Off and Running

I knocked out the introduction to my dad’s memoir this week and it has definitely reinvigorated my love for writing. There’s always been a tendency with me to take extended periods of time away after completing a project because I usually burn myself out with an unhealthy, hectic pace. I’ll consistently talk myself out of moving forward, believing that I need just a little more research or just one more day to relax and think.

“Ashbrooke City” is a perfect example of this habit. I never had a solid writing schedule, just writing whenever I found the time or when the spirit moved me. Sometimes I would get home from work around five or six in the afternoon, write until three in the morning, get three hours of sleep and then go back to work. I would also binge write on the weekends for twelve hours a day. It wasn’t uncommon for me to take weeks off in between writing sessions. I did that for three years. It’s probably the reason it took so long to write the damn book. If I had been more consistent I might have completed it in half the time.

But you live and you learn. With my dad’s new memoir I’ve adopted a writing schedule that I absolutely love. One hour a day is all I ask of myself. One hour a day. Every day. No exceptions. No excuses. I try to hit at least 500 words per session, but if I don’t there’s no beating myself up, which has been a problem for me in the past. When I get to the weekends I can do more because things lighten up a bit. It’s really working for me thus far.

Typically I’m up at five every morning to workout. From there I have a day job throughout the week that keeps me away until after five most days. So by the time I get home I’ve been on my feet for twelve hours because I work in a warehouse. After carving out some time to make dinner and take a breather, I can sit down to write, usually around eight at night. And of course there are other responsibilities to take into account. It’s all a balancing act.

My secondary goal is a chapter per week on the memoir. If I can maintain this pace I can be done with the first draft by early November. I have no doubt I’ll get there. It’s been too much fun to think otherwise.


It was a long week, but a revealing one. Sometimes you just have to move on, from ideas, from expectations, from people. I’m very proud of “Ashbrooke City.” It’s my first novel. It’s the project I’ve spent the most time on. It will always be the book that taught me how to write books.

But it can no longer consume my life if I’m going to meet my next self-imposed deadline. I’ll never stop supporting it. I’ll continue to try new marketing techniques. But I have to move on creatively. Content is King. And in order for me to produce new content I have to compartmentalize, which is a new concept for me. But I’m up to the task. I wanted all this and now I have to juggle.

My next project is much different. It’s personal and, hopefully, relatable. I’m not building a world from scratch or crafting characters from my own observations. It’s the true story of a man who has led a fascinating life through an era of human history in which things tend to change as fast you can blink, and the opinions that come along.

It’s a memoir about my dad. And boy does he have opinions! On everything. Even things he knows nothing about. It’s a project I began way back in early 2010 but had to abandon due to circumstance, and because I just wasn’t ready to fully tackle it. But now I am. And I couldn’t be more excited! To one day, when I’m his age, have a document that reminds me of him and the things he has seen and done would mean the world to me. Like a reference, an idea that can live forever.

I’m aiming for the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

Book Marketing

I met up with my best friend the other day that I had not seen in nearly a year. Circumstances sometimes keep people apart. Life gets in the way. Time flies when you don’t have much free time. There are a bunch of other excuses I could throw against the wall, but nearly a year is far too much time to be separate from someone you consider your closest ally and sometimes writing partner.

We went for Mexican food. I had the Pollo Tapatio, a chicken dish with roasted mushrooms and onions and some sort of cooked rice in cheese. It was phenomenal because it was food and I’m a human vacuum. Great service. Our waitress had the most adorable smile and couldn’t have been kinder. We had a fun time catching up.

Side note: Tapatio is what people that hail from Guadalajara, Mexico call themselves. I thought that was interesting.

“Ashbrooke City” is dedicated to this friend of mine that I met up with, so of course I had to bring him a copy. Then he asked me to sign it, which really makes me uncomfortable for some reason. Then he told me to get used to it because if I ever find any success as an author it’s going to be the norm. He’s right, but I apparently have issues with being important.

It’s like I want everyone to read everything I write and love it. But I don’t want them to tell me. I probably need therapy.

We briefly touched on book marketing, which I have yet to engage in but will soon. He has the marketing mind I wish I did. His suggestion was to start local, which makes sense. Hit up all those people we went to high school with for starters, and then branch out. It’s a solid foundation, but I haven’t done Facebook in seven years which makes it hard to really touch base with those people. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I do know one thing: it’s all about getting eyes on “Ashbrooke City.” Building a reader base, even if you have to hand them a copy of the novel for free is the most important thing. I’m battling obscurity. I need to give people a reason to buy the next one.