Special Announcement

I’m excited to announce that next Wednesday, June 8th, I’m going to have a special treat for you! Wendy E. Simmons, author, will be appearing as a special guest blogger* on my website and social media pages. Wendy’s new book, “My Holiday In North Korea – The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth” chronicles her adventures in North Korea as a solo traveler. You heard that right, not only was she one of the few Americans to experience North Korea but she went there alone. I’ve read the book and really enjoyed it and I think you will too. Please watch for her guest appearance here less than one week from today!

Wendy’s website can be found here.

Here’s a link to a newscast appearance from her recent book tour: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__denver.cbslocal.com_video_3406356-2Dwendy-2Dsimmons-2Dauthor-2Dnorth-2Dkorea_-23.V1BBv6w0Nuk.facebook&d=CwIFAg&c=3OfU9rcgQiAohND-1k-GbQ&r=uJyNvae_jreP9weXV4zlkjVf8tx7pNZAvHhKxn86BAc&m=sqSD3SoMAZdiGcusmmbzSqzNluZXvMQoyJsePs89jUU&s=m69-Sky5so_aSsZxkmX0nioqPQKIWjri79AlpEH4wC8&e=

*Please contact me at – ericvancewalton@gmail.com if you would be interested in becoming a guest blogger.

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Limits, SCHLIMITS

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee

After two decades in this business I realize that writing will either; 1. break you; or 2. polish away your imperfections and make you a better human being. Sometimes getting to number 2 requires number 1 to happen first.

Yesterday I listened to James Altucher’s recent podcast with Jesse Itzler to promote his book, “Living With A Seal: 31 Days Training With The Toughest Man On The Planet.”  Jesse’s book is about how this former Navy Seal pushed to crush limits he didn’t even realize he had. This made me realize how human nature so often causes us to perceive our limits to be far less than they really are. There was a time in our history when this was probably useful for survival but in today’s world it often only limits our success and happiness.

Writing, and pretty much every other worthwhile goal in life, requires you to develop a certain psychological toughness over time.  Much like training for a marathon we have to consistently push ourselves to our limits, embrace the pain, and then explode beyond those self-perceived limitations.  This is how people have always found success. After meditating for nearly half of my life I have learned very useful Jedi-like mind tricks that cause the shift in perception necessary to conquer fear or many things that seem impossible.  I’m also aware of just how weak my mind still is sometimes.  I’ve learned that a true growth-moment always occurs just after the pain and yearning is almost too much to bear.  It’s the closest thing I can imagine to giving birth.

Recently had one of those moments.  I was feeling frustrated and sorry for myself.  My day job, personal responsibilities, work on the second novel, promoting my writing, and building a website seemed like it was too much to handle.  I was feeling overwhelmed and, as a result of that, nothing was getting done.  The excuses were flying, “There aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.”,  “I don’t know how to create a website.” “I can’t meet that deadline.”

As it normally does, life presented me with a few examples that became solutions.  One example was James’ podcast with Jesse Itzler that I previously spoke of, the other came in the form of a friend of mine, Ulrika, from Sweden.  Ulrika is a pharmacist, owns her own candy company, is raising children and still manages to write two (or more) large novels per year.  At first this seemed impossible to me…until she revealed to me the simple secret of how she did it.  No matter how much she has going on in her life she writes one hour per day.  One hour. Every. Single. Day.  It was that ingeniously simple.

I decided to try out her method for myself and here I am, three weeks from the depths of my pain and frustration with a fully functional website (www.ericvancewalton.net) that I built myself.  I’m also waking up an hour (or more) early before going to my day job to work on my second novel, Truth Is Stranger.  This has reminded me is most of us can do and be so much more than we are.

No matter what life throws at us, there’s never not a solution. Life will show us the way (sometime’s it’ll even kick us in the pants). Our only job is to be awake enough to see it and be willing to do the work.  I can tell you first-hand, the glorious lack of regret is worth every single ounce of the pain.

~Eric Vance Walton~

DON’T FALL FOR ANYONE’S BULL$H!T (ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN)

All of us can think of at least one talented artist (musician, writer, actor, etc.) whose creative prowess peaks a few years into their careers and they spend the rest of their lives chasing their former glory. As a creative person myself I always feel horrible for both them as well as the loyal fans who follow them down the death spiral of their careers hoping their heroes will regain their glory. Many times these people just can’t seem to free themselves from the gravity of the spiral and their work gets progressively more and more out of touch. They eventually become irrelevant, or even more tragically, a societal joke.

I’ve heard many excuses as to why this happens, among them are laziness, too much of the good life, a creative dry spell, burnout, old age. What do I say about these excuses? I call bull$h!t…quite literally. I think all of these excuses are merely symptoms caused by two different kinds of bull$h!t.

Let me elaborate.

