loved music. The drummer and I played in the marching band,(he was in the drum line) The bassist happened to be his friend, but he didn’t play much unless we were all jamming together. The foundation of this band was just to hang out and try to create music. We didn’t play any gigs unless it was a small birthday party. It was actually pretty nice just to hang out and jam. Then, play some Elder Scrolls on the Xbox, or Halo. Plus, we’d have our daily ritual of dipping Chips Ahoy cookies into a jar full of Nutella. I discovered that combination playing in that band.

We had high hopes for our band. I mean, my mom spent almost $800 for us on a demo that sounded like glass scrapping against the inside of a plastic bucket. I have no clue why we went to this supposed audio engineer, but he acted professional on the internet. Ah! The days of myspace. Everyone use to advertise themselves there and pretend they were some high end business that could turn us into stars. Some people use their trickery to their advantage.

Anyways, the reason I titled this post A Chance is because all of us have goals in life. Whether it’s to be the next rock star, the next all star baseball player, the next professional football player, or the next big author. I wanted to start with saying that sometimes we all have to give each other guidance and a chance to learn our craft that we want to be great at.

I remember in many bands that I performed with, it seemed like every two to three months we were dumping members like we were in some short term relationship. In the band Into the Primitive we ended up kicking the bassist out because he was not performing as well as we wanted him to. We pretty much gave him three months to get it together, but he never rose up to our expectations. It was one of the hardest things to do as a kid. How can someone tell someone they aren’t good at their instrument, when you’re the one that can hardly read the music for a guitar. You only play by ear?

I didn’t think about it so much when I was younger because I was arrogant and cocky. I didn’t care about anyone else except for myself. I was a brat and I was spoiled. I can openly admit this because I know I was. My parents pretty much did anything that I wanted them to do, and eventually it crawled up and bit me in the butt.

Anyways, we found a new bassist that we thought would be a great asset to our band. He knew how to play bass. He was pretty well known at school and I kind of had a crush on his sister at the time. Our band seemed to be getting better, and we were happy with the new change we had done, but graduation came around, and I decided to take it upon myself and have my band play at my graduation party. The only problem was, my drummer’s brother’s birthday was that same day. IN my mind, I only cared about myself. I didn’t care about my drummer’s own personal events.

We ended up getting into an argument because he wanted to be with his brother and family. I told him he should have said something, but I already know why he didn’t say anything. I was a hard person to please. I didn’t take no for an answer, and I was selfish. As bad as I want to say something good about me during that time of my life, I can’t. In my mind was fame, glory, and wealth. Nothing else.

Well, we ended up dropping the drummer who was probably one of the closest friends I had ever had then. He went on to perform in a pretty successful metal and. I ended up performing in two different bands. The next band I performed with was Radiolarien. (We got our name by flipping through a dictionary) Anyways, we were a very pop and alternative band, but things fell apart just as quick as they had started. I ditched the bassist and drummer. I think for me I got tired of getting talked down to so I moved on. I went on to pull in a guitarist that I knew from thee high school Orchestra. We’re still best friends today. I was even the best man in his wedding.

We wrote and performed a lot of our own material. Our band went through a lot of different performers, but we always stuck together. We performed multiple gigs around Georgia and the Atlanta area. Things were going pretty well, but we could not keep a set band. We constantly kept kicking people our until we finally just decided to stop performing completely so we could start careers. We were called The Calling Card.

I realize now that I probably should have given many of the musicians we played with a chance to proven themselves. I was always so quick to jump the gun and kick them out. It was because I had a goal and I didn’t want anyone holding me back. The only problem is, you have to build each other up before you can be successful. I should have given a lot more chances to all those musicians in the past, but I was self absorbed into my own goals. I didn’t care about how anyone else felt. It was almost like  sickness or a plague. Now, that I think about it that was truly one of the downfalls of my band. I was not patient enough to let my members learn the music.

