The Start of A Journey

My name is Terren Jones and I want to write for a living. That’s my dream and this is the start of the journey to see it become a reality. I want to document my life and the steps I’m taking to try to reach my goals, and I’m hoping it will serve as a guide for myself and others. So if your reading this and you’ve gotten something out of my story that has some how helped you please let me know somehow, because that’s really what this is all about. Well I’m hoping at least that this blog will eventually lead to that, but for now let’s stay focused on the present and for that I’m gonna right some background.

So you know my name (it’s the in the very first sentence if you forgot, don’t worry I forget all the time so;) now I want to talk about where I’m from since culture plays a major role in personality. I live in the deep evergreens of Southwest Washington, an hour away from the Pacific Ocean, and an hour away from Portland, Oregon. I don’t surf  but the Ocean holds a place in my heart. I’m not really that good at Social Media, or the newest coolest eateries, and I would say I make an attempt at dressing like a Hipster and trying to be vegan like you would expect from the stereotypical Pacific North Westerner (PNW baby), but I’ve never been able to fully commit to it. That’s been a recurring theme in my life. An utter inability to fully commit to something. To put one hundred percent into it. Well that’s all starting to change.

About three years ago my world was thrown so out of balance (I’m not saying that it was balanced at the time, I’m just trying to state there was a cataclysmic event) I had no other choice than to fix it. So I got into the world of self-help and after three years I can say I’ve failed a lot, but I’ve learned enough to know that failure doesn’t define me. That the past doesn’t define me (the only reason I put background was so you can get a picture of who I am), that nothing can define who I am except for me. So this is the start of my journey to reaching a goal I want to accomplish by the end of the year 2018:I will make at least a single dollar from writing this year. To do this I’m going to write at least 250 words a day towards this blog. That’s the first commitment, and I’m excited to start in on it today to see where the end of the year takes me.

So I want to leave these post with a quote, “Your mind and body is a gift, given to you by someone else. You had no part in it’s creation, be grateful for your gift given only to you.”- Unknown (I forgot who said it I just know I’m not that profound:)

 

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Motivation

I got home from work today and the last thing I wanted to do was write, I still don’t in fact I loathe my fingers for moving on the keyboard right now. So why write you may ask whomever you are reading this, well to be honest because I said I would.

I made a commitment to myself to write at least 250 words a day towards this blog and I really want to be a person that sticks to his word. I want to live by the values I choose to live by. I want to make life long habits to be a better me. To take small steps everyday towards that was my commitment, and I freaking hate it sometimes.

I really don’t feel like doing this. I had a bad day. I feel totally off balance and I was supposed to write earlier but I didn’t have time because I woke up late. I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by all the things I need to get done this weekend. I told people I wanted to hang out when really I just want to be lazy. Like so lazy. I want to lay down on the couch with my laptop open to Hulu, the TV on Prime and my phone with the Netflix app open. I want to consume as much garbage as I can, I really don’t feel like doing anything else.

Now that I’ve gotten that all out I feel better. I kind of enjoyed it. This (the word This itself is the one I am referring to) is word 250, and I’m glad I was able to make myself open the computer this time. Most days I give in to my feelings, not today and that counts. To me anyway it does.

Thanks for reading.

Shock

When I was a kid around the age of 8 my grandparents lived in the back country over looking the Columbia river. They raised horses, well mini horses, they were my grandmother’s favorite. They let them roam around the 2 or 3 acres of flat land that was fenced in with three thin metal wires.

I was raised in a family of six and when my parents wanted to get away for a little bit I can only imagine now that I am a father of one son how freaking difficult that most have been. The logistics alone are crazy let alone I don’t know anyone in my life anyways whose going, “how many kids… 6… sure I would love to take all of them over night.” No it just doesn’t happen that way. So when my grandma decided to not only take the six of us but five other kids from two of her other kids, something in the universe aligned itself for this to happen. So just in case your counting that’s eleven different kids, all differing ages, and Grandma decided to buy a lot of soda. Needless to say about ten minutes after the first of us pulled up on the aluminum tab and heard the sweet hiss of escaping carbonation, we were sent outside so we wouldn’t “burn the f#@king house down!”

This is were the that first paragraph comes in. At the time I didn’t realize the my grandparents were sending volts of electricity through those metal wires that squared in the tiny horses that us kids weren’t allowed to ride, even though they were the only horses that were the perfect height for an eight year old. Grandpa knew though and he had gotten a few shocks every once in a while when he forgot to turn it off before going out and throwing some hay in out in the field and patting down his wife’s treasures. He looked down at me and handed me a pine cone, and said “Everyone grab hands we are going to learn about science.” We did as asked, and after he saw that all eleven of us had joined hands he looked at me and said, “okay now touch the pine cone on this wire here.” He pointed to the top wire, and wanting to impress my Grandpa I didn’t hesitate.

I pushed the tip of that soaked fallen baby tree right into the metal line and felt the jolt run through my fingers into my neck and out my other hand passing on the pain like I meant to give it away. My hand immediately pulled away, but by then the damage was done and the whole line (including my older brother at the very end who got it the worst) let out in a single voice “OW”. My Grandpa was laughing so hard, I’ve never seen him laugh like that. So after a second we all laughed. Not wanting to be the joke we laughed at each other and ourselves, and we thought “how could we be so stupid?”

