I’m Plagued Out, Man.

Photo by Kuma Kum on Unsplash

It’s been a while since we talked.

How are you? Seriously, how are you?

Are you working?

Are you safe?


How are your friends and family?

I’ve been damn lucky.

My wife and I are working and have everything we need to get through this crass, banal dystopia we are all struggling to get through. Something I have tried to do, and to a relative level of success, is remember that there are so many out there trapped in dangerous situations and that I have nothing to complain about. So, if you are out there and things are painfully bad, terrifying, or you have lost someone this year, my heart goes out to you.

Not prayers though.

I donate money to organizations that ACTUALLY help.

With this being said, this is a processing post. It’s a light word salad of writer whines, a brief yet rambling shuffle of thoughts that may sound familiar, or might feel a bit, ehhh…trivial.

It’s fine if you just move on, especially if you are dealing with real problems.

But, if you are a fellow writer and you have had a tough time of dialing in and getting some writing done during the hell carnival of pain that 2020 has turned out to be (and we are only halfway through – what a fun thought), then you might enjoy some asynchronous commiserating.


That’s what writing has been for me this year. I haven’t had a win for a good stretch now – no new publishing credits, a novella that can’t seem to find a home, and my current manuscript is currently somewhere in the long middle. I can’t see the end, I have my doubts about the beginning, and I am lost in the deep weeds. It’s been so long since that writing-sparked dopamine hit. No rush, no thrills, just the grind of it all. Feeling very flat indeed.

My professional writing hustle, the script writing (marketing stuff) has slowed but is still going strong enough to remind me that I make money writing. It’s not a hobby. It’s paid, real work.

This helps.


I’m not a fast writer. If I am working with a set deadline, I can lean in and get about 1500 words a day. 2000 if I am willing to accept that half of them will totally suck. Since the plague fell on our collective houses, I am able to get about 300-500 in a day before…


I’m slowly crawling forward, but at least I am moving. About two weeks ago, I broke 50k on my current novel project. I had hoped to be into a second draft by now. Sigh. I feel like I have been writing this for YEARS. It’s more like a year but time is passing so strangely now, right?

Stuck at home for thirteen weeks. Haven’t been published in two years or so. Fighting a war of inches with the creative writing. Disturbed more by each passing day, the spiritual cost of this year immeasurable. Not sleeping that great. Bored beyond all known levels. Looking for hope lurking in the shadows that only grow longer as the hot, punishing sun blasts us from above. Stuck in my head, desperately fighting a stalling passion engine before I smash into the ground…

Not the best headspace to be stuck in. I hope it’s better for you but it’s just such a strip mall of a hellscape out there. Not even good enough for straight to video. The worst science fiction movie I’ve ever seen.

I dunno, I just thought the apocalypse would look so much cooler.

And here I am (and maybe you too), hitting this keyboard. A one man army of a 10,000 chimpanzees pounding on keyboards hoping something comes out of it that makes sense.

And gets published.

Man. Ugh. All right enough of this.

I’ll leave you with this promise. If you keep trying, I will too. After all, this blog post is almost 700 words. That’s at least 200 more words than I thought I would write today.

How about that?

Later, skaters.

Here’s 30 Seconds of Writer Inspiration If You Need It.


The world is on fire and fevered egos threaten the utter collapse of civilization. I find each day more difficult to de-toxify than the last. Maybe if we’re lucky, a heretofore unknown meteor will smash into the earth and hasten our inevitable extinction.

Oh, and I got another rejection on my novella.

A bit of a tough morning but this isn’t a pity post.

Far from it. Whenever I get a rejection, I give myself a couple of hours to feel disappointed and then I get back to it. Whether it’s a yes or a no, the next step is starting another project.

Submitting and rejection are a part of the process. In my non-fiction writing life, I write scripts for marketing videos and they are routinely revised as they go through a company’s marketing and legal departments. I embrace it.

And this is only the second rejection for my Cthulhu vs. Encyclopedia Brown novella, and there are many fine publishers still out there. I have no doubt it will find a home.

The first rejection was much more difficult as it was a solicited manuscript. A handshake deal. After many months of waiting (not unreasonable for a small press), I was told “we are going in another direction.” I really love this publisher too. Great people, cool books, and they have mean hustle.

So it goes.

Many writers and publishers fill my news feed. On any given day, there are two things I can count on – someone announcing a book release and seeing an ad for Geico auto insurance. It can feel like standing on the side of the road watching the cars zip by. A bystander while the world moves on.

Maybe you can empathize.

I grew tired of this feeling. My solution was to set aside an hour every morning (6am-7am) for writing projects.

Anything that moves me forward, even if only inches.

I’ve been doing this for about 5 months now and have revised and added new content to a current manuscript, revitalized a few professional relationships, conducted a ton of research as I had a comic book thing taking off for a hot minute there. Currently on pause as the artist just had a baby. Of all the nerve! I’m also working on school applications as I have decided to pursue a doctor of education.

Once this manuscript is done, I’m moving to one that I have in the drawer that is already at 60k words. Also, plans for revisiting the universe of Pax Titanus in the next year or two.

In short, if things aren’t going your way, remain undaunted. Don’t ever stop.

Like sharks, we have to keep swimming.