The Quiet

The Quiet: Have you practiced it lately? As creative we are naturally drawn to live in the shadows due to our introverted nature. But life doesn’t quite give us the solitude we need.

From the demands of day to day activities, trying to be a good parent, a good spouse, keeping up with social media, building platforms, cramming for a deadline, reviewing books, etc- We lose sight of the one thing we need from time to time- Silence.

Have you tried it lately? Find 24 minutes if you can- Read your Bible- Journal- Sit in silence and pray.

24 Min is only 1% of your day.

Why Do We Fall? – Why I Hate Resolutions

Why I Hate Resolutions!!! I do. Trust me. In fact resolutions drive me nuts. Mainly because I know I’ll fail them before I even start them.

Every year we as Americans sit down with a list of our dreams. We spend hours listing out the ways we’re going to conquer them. We follow countless blogs, post motivational meme’s, and even tell others to hold us accountable.

Then- Somewhere around the 20th January life sets in. Kids get sick, the car breaks down, the dog pees all over the house, or we find ourselves snowed in with nothing but a box of fruity pebbles and an endless amount of Netflix- (I actually think that sounds great!!!!)

We fail all the time. And you know what- it’s Okay. If I hadn’t failed at so many things I may have never taken the path that led me to my wife. Gave me my kids. Introduced me to my friends. The point is- a Goal a goal- It’s not life. And when failure occurs we take a page from Thomas Wayne and we remind ourselves of what we should do when we fall down-

So We can pick ourselves back up!!!

If I have one resolution this year it’s this-Not being afraid to fail!!!

Because if I’m not failing- I’m simply standing still.

Happy New Year everyone.

Realm Makers – There & Back Again: The Authors Journey


I’m writing the first part of this from the Philly airport. I have just discovered that my flight is delayed. I have rebooked twice- rerouted- Travel can Be stressful- exhausting- and irritating.

My first thoughts go to my wife. I feel bad for her. She is what is on my mind. She is more kind, patient, beautiful, and supportive than I deserve. Without her, my journey as an author would be empty. And I’m glad I have her- To hold my hand, to lend an ear, to speak the words I need. For if, there is one thing I have learned this past week while at Realm Makers- It’s that an author’s journey never ends: Meaning- We all need our own Samwise Gamgee…

Realm Makers is more than just a writers conference. It is more than Geeky costumes, weird ideas, and late night Zombie Nerf Wars!!!

It’s a place to connect with a very active online community. A group that provides support, encouragement, and friendship while on the creative road. Where you are encouraged to embrace the gift God has given you. Every author needs that supportive cast: For the road is often littered with bumps, bruises, tears, and heartache. And when such accomplished authors like Thomas Locke, and NY Times Bestselling authors Tosca Lee, & Kathy Tyers speak of how they still deal with rejection or have recently been rejected themselves- you realize that creatives have a battle they must endure always.

“There is not a single day I sit down to write & I’m not scared to death.” -Tosca Lee (Click to tweet)

Thomas Locke reminded us this weekend that “You must learn to empty yourself. The greatest enemy of our souls is noise.”

I have a lot of noise in my life. From hundreds of emails, to the jealousy of others success, to the endless list of things to do, and an ever-ticking clock pounding in my ear.

Writing I have learned, is not a sprint. It is not even a marathon. Writing is an art that is expressed and nurtured through time. Too many times I think I need to finish now, or tomorrow, and I measure my success by what I have not done. “But, the outside world cannot be your only mark of success.” – Thomas Locke.

It was great seeing old friends: Josh, Jason, Nadine, Zac, and so many, many others. It was great to meet so many new faces. It was great to hear all the crazy story ideas everyone had. And I must admit there were a few times I thought: “I wish I had come up with that…”

I have returned home now. I will dive back into my shell, I will kiss my kids. I will love my wife. I will tell her what she means to me, and I will tell her I love her. I will tell her that without her, I would have collapsed on this road long ago.

