We get to live.

We get to live.

These are turbulent times for many of us. Regardless of which side of the election you’ve been on, it has been a tiring process. I’ve been thinking about life, the greater experience, what it means to be on opposite sides, whether we are ever ‘enemies’ or only just people on opposite sides of a divide.

I got to sit and talk about life, and philosophy, and existence with my lifelong friend Eastin today after class. It was something I think I sorely needed–I think we can all stand to take some time, and talk about all that is, all that could be, all that might or might not be true. There’s so much to be grateful for, there’s so much to question and to contemplate.

Let’s not forget that. Let’s not forget to put down the phones and turn off the screens and talk, not contentiously, not to ‘win’, but just talk.

It is of fundamental human importance.

Here was a thought I had today:

We get to live; express ourselves; chase dreams and love people; fight and make peace and keep searching for something in this wild world. What could possibly be more beautiful than that?

I love you all.

Evan

The Weight of What’s to come

The Weight of What’s to come

I think all people experience this feeling in varying degrees of severity.

The anticipatory cloud of some obligation; responsibility; work; etc. These tend to grow in number and size as we get older; or maybe it just feels that way.

Avalanche of grad school papers due. It’s the proverbial albatross. It’s almost done, though. Summer is going to be AWESOME.

It’s going to be my first foray into full-time writing. I can’t wait. It’s hard for me to get into the emotional and mental place to write right now with all the mire and muck of soul-sucking grad school work haranguing me.

But even summer will come with pressure. I want to try and write BOOK 2 by the end of summer. I want to have a daily word count to achieve. I want to be very industrious at writing efficiently every day.giraffic_park2-copy

It’s worth reminding myself that I love writing because of the joy it brings me; not because it’s a grind. So while I want to be very diligent, I don’t want to turn it into the kind of thing I hate. It’s a delicate balance.

So why by the end of summer? Because I know next semester of grad school will surely bury me again. I hate the feeling that my book/WIP is just stagnating while I do some other crap. Weight of future responsibility hovering nearby once more.

Ya gotta let go. I’ve got to let go. The only life without responsibilities is the loneliest one. Far better to embrace the reality that there always be something ahead of you, and that really, in truth… it is a good thing.

Relax, Evan. Trust yourself that you will do everything needed of you. Stressing out about it is meaningless.

Just a written reminder to myself. A week from now I’ll re-read this and relax again. Now if only I could remember. Or make it a natural response!

#JealousOfAtaraxia

-Evan

 

I live, I die, I live again.

I live, I die, I live again.

i_live_i_die_i_live_again___mad_max_fury_road_by_cyanidemachine-d8wf7ltI watched that movie again last night with my dudes. Gets better every time. Tom Hardy is just so awesome in that role.

In keeping with the theme… I’ve started to work on BOOK 2 of the American Rebirth Series. I live again.

It’s going to be another long road, I know. (It feels like trekking up a mountain on rollerskates sometimes) But my hope is to finish this book much quicker than HOOD, I’m looking to finish it within a year!

I also want to take a sec to continue being extremely excessively excited about how well HOOD is doing. I’ve been within the top 50 books in the Bestseller lists of Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian for awhile now, and I sold 58 books in the past 3 days, as well as had 19,372 pages read on Kindle Unlimited. Adjusted for KENP my book is 421 pages, so theoretically my book was read cover-to-cover 46 times in the past 3 days (reality is probably a bunch more people read small sections of it)

Regardless, the feeling is hard to describe. Getting reviews from people who loved the book and having people reach out to me on social media is just so gratifying knowing how much love and time I put into this book. Really, it’s better than the sales and the reads and everything else.

I realize it can become annoying talking about yourself as a Indie Author in excess, but I just want to share this with everyone who’s been a part of making this book real. I hope someone I love will tap me on the shoulder and tell me “you’re talking too much” if I get out of hand.

But hey, fuck it. I’m enjoying myself. And I want you all to enjoy yourselves too– readers, friends, family, strangers. Ya gotta enjoy the highs, because you’re going to feel the lows.

