Where do I begin? I guess I’ll begin by climbing back on to that soapbox that I was on with the last post. DA’s a preachin’, now. Bear with me while I rant on and on for a few, but I’ll try to keep it on topic. Well, mostly on topic. I may ramble a bit. Here goes.
When I began this journey that has become my writing career, I never thought it would take me so far so quickly. I first published book one of my Ragnarok Rising Saga in July of 2012. That means, in almost two and a half years, I’ve published four full-length novels and am working on the fifth. To me, that’s quite an accomplishment, since I have been trying to become an author since I was a kid. It only took me four decades, but what the heck. Here I am, anyway. It might have taken a bit longer than I hoped, but it’s not the destination that makes the dream worthwhile. It’s the journey.
I didn’t have to pull a Faust and sell my soul to the devil to do it, either. It just took a tremendous amount of work…not all of it my own. There have been some amazing people that have joined me on this journey, as well. My family, of course, came along for the ride. There are quite a few others, too. Matt Roper, my friend and confidant, has been both inspirational as well as helpful. He’s been a sounding board for a lot of ideas. Phil Morrissey, my best friend and cover artist, was instrumental in this transition from traditional publisher to independent author. Without him, I’d still be mired in the miasma that I thought was an insurmountable challenge…..Self-publishing. Phil made all the difference in the world.
There are many others, as well. People who gave of their time and energy…both emotional and real…to make these books come to life. Josh Jones, Katie Hughes, Brian Forrester, Johnathon Drake, Mike Mello, Chris Sowards….you all helped to turn this into the work that it is. Thank you all.
Now…it wasn’t my intention to turn this into an impromptu dedication page for the series. Far from it. What I really planned to do was to tell you all that if I can do this, then so can you. I made no strange contracts with shadowy underworld figures, either. It just took a lot of hard work. We’re all capable of that, right? Dig in, dig deep and write that story that is inside you, waiting to be set free and shared with the world. You can do it.
It hasn’t been an easy journey, either. Writing is work. Don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t. I’ve spent countless hours at the keyboard turning ideas into words and eventually into books. If it was easy, everyone would publish. You can’t just set down and knock out the next Harry Potter series in an afternoon, then have an early dinner. It’s just not that easy. There is a lot of work to it, but it is more than worth it. Holding that finished manuscript in your hands for the first time is one Hell of a feeling (pun intended…see I know what Faust is about).
Chase your dreams. That’s why we have them in the first place. Dream those dreams and reach for the stars. Always remember that Rough drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written. You can fix the rough spots in the editing phase. That’s what it’s for. Write your tales. Only you can write it.
I know that it always bugs authors when they here someone diminish what they’ve accomplished when someone says, “Hey, you wrote a book? I was going to write a book, but I never found the time.” Yeah, that bugs me, too. If it was easy, then everyone would do it. But the thing is, it’s not easy. Hemingway said it best when he said, “To write a novel all you have to do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.”
You pour yourself into your work, whether you believe it or not. Your ideas, your work, your very essence flows into every word. The finished manuscript is as much a part of you as your own children. It’s the child of your mind. It will take on a life of it’s own,too. When I hear people discuss my writing, it always makes me smile. I want them to remember the writing. That is why I write. To me, it’s all about the stories.
I’m not overly concerned with any kind of celebrity status or fame. I want the writing to say it all. To me, the writing is my legacy to my children. It will (hopefully) live on, long after I’m gone. Fame is fleeting. The stories we write could live on for generations, if we tell them well. I hope my grandchildren are fans of Tolkien and some of the other great writers that have been a big part of my life over the years. I could drop a lot of impressive names here, but I won’t. We all love good books and I’m sure you’d see a lot of the same names on my list as you would find on yours.
So, to finish up here and climb back down off of my soapbox….write your stories. Share them with the world. Finish that book and then start another one. I did and look where it’s taken me. I’m writing my fifth novel, now. Ten years ago, I never would have thought I would ever publish. Hell, five years ago. It happened for me, it can happen for you. Believe and achieve.
When you finish, celebrate. You’re in an exclusive club. Not many people write a novel. Even fewer publish one. So, write that book…don’t be like Faust…and celebrate your victory. I like to celebrate mine with a small glass of the finest beverage ever created by man. Bushmills Irish Whiskey. It really is the water of life.
Believe in yourself. Chase your dream and don’t ever give it up.