How God has Played a Roll in My Life

I’ve been digging deeper into my own spiritual journey these last few months. Especially since I’m currently participating in a bible study and a Disciple 1 class at my church. I never really dug too deep into my past like I have recently, and it’s funny that it all had to come to one of the darkest moments in my life so far.

Last year, I had stepped down from my management position at my job and realized that life should not always be about work. Then, I lived the part of the guy who has money and lives miserably, but now, I’m happy but living with less than. I’m looking at both of these men that I lived in my life, and I’ve realized that sometimes having less is better for the soul. Although I do see many people that are living happy lives with a more than comfortable living, I can’t help but hear all of the same stories from these people. The rag to riches story where God intervened and brought them to where they are at today. Now, I can’t say that God did or did not intervene to bring them to paradise in their own lives, but I can say what I am currently experiencing in my life.

When I was at the age of thirteen, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I wanted to pitch for the Atlanta Braves and become one of the All-Stars of today. It was a dream I had wanted since I was about six or seven years old when I discovered baseball. I remember performing very well as a pitcher and third basement, but I was a very weak batter. Everything in my life at the time seemed easy, and I had all the tools to bring me to the point of stardom if I had practiced and pushed myself to that point.

Then, before I went into high school, I was playing in a minor league game at Dacula Park with the away team. I watched the batter move up to the plate and on the first pitch, the batter connected the bat to the ball. The ball shot towards me at third but took a nasty hop before it go tome. I couldn’t react in time and the ball connected with my eye. I fell over dizzy and couldn’t breathe. My eyes were spinning and all I could think of was getting the ball to first base. The player was safe and all I could do was collapse in pain and feel blood dripping into my palms.

I don’t know why this happened to me before I got into high school, but I ended up not making the team because I was scared of the ball. I kept putting my knee to the ground when a grounder came instead of using proper techniques. For me, it was very disappointing to see a dream shatter right before my eyes. Especially, the first one I ever had my whole life so far.

I ended up joining the school band and marching band my freshman year. What I didn’t realize was I was great at playing Tuba. I was asked to perform in the Wind Symphony which was the highest group of musicians at the school. Then, I traveled across the state to play in the marching and I met some amazing people through the whole experience. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and perform the tuba as well in seven different countries. It was a very memorable experience.

All of this lead to my love of creation. I wanted to be able to create a work of art through music and through writing. It’s funny that this happened to me though because I had always enjoyed playing music and writing short stories, but I seemed to find myself caught up with baseball before high school though. Now, I had the time to do things that I really did enjoy. I even learned about myself through all of these journeys I took.

In Exodus, Moses was claimed to be a murderer among the Egyptians and the Hebrew slaves, but God still came to him to deliver his people from Egypt. Moses left a new life that he created in Midian and never had the slightest clue that he would be sent back to Egypt to free the slaves. You may be asking, what does this have to do with what happened in your past, Will? Well, if Moses didn’t kill the soldier and run away to Midian to create a new life, he surely would have been sentenced to death by the Pharaoh. If God didn’t intervene and appear to Moses as a burning bush, Moses would have never brought himself to go back to Egypt.

If I had not been hit by that baseball on the field, would I still be writing today? Or would I be living a luxurious life without any life lessons that have turned me into the man I am today? Yes, life would have been easy, but sometimes the rough roads pull the humble from the ashes and prepare them for what lies ahead in the future. Whether it’s pulling the slaves from Egypt, losing a job to rediscover yourself, or simply taking care of the sick, sometimes God will give you a nudge, or a baseball to the face, to deliver you from your hardships.

Heart Break, Poison Ache

Fall back from the long lasting thoughts
That push across the madness you brought
Corrupt within your invisible ego
I tremble when I hear the faint sounds in the lot.

Underneath the bearing tools of destruction
We feel the crashing of our de-solution
Fight off the curse that stings within our fusion
Where the only feeling of the world’s pollution
Can be blamed on the pain that you seek
Power against power, weak against weak
Set the sails against the falling peaks
And release the water that still leaks

Fall back from the long lasting thoughts
That push across the madness you brought
Corrupt within your invisible ego
I tremble when I hear the faint sounds in the lot.

An empty heart can’t bleed from the pain
It can only hurt until the poison drains
A faint whisper calls in the shadowy rain
Answering the prayers from endless pain
The voices circle my long lasting misery
Firing inside my veins like a mercenary
Fighting off the enemy that carries envy
While carrying out the endless duty.

Fall back from the long lasting thoughts
The push across the madness you brought
Corrupt within your invisible ego
I tremble when I hear the faint sounds in the lot.

Losing Interest

Anyone ever finish their first novel and knew you left it open for a sequel? Did you lose interest in the story after getting half way through the sequel?

I don’t know how many authors suffer from this dilemma, but I know that I do. I finished Horizon last May and published it. It was a great feat just to know that I finally finished a novel, but I wrote a book before that one. One that was never published due to lack of interest on my end. I stopped writing it because I felt it wasn’t ready yet.

I feel like that with Horizon. I’ve had readers ask me about a release date for the sequel Eversoul, but I have yet to even have the energy to want to go back to it. Yes, I’m writing The Temperament Scepter Series currently but that’s because I needed something fresh to oil those creative glands that grind in my brain occasionally.

I could’ve used the excuse of being in a very dark period of my life last year where depression and thoughts of suicide constantly egged me on. Thank God this didn’t follow through for me, and I found that a simple prayer and people brought me back on my journey. I actually recently started thinking of ways to return to unfinished novels and maybe it’ll help some of you like it has me.

1. Outline your while trilogy.

Outlining I have found has been a fantastic tool to stay on topic and gives yourself goals to reach each week. Writers always skip this step, but honestly, what’s eight hours out of your writing schedule going to do? Plus, of you tend to procrastinate this will nip that in the butt quick.