The word shock brought me back to this memory. It makes me think about how often I just say yes to someone because they are some sort of authority figure. I want to so badly impress and be the ‘good one’ who doesn’t question or ask why. I want to dive into a request no hesitation. I should remember what my Grandpa taught me, to not be so willing to be the first in line to jump at any opportunity.

via Daily Prompt: Shock

Spare some Change

In the early morning of July 6th in a curtained off room on the third floor of a hospital I sat and rubbed backs, smoothed hair and whispered well meaning words as the woman I loved curled over herself in pain. There was nothing I could do to help really just sit around and send out hope that everything would be all right. Fast forward past the hour ambulance ride on a bumpy road and a weeks worth of medication that leaves you a zombie slipping in and out of consciousness I saw my wife go through hell, I had stopped sending out hope. I knew this was retribution for all the wrong I did in my life, for all the lies I told, for all the false hope I had instilled in others, for being alive. When the doctors came in I didn’t really listen to what they had to say, I already knew what would happen, but I needed to keep it together for that magnificent women on the bed.

When my son was born a red gooey heaping mess of thin skin stretched over bird like bones and an almost spitting image of the baby Benjamin Button I tried to feel nothing but was hard pressed to keep in all the emotions new life brings to a room it just captivated with it’s magic. He started crying and the flood gates broke down and crumbled into the massive wave they released and let out enough tears to swallow a city. I looked at life a new way, with new hope, when he stopped crying and breathing and the nurses started in on my son. I realized how little time we really had, it came to me like it fell out of the sky and crushed me into the tiled floor of the hospital room. I needed to change and do it fast or I wouldn’t be around to see my son be the man he is capable of being.

Besides all the other things a baby will do to change your life, my son helped me to start changing myself and how I thought about the world. He started me on a journey to self discover and letting go, he was the change I needed in my life.

Study

I like daily prompts there is something about being inspired by another person that just kind of speaks to me. It makes me think I might one day be able to inspire others, if I haven’t all ready. The coolest thing about this prompt though is that it’s only 1 word. That’s it, that is all you need to wheels turning. To get thoughts provoked and creativity inspired, just one word.

When I first started writing I was inspired by an fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson. I read on of his books, and fell so deeply into the story that I didn’t stop reading for 8 straight hours tell I finally finished the first book in a trilogy. I spent the next couple of weeks sitting on my hands and waiting for the next two books to arrive in the mail from my Amazon order. I had recently read a series of novels that in my own opinion weren’t good (not that I could do any better, they just didn’t read well for me) and when I read ‘The Mistborn’ Trilogy it blew my mind. The characters where vetted and felt three dimensional, there was a coherent plot and the bad guy had a reason to be bad (that last part might seem weird but I’ve read many books were the bad guy was just bad, that was it, he was just a bad guy no past history or anything). His books made me want to start writing, they gave me goal to reach. I want to write stories as well as him. I want people to fall into my writing like it’s a portal to another dimension, and when they close the cover and return home I want them to miss that strange world where anything was possible but it all felt so real.

So first things first, if I wanted to write like that then I would need to learn how. I got online started taking free courses on creative writing. I started writing everyday, at least 250 words (I’ve only been doing this now for about 2 months) I practice grammar, I practice different styles of writing, but I think for me the most important part on this journey is to study. It’s to pick up another book and to be transported into that world where anything could happen. By sifting through actions and voices and words. It’s by studying other authors work that we grow. It’s by reading that writing has a purpose even if it’s only one word.

via Daily Prompt: Study

Why I started down this path.

Okay so the other day I started this site and shared the purpose of it. “To keep track of my journey to becoming a writer who made at least a single dollar from writing in the year 2018.” To do this I am committed to writing at least 250 words towards this blog (I also made a commitment to writing 250 words towards a book a day as well), and of course the day after I tell the world of my pledge I promptly loose motivation. So I didn’t stick to my commitment yesterday, and although I know I’m not perfect I still feel like a failure.

That’s the reason I started trying to live the life of my dreams. To live a life of values by taking one step everyday (even if they are little) towards a better me. A man that is able to live freely and accomplish my goals. I was tired of feeling like a failure. I was tired of feeling like I was unable to finish anything. Most of all I was tired of feeling out of control, and a slave to my emotions.

Three years ago my son was born. A beautiful baby, he started crying about thirty seconds after he was born and about thirty seconds after that he stopped breathing. My son was born two months premature and spent about just as long in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU for short). This basically forced me to take a quantum leap towards understanding that the way that I was living was not going to end well, and that to be a good father I had to start taking responsibility for myself and stop blaming others for my life. Because nobody else can live my life for me, and nobody can make me do something I don’t really want to do. My son forced me to wake up and say to myself, “I am in control of my life.”

So even though I am not perfect (to be honest I think life would be boring if you were) I am still trying, and isn’t that what it means to be human. The point is that even though I feel like a failure, even though I feel inadequate, and even though I sometimes feel like I will never be good enough to live a life I want. I don’t let my emotions rule me anymore, I look to them as guides to change my behavior or thinking. So yes I had a bad day, but I can get back up and continue on. Maybe this time I can figure out the lesson I was supposed to from my failure.