I learned something ten years ago when I decided I would never pursue a writing career. I felt I had a good reason. Obviously, now, I am pursuing a writing career with vigor, but as most of you who have tried chasing down your dreams, sometimes you get disillusioned and start to lose faith in it, then some of you quit. I did once. I had completed a 20,000 word short story YA Sci-fi that was a fun adventure to read. And I was nearing the completion of a YA Fantasy manuscript that was already 85,000 words. I had been writing the beautiful thing since High School and I was determined to finish it, till I made the big mistake. I started reading it, before I had finished. And I hated it. It felt predictable, immature and the story was just sloppily thrown together.
Well any sane person would say, start editing or finish it and straighten it out later. Well, I’m not known as normal or sane to my closest friends, more so now, but when I was young and impatient, well you get the idea. Usually I’m the guy with his head in the clouds, on some other planet, or saying random things that have nothing to do with anything currently on topic, sometimes rudely interrupting people. I’m also known to sometimes say something random to a stranger. If it’s on my mind I tend to blurt it out, or write it. I’m getting off topic, see what I mean? It’s like I have ADD. Maybe I do, no idea, but I do get random fits of Insomnia when my brain just refuses to shut-down. There I go again. Now back to my point.
That fateful day, I made a decision that I still regret to this day. I took the sci-fi and the fantasy and tossed them into a burning fire pit. No not a fireplace. I went out to a friend’s property, where they had a real fire pit for burning trash. They happen to be burning trash when I got there, and I was really upset with my writing. I threw them in, despite at least two of my friends having reads excerpts, trying to convince me not to throw away a possible career. Burned, charred and ash.
That was that, I was never going to seriously write anything again. Problem is the ideas kept coming. The fantasy and the sci-fi both evolved in my head into epics. I started taking notes then I created outlines and now I have nearly twenty novels outlined for the same Fantasy series and about five for the Sci-fi. Not to mention numerous more ideas that kept coming to me and I began writing them all down a few months ago. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Have you ever tried watching eight movies at once? It’s insane, and I was losing my sanity. Then one day I just started writing. I finally found that peace. Now I’m back to serious writing, but this time I’ve left the young adult genre, and I’m writing more serious and adult novels. A few months back I wrote some short pieces to test with friends and get real honest opinions on whether I should consider publishing. One particular short was from my fantasy in chapter one. Four people read it. Two of the girls were in tears and wanted more, the guy wanted more right away and loved it, the fourth, well, that was my humbling moment. She said it was ok. Brought me back down to earth and made me realize that I will have to really give it my all to make this work.
So what’s the moral of the story? Never quit on your dreams.
It is ok however to take a break, because now my stories will be far more vivid and entertaining than they would have if I forced them out ten years ago. Maybe I would have been published then, maybe not, but the lesson is I don’t care anymore. I have found that everyone who has read my work has enjoyed it. And so I am making this blog to share that work as I begin to publish it. Through traditional / legacy publishing or by self-publication. I know enough people who can do amazing art and can assist me with the editing and I have my own small fan base with honest friends that aren’t afraid to tell me if I suck. So if the big boys don’t want to publish me, I will do it through my own means. I will no longer deny my dreams. All I can do is give it my best shot and hope that someone enjoys my novels as much as I will enjoy writing them.
Share with me any dreams you’ve pursued and if you ever faltered and gave up, or if you have succeeded in reaching your dreams, how did you accomplish it?