I live, I die, I live again. What a lovely day!

-Evan

 

It’s a Long, Long Road

It’s a Long, Long Road

Man, that kills me every time.

Writing, like in life, you’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself–Not take everything so seriously. As writers, we usually take our writing pretty damn seriously. It means all that and a bag of chips and salsa to us.

But at the end of the day, we do it because we love it. Because it’s fun to create. Because we were the kids that loved to play pretend in the backyard. Because we love storytelling, we love stories, we love new worlds and experiences, and we want to share our own with the world.

Me, I know I’m obsessed with storytelling. Reading books, watching movies, playing video games, writing stories. Maybe too much so 🙂

It’s a long, long road. With writing and with life. You’ve got to be able to enjoy the process. If find myself recently  (both in writing and life)getting so caught up in the goal that I’m not enjoying the process.

HOOD COVER FINAL 1
New Cover!

I’ve been fixated on finally publishing my novel. I keep saying “after this edit, it will be done!” But I’m still learning, I’m still improving. I know the work I’m doing in the editing process is making it a more complete, better story. I have to honor that. I told myself I’d have this thing published by the end of the year.

It was my new years resolution, if I remember correctly.

I hope to be able to do that. But if I can’t, to hell with the resolution. I’d rather tell my story right then hit an arbitrary deadline. After all, I’m working for myself.

It’s fun in a sick way, working on editing a book. There will be a day when I look back on this experience with this book fondly.

So take a deep breath, wherever you are in your life or in your writing, accept there’s a long road to be traveled yet. Enjoy it.

-Evan Pickering

 

Why Every Problem You Have Is Bull***t

Why Every Problem You Have Is Bull***t

I’m coming clean. I’m guilty of something.

It’s something every single one of us does, but I’ve been embroiled in it lately.

Misery.

Something ‘bad’ will happen, and a certain kind of rhetoric entrenches in my mind:

  • I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.
  • Everything feels like it’s going backwards.
  • I feel like I’m half the man I was five, ten years ago.
  • I’m making decisions with zero certainty that they’re the right ones.
  • I feel distant from everything and everyone I love as we all get older.

All of this, every single shred of it, is bullshit.

I could sit here and say “I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I’m healthy, living in a (relatively) free country, I’ve had an awesome life, I have people I love who love me back. I could be starving in [insert third world country].”

And yeah, that’s true. But in reality, all suffering is relative. If we lived a life of luxury and riches and ease, the simplest problem would feel life-crushing.


But I digress. The real reason all those aforementioned thoughts I have are bullshit is simple:

They are pure undiluted fear, disguised as the truth.

Some people might only have days to live, or are facing incredible adversity. Even those heavy, truly significant problems, are only events–we decide what they mean. The fear that they can create will only paralyze you. It will keep you from enjoying the moments of your life as they happen. It is bullshit.

We all have problems. We all have doubts, we all live in a world of uncertainty. While I’m carrying this weight around, I’m sleepwalking through precious, beautiful days of my life.

So maybe I have no idea what my future is. Maybe I’m nothing like the me I was when I was younger. Maybe some things in my life are going completely awry. Maybe I’ll never know if the decisions I’m making are the right ones. Maybe what I thought I wanted out of life has changed drastically. So it goes. So it has ever gone, for me and for everyone else.

Just let go. To hell with all the paralyzing fear that makes you want to never get out of bed. Change is inevitable. And not just the change you expect. Change you always secretly feared or never wanted will happen. But change is the nature of being alive.

Every problem can be described as this: You have a plan, an expectation. That expectation is not met or goes sideways. Anger, fear, doubt ensues.

I won’t sit here and tell you to live a life without expectations. But I will say this:

Life will probably go nothing like you thought it would. That’s alright. It is full of incomparably beautiful moments. Enjoy them, and the wildly different experiences that will follow. You cannot stop change. Fear is bullshit. Let it go.

-Evan Pickering