Every writer gets writer’s block from time to time. Some have longer spells than others. When it came to me, my writer’s block for fictional stories lasted for years. Now, anyone who knows me can tell I’m no schmuck when it comes to stringing words together. This is my third blog, and I’m always great at being overly verbose on things that are based in the real world. The problem comes when I try to reach for that place where things come from my imagination.
When I was younger, I was always immersed in books. I surrounded myself with fictional worlds that stimulated my brain’s natural need to create fantastical ideas. I didn’t really know how to harness that until college, when I learned about journalism and the basics of creative writing. Writing became my life. I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do. For a time, I was able to let my ideas grow and I could expand upon them using what I had learned. The problem was that I didn’t really have any direction or training in how to structure my ideas. What I ended up with was a jumbled mess of ideas that led to nowhere.
Joining the Navy did not grant me a lot of time to work on my ideas, or room to grow as a writer. Writing professionally as a journalist in addition to other jobs was not paying the bills, so I followed family tradition in to the military. I was working too many hours and spending most of my time learning how to do the job I was being paid to do. Writing fell to the wayside and became a hobby instead of a passion and a goal. My fictional ideas would stagnate and never come to fruition. I would try to expound on ideas, but I would get frustrated because I didn’t have time to really focus on them. I tried to keep the writing wheels greased by blogging, but even that ended up mothballed for a time because I felt like it was pointless pursuit. I was on the verge of just closing up shop on writing for good. That is when something miraculous happened.
My wife, Emily, is a passionate woman. She has a dream of being a violist in a professional orchestra, as well as being a teacher. She works her ass off following her dream and has not let times of doubt or difficult situations stop her. When doubt would creep in, we would always find those reasons for her to keep pursuing her dreams. She is now a month away from her Bachelor’s degree and is a phenomenal violist. I am inspired by her drive and her ardor for her chosen path. She puts her heart and soul into her music, and I feel that passion when I think about writing.
One night, we were talking about her going to graduate school and plans after that, and I knew then that my heart was no longer in the Navy. I wanted to start writing again. I began trying to get ideas out of my head, but it was slow going. I knew there were things in there, but I couldn’t get the gears going. I had to do some maintenance on my brain to be productive again. I began searching the Internet for ideas on how to kick-start my brain, and that is when I stumbled upon KM Weiland and her blog Helping Writers Become Authors. Her websites have a wealth of knowledge on writing and I was hooked. Her advice, along with many other books and websites helped me start to move my ideas from concept to reality. I was able to start putting my ideas on paper, and I could organize them in a way that made sense. I started blogging again, which helped me keep my brain moving even when I wasn’t able to come up with ideas for my stories. During a more recent case of writer’s block, I was introduced to a group of writers via a Facebook group created by KM Weiland. The massive amount of communication, knowledge, and diversity within the group has led to a burst of inspiration in me. I’ve written more on my story ideas since I began communicating with this group of peers than ever before. I currently have 3 plot lines in the works, but there is a lot of work to be done before I can ever call them done.
Through all of this, I realized that when my time in the Navy is over, I would be ready to pursue my dream of writing for a living. I have watched several people in my life realize dreams in their lives and chase them, and soon enough it will be my turn. I will continue to work and pursue my dream while being in the military, but when it becomes a full time pursuit, I can put everything I have in to it.
So here’s to my inspirations. Thank you all so very much. I could not do this without you.
To my talented wife, whose untiring pursuit has driven me to chase my dreams. To my sister, Christel, and brother-in-law, Austin, who found a passion that they love and are sharing it with the world. To those in my life who told me I could never reach my dreams, to those who told me to never give up. To KM Weiland and the awesome Wordplayers! To my family who has been behind me always. To the people who have been influential in my stories and characters. Lastly, but certainly not least, to my father, who has always been my biggest hero, my best inspiration, and my #1 fan. Dad, everything I am is because of you. I hope that one day, you will see my name on a book and be proud.
If you have a dream, chase it. Follow your heart, and never deny yourself the things you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the comfort zone and take a leap of faith. It could be the best thing that ever happened to you.