Doing the impossible…

You’ve probably heard many claims about “doing the impossible” by this stage in your life. And I’m sure nothing much surprises you anymore. I find it quite the pity that we’re so overloaded with information and stimulation from various sources that we’re no longer surprised by much of anything. It seems like the only way to recapture any of that is to watch children’s expressions as they are given something fun, told something they’ve never heard before that is difficult to believe (but is true), or some variation on the theme.

In writing my “memoir”, which I assure you will not be the typical autobiographical sludge, I’ve come across several “Doing the Impossible” moments in my life. This got me to thinking about these stories in your life. Some part of me (the writer part, I’m sure) can’t help but think that if you were to write about your own “doing the impossible” moments, or at least talk about them with someone, you would once again recapture that sense of “surprise” or “awe”. It doesn’t need to be some long, drawn out experience. I think most of us are looking for all kinds of surprises in our lives, because it adds dimension and depth to our otherwise monotonous days of ordinary life.

Here’s what I’ve learned about “doing” the impossible

There’s actually nothing to “do” in most cases. Example: once you’ve made your ramp, and done your jump on a bicycle, skateboard, motorbike, or what have you, you might do some flips or other “tricks in the air”, but basically you’re in free-fall, predominantly being.

Sure, writing a book takes action. But mostly, the story comes to my mind as I sit and allow the mind to go where it needs to see what there is in the story. That requires a great deal of being before there’s any real ‘doing’.

But we’re also not talking about ordinary things, like writing a book (sorry to say, it’s not impossible to do it–it’s much harder to do it well, though) doing a trick on a bike off a ramp, or even climbing Mount Everest–which I’m sure takes a hell of a lot of doing and being.

No. We’re talking about surviving a fall out of a plane when the parachute doesn’t open. Dying and coming back to life, that sort of thing. In those moments when you’re literally at the mercy of odds, randomness, chaos, the impractical, or in short: The Will Of What Is. In such moments you have no control, there’s no “how to”, there’s nothing you can do except be and allow whatever is going to happen to happen. No amount of willingness or struggle will prevent the inevitable.

This sort of thing happens every day, believe it or not. I’m living proof. I survived when doctors said it shouldn’t be possible, against odds that don’t even register in the land of “common sense”.  Nothing I could ever “do” would have ever made it possible for me to live.

From this infinite universe you and I are the possibility beyond all doing. We are a happening. And as challenging as it is to climb Everest, write novels and other books, endure four years of complete silence at a retreat, or whatever, these things aren’t impossible. The impossible is much bigger than we often give it credit for. And much more powerful than we typically imagine it to be. We know this, but you rarely find it in our speech.

When I share my story with you, you’ll see the reflection of your own utterly impossible moments in life and realize how blessed and surprised you can truly be.

Writing your life story can make you happier

I’ve been writing in a private journal for a long time now. I use this app for both my computer and my phone to keep it synced up and totally private. If you’re a Windows user, there are other options. It occurred to me that a lot of the things I’ve written in my journal over the years is garbage. I mean, total charcoal.

However, like any good mining, I found some gems in the rough. My own process began thus: how can I make some of these truly riveting moments in my life stand out in a book? Can that be done at all?

The answer was quite simply: yes. I can do that. The only way to do that, to make it happen, was to write about other things and weave in anecdotes and longer stories that have actually happened in my own life.

Unless the thoughts are truly profound, nobody’s going to want to hear my journal-bitching at them inside a book they paid money to read. So, writing my “autobiography” is more like us talking in a private place, about some topics, and me sharing moments in my life related to it.

Sometimes, as I noted above, the stories will be just a tad bit longer and more involved, but always written in a way that keeps you engaged and wanting more.

I’ve noticed that writing like this has actually increased a sense of happiness and well being. Even though for me it occurs less frequently than I’d like. In fact, I’m at my place of work just about to clock in. Thankfully, I use WordPress to manage my website and so I don’t need my personal computer to update my website or write an entry.

