I read The Kill Zone every morning. The authors posting at this site are smart, knowledgeable, and entertaining. I found this particular post especially helpful; http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.ca/2013/07/the-ctfd-writing-method.html#.UhjHBRvrzvI
When you’ve peaked the hill of middle age and find yourself plunging down the other side on the luge towards death, images of your childhood fantasies start to blur past you like scenery seen from an express train. What have I accomplished in the last few (or more) decades?
Um, no. One dog, and a guy who can sing but has nowhere near as much hair as David.
Nor do I have a university diploma, a teaching career, or a 1965 Montreal Blue Mustang convertible. But worst of all, most disappointing of all, I don’t have a published book.
Fortunately, hopefully, I still have time for the book dream. I could get my diploma and become a teacher but that is not the dream that irritates me. Wakes me up in the middle of the night. Unsettles me when I look around and think about how lucky I am to have the things I do have.
I want to be an author. Not just a writer. A recognized, if even only by a few, author. Why? Is it a need for admiration? No…don’t think so, though it would be nice. Number one reason? Just so I can say I did it. I set a goal and actually accomplished it. Might not be an Olympic gold medal. Won’t end up with a bunch of initials after my name. But seeing my words in print (even if it’s eprint) will be something I can be proud of, a tangible reality that will entertain, and hopefully inspire. Encourage others to arrange words on paper until they tell a story that makes their reader laugh, or cry, or hope, or feel anything other than boredom.
As Mr. Boyd Morrison points out in his post, linked above, Steve Berry wrote eight books in twelve years before he was published. And none of those books was the one published. Dean Koontz’s first four books were never published, and he wrote 100 books before Mr. Morrison ever heard of him. Stephen King’s “On Writng” tells of his struggles, and they were long and hard before he hit it big with CARRIE.
I’ve written two books. One in 2004 and the other, 2013. Nowhere near enough practice. If I’m not writing, I should be reading. Not just novels, but also how-to books, written by published authors who want to help newbies hone their craft. I should be taking notes, building my platform, shaping my goals into achievable bites, attending conferences and writing, writing, writing.
And I should calm the f*ck down. Slow the luge. The more pressure I put on myself, the more my brain cells, what few are left, freeze up. Take deep breaths. And take one step at a time. Realize this dream is not going to reach fulfillment overnight. Or even over many, many, nights. All I have to do is keep working towards it. Do something towards that goal every day. Finish the present book to the best of my ability, and send it out. Rejected? Send it to another publisher. Rejected? Go to the next name on your list. Meanwhile, write the next book.
No matter what pesters you in the middle of the night or the early morning hours, Mr. Morrison’s advice are good words to follow. Calm down. Do not make hasty decisions and give yourself a break. Even if you’re not where you wanted to be when you were twelve, you still have choices about which way to go next. Think about it. No rush. And if you decide you are quite happy where you are, and where you’re heading…PERFECT. I envy you.
I still have a long row to hoe.