Just a quick post today, as I’m enjoying the cooler weather and my computer not overheating. I wanted to pose a simple question to you all. Is it still writer’s block if you know what you want to write?
I’ve been trying this whole choose love thing for a bit now. I feel way better in my daily life. Seriously, without anger and fear to cloud my judgement, I find myself finding it easier and easier to maintain control of what I have been told can be a volatile temper. That’s not to say I’m perfect, just that it’s much easier.
I’m waiting for the rest of society to catch up to me now, an interesting sensation since I am usually in the forefront of slacking, not trying to push an agenda.
Everyday I wake up, and I’m thankful. What am I thankful for? The gift of life, of course! This thing we live is so unpredictable, one never knows exactly what is going to happen to you any given day. You can plan, you can predict, you can do everything to prepare, but when it comes to living life those plans can be lost in unpredictability.
Embrace life! Wake up and realize that the only person who you can control is yourself! Choose love, and realize that the rest is just noise.
Remember what Sai Baba said, “Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.”
I hope more people start to #ChooseLove
Holy moly, what a summer it’s been! Some days it feels like it’s still early spring, other days it’s so scorching hot I want to lie in a kiddie pool full of ice.
Anyways, I just wanted to stop by and tell you all I haven’t forgotten you! I’m going to be helping with an “experiment” on Friday, so I’m sure I’ll have a write up on that for you all.
Just keep writing, having fun, and living life. It is what you make of it after all.
So, I’ve been telling you guys about choosing love for awhile, but I’ve never really articulated exactly what I mean about it. I’ve had several people accuse me of talking about the old hippie adage where you should go and hug everyone you meet, and tell them you love them.
No, I’m not talking about going and hugging that man pointing a gun at you. I’m not telling you to ignore the dangers of the world. I’m telling you to start approaching them with love.
If you’re walking around a dangerous area, you need to be aware of your surroundings. You need to realize that not everyone is your friend, and there are some people who only seek to hurt others.
My point is, you can’t approach everyone as if that’s the way they are. If you do, then to me you’ve given up hope.
I’ve mentioned before I used to work in a psychiatric hospital. I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’ve done some things and been put in situations that were a danger to myself in order to protect others. It’s hard to forget watching a man rip a water fountain out of the wall with his bare hands, and then having him charge across the room at you.
When he did that though, I didn’t get angry at him. I didn’t try to punish him past the moment. I did enough to keep him from hurting me or others, and we sedated him with drugs. The next night he made it a point to come out and apologize to me. No one told him to, he knew he needed to. I didn’t get angry at him, tell him I refused his apology. I listened, told him I understand losing one’s temper, and that I accepted the apology. As a grown man should do for another person.
I started thinking about all the tortured souls I’ve met in my life. People that suffer in life from internal demons, or diseases that warp the body as well as the mind. I’ve seen some who should be caregivers treating these people as if they don’t deserve respect (That never lasted long in front of me).
I’ve also seen the blatant idiot that does way worse damage trying to help, than they would have if they had done nothing.
Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like in order to stop pain later. Choosing love means doing the right thing, not because it’s easy, but because it’s right. It’s why I don’t condemn any officer who fires their gun in the line of duty because they feel threatened. They’re doing a job, trying to police an unruly nation. Don’t mistake it, we are unruly.
So, I’ve been thinking of all these tortured souls, and what should I do, how should I do it? Where should I go with my life? How do I explain to people what I mean by choose love?
And it hit me. Why does a wolf chew off it’s own foot to escape a trap? Because it loves life. Why does a man cut off his arm if it’s trapped under a boulder? Because he loves life. Why does a man spend days swimming in the ocean surrounded by sharks, praying for rescue? Because he loves life. (I actually met that last dude by the way, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.)
The problem with America is we all get stuck in our own little bubbles. With the advent of the internet, those bubbles are getting much smaller. We’re realizing things about each other that we never realized before, and it scares us.
