Not that long ago, in late 2012 if memory serves me correctly, I wondered if this writing thing was worth it. I’d been diligently writing for publication for about three years at that point. I’d written maybe ten short stories and had an almost passable first draft of a novel cooling gently in the drawer. Seeing the stories of others reaching publication gave me something to shoot for and, at the same time, demoralized me a bit. How could I ever get to that point in my writing to see it in print?
It’s like the terrible old joke. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. And that’s what I did.
This afternoon, I completed edits on the first fifteen chapters of my military science fiction novel Runs In The Family. In two weeks, I’ll receive the content edits for my novel Walkabout (working title) from a different editor and a different publishing house. Both of the novels will come out this year, and I simply cannot believe that’s where I am today. I’m editing two novels for traditional publication. I never thought I’d be here, and the view from here is still cloudy.
The top of the mountain is a long way ahead. When I was a new writer, I could see the mountain from afar. There was a thick band of clouds around it about halfway up. That’s where things get difficult. My journey would not be under cloudy skies at all, or so I thought. Everyone goes through the clouds, and only those who truly love what they do reach the sunlight near the pinnacle. But with all high mountains, if you stay up there too long, bad things happen. It’s best to come back down, regroup, and make another ascent.
So, I’m polishing a science fiction / romance novel I wrote last year and getting it ready to submit to my publisher. I’m about to start working on the first few chapters of an alternate American history novel I spent more than two months researching this spring. I have arguably one of the best short stories I think I’ve written out for consideration at a professional market. And I’m editing. A lot.
What’s happened is that I’m falling in love with a book I wrote a long time ago. Before a life-threatening illness. Before the birth of our youngest child. Lots of things have happened to get me where I am. Above all, I’m writing. Every single day.
You should, too.