Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Man Inside

The life of a writer is full of ups and downs. The excitement of an acceptance for publication can be quickly offset the next day by the struggle of trying to get 200 words out of your head and onto the page. Thing is, we put this burden on ourselves because the other option, not writing, only seems worse.

The view from my writing chair has been unquestionably positive lately. Lots of recent successes, fun promotional opportunities and even a new submission here and there. All of those things are good. At the same time, I spend too much time beating myself up about what I'm not doing - not putting out significant amounts of new material, not getting to my Portland Avenue book like I should, and not promoting heavily enough.

I blame it all on this little guy in my head that likes to trip me up. The old inner critic.

So, my goal is to focus on the positive, the successes of late and what may be upcoming. If I only get 300 words done a week, but have 2 submissions and a good editing session, well, that's enough. I need to remember that I have this 40 hour a week job that takes it's toll on the whole creative process as well. As jazzed as I may be about "getting to some writing" when I leave work at 4:30 every day, more often than not by 8:00 PM I'm spent. I should probably take up the 6:00 coffee habit. Yeah, that'll help.

I'd like to share a few successes and writing related tasks that I've had this past week in an attempt to remind myself that it's not always about how many words you type in a day.

  • I had a really fun interview with Bob St. Pierre and Billy Hildebrand of KFAN Radio FM 100.3 last Saturday. They are a couple of great outdoorsmen, and it was fun laughing with them and telling them a little about Dirty Shirt. They even reference something I've never heard before, a Lumbersexual. Like a Metrosexual but more woodsy. A lot more. My portion of the interview starts at 29:50. Check it out, HERE
  • An anthology (a collection of short stories arranged around a theme) with one of my stories, Closet Pyromania, was released by Main Street Rag a pre-sale discount this week. Check it out HERE. My story is a comically funny "near tragedy" that happened when I was 7 years old.
  • I submitted my final manuscript, bio and head shot to eLectio Publishing for my Written Life poetry collection. The collection is scheduled to be released on March 31st.
  • I scheduled my release party for Written Life today. It will be at Cafe De Arts on Saturday, April 11th from 2:30-3:30. I can't wait!
  • I had the privilege of personalizing two more copies of Dirty Shirt while I was in Minnesota last weekend. The people getting them were truly excited about reading it. There is no cooler feeling in the world than knowing that they will be reading my work.
  • I saw that four copies of my book were "on order" for four libraries in Ramsey County Minnesota. (Roseville, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, and Shoreview.) I attribute these acquisitions to the recent newspaper blurb that I got from the Pioneer Press. Check it out HERE. You cannot put a price on a good newspaper review.
  • I got an email the other day out of the blue from a brother of a grade school classmate. He said he was looking through his library app for new books to read and came across my name. He clicked on it wondering if it was the Landwehr name from his neighborhood. Anyhow, he read the book in two days and said some really nice things about it. That kind of thing makes the whole effort worthwhile. Royalties are nice, but a good review stays with me forever.
  • I submitted three different short stories (memoir) to two different magazines this past week. The reason I do that is if they get published, and I include them in the Portland book, it gives the material credibility going into publication. The publisher appreciates stuff that's been vetted and that they know will sell.
That's just a smattering of what last week brought to me. All of it good, all of it hard work, and all of it necessary to be successful. 

And so, despite the constant battle with the little man in my head, I love every minute of this ride, and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Oh, and he needs to shut up.

Blogging off...

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