There’s people who fear what you don’t, and you fear what they don’t. There’s people who are afraid 9/11 was an inside job, and other people that look at them like they’re crazy. Yet the same people who say it’s impossible for America to have perpetrated an attack on itself believes that Obama is the antichrist coming to destroy everything America stands for.
It’s all so damned confusing, and it feels impossible to find which side you should be on, or even if you should be on a side. There’s more than two choices, and that’s what frustrates me about our political process. Why are we only hearing two voices? Why are we not hearing from more people? I can’t think of two candidates that were more hated in my lifetime.
So with that, the confusion and the chafe meant to distract us all away from what matters, I chose to ignore it. Oh, if you were to go on my facebook, I’m sure I have a crap ton of political stuff on it, but I really don’t give two craps about it. What I mean is I choose to read both sides, and find the side that fits with what I believe. I listen to the voice I disagree with, to learn what stirs their passion, and I add it to my accumulated knowledge. I make a rational decision once I have the choices in front of me.
I’m not going to try to tell you who to vote for, I really don’t care who you vote for. I want you to do as Ted Cruz (I can’t believe I’m agreeing with this man on something, anything.) said, and vote with your conscious. Vote with love. Don’t give into fear and anger which sap away rational thought.
He may be a fictional character, but Yoda was right when he said, “Fear is the path to the darkside. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I bet you he would understand Dr. King’s words, about hate being too great a burden to bear.
Now that I’ve started to choose love in my everyday actions, I’ve started to notice a difference. I can get angry at someone because I love them. I listen better to other people’s arguments because I’m choosing to love them. I’m even using my past, and seeing people threaten my family and I’m loving them to use them as fuel. It’s helping me to write my next book, a stand alone project to have some fun with.
For some reason I like descents into dark places, for all that I talk about love. I hope that you too start to #ChooseLove in your everyday life. #SupportIndieAuthors!
I’m happy I’ve decided to choose love, but I’ll be honest it makes me all the more fearful for all the hate and fear I continue to see. Where are the moderate voices from our leaders? Where is the voice that teaches that hate can never destroy hate. I look back and I often wonder what would have happened if some of these great leaders of peace had not had their voices silenced over the years.
But I digress, I’m happy I decided to choose love as these other great men have shown me. I saw it yesterday when I had a contentious situation with another person. Rather than get angry and unleash a tirade of hate upon that person, pouring every bit of my malice against them, I instead detached myself from my hate, and looked upon their point of view with love.
While they continued in their attempt to rip me to shreds, I remained calm, listening with cool reason to everything they were saying. Some of it was upsetting, but I remembered an old adage about sticks and stones. So I waited, patiently, as spittle flew from their mouth and they continued to yell and scream.
When they finished, huffing and puffing, and out of breath from all the screaming anger, I asked them, “What did I do that angered you so? Have I yelled and screamed back at you in anger? Have I attempted to force aside your point of view and insert my own? No, I’ve done nothing but point out my point of view is different than yours.” I admit, I’m paraphrasing a bit.
Watching them scrape and fumble for an answer, finding they had nothing to say in return, it was satisfying to watch as they fumed. And after a moment, they calmed down and realized I was saying nothing to make them believe what I believed. They continued to relax themselves, and we talked for a bit, and everything was right between us.
Dr. King once said, “I choose love, hate is too great a burden to bear.” again, paraphrasing, and I love those words. I didn’t feel a shame, a guilt, a lessening from listening to this person. I heard their point of view, and calmly pointed out that I believed differently. While they were left fuming and ready to continue the fight, I never engaged them in the first place, so they found it impossible to fight me. It was only when they choose to let go of their hate that they started to listen. I don’t believe I changed this man’s mind. He still believes as he wants, but I do believe I offered him a newfound respect for some people on the other side.
I see these protests between brothers and sisters, people who should love one another. I’ve read just about every holy book I could get my hands on; I don’t know of an atheist handbook, but I would gladly read one to include their point of view. I freely admit I know none of these great books as a scholar should, but I have read them. To me there’s one message in all of them, love one another. Jesus tells us to love one another, Buddah said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Muhammad said, “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself”. None of these men are about hate to me.
