After over six and a half months, I’m finally home from my deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. It was a trip, as every deployment is, but I got through, just as I have 2 other times in the past. Each deployment, I’ve been gone over six months, so that’s over a year and a half away from my family, but when you tally up all the other temporary duty locations I’ve gone to over my 15+ years in the Air Force, I’ve had to spend well over 2 and a half years away from home.
It’s a rough life, but this life has given us more memories than we ever knew it would. So, it’s a love/hate relationship I have with the United States Air Force. We’re severely underpaid, but we have free healthcare. We’re forced to move around the world, even when we don’t want to, but through that moving we see so much more than the civilians we fight to protect. We spend so much time away from our families, but if you’re able to make it through it, your family is so much stronger. I appreciate my wife and children more than the average man, because we’ve had to deal with so much, and we’ve done it all together from the very start. This is what we do, and we still have over 4 years left to do it.
You’re probably wondering what the desert is like. I get that. I would wonder the same thing if I never got to go. The answer is exactly what you’d expect. It’s f**king hot! There’s more to it than that, but that’s a really memorable part. In Al Dhafra, the average temperature was 114 in June during the day. At night, the temp was still at 100, but the humidity shot up to 100%. That’s not an exaggeration. It was 100% humidity at night in June and July.
Showers were ruined the second I walked outside. It would start with my hands. It’d feel like my hands were sweating all of a sudden, but it wasn’t sweat, it was just the humidity covering my palms with mist. Metal buildings on the base would drip with water as if it was raining, simply because the AC would be on inside the building and condensation would coat the outside of the building. Although a shower could be destroyed within seconds of stepping outside, if you went two days without a shower, the world would know, because the amount of sweat that’d cover your body would be insane, and with sweat comes STANK! So, I had to keep the showers on point if I didn’t want a rep for being the funky guy on shift.
I’m a gym rat, so I spent the entire 6 months going to the gym. I was on a mission to bring my 6-pack back, and I’m happy to say I was able to pull it off! Due to my commitment to cardio and lifting, I was able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. At first, I thought I might just try to bulk to something insane, but after some thought, I decided to cut up. I just thought Wifey would like that better, to be honest. She probably doesn’t care, but in my head, she wants a husband with huge shoulders and 6-pack abs, so that’s what I built for myself. It was a bitch, because my stupid stomach DID NOT want to cooperate at first, and for the first 3 months, I thought it wasn’t going to work. Eventually, though, the layer of fat melted off and ridges started to show up when I flexed my stomach. I haven’t had visible muscles on my stomach since I was in my early 20s, so the hard work paid off!
Now that the deployment is over, it’s go time once again. The book game has changed a lot since Wifey and I first started. A LOT. There’s all this stuff about ads on Facebook and Amazon, and the days of writing a book and putting out without much worry or money are over. Now, it officially takes money to make money. It’s a scary thing when you’re not rich, because what if it doesn’t work? What if I give my money to Facebook for advertising, and I don’t even break even in book sales? Now I’m even more broke and my entire family suffers.
So, I’m nervous. I’m nervous as hell, but one thing that didn’t change when I was over there was my love and desire for writing. I want to do this for a living, whether it’s traditional or indie (although I’d prefer traditional due to the types of stories I want to write that seem impossible to sell in the indie world). In order to get what I want as fast as possible (because I only have 4+ years of military service left before I retire), I have to write my ass off. I’ve been thinking about it and planning it for 6 months, and now it’s time to get to work.
The words are going to come fast. I have a lot of amazing sh*t in my head, and I have a style of my own that I’m dying to show the world. I’ve published 11 books to date, but I truly feel like I’m starting over right now, because the game is so different and I’m writing in a lane I created for myself. I don’t know if writing this way will do well in the indie world, but we’re going to test it and find out. Regardless, I’m going to write my way 100%. If you’ve read my books in the past, this “new me” really isn’t anything new. It’s Madman (Love & Chaos #1). When I wrote that book, it changed me. Even when I wrote BOSS, I knew it wasn’t Madman, and I knew I could never go back to whatever it was I was doing before I wrote as Solomon King. Solomon was just too much, and he gave me a whole new brain when it comes to writing. He’s the bar now, and somehow I have to top him. I’ve come up with so many characters and plots to try, and maybe this style won’t get much love in the indie world, but like I said, we’re going to try anyway.
While I’m trying, I’m also going to be trying to go traditional, because I believe I’m good enough to do it. I believe my style of writing is good enough and my ability as a writer is good enough. I believe I’m ready, now more than ever before. I’m pumped up. All I have to do now is sit my ass down and start writing. My current WIP has a title that will be announced soon, and it’s well underway. Tomorrow, I plan to review what I’ve written on my brand new Chromebook (Yes, I love my Chromebook!), and I intend to write the next day!
Once I’m writing, I don’t plan on stopping. Even after I finish my current WIP, I’m not taking a break between books. I’ll move onto the next WIP as soon as I’m done with this one, and intend to start to query for an agent with my next manuscript. I’m about to be a writing fool! I have to do some work on my social media presence, but the writing will be on 100. I’m going to build my audience by being who I am, and writing what I want, and I believe my dream of being a full-time author with books in stores across the world will come to fruition. You WILL find my books in Target one day. They’ll be in Walmart, EVERY Barnes & Noble, and even that little bookstore in Guam we used to shop at called Bestseller.
This is the beginning. I have to look at it that way in order to feel refreshed about what I’m about to do. I’ve been writing a long time, but now I feel like I’m actually pursuing becoming an author. I know I’m already a bestselling indie author, but trying to become full-time and traditional is a whole new journey with new steps to take and new bumps in the road. I know it won’t be easy, but it’s what I want to do. It’s something I have to pursue. I
‘m starting over right now. This is the new WS Greer. Even with 11 books in my catalog, I haven’t even gotten started. You ready? Good. Let’s begin again.