I’m angry at myself today


I woke up this morning and after checking e-mails and updating my company website, I realized I’d not written a single word the day before on my novel. And I only realized this as I went to put today’s date in my writing chart.

Why is this a big deal?

Because after reading the War of Art, I swore to myself I was a professional. That I’d work on my novel every single day. That I’d monitor my progress through a writing chart.

So, since April 28th, I’ve done that.

Now, it’s true that yesterday was a Wednesday, and Wednesdays are my worst day of the week. On Wednesday, we have our newspaper’s deadline, and I usually have to work about sixteen hours and don’t finish till midnight.

It’s also true that I did write a blog post yesterday, which is an important part of my plan to make it — marketing, right? And it’s finally also true that I went to bed earlier than normal after my wife Danah begged me not to stay up too late — a terrible habit of mine.

But this isn’t on her. It was still 2 a.m., and while I spent much of that two hours researching writing tips from a famous author, I still didn’t write. I failed.

Let me put this a little clearer. Stan Mitchell, you worthless piece of shit. You so-called badass Marine, who once earned Sergeant in almost record time and won a division-wide peer competition award that still defies miracle status.

You. Fucking. Failed. Your past accomplishments don’t matter. There’s only today, and yesterday you operated in the manner of an over-the-hill, fat piece of shit. Nice. You want to work the rest of your life? Just give up on your dreams?

One book is all you got in you, huh? You think you can just write one book and expect to have made it.

You think you can make a promise to yourself — an oath even, even write that shit in a journal you signed your name to — and then twenty days later literally forget to write a few words before you go to bed. Yeah, you worked hard at your job. And yeah, you wrote a short blog post and studied like a silly little  bookworm on how to get better. And yeah, you’ve never gone twenty days of not missing a day writing, so good job and all.

No. Bullshit. All that doesn’t matter. You dropped the ball like a loser. You fell short — way short — of the mark. And hey, look above. You’re cussing again. I thought you were dropping that habit, too. Going to blame that one on the Marines, again?

So, let me get this straight. It’s your job’s fault? Your wife’s fault? The Marine Corps’ fault?

Bullshit. No excuses. It’s your own damn fault. You had two hours, and you spent it studying. What, you want to be a professor? Teach silly writing classes. Hell no, you don’t. You want to be a big-time author. And you only achieve that by writing.

What a loser, Stan. Twenty days? That’s the limit of your self-discipline? That’s what you’ve come to? That’s all you had in you?

You’re fucking pathetic. You need to just embrace how weak you are. No wonder you’re not successful yet. I’ve seen ten-year-olds with more discipline.

Now get the hell offline and write. Finish that second book of yours before I rip your fucking face off, you worthless piece of shit.

And on that note, I’m jumping back on my novel.

6 thoughts on “I’m angry at myself today

    1. Glad to hear. That was straight up, Marine-like moto, right there.

      And believe me, it motivated me, as well. Nothing like publicly, completely humiliating yourself to make you get back in the ring and fight harder.


  1. First off…..no! Just because you miss one day doesn’t make you a failure. Obviously you’ve proven that you are a perfectionist at some level as am I. I can compete with your self destructive inner voice. I do it everyday. It actually keeps me from writing. But at least you had the sense to motivate, in a strange way, to get back on that horse at full gallop. So, way to go, sort of!? Thank you from the bottom of my worthless heart for motivating me for the past two weeks. I see now that I must consider this a lifestyle, a job, a must-do instead of a hobby. Your kind motivating words and this last blog entry have really renewed my spirit to writing full time again. I’m glad you are writing today! So stop reading this and go write some more you potty mouth marine. Go Navy!


    1. Yeah, definitely not a hobby. We go to work at our jobs when we’re sick or we don’t want to or we’re stressed and too busy. We must do likewise if we want to turn our dream into reality.

      I’m glad I’ve been able to help motivate you the past few weeks. You’re going to make it. You’ve just got to believe in yourself, stay hungry (and angry), and make it happen!

      I’ll meet you at the top.


  2. Hey Stan,

    Far be it from me to tell you not to be so hard on yourself. I do the same thing. But since those on the outside often have a different perspective, let me just say this: I think people with a passion for something often forget a necessary ingredient – rest. A time to just step away from a certain task (like a day) and gain some new insights. While I think good habits are important, they can also retard growth. Routine can put us in a box and blind us to the outside world. You took a couple of hours off from not writing your book itself, but you still focused on the overall theme. You sought ways to improve yourself.

    Just some thoughts!


    1. Great thoughts, beatbox! Thanks for commenting.

      I’m probably a little too honest with the blog, but that’s how I fire myself up. And yeah, it’s not pretty — the cursing, the mind games, the brutal personal assaults — but that’s how the Marine Corps makes Marines and that’s how the Marine Corps made me.

      A lot of people like to think the Marine Corps is not some ugly, dirty process. They like to think of the pretty uniforms and white gloves and imagine peaceful, happy thoughts. But, they’re wrong. Dead wrong.

      I’ve got my demons I fight from the time I served, and I’ll always lean further toward the “too passionate” side than I probably should. But, that’s how you get things done. That’s how you go places.

      I’ll probably take flack for the post, but most of the people that know me know that I’m real and I’m honest. Arguably, too open, but I am who I am. And this insane drive and brutal pace I’ve put on myself has gotten me where I am, so I’ll probably keep going with it. (And I’m not saying I’m special or different than others. If you read Joe Konrath’s blog about the pace he kept up in the early days, you’d look at what I’m doing and ask, “Why the leisurely pace?”)

      Life is too short. I’m only 34, but I’m already in the middle of a mid-life crisis. The question is: How many books will I have out by 68? Where will I be on my ladder of personal goals? Every day, I get to answer that question.


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