Which is what makes the world around me all the more appalling.
When I turn on the news and I see one side saying “Black Lives Matter!” I say YES! I’m with you! You guys deserve to have a voice and be heard, if you feel you’re being unfairly treated!
And when another group stands up and says, “All Lives Matter!” I say YES!! And I stand and embrace my friends.
You would think these two groups would get along, if only they had embraced one another and listened to each other, instead of throwing up walls of hate and ignoring what either side is trying to say.
Now there’s a movement starting for “Blue Lives Matter!” and I can’t help but think that it’s insane it has come to this. It feels like drawing lines in the sand, and I don’t deny there are some shady practices all around the world, but does it really need to be said?
Not everyone screaming Black Lives Matter! Is black, a lot of your allies are white or other minorities. Hell, even with the shootings, I’ve seen some cops siding with you guys. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep the violence out of it.
Not everyone who says All Lives Matter! Is a racist, but for some reason I see a lot of a racist undercurrent in what they say. Doesn’t change what I said before, I still embrace those people as my brothers and sisters, because in a truly free America, they have a right to believe as they do. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep the violence out of it.
Why did Blue Lives Matter need to become a thing? I mean, I’m not trying to deny it’s movement, and what it is calling for, but that nice society that surrounds you on a daily basis? That’s kept by civil servants like the police. I’m not saying there are not sections that may be racist, I’m not saying they should be given free reign. I’m not even saying you should stop protesting against police, if that’s what you believe. I’m saying these men and women are on the streets trying to do nothing but keep themselves and others safe. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep violence out of it.
We need to quit killing one another. We need to start choosing to love. We need to quit giving into fear. Look at your fellow humans, look around and see all the good souls in the world. Realize that all that hate you see on the media, all that destructive force of malice, is but a small percentage of the population.
It only took one moment for me to decide to choose love. I ask that you take that moment, before you start to overreact with violence.
I can’t take it anymore. I try to stay quiet on issues because I freely admit I don’t know all sides. I don’t understand what it’s like to be a police officer in the line of duty, putting my body between harm and other people’s safety. I don’t know what it’s like to be a minority in this country (Though eventually I know I will become one). I don’t know what the answers to all these questions about life and living are. I don’t know the answer to saving our economy, and I don’t know if Obama is the devil (I doubt it, but people have been misled before). I am pretty sure Trump is the Antichrist, though. I mean, it’ll be confirmed if during his inauguration he rides on a six-headed dragon to put his hand on the bible. I joke, but in all seriousness, I don’t have the answers.
I only know one thing, we need to stop killing each other.
I was thinking today about why I write horror stories. I’m not particularly drawn to them when I read, though I do admit to enjoying a good story no matter the genre. There’s nothing in my life that would really point to me writing in that style.
Except for everyday life.
I see us as a people talking to each other less, listening to each other’s ideas with contempt instead of open ears. We’re not willing to have a civil discourse, and see attacks in only wanting to talk.
But when both sides feel like the other side isn’t listening, who’s being hard headed? I look at some of the scenes I see today in the news and I find myself heartbroken with a lack of answers.
I see the video from a few days ago of a cop shooting a man in the chest at point blank range. I don’t know 100% what was happening in that situation. I don’t know if someone was reaching for a gun. I don’t know how threatened the cop felt, though he appeared in control at the moment. I can tell you of horror stories working in a psych ward with a patient that is so wound up they can’t listen to what I’m saying to them. I can tell you stories of that patient losing control and threatening my wife, my life, my non-existent kids. I can see in the heat of the moment anyone losing control. We are after all human.
The very next day, I see another horror story. This time, a man is shot in front of his wife and child. I really cannot explain this one. I don’t understand at all why the officer felt threatened. It appeared the man was being nothing but cooperative. It makes me sick to see things like this. Things that make me question the safety of my loved ones. Either way, it’s another situation where one side wasn’t listening.