2. Let friends/family read it.

I have discovered from Horizon that letting loved ones be a part of the writing journey is a great boost. Yes, they may give you sugar coated feedback, but it will help you believe you can do. YOU CAN FINISH THE NOVEL! I know with Horizon my fiance loved the story when I handed her the first three chapters. That alone pushed me to finish the novel. Morale from others definitely helps.

3. Reread your finished novel.

I figured out that if you reread your novel, it will be the true test for whether you continue with a sequel now or later. If you discover no love, or interest for the story then do not continue with the sequel till it’s ready to be told. I actually started the Temperament Scepter a few weeks ago and I am ecstatic about it. I actually thought about the sequel to Horizon and got the flame back for that story now. It helps to move forward sometimes cause ideas can come to life from another story.

4. Have outrageous goals.

Alright, this is a funny one, but it helps me a lot. Nadine (my fiance) always criticizes me for my outrageous goals for books. That’s why I love her though. She definitely brings me back to reality so I don’t get cabin fever. I give myself about two months now to write an entire book. I always extend it because I know there’s times when I need to go outside and be social. So I’ve treated writing like a full time job. Eight hours a day, 10,000 words a day, or two chapters a day. This is my formula now. I have to reach one of these the goals before I out my pen down for the day. This has been huge for me cause I went from writing 3k-6k words a week to almost 20k words a week.

5. Money may talk, but it doesn’t love.

Remind yourself everyday why you write. Never let the illusion of riches and fame blind you. It’s a rare feat. Always write for the love of it because once it becomes a job, you’ll hate it just as quick as you started it. I know I said I treat it like a full time job, but technically it’s more of a meditation time for me. It brings positive energy into my life instead of the negative at my day job.

The ultimate goal for all of us is to be published whether traditional or self published. If you want it enough, you’ll reach your goal. Never let stress, negativity, or naysayers hold you back. You have the ball, so you have to decide if you will make the winning shot. No one is going to hold your hand and tell you how to write a book. I don’t care how many authors publish 66 page books about how to write a book, how to market a book, or whatever is out there now. If you read a how to book on writing faster, ask yourself these two questions: Are you wanting to write faster to earn money quick? Or are do you love the art of writing cause you enjoy the stories bubbling inside you?

Good luck on all of your future endeavors and I hope I’ll be the lucky one to read your first draft.

My Journey

As you read this, I’m using my phone to post this so I may have some errors. Sorry in advance.

I had no clue what to title this post, but my journey seemed appropriate since I felt the need to write about my start as a writer/reader. I’m going to start with kindergarten because this is where I started with reading and  coloring my own books.

I remember in kindergarten I was classified as a child with learning disabilities. The classes were called special ed. Some may know about these classes. I was put in there because I couldn’t touch my nose and hop on one foot at the same time. At the time, I didn’t know the difference and didn’t care because everyone around me I got along with very well.

Anyways, I read a lot of Clifford books in that class. The one with the big red dog. I enjoyed the books so much I drew my own silly little characters in story form and enjoyed it completely. I know for a while I stopped because I was doing a lot of different sports and scouts. I guess I lost interest in it. Then, in fifth grade, I started doing s comic book with my friend. We made one each week, have it to our teacher just to see what he thought. Apparently, he really enjoyed them until I took it into my own hands.

I did one book about Star Wars Bloopers and it ended up being a bit gory because of jedis’ limbs being chopped off. Plus, I had to make it graphic so a lot of blood. So guess, who didn’t find it amusing and had me sit in with a counselor for a few weeks? Yeah, I pushed my boundaries a but too much, but did I really?

After that, I started writing a lot of camp fire stories that weren’t that good because I didn’t know how to write well. I just loved to draw. So I write a story, entered it into a contest at school and… I lost. I felt like I had just lost the final boss of Super Mario Bros. It kinda stung.

Anyways, I stopped writing till I was in tenth grade. I started writing lyrics for songs in my band. I was actually really good at it and enjoyed it. Not just because girls liked singers at that age. Although that was a perk. I enjoyed it because I put my emotions into it and I got to spend time with friends. It was fun!!!! Then, you hit 18-19 and your band wants to pursue real careers and ditch music for a bit. Well, not completely for some of the guys.

I think I started writing my first novel Mirror’s Veil. Problem was, it was terrible. I tried every way to fix it even gave it to an editor and it was just boring. So I put it down and started Horizon. Now, although Horizon was a lot better, I wasn’t as pleased with it cause I was trying to piece chapters together in chronological order. Also, everyone seems to think they are a great editor when actually, that’s not the case.

I know my love for stories came from video games and movies. My inspiration to write originally came from these two things. I loved playing games with battles and saving damsels. I also enjoyed the ones with a badass hero who destroyed everything for their own purpose. Movies I’d say stem from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Goosebumps.

Oh, I almost forgot one memory that really destroyed my esteem. My literature teacher said she would read a book I wrote while I was in high school and I was so excited that she was interested in it. I have it to her but at the end of the day when I was going to ask her about my grade, guess who’s manuscript wad saddling over her garbage can? Yup, mine. Very discouraging indeed.

I want to tell you that yes my few earlier works were bad, but I have improved immensely only because I had a family member really help me with my editing and teach me how to use better phrasing and words. It was my aunt that helped me and a bad ass I wanted to cower away and never write again. I went back to fix my errors and learn my genre better.

My writing journey has been bumpy in the past, but I wouldn’t say it is bad. I’ve learned, grown, and achieved. I’ve even talked to authors who have beat the odds and write full time now. I wish I could but it requires a lot of dedication and I’m turning that leaf now. This month so far 32,000 words. I’m thirsty to publish something better now.