I typically take a peek at the upcoming topic the weekend before. I like to try and stay ahead, but also to allow my thoughts to begin collecting, thus making it easier to write the post. In doing so, the theme of the post reveals itself, sentences begin to form and each paragraph tends to begin lining up, jockeying for position.
This week’s topic was easy and, although I am only beginning to write it, I daresay that it will write itself. (Editor’s note: it did.)
For those of you who have come to know me, I hope you will not find this post to be repetitive. I have spoken about some of this before. For those of you who don’t know me very well, allow me to set it up.
I started writing late in life. That’s not exactly true. What I mean is I started writing when I was a kid, of course. However, it wasn’t until I had approached my forties that I began attempting to resurrect the novel writing that I had been doing before life, family and career began pushing it to the back-burner, as they say. I completed my novel about vampires unleashed in my hometown and then was blessed to find a publisher willing to climb out on a limb with me. Although it took essentially twenty years to write the first novel, I managed to write the first two drafts of the sequel in a mere eight months.
Since then, it has been a blur. A guest post in these hallowed pages soon became an invite to join as a regular. A review in a local magazine soon got me a job writing for another magazine. Add to this the posting I need to do for my own blog, as well as the help I give to another, and suddenly I’m juggling deadlines. Then, for everything that you are doing, you need to keep the gears of the PR machine greased. I do all of that on top of the eleven hours that I do at my day-job. Notice I have yet to say anything about my family or house and yard work.
So, why do I do it? Why do any of us do it? It’s two reasons, isn’t it?
We write because we have it in us. We were born with a talent to put words together in such a way that it compels others to want to read more. We tell stories with words, and not just any words, but grand ones. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way, am I? I would love to hear how others feel about it.
Another reason that we write is the potential. Stephen King used to write stories that no one but his immediate circle read. I heard that John Grisham gave his first novel away. That would have been A Time to Kill. Have you read it? It might be his best; certainly one of them. How about J.K. Rowling? Or Stephanie Meyer? Enter any author that you want onto this list. Heck, you can even add the names of newspaper columnists, play-writes, screenwriters and songwriters to that list of people who are now being paid to do what they do. Each and every one of them came from a place where no one was reading them. Who says that you and I are not next to that list?
Having (written) said all of this, one might say that the answer is simple, but it isn’t. I’m approaching forty-two years old now. Before you begin to tell me that I’m not old or anything, and that I have plenty of time yet to make a second career out of writing (and I love you for it, by the way), I have a couple of other numbers for you: 21, 17 and 13. This June will be my 21st wedding anniversary. I married my wife, not my laptop and iPhone. She has gotten scant attention from me these past few years while I attempt to juggle a schedule that is far too demanding. Next is how old my firstborn will be this coming July. He’s driving now and is as accomplished as hell. He performs in plays, sings honor choir and plays in honor band. He was one of only sixteen to make the California All-State Jazz Choir. He’s starting to get a ton of mail from colleges far and wide. The last number is the age of my youngest son. He’s the sports kid. He’s my all-star in baseball and is now doing track, too. If I keep up this pace for another five years, I could potentially look up to find that both of them are grown men.
I’m going to take a hard look at this year and see what I can glean from it. I love to write and have tons more stories that I would like to see in print, even if I’m the only one reading them. People who have read my novel so far come up to me and tell me that they liked it. Just getting more people to hear of the novel is the difficult part, not to mention getting them to buy.
Unfortunately, I fear that I am going to have to schedule down soon. This year the second novel will see publication, but when am I going to find the time to begin writing the third one? As it is now, the only writing I’m doing is for PR – not fiction at all.
What keeps you guys motivated? I really want to know. Perhaps reading your comments will help me more clearly decide what I want to do. Or need to do.
Oh, and one more thing. You’ll notice that I didn’t post any photos this time. I just felt that the words should provide the pictures today.
It’s what we do. Right?