Then the Dallas shooting happened. A man went to a place with armed rifles and started to shoot. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it probably won’t be the last. When it finally comes down to the end, why did he do it? He felt like his cause wasn’t being heard.
There are people ridiculing the police in this situation, upset that they used a bomb to stop an armed assailant from killing more people. Why? I mean, I get that the shooter was upset, and I get you may even get his point of view. But he was the one stupid enough to take it to violence, how can you support that? And if the only reason he stopped was because he was blown up, how can you say that was wrong? He wanted to take innocent lives.
Now this morning I wake up, and I see a story where a young man in St. Louis has decided to go to a police officer’s house and try to break into it, in order to educate him about black lives matters. He was shot, of course. I don’t know what other outcome he expected. I’m still not happy about the situation.
I said it at the start, I’ll say it again.
We need to quit killing each other.
All of these stories are only from my country, a place I used to feel safe in. I knew evil things happened, I understood there was darkness in the shadows. What I don’t understand is the darkness becoming something we seem to accept.
This isn’t mentioning other countries all around the world where this is the norm. Think of the war-torn nations where people are literally having their homes swept from under their feet. Think of the oppressive regimes that seem to proliferate our planet. Everywhere you look there’s something happening to twist your insides into knots.
All this thinking, and I figured out why I write horror. I only need to look at my fellow man to see the monsters that lurk in society. Taking lives for no reason, unwilling to learn to love and listen to one another. There’s a part of my soul that questions whether or not we deserve to be on this wonderful planet, and more and more I find myself slipping to the side of not. Not because of my actions, or of those I love. But because the monsters that hide in our society are being given voice. We’re starting to live by extremes instead of listening to one another.
I don’t understand what happened to our dialogue as a nation, but we need to get it back. I believe I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to parrot it. Dr. King was brilliant when he said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
We need to stop hating each other and picking sides. We need to start listening to each other and choosing to try and understand the other side.
Understand when someone says black lives matter they aren’t saying your life doesn’t matter. Understand when someone says all lives matter, they’re right! Understand that police officer’s have one of the hardest jobs in this world. Understand that there has been a systematic oppression in this country in the form of a drug war.
Choose to do as Dr. King would ask, choose to love your fellow man and listen to him. Choose to speak to him with civilized discourse. Don’t yell, don’t lose control. Remember the words of John Lennon in this instance, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”
When you get angry you give all the control to the system. You make it easier for them to manipulate you. Don’t fight the system with violence, it’ll get you nowhere.
I have to say it one last time, I hope with repetition it will become a life lesson we all learn and pass on to other generations.
We need to stop killing each other.
I told you this stuff is addictive. I know we finished yesterday, but I’m just going to continue doing this a couple more days. I haven’t finished saying all that I have to say.
You are courageous. I’m here to tell you that completing your story has made you one of the bravest people I know. I hear other people in my life constantly say, “I should write a book.” yet they never take the time to do so.
When I ask these people, “Why? Why haven’t you written that book yet?” the answer is never the same, yet carries the same point. They worry what people will think, and struggle to get past their own insecurities.
If you have ever even started a tome, pouring your heart and soul onto the page, you’re already ahead of 9 out of 10 people when it comes to finishing a book. There’s nothing to finish if you never start.
And those of you that have released your works to the public are part of an even smaller minority, people who have published their works. More and more authors join our ranks every day, and yet there are thousands upon thousands who will never pick up a pen in their lives outside of a school setting.
You are courageous, for putting yourself out into the world for others to critique or enjoy as they choose. You’ve put the words down, one at a time, and written a complete story, then put it out and hoped others would cherish it as much as you do. You are already ahead of the game.
So, this is my last day doing this experiment. I hope you’ve all had a good time with me, and I hope I inspired even one of you to write your story. Life is a short journey lived one day at a time, you should do everything you can to live it to its fullest.
I talked about reviews, and how to take them with a grain of salt. How to look at them, and glean whatever you can from them. That just because you have a three-star review, it doesn’t mean they didn’t like the book, and there are good lessons to be learned in a great review, no matter the star rating.