Just some morning thoughts for passers by.

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Autobiographies are Boring. Except for Mine, of course.

Okay, so not all autobiographies are boring. This autobiography of a Sadhu is particularly awesome, actually. I can’t wait for his next book (not autobiographical), but that’s another story.

So what’s the article all about, really? I’ve been writing and (as it happens) rewriting my own autobiography. I’ve read, and written, and rewritten and re-read the thing and I just find it BORING!

And boring is a killer waste of everyone’s time. I think my fingers just needed the exercise.

So I thought to myself, why is this book so boring? I haven’t even written a hundred pages in total (more in total if you count rewrites) and I realized something truly powerful and important.

I was writing about my life. Who has the time or inclination to read someone’s life story–we don’t even want to hear it. Unless it’s interesting.

And we’ve established that autobiographies are the reader’s equivalent of plucking eyebrows with rusty pliers. Not pleasant!

So, instead of just writing about my boring old life (I know, for those of you that actually know me, and who’ve met me, my life isn’t the least bit boring) I thought I’d share little life stories while giving the reader some practical things to think about, and possibly implement into every day life.

It’s an autobiography and a “how-to” minus the “how”. See what I did there?

Basically, I take you with me into a coffee shop (or a pub, hey it’s your call) for a hundred or so pages. But let’s not think of them as pages. Let’s think of them as…little windows into my life and into your own. That sounds fair. And hey, we’ll have a good time, because honestly I prefer to speak with you about important topics, using what’s happened to me as anecdotal evidence of what not to do.

The “autobiography” is going to still be called By Heart. And I can’t wait to have a nice long discussion with you when it’s all said and done.

xoxoxo

 

for me, for you

Every time you think I should just give up already, ask yourself this question: even if I never made another dime writing…would I still bother to write at all?

The answer (for me at least) is always, yes.

Frankly speaking, that should be more than enough. Don’t quit your day job. Don’t spoil your mind with cluttered thinking about bills and how you dream of the day your book lands international bestseller lists. All that is garbage. Probably won’t happen. It really won’t happen if you just quit. And if you do quit, you’re probably not a real writer anyway.

Hang tight. Writing’s a bumpy ride, but it’s worth it.

Typecast writer?

You’ve seen movie and television actors get typecast for certain roles they play, and play very well. One thing I don’t think is talked about a lot are typecast writers. Every writer you are familiar with tends to stick with a genre they’re comfortable (and or preferably best-selling in) with. Somehow I doubt that many people who write for a living (or even if they just write to see their books out there like I do) want to be typecast.

Enter the nom-de-plume, the alias, the pseudonym. People that write for a living (or not) don’t want to write about one topic, one genre, or one kind of anything for the rest of their lives. Writers (and artists in general) are multifaceted people with numerous and varied interests. They want to express their enthusiasm for different aspects of life that appeal to them. For some (like myself) they want to write a novel that has a lot of hair-raising, nail biting, tension filled scenes and a deep plot that involves a few twists and turns, but then there’s the other side of me. The one that has a real talent for helping people heal at an energetic level. 

The question becomes; “How do I strike a balance between these two (seemingly) opposing natures?” The guy who wants to write crazy fun, cool stories, and the same guy who wants to share insights into the powerful world of healing and love? I’m not talking about being polarized, or divided at all. I’m talking about the very real person who has it all within his or herself. Just like you do. Just like we all do. 

If you can typecast an actor, or an artist, or a writer, then shouldn’t we also start typecasting the people who consume art and entertainment media? If I know you like horror flicks, should I start referring to you as that “horror-lover-guy”? If your interests range from romance novels to shoot-em-up movies, why can’t another author’s interests be similarly ranged? 

Hugh Howey writes in different genres, but he’s known for his science fiction best. Stephen King writes all kinds of stories, couched within his typecast world of “supernatural horror”. But he writes about romance, and science fiction within his novels. He has had to resort to sneaking things in his body of work, thus subtly expanding his genre. In other words, he’s had to “pretty up his jail cell”. Even Dean Koontz and J.K. Rowling have written books under different pen-names.

