May 29, 2011

Writer Ramblings: Better Late Than Never

I’ve been dreaming of sharing my writing with someone for two decades. 22 years to be specific. I started my first short story when I was 12. Anyone doing the math knows now I’m not young anymore, but I’m not old yet either. I’ve got decades left in me. I’ve talked about my past writing experience before and how I walked away before even finishing my first manuscript. It was almost done, but I had no training (I was still in high school!) and had no idea where it was going, and even though I knew how to end it, I couldn’t jump the hurdle of getting there. In a moment of insanity, I burned it. After several years of tinkering with the story off and on, I have begun to rebuild that old manuscript. I even plan to write it this year. A while back, I wrote a few pages of it and shared with some friends. It got me to thinking, after so many years, why am I not writing?

Oh yeah, because it was a child’s dream. There are dozens of stories in my head, all screaming to be written and shared at once. What did I do? I tried to drown them with responsibility. I have kids, a wife and a career. Well, the career thing is good enough to get by, but let’s face it, “The Office” is funny to watch, but notice the characters involved aren’t laughing. It’s not the same to live it. Years rolled by, I ignored the nagging voices tugging at the frayed threads of my sanity.

Then I snapped. I was just killing my free time gaming. I was pretty hard core too. Had some top characters in World of Warcraft and was rising in ranks in a prestigious guild. I was unsatisfied, immensely. I can’t remember what night it was, but I asked the question. It was the kind of question that gets people off their behinds, to stop looking at their dreams as something elusive or make-believe. Something I felt only children could do. Not for the real world. I asked myself after earning a shiny flying mount one night, “Why do I really care about this dragon? Who else really cares?”

Then I listened to those voices and decided, after years of learning and tinkering, why haven’t I taken that leap? My stories were screaming to be heard. So I reached in, and found one that I felt was the best one to start with. The one that had developed the last few years from combining two other stories before swallowing them and moving on to become its own story. My muse was demanding my attention. For the first time in my life, I’m not settling for just getting by. I don’t even care if I sell a single book. I have to write my dreams. So here I am. Posting about what I should have been doing years ago. Better late than never, right?


  1. Bravo, Tim! I love hearing those epiphany moments when we set aside what we THINK we should do for what we were MEANT to do. Continue to listen to your muse-- it will take you far!

  2. Thanks! Some of us are just too stubborn to listen sometimes. I'm just glad my Muse never gave up.

  3. I can't believe you burned your first manuscript! Put it aside, yes, but burned it? *Cringing* Why is it when everything points to writing, screaming that this is what we're meant to do, we can still ignore it and find excuses? The biggest one being the childhood dream.

    Don't settle for less. There is a reason your muse didn't give up. This is what you were meant to do.

  4. Good for you! It doesn't sound late to me. I didn't start writing until I was in my mid-fifties. Four years on my third novel has just hit the shelves and my publisher has already made an offer for the next in my series. Sales and reviews have thankfully been fantastic - my first two titles are bestsellers and the third looks set to follow. Keep writing and you could be next to publish a bestseller. Good luck with it.

  5. Thanks for the encouraging words. I can't say it enough, but I've never found a career path with so many awesome people. There is just no rat race in writing novels. I always hated the constant battle between coworkers to out do each other to get ahead.

    @Angel: I woke up the next day after burning that MS and tried to write again, already regretting what I did. Sometimes emotional outbursts are not productive, but I know now, it was for the better in the long run. I wasn't ready to publish, I still needed years of practice and learning. Until recently, I never realized my subconscious had been doing that all these years with all my tinkering and reading books about writing.

    @Leigh: I'm so excited for you, I sure hope I can get a best seller, but I'll just be happy that somebody enjoys my writing.

  6. Excellent post! At some point you and I are going to have to talk, because it sounds like our histories are very similar. I recently made the leap to get my stories in front of people, and so far it's been rewarding. Now I'm working on a novel, and while I'm making good progress, there are demons lurking around the corner waiting to try and steal my time. (Portal 2 is one demon, while the other will arrive this fall in the form of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.)

    Also, I don't think there is a "too late" time to start writing. I'm 41, and I saw that Leigh in the comments section is in her fifties. If you're now ready to write and put your stuff out there, then "now" is the exact right time to do it - not too late, and not too early. Your muse is going to lead you to good times, my friend. Enjoy the ride! :-)


  7. Thanks Scott! It would be cool to get together someday. I would love to pick your brain on a couple of your short stories. I can't get over them.

  8. Thanks! I'm looking forward to more Devil Dog updates. Sounds like you're making great progress.

  9. It's been slower than I want, but I want it to be good so I'm teaching myself patience. I'll be doing an update tonight. I'm pretty excited about how it's going so far. I can't wait to find out more on your novel as well.