I talked about confidence, and letting your genuine self shine through. How this will make it easier for others to connect with you, since you aren’t putting a facade up before you speak to them.
I talked about exercise and meditation as ways to jumpstart the creative process, and how the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
And I talked about how helping others helps you in the end.
I’m glad to be a part of a vibrant and growing indie author community. One that I only see expanding as time goes on.
If there’s one thing I want everyone to take from this book, it’s that your story deserves to be told. Whether another person understands it, or if no one reads it at all, you still deserve to tell it. And the great thing about being a writer, there’s always someone listening. At the end of it all, what matters in life is our connections. The people we meet, and the company we keep. Be loving, be humble, and keep being awesome.
Now, to show you all what I mean when I say anyone can, and should, write their story. With just 250 words a day, spread out over the course of three months, I have managed to write a work that is novella length. That’s 40 pages, and over 25,500 words. One day at a time, one word at a time, this is how we write our stories. Eventually, they come to an end, but there’s always another one to be told. After all, the road goes ever on and on.
I’m so close to finishing this, and I haven’t missed a day. That’s a miracle in my book, I would never have thought I’d do a project like this. Sometimes the ending is the hardest part to come up with, for whatever reason. A story that feels like it should wrap up nice and neat just doesn’t, and you find yourself having to rework an entire storyline just to accommodate it.
But that’s not possible in everyday life. We have to take life as it comes, and only time will show what we can take. None of us know the end of our own stories, all we can do is project ourselves in such a way that others take note and learn from our example. Such is the acclaim of our great leaders, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy. These are names we all hold dear to our heart, because they were people whose end came unexpectedly.
In life, they lead a life they felt would lead them and their people to a great path. They didn’t worry about the end, knowing as all people should learn, that it comes when it will.
Though each of these men was assassinated, I don’t think any of them would have altered their paths even with the end in sight. They are the people I look up to, teaching a message of love and acceptance over one of hate and intolerance.
There’s a saying I used to hear a lot in the nursing field, though I don’t know if it’s an actual quote from someone. Nursing isn’t for the meek. It takes a special person. the kind who sees a problem and wants to solve it, while being willing to caress a stranger’s hair. Nursing is not a profession that’s for everyone, and it takes a special kind of person.
Anyone who writes their story is a special person like that, in my mind. We open ourselves up to critics and fans, readers and haters, anyone and everyone to comment on our books.
We had another saying when I was in nursing. Nurses eat their young. This is another trait I see in the independent author field and one I hope to someday crush out. How do we expect people to grow if all we do is stifle?
So, in this second to last writing of inspiration, I call on you to look around and see what you can do to help other authors around you. That person on the forums, whose book looked interesting, contact them and ask them for a copy. Read it and leave an honest review.
That person who is struggling with a cover, stop and offer them some constructive feedback.
Search out other authors and book blogs, and stretch your wings in the community.
Help others, and you’ll start to see how it helps you. After all, reading is a great help to writing.
I love feeding my soul. Anything I can do to enrich it, I do. It doesn’t take much. Just a bit of time is more than enough. Some people use religion, others hold their morals tight, but it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are attempting to continue your personal growth.
I know the power of a smile, and how one simple gesture can feed someone’s soul. Not to mention, they’re infectious, so one smile can quickly spread to the entire neighborhood.
Something about a smile helps us to connect with other people. It puts them at ease, making it easier to strike up conversations, and it is one of the simplest gestures we as people can do to help improve someone else’s life.
But there are always better, grander gestures you can make in your community. Helping an elderly neighbor with their groceries, running around with the neighborhood kids, taking the time to stop and absorb the beauty of the world around us. All of these enrich your soul.
Nothing ever made me feel as good as when I was helping others. Writing brings its own satisfaction, but I believe that helping people helps you to touch a piece of their soul.
When you help someone with no thought of personal gain, you are rewarded with personal growth. I want to keep growing.
I hope I never outgrow helping other people. Whether it be an author struggling to write a story, a friend in need of a helping hand, or someone homeless on the streets, I hope I always take the time to help.