Why should authors have to be so confined by readers? I think writers are writers and they should write using their own name in whatever genre appeals to them at a given time. And we should stop labeling them.

Now, all this being said, I think it’s important for writers to protect themselves through the anonymity a different name provides them. For instance, if a writer decided they wanted to write something truly controversial (think The Satanic Verses) and put it out into the world without fear of retribution. Salmon Rushdie has had to deal with the consequences afforded him by his strong and counter-religious views. Maybe a housewife wants to write and publish word-porn without backlash from her local community–a nom-de-plume is a great way for her to alleviate her (justified) concerns.

Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should say it without a good way of protecting yourself as the need may arise. We have free speech here in America, but that is not the case in other countries. China has banned access to gmail, and that’s not even a (necessarily) free speech platform! The point is, I’m not slagging off the usage of pseudonyms, I’m advocating them for authors who want to use them. On the other hand it would really be nice for writers to forgo them if they want to branch out and test other waters.

Pursuit and Plight Trilogy Talk and Deal

plightvover

NEW! Get your copy today!

Not the most captivating blog title, I know. But I am one excited author! It’s taken me 2 years to get Plight, second in the series, out to your eyeballs. And in this business that’s a long time. Often it’s a death knell. But I have some devoted fans of Owen’s adventures, so I’m pretty darned lucky.

Book 1 of the Owen Hunter Series

Get it FREE Weds the 18th – Fri the 20th!

I want to take this moment to tell you, Pursuit is going to be available for free on Kindle starting day after tomorrow, Wednesday February 18th until Friday February 20th. That way, if you haven’t already read Pursuit and don’t yet want to make the jump to Plight, you can do so by downloading and reading Pursuit first. Then, once you’re familiar with the story and characters, you can leap into Plight knowing that things really do pick up where they left off. And man you’re going to be in for a ride. Oh…and lest I completely forget to mention it, you can grab your physical copy direct from my e-store (provided by Amazon for security and assurance purposes) with an 5% discount if you order with this code: VSJAZX5U at checkout. But you have to purchase your paperback* through this e-store.

Also, for you paperback lovers, both books in the series (and in future all books in the series) offer the free kindle download when you purchase the paperback copy from Amazon.com. You can order the paperback and begin reading it that day until the physical copy arrives.

Plight has been the most intense adventure for me personally to write, rewrite, and to lose chapters on. It’s made me a better writer, I think (I hope) because of its high demand to be not only a great story, but completely riveting from beginning to end. I don’t think you’ll find anything boring, but like any good roller coaster rides, there are moments of slow and interesting followed by whoa and hang on to your scream-bars powerful.

I’m in the midst of writing the 3rd in the series, the conclusion of the primary series, and as I’ve noted before, there may just be other books related to Owen Hunter’s world. I’m also in the middle of writing my autobiography, odd as that might sound to new-comers. But when you lead a life as bizarre and full as I have, you just have to share. Right?

I hope it’s a happy and enthralling February for you all!

A message to authors and writers.

Howdy folks,

Happy 2015!

This is a quick and simple message. Us authors love to write, and share our opinions and get the word out about what we’re thinking. Often what we think is golden.

So here’s a message, a quick and simple idea that has occurred to us all at some point or other on our journey to writing books.

Put down your blog pencils keyboards and pick up your book-writing implements. Your messages and astounding ideas do not belong on Facebook, or your blog!, They belong in books. I know I’m sounding a bit like Indiana Jones when he talks about certain artifacts belonging in museums. I feel the same way about our words as he did about precious historical items.

Books that you create and sell. Period. I know it’s occurred to you often enough for you to have written several dozen books, so I’m just confirming what you already know.

Happy writing!

-Scott

The Myth of More

I think those of us that consider themselves artists (of whatever variety) often underestimate the power of our creativity. Even our impact on just one person exposed to our creations can too easily go unnoticed by us, perhaps even ignored outright. In truth, people with creative natures, think, believe, and perhaps expect that the only way their creations matter is if they have a LARGE audience. A BIG following. Fans.

