“SEAL (BUD-S) Training Bell,” US Navy , Public Domain.

Diary2018 Goals: Becoming a Bell Ringer

Ever since I was a boy, I’ve created stories and wanted to be a writer. Having been idle as a writer for a few years, now is the time to decide what I will become. Am I about to ring the bell?

It really is that simple. Looking at my notes, I started planning Luctation in 2011. I reference the book nearly four years ago, and finished the first draft in July 2014. Bellicose has long since been released and dropped off reader’s radar. I still call myself a writer. For the better part of 2017, I have been debating over whether I should persist or pivot. “Persist or pivot” is a term used in entrepreneurial conversation. After the company has learned more about its market and product, it has to decide whether to persist with its current direction. The alternative is to pivot: change direction in a radical way.

In truth, I’ve been trying to pivot ever since Summer 2014. I see it in all of my diary posts over the past three years; the best example is my December 2013 review and 2014 plan. At some point I will have to decide that I don’t want to be a writer; or accept what I have tacitly decided in nearly four years of no writing. I am now staring at the 2018 calendar; 365 days full of promise. I normally make my plans in October, but I’ve procrastinated in that this year as well.

It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior’s life. Steven Pressfield

This week I am listening to Steven Pressfield’s book Do the Work, which is his exhortation to get moving and create. It certainly is inspiring. I finished the part in the book where he talks about BUD-S training. The US Navy has some of the toughest training because they want SEALs who won’t stop, no matter how bad it gets. He then observes that BUD-S candidates survive in part because they have one another. A creative (i.e., writer) only has himself. Therefore, it is harder for us. Or, more specifically, it is easier to ring the bell because nobody will notice or care.

Except me. I have a reputation for persisting despite the odds, and for persevering. I have to think that the past three years have not been a waste. In reading my blog diary entry in December 2013, I see the roots of my hiatus. Those roots are gone now.

I am returning to my goal of just a few years ago: revise Bellicose and finish Luctation in 2018. I also want to write a short story, about 7,500 words. When I read Bellicose recently, I was disappointed in my writing. I read an editor’s insights and find myself agreeing where I was resistant then. I will fix the weaknesses in Bellicose, including the public stake that the entire series lacked. This will force a radical rewrite of Luctation, but rewrites are the lot of writers.

I will not ring the bell. I will die first.

© 2017 Ben Wilson. All Rights Reserved