Goals (At least the ones that don’t have to do with writing.)

My friend has been really going through it this past couple of months and for the longest time, I didn’t know how to help her. I won’t really talk about what happened because even though she might not care, I’d rather keep her privacy. I gave advice and it didn’t work. I was a shoulder to cry on that they didn’t take. For everything I tried to do nothing seemed to work. I hated the idea that I might have to watch all of this come to a head and not be able to stop it. The whole thing vexed me.

I knew it wasn’t about me. I knew that what she was experiencing had absolutely nothing to do with me but I wanted to be there for her like she had been for me. Without meaning to she dug me out of a hole I was in due to my depression. It was the only reason I really got back on board with my writing and the only reason. I got back involved with the blog. So her friendship, needless to say, is very important to me.

This is the first time I’ve ever been actually able to help her in any meaningful way. And though I’ve been on call for the past couple of days (gently woken up by text notifications) I haven’t been happier. More well rested maybe but not happier. Being able to be there for a friend really makes me feel fulfilled in a way. I’m sure that says something about me and my overall psychological state, in a psychology textbook somewhere.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t want what happened to her to happen to anyone else. I just think when this is all over we’ll be closer. I hope that I can pull her out of the same hole she did me and we both can move on.

This year.

I have to say I am angry with myself. I haven’t finished any new work. That’s not to say I’m not writing just that it’s going slower than I expected. I was hoping that I’d get so much faster, that suddenly after finishing my first book I’d unlock the secret that let other people churn books out in months. Am I not fast enough? Am I not doing enough? Short answer… yes.

I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. The question is how do I change that? How do I devote myself more? Do I take on fewer hours at work? Do I hang out less? I already have a problem with balance. Will this just tip me over the edge?

The one thing I have to say that I have become a better writer and It’s reflected in my work. I just need to figure out how to manage my time better and write more recklessly.  The first one has always been a problem for me. I just need to find a new normal. I want so badly to get off the ground. Get my work out there. I want as many people to fall in love with my characters like I have.

Why I write.

Someone asked me recently, after I had finished telling them how much my book had sold, why I wrote. Which in retrospect wasn’t a nice thing to ask… but none the less I answered them. I said for me it’s about getting my demons out. It is about taking all the pain and all the bad things I’ve done or had been done to me putting them on a page and letting them out.

Now, this is not to say that all of those things I write about happened to me but… I dig in deep an pour my soul into it. This maybe the wrong way to do things. I am probably going in the completely opposite direction of what writing should be. It should be for the readers. It’s about them, right? I think if I write this way with this in mind that I’ll hit someone in just the precise way that it will resonate with them. It’s probably not the best way to handle business but, I hope it works. I hope I can connect with people.

I have been given the gift-or detriment- to be able to feel things incredibly strongly. So much so that describing it to others tends to fail in comparison. I love feeling things and making that apart of my product, a part of whatever legacy I leave behind-I am twenty-four leave me at least some delusions of grandeur- is very important to me.

Thoughts about my name and death and things that happened on a Monday.

If you haven’t guessed by now my name is a pen name. Honestly, the quiet refusal to show my face should’ve been your first tip off but I digress. It is as much something given to me as something I’ve chosen. I get to sit at a keyboard and be something different from myself. It is incredibly freeing.

This Monday, I paid my respects to my last grandfather. He was a lot of things to a lot of different people. To the people of the church, he was a good Christian man. To the people he worked with, he was a hard worker. To my father, my uncles, and my aunts, he was a father and a powerful man. To me, he was Granddad, the person who had this laugh that will echo through me and make me smile whenever I think about him. A person who connected me to a large part of my heritage. I couldn’t always understand him, he had a thick accent but I’ll remember the twinkle in his eyes and the hat on his head.

I’ll admit I wasn’t as close to him as I probably should be but, I’ll miss him all the same. I hope some of his tenacity rubs off on me. I hope I can be half the man he and my father are. The Dalton part of my name is a goal and something to look forward too. I hope I can make something of it.

The hardest part of funeral’s are watching the people you thought were so much larger than life be human. Seeing them cry and feel lonely and diminished. I couldn’t breakdown with them. I hurt so much to see them and I wanted to join them be overcome but, I think something broke inside me when my brother passed. I don’t know if anything will hurt me like that again. I don’t know if that should be comforting  or a sobering. Probably the worst part is seeing my father standing there like that so much pain in his eyes but, not being able to release it.

Reunion

This week some of my old friends from high school and I got together to have dinner and just talk. I hadn’t seen some in as much as three years and some I saw three months ago but, I think it was good for me. Just to get an update,While I didn’t get to talk to all of them the way I wanted or as long as I wanted I had the best time. I laughed better than I had in months and it was all thanks to them.

Some of them were in great places in their lives, getting a great job or meeting people that would be or could be spouses. One moved pretty far. Some of them had significant others who just seem to really get them. One of them was getting over his first big heartbreak. It was sad to see but, we got him to look back and laugh for the first time.  I was there by myself but, I saw the changes in them and found a way to connect to that with my own. It was electric.

For me the highlight of the night was when some one I guess I had looked up to a bit from the old days said “So your published… Your like one of the only one of us to do something.” I can’t really put into words the way that made me feel but I hope it will be in my memory for a long time to come. Helping me get over writer’s block and persevere when I want to procrastinate. For me this was one of the best nights of my adult life.