In truth we can have all the fans we want. They don’t cost too much at the Home Depot. All kidding aside, I think we get trapped in the race for money and prestige at our accomplishments, rather than just appreciating the very real and hard-won effort that is our completed creation. With its imperfections and all, our creation is the manifestation of our concentration and effort.

The Myth of More has to do with the idea that you’ll somehow be happier if you have more money, more fans, more awards, more recognition. In truth, or so I’ve come to find out, that stuff doesn’t last long, is awkward as it’s happening, and then leaves behind in its wake a haunting memory of “the good old days”.

I’m somewhat referring to myself here. I had a brief splash on a bigger scene than what I was used to. And lately I’ve been writing about it in my upcoming autobiography, By Heart. I’m doing this on the side while I try to get the second book PLIGHT all fixed up and ready for some time in the New Year.

Having more often means doing more. Of course there’s nothing wrong with it. But I think that at the end of the day you have to ask yourself; Is this really who I am? Is this really what I want? Because if it turns out not to be, you’ve dug yourself an awesome hole. And the only way out is further in.

Fame often attends to the scene of More, standing by like a an aloof Angel of Promise, just there, but always fickle enough to fly off to someone else who just has that little something extra.

Lately I encourage people to just be grateful and happy with what they’ve already made for themselves. I’m not saying don’t go for more. But take a look at what already is, what you’ve already made, and instead of criticizing your works, enjoy the fact that they exist at all. Sometimes a little less is a whole lot more; yeah, I really said that.

The domino effect. Or how one change can change everything else.

I think we’re all savvy about this concept. You line up the dominos, get them just how you want them, tip the one at the end and let it fall. It all comes down in the pattern you designed. A mesmerizing showcase of your talented ingenuity, a spectacle for the onlookers to enjoy. I’d like to say the same thing goes for writing, but I’d only be half right.

I rewrote a chapter in the upcoming PLIGHT book and the chapters that come afterwards keep referencing the old chapter. Palm to forehead smack. But here’s the thing; there’s an opportunity to make something that was merely “ok” as the chapters wind down to the very end of this segment of the entire story, to something much more hair-raising and nail-biting. I dare say, the domino effect of rewriting one crucial chapter can set it up for all the other chapters that follow to have a richness, depth, and maturity to them that was previously absent, or at least left wanting.

In our own lives I’d like to think we get these new chances to change the days and weeks, months and years ahead of us, if we are so fortunate to live that long. In one day think about how many times you write and rewrite what’s in your mind, your conscience, your own heart. How often do you take a step back and place the domino just so, with hopes that how things fall land not just in your favor, but in the favor of those around you whom you love and enjoy.

There’s something else about this whole ‘domino’ effect and how one slight (or mighty) change can really effect the outcome of events…it points to something that’s always been there. It’s our connection to one another, to life, to events and circumstances. We’re all lined up, even if we’re slightly askew. There’s a pattern somewhere in all the chaos of our falling down that we can’t or don’t see. And I doubt very seriously that’s a “serious” pattern, or that it was intended to be interpreted as such. Just that there’s a way in which we’re connected. We rise, or are risen (depending on your view of things) and that we fall (or are pushed, if you can but dig that idea better) and we all come together in that mesmerizing fall.

I like the stories I write because I’m setting things up at a subconscious level just like a set of dominos. I don’t always get the pieces right, meaning if I lay them just a little too far away they’ll fall all right, but no connection and no interesting razzle dazzle of the play. The sight of it becomes null, boring, or worse; downright disappointing. And I don’t want that for my readers. So, as close as I get to one thing, is as far away from something else as I can get. And on does the story go forward. I gotta get it just right, because flat is flat, disconnected is a bad story, and falling is fun only when you have somewhere to land that we can all agree makes sense.

I’ll be in touch my friends.

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