Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Five Years On

Five years ago, after I decided to take on the ludicrous passion of writing, I wrote down some goals. The penultimate one was to be traditionally published within five years. For the first three years I wrote my ass off -- two novels, several rewrites, brutal critiques, humbling rejections -- but oddly I never changed my goal. I figured it was part of the process. I was talented. Other talented people told me so. It was going to happen.

But as often goes, life/career happens. The Army gave me the honor of an incredible job, responsible for the safety and livelihood of hundreds of Soldiers and their Families. Such was the job that I threw myself into it 100 percent, definately more. Between that, raising two smart-ass kids, and making it happen in a dual-career family, something had to give. Writing.

Over time I've painfully watched the success of good friends. I say painful because I'm an extremely competitive person, honed by years of competitive athletics and a profession which tends to eat the weak. I wouldn't call it jealousy.  I do not lie when I say that I am overwhelmingly happy at my friends' success, but deep down I've been quietly stewing. For months now I've been experiencing a perpetual annoyance at my own lack of effort.

My feelings right now towards my writing are probably well summed up by Cake's 1996 classic, The Distance:

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning they yearn for the cup.
They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stern.
As they speed through the finish the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

So time to get back after it. I'm going to have to channel my inner YA fanboy and get back to writing in the appropriate tone. Two years of operations orders and executive summaries have somewhat killed my flow.

When it comes to lack of progress, I have no one to blame but myself.

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