I’ve been writing for decades and have recently had the good fortune to finally achieve a small taste of success. As a result of this I’ve suddenly realized how crafty bull$h!t is and how easily it can creep into your life. If you achieve even a small amount of success in this world inevitably people begin lavish you with praise and tell you how talented you are. Most times this praise comes from a altruistic place within the people who are doing the praising but occasionally it doesn’t. Sometimes people seek you out and will stroke your ego so they can manipulate you into doing things for them. These are the takers.

The truth is when you begin to believe the praise from either source that praise turns into poison for both your soul and your career.

As a creative person you must proceed with caution and become cognizant of which category the praise falls into. It’s difficult at first but gets easier to discern with practice. In a short amount of time you develop a sixth sense for spotting takers and they become easily avoidable.

The altruistic praise is ten times more dangerous. We feel that it’s sincere and after struggling for so long it feels amazing to get this kind of attention. This sincere praise creates an emotional high that we begin to crave more of, if we allow ourselves to believe it. Some people become addicts and surround themselves with people who lavish them with praise. So begins the death spiral.

The antidote to the bull$h!t is to accept the praise, be grateful to the praiser for it, then release it long before it has a chance to turn into bull$h!t.

You see, altruistic praise only is recycled into bull$h!t when you begin to believe it. Ego is our kryptonite. Each time you believe it makes you feel as though you’re as good as you need to be. You feel as though you’ve finally attained your long sought after goal and you no longer need to learn, grow, polish your craft, and evolve into a better version of yourself.

I liken this modern world to a treadmill, things move so fast that to stand still means you quickly fall behind. The only way for most of us to be truly successful and create a sustainable career is to wake up to the fact that we will never truly “get there”. Our work will never be quite done. We will be honing our craft until the day we die. In fact if this seems tiring and it feels like work we probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I’ve learned that it’s truly never been about the destination, it has always been about the journey. This journey is exhilarating, I wake up every day with a new wish and a renewed sense of hope.

Enjoy each second of your journey but just be careful where you step and that your meter is finely tuned.

~Eric Vance Walton~
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Eric Vance Walton is a novelist, poet, aspiring world traveler, and tea junkie. He invites you to follow his unfolding story by “liking” his Facebook author page at for updates and promotions on his current and upcoming projects. You can find Eric’s new book One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author, on Amazon in print or as an ebook.

Do you know what you’d like to say to that special someone but can’t find the words?

I would love to help.

I’ve been writing poetry for over two decades and have published several books. Google my full name (Eric Vance Walton) and you will see that my individual poems have been published widely in many publications and literary journals.

Through my decades of experience I will insure that the poem we craft together reflects the depth of your caring and love for the recipient. This poem will make an impression that will be remembered always [read more]

The Perfect Pause

I don’t promote this book much anymore. It’s not because I don’t like it but it’s already been in print now for a decade and I’m more focused on writing fiction now.  I still believe in it. More importantly, I believe in the incredible power of meditation.

A little about this book:

Did you ever wish that life came with a pause button? The secret is that it does!

With three months of dedicated practice and journaling you will learn how meditation can greatly improve the quality of your life by:

• Easing and improving your ability to handle stress.
• Allowing you to sleep more restfully.
• Teaching you to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

The Perfect Pause is a clear, concise meditation guide, and journal that will give you the basic tools necessary to discover life’s “pause button”. Included in the book is a three-month journal to chart your progress. This comprehensive guide provides a reboot to the rigors of our modern life!

Click here to see a preview and purchase. 

I Present to you…The Greatest of Secrets!

On Sale Now…my new poetry chapbook, The Greatest of Secrets! This beautiful chapbook contains more than twenty original poems suited for Valentine’s Day and is entirely handmade and bound.

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I’m so happy with how this book turned out. I collaborated with the talented Twin Cities artist, Kristi Casey, on this project. The Greatest of Secrets is a very limited edition of 100 copies and half of them were sold in pre-sales. Each of the 50 copies left will be hand-numbered and autographed. The dimensions of the book are 5” x 6” and the interior is printed on 24lb ivory colored paper. This even smells like an old book because the artist has used vintage sheet music for the cover. Since it’s handmade, each book cover will be slightly different.

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The price for this one of a kind chapbook is $15.50 per copy US domestic and $16.50 for international orders. Shipping is included. Purchase your chapbook(s) now via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com) in 4 easy steps: 1. log onto your Paypal account; 2. choose, “Pay or Send Money”; 3. click, “Send money to friends or family (or Paypal charges a fee); and 4. send the proper amount to, “ericvancewalton@gmail.com”. Please don’t forget to include the shipping address in the notes.

If you’d rather pay by check please email me at ericvancewalton@gmail.com with the number of copies you wish to purchase and your address and I’ll respond with the address to which you can send a personal check.

Own or gift a copy of my very first poetry chapbook. When they’re gone, there will be no more. This would make a very thoughtful and unique Valentine’s Day gift. Although we can’t guarantee it, we will do our very best to have these to your doorstep by Valentine’s Day. Again, the price is $15.50 per copy US domestic and $16.50 for international orders. Thanks!

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