My advice from what I took away from this weekend- Find the ones who love you. Who believe in you. Allow them to be a part of your creative life- For as Thomas Locke said:

“Your life is your page. Live your stories out…”

RELAX: You Are Not Alone… So Create Magic

I’ve said it before- My journey as a writer hasn’t quite gone as planned. I still remember the day my first short story went up on Amazon. I was so sure that the price incentive of .99 cents would be the thing that launched me up on the sales rank. Imagine my surprise when it barely moved. I was devastated. I was hurt. I thought- Seriously, I worked this hard on a 6,500-word short story and I’m not even going to break even…? What the heck…?

Did I quit…? No, I pressed on and wrote the novella My Friend Louie. I was so certain this little YA Horror Story would be the hit. Again, nothing happened… I asked myself a million questions. I could not understand what I was doing wrong. I remember sitting on my patio and just shaking my head. I felt God was leading me to write, to be a storyteller, to create with Him. However, I was not experiencing success on the level I wanted to.

That is when it hit me- I defined my career according to my terms and not God’s terms.

So, for two years I did a few things.

  • Studied the craft.
  • Made friends and connected with others in the industry
  • Practiced, Practiced, Practiced…

Those two stories are still up there for sale (But I have come so much further).

The point is. I have banged my head against the wall a hundred times. I have tossed in the towel every day. I have quit- Only to come back and bang away at the keys instead.

Maybe it’s my nature. I mean- I’ve gone from being a high school drop out to being a VP in a Marketing Firm. Maybe I don’t know how to quit. Maybe because on some level I know one day I’ll make a decent break through.

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe- Maybe I’ve realized that creating stories is the only thing I’m any good at.

Yes, I give up. Yes, I stare at a blank page and cuss the blinking cursor. Yes, at times I feel it is pointless. Yes, I feel disrespected. Yes, I feel my genre is laughed upon and underrepresented. Yes, I feel most publishers do not know jack about marketing. Yes, I have wanted to give up… Guess what- So has every other creative type I know.

We write because we are called. We write because it is who we are.

Remember- We create a special magic when we become one with the page, and the words, they are the wands…

So keep writing. Never look back. Someone, somewhere, needs to hear your story.

Crying Children and Busted Lips: I Still Fear of Failing…

I have failed at a lot of things in life.

But you know what they say- Failures lead to success. Right…? If that’s the case I should be successful in more things than I currently am.

But one of my biggest fears is failing as a parent.

The other night our youngest, Bennett, was pushing his dump truck and slipped, fell, and busted his lip.

Blood was everywhere. On me. On him. On his shirt.

I panicked.

In a fit of anger I grabbed the Dump Truck and tossed it outside. I wasn’t sure what else to do.

So I did what every man does when he is clueless about the kids- I called my wife.

bennett

In the panic of the moment I didn’t even give her time to answer before I said: “Bennett’s bleeding, it’s everywhere, and I don’t know what to do, get here quick…” Then I just hung up. (Have I mentioned I have a tendency to be a little overdramatic).

Looking back now that it’s over I realize it wasn’t the smartest course of action. My wife with calm and grace even let me know that. At the end of the day it was only a busted lip and Bennett was back to his normal happy self not to long afterwards.

In Life we will fail. That’s a fact. Sometimes we fail because we aren’t ready, or we don’t have the full knowledge of what we face.

I like the way Jeff Goins put it in a recent Blog Post:

After his first mentor died, Luke Skywalker showed up to apprentice under Yoda. Luke thought he was hot stuff and cut his training short, which resulted in his hand getting cut off.

The point is this- We will fail. We will fail as parents, as spouses, in business, and as writers. It’s not the fact that we fail that matters most- It’s what we do afterwards and who we turn to for guidance.

First I turn to God. I turn to His word. Seek counsel in the depths of Scripture.

But I also turn to my wife: She is my best friend, and the one person I trust more than anyone. She may not have all the knowledge I need for every aspect of life- But she has the encouragement and provides the support.

Who do you turn to when you’ve hit rock bottom…?