Give everyone a chance to learn and grow. Don’t think that they are going to be able to learn as quick as you. Patience is a virtue, and if you want to do great things, you have to start with the fundamentals. You have to bond with the people around you and help each other. You can’t just continuously move on to the next one that looks like gold in your eyes. You can be rich, but wealth comes from happiness and the ones that love you. Hold on to the people that follow you because they will teach you so much more than what society is trying to push into our brains. Even if you think you know it all, you can always learn something new from each other.

Rant About Writer and Editor

This goes both ways, finding a good writer and editor are like trying to nail Jello to a tree. You’re going to have writers that believe their work is the next J.R.R Tolkien or J.K Rowling. Then, you’re going to have editors that believe they can turn your work to gold of you take their advice. Okay, here’s my experience with editors, they know they have more experience and knowledge of writing. My experience with writers as an editor, they know they are more creative. Now that we’ve laid that out what to expect when working together.

I know for sure that if I need an editor I don’t expect the sugar coated, over exaggerated, and pleasing critique of “oh this is fantastic. You are professional and your words speak to me ” If I hire you as an editor, you better turn that paper into a mess of red, blue, green, or yellow scribbles. That’s what I expect. I hear enough praise from my mother  and father just because I actually wrote a book.

On the editors side, if you hire me to help you, listen to my critique. Lower cases at the beginning of the sentence, jumping from past to present tense, and losing me before chapter one even begins, is unacceptable. I will tell you what to fix and turn your manuscript into a maze of rainbows. I do this to help you and teach you. If you decide to whine and not take my suggestions into consideration, don’t be surprised and blame me for your low sales.

Now that I’ve made that clear, writers and editors work together to create a story. We both try to bring life to the story so or readers don’t struggle and work to hard to understand what the story is about. Please hire trust editors. Don’t tell your mom to look at it and fix the simple errors and then publish. Have a professional look at it because family and friends sugar coat everything.

Editors remember to not get frustrated by a writers lack of knowledge when it comes to grammar. That’s why they need you. Both have to be on the same page for the success of a novel.

Long Week

This week, well these last two weeks, have been extremely busy. Work and writing have been productive I guess you could say. I received one of my first writing jobs this last week with a long time friend of mine. It was just editing, but it was nice to know someone could trust my writing skills and let me put it to good use. Also, there are many people that I thank in my life for helping me grow as a writer, as well as, a person, but I will say there are many that I sometimes don’t remember because I have many people who support what I do. I wanted to sit down and thank one person specifically that has been through everything from the good, the bad, and the ugly. This person has especially dealt with the many rants that have come with working and trying to make it as a writer. Her name is Jennifer.

I’ve known her since first grade, and I know there have been so many instances, where I don’t deserve to have a friend like her in my life. In the last few years, I have lost many friends in my life the last few years because of my episodes of depression, as well as, my multiple rants about work, but Jennifer has been there to talk no matter what. Yes, we do have our little fights, but we always seem to work our way back around to say sorry and attempt to move on from it.

I just wanted to sit down and thank some one that has really been a great influence on my life, who has really pushed me to follow my dreams and been there through it all. Especially during my times of need when I was suffering from depression. If I didn’t have a friend like her to talk to, I don’t know where I would be right now. Thank you, Jennifer, for being there and reading every single piece of writing that I do from my blog to my novels. Thanks for being here and not making me a second thought when I’m going through my asshole episodes.

Starting Out as a Self-Published Author

 I know a lot of my friends and family in my life have probably heard me ramble on social media or on the phone about this new venture I am trying to build. This line of work is the hardest and most cruel profession that I have come to realize in the last few months of publishing my first novel, Horizon. I have had many fantastic reviews and the occassionally bad ones. I remember back in March my first edition had a ton of typos and errors concerning the barcodes and copyrights. I mean, hell, I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. Now, I’ve honed in on everything and I’m trying to build a substantial audience. 

