Scaling Back the Madness

There comes a time in every endeavor when one must stop and take a hard look at how we’re doing it. Some things will work while others will not and the trick is realizing the difference and adjust accordingly.

I’m all about building infrastructure and organizing for efficiency and success. I’m coming up on my first full year as a self-published author and while I have no plans to quit any time soon, I have recently come to the realization that I have “organized” the fun right out of Writing.

What do I mean?

Instead of doing what I do best, which is write and publish stories, I allowed myself to get caught up in a Sargasso Sea of conflicting advice regarding freelancers, marketers, sad potatoes wearing brightly colored garnish, and things that do little for me and everything for those selling services or a handy-dandy global secret to amazing wealth for only $5.99…

Yeah, they saw me coming, despite my best efforts to stay true to what works for me. Thankfully, this fool and his money have not been soon parted though my bank has made a pretty tidy sum in monthly account maintenance fees due to my excessive optimism in creating separate checking and savings accounts dedicated to Writing Expenses. Don’t get me wrong, separating the money you earmark toward office supplies and whatnot is important, but when all you need are good records of those expenditures, you don’t need to go full bore at first.

I’m not saying that what I have written up to now should be thrown out. In fact, I am saying the opposite in that you should listen to your inner voice. When it says “Dude, this isn’t working”, you should pay attention and then act to make the appropriate corrections. Plus, I got really tired of managing four different bank accounts when two personal ones did the job more effectively. When the income picks up, I will probably revisit the concept.

Writing almost became un-fun for me, which is a terrible thing because it’s the one thing that I have never given up on and will hold onto until my last breath. I’m not a freelancer, marketer, entrepreneur, or a business person.

I am a Writer and I intend to do just that. And only that. Thanks for your time. 🙂


What Kind of Writer am I?

My profile says Sci-Fi/Adventure Fiction Author and that’s true for the most part. I love writing stories that combine Sci-Fi and Adventure. However, Sci-Fi/Adventure Fiction is merely a label to answer the question that plagued me for many years:

“What kind of fiction do you write?”

I would rather think of myself as a Writer first and my genre second, if at all. Personal preferences aside, I have learned enough over the years to be able to tackle just about any form of literature out there, including pure Literary Fiction should the mood should ever strike me.

The point I am making here is about Labels. Labels serve to define us and what we do. Some are flattering, some not so much. Their purpose tends to matter most when we are trying to market our work to others and I won’t diminish the need to have them around. Hey, I’m trying to sell books too and I have this thing about eating: I like to do it.

The downside with defining labels is that they can pigeonhole you into an area that you may eventually outgrow. Heck, at one point, I considered giving up on Sci-Fi and writing purely Literary works intended to explore the Human Experience. Thankfully, I managed to find a middle ground and take that intended elements and incorporate them into my current chosen genre.

Self-examination is a good thing, but like most things it is best when done in moderation. Over-thinking something can lead to either greater insight or generating reasons to not do it. I prefer the greater insight because it helps me to be a better writer and storyteller.

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

What are Writing Dilemmas?

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may notice from time to time a post that may read similar to this:

“Today’s Writing Dilemma: How to get a cat out of a tree by a man with no arms.”

Seems random and it is, on the surface. However, these type of updates serve a couple of purposes. First, they are intended to provoke a conversation and very often they do. We live in a world populated by people who love to throw their opinion out there, unsolicited or not. They can’t help themselves and I love feeding that creative energy. Second, they serve as a subliminal writing prompt to me, my writing buddies, and anyone else listening in. Hey, we all get stuck from time to time and sometimes you need the creative equivalent of Roadside Assistance to help get you out of a stalled scene. Finally, the WDs that I sometimes find myself in are pretty funny ones and I love to share a laugh or two with you all. You’re worth it.

There is supposed to be three parts to my blog that entail my thoughts (mostly collections of one-liner that I come up with), my musings (commentary on things that I experience on a daily basis), and storytelling (which sadly I haven’t done enough of lately) involving content that can only be found on here.

Lights and Shadows has kept me pretty busy lately, but I will always try to find some time to keep you all abreast of what’s happening with me. Thanks for your time. 🙂

2 Really Smart New Habits To Start Today

This is very good advice and worth reading. 🙂

Of Undisputed Origin



What is the #1 Habit you can stop today that will benefit much of what you do?

Stop expecting something to go wrong. Sure it is okay to have a mindset of realistic optimism, but try replacing the somewhat cynical notion of Murphy’s Law with  “Something GOOD is going to happen today.” Even just saying it makes me smile.


What is the #1 Habit you can start today that will benefit much of what you do?

Try planning your day for success. For every one minute of planning you do (mapping out your day), 10 minutes of work and effort will be saved. Stop writing “to do” lists and start designing you day for progress.  Be more intentional. Breakdown your goals and do one thing that will get you a step closer to achieving them.

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