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A Bad Romantic

By on Aug 28, 2015 in The Scrawl |

In a previous season of my life, I was a pastor. Some of you know and some of you don’t know that. That season taught me several huge things that I have not forgotten and hopefully never will. Massive things about humanity, suffering, life, and definitely myself. One of the bigger lessons that came from that time was an understanding of who I am, in particular, and what I can and cannot do within the limits I have been given. To give you a metaphor, of sorts, I have a screwed up back. It came from misuse when I was young and a lack of proactive self-care. This injury has been, at times, traumatic and life-altering. At other times it’s just annoying. Sometimes it’s not there at all. But one of the times I feel it more than any other is when I’m exercising. If I am working my body in a way that is vigorous and difficult? Well then I definitely begin feeling that...

Strategery

By on Aug 24, 2015 in The Scrawl |

Yes, strategery. I’ve been contemplating ways to try and kickstart my writing while at the same time being totally honest with the process I have been in thus far. So let’s talk about honesty first, strategery second. What does total honesty with my writing career look like? It looks like me probably never rising above a middling of moderate, genre success. This means my writing will most likely never support me enough to cause me to quit any job I hold, let alone build my own money bin. It means that even if I am agented, published, and moderately successful, the world at large would still likely have no idea who I am or what I do with my writing. Being honest means that I recognize riches and fame are hollow aspirations even if I am as successful as I hope to be. Those two false gods also have a specific and disgusting side effect of sapping the joy away from my writing....

Fight the Power

By on Aug 6, 2015 in The Scrawl |

This post was written in the past, for the future, and included a title almost guaranteed to make you click it. See what I did there? This post is not political, religious, or really even that polarizing. Sorry to disappoint you if your mouth was getting a bit foamy already. But wait, there’s actually a point here. Writing, in a way, is the opposite of entropy. “But Gabe, now I have to Google entropy!” you might say. Way ahead of you. lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. And I know what you’re thinking, some writing is such a hot mess that it passed disorder on its way to chaos long ago. But that’s not the idea I’m after here. Entropy, in a sense, can also be tied to the idea of life. Well, death actually. Because all things that live push back against the decay. All things that live grow in complexity and thrive and become...

And subjectivity for all…

By on Aug 4, 2015 in The Scrawl |

Today I want to talk about the “S” word. Yes, that most difficult of ideas that can be both the greatest encouragement and the bitterest defeat for every author. Sometimes nearly on the same breath. I completed my latest manuscript about three months ago. And, as I normally do, I began lining up folks to read for me. Before now, I had about three beta readers all who knew me, and my work, very well. They were and are, great beta readers. But with this last book, the biggest challenge I had was writing well outside my typical genre. So I decided I needed beta readers who both read inside this genre and didn’t know me so well. I wanted honesty, even if it was brutal. So I went to Twitter and began asking certain select individuals if they would be interested in reading. I tried to select people I knew read the genre, but who had never read me. I also tried to select one...