     I will say there have been multiple people that have helped me open up many new doors to get my novel out there. Once, Eversoul hits the market, I hope those same people will be there to raise my spirits through the gruelling and exciting moments of producing my next novel. It’s funny when you watch authors beg for reviews, and I will openly say I am one of those authors that beg, but if it doesn’t happen, I at least get a phone call, or word from the grape vine about how much someone’s daughter loved my novel, or someone’s mother. Everything circles back around, and if you are looking to write and plan on making millions, even thousands on your first novel, don’t hold your breath. 

     I love writing. Yes, my weakness is procrastination, but somehow I find a way to stick my butt to a chair and stare at the computer screen for hours on end. I’ve had people ask me, “Do you list your book for free, and do discounts cause you’re going through a rough patch?” My answer: No, it’s not for that reason. I see my book as a pilot for somethingAMAZING!!! When I sit and write, scrambling through all of the excitement, it drives me crazy not to be able to share these ideas to my growing audience. I know, I give away a lot of surprises by sharing chapters and hinting at upcoming events in the next novel but that’s only because I’m excited about my baby. My wonder bread. My life for the last five years. I don’t think there is one day, where I haven’t thought about characters, names, and settings as I driving to work, or simply walking through the park. Many of my friends, co-workers, and family don’t know they have atleast one character that relates to them in my stories.

     Right now, patience is the only thing that keeps me going everyday. The struggle is real sometimes when it comes to bills and having a life, but honestly, I spent most of my life rotting in a job that was killing me deep inside. It pushed me at times to the point, where I didn’t think I could survive in this world. My dad told me recently that you have to work hard to hold on to the things that mean the most to you. It was mostly because I have a fiance and my parents really want to have grandkids, and they want the best for my fiance and me. I sat there and thought about it real hard, and he is right, I have to push, push, push until I bleed to have a better life for my future family. 

     If you don’t love writing, and your just in it to hopefully make that huge deal and make those fat checks. You are going to fail. There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of writers out there have that mind set. They write a book, don’t proof read, and publish it with typos. It deters from what readers want. I know reading is something that seems like it’s slowly fading away with social media, and video games these days, but it’s still there. I know it’s still there. I still have multiple friends who trade books like it’s religion. I know people who hardly read, and after they read my book they’ve said, “Wow, I can’t wait for your next novel, Will.” Not saying I don’t have the occassional, “I had a hard time following it, but it came together well.” But isn’t that what a writer wants, people to learn their style of writing and come to a light bulb that makes them hate or like what you’re doing?

     It’s a wonderful feeling to sit there and watch all of those kindle downloads build up in your sales report, even the free ones. Then, you see all the paperback and hardbacks being sold as well. It’s not even about what kind of revenue I’m making, it’s that fact that there’s atleast one person out there that has an interest to read my book! That to me is success. I couldn’t be more grateful for those people that give me those feelings. Also, I can’t forget my cheerleading squad that consists of my mom, my dad, Corey Wallace, Leanne, Daniel, Nadine, my family, Stevi Clack(Photographer), Luke and Alyse Griffin/their parents, Nadine’s family. I mean, I could rave on with all the names that have been a huge impact on my growing career in writing. Four years in the making and a backing of people that strive to see my novel succeed. I love you guys. I even love the people I didn’t name that at the moment I’m trying to think of that have helped me. If I forgot you, just leave a comment. You can call me an idiot or bad mouth me, it’s okay cause I think you’re awesome just to make it to this point in my note.

     I will say I do have a lot of orders I am having trouble with sending out at times and I’m sorry to all of you that haven’t received a book yet. I’m still learning how to be an entrepreneur as well. It’s alot of work and time to create, market, and achieve a devoted fan base. 

     Anyways, I know this note is long, and I need to get back to work on Eversoul, but I wanted to say that your word of mouth does matter. I thank all of you for being a part of this with me, and I may do more notes throughout this venture. Also, all of the negative feedback I’ve received. I appreciate your tough love. It makes me want to give you something more in my future novels and win you over. Everyone have a good night, and if you ever want to talk, don’t hesitate, I’m still high off of the launch of Horizon and still want to hear from you guys!