A few days ago I got a notification that I started this blog three years ago, I would have written the post then but flu hit me hard. A few nights ago I woke up with a forty degree C fever, I was convinced every shadow on the floor was a spider and couldn’t go back to sleep until it went down a bit. Either way, I’m on the mend now and really want to start my new blogging project.
It’s been three years years since I started this blog. I started it with the hope of sharing short stories and writing about writing. As time went on, I lost creative energy to writing lesson plans and teaching. Whatever I had left I needed to use for my novels. So I stopped posting short stories. (And after signing with my publisher, I need to send any short story over 5k words to them first anyway.)
I could talk about teaching on my blog, I could, I have plenty to say, but I don’t want to. I don’t want my day job to take over that way. Apart from mentioning it occasionally, I don’t want to make blog posts about it.
Instead I’m starting a blogging project, going alphabetically through different topics. Today was A, next letter will be B etc. Who knows if it’ll help me blog more, but I have to try. Otherwise all my readers will get, are posts like this one.
So A is for Anniversaries, it’s been three years since I started this blog. It’s been almost five years since I went from writing fan fiction to starting to work on my first novel. It’s about three (four?) months since I signed with Triplicity Publishing, it’s been about a month and a half since Out of Hand came out. Soon it’ll be two years since I got married. Ten and a half years since L and I started dating.
I can’t believe that it’s only been five years, maybe a bit less, since I started working towards my dream of being a published author. Five years is nothing in the scheme of things. Yes I was rejected six times on different projects and yes I self-published my first one but still. It’s not an impossible dream. It was never an impossible dream. Everything that I did, every piece of writing, everything I read, all of it helped me closer to my goal.
I think the main difficulty is writing. When I did my A-levels in Britain (British “high school” if you will) and I told my sociology teacher that I wanted to write books she smiled, laughed and said “oh don’t we all.” Her words have stayed with me a lot. At the time I wanted to answer “no, but I really, really, REALLY, want to.” It wasn’t just a momental fancy. I wanted to tell her that I was going to. And now I want to tell her that I did. Of course I won’t seek her out just to do that, but a girl can dream.
Like I said, the main difficulty is writing. In our digital age, publishing is easy but writing is hard. If I didn’t want to “bother” with a publisher I could just self-publish all my writing through amazon or somewhere else, but even then I’d still have to write. I’d need to write my 40-70k words and then edit them, re-write stuff, move it around, have beta readers read it, then again, edit, re-write stuff and move it around. Of course with self-publishing I could just skip all of that, write something bad, do no edit and just self-publish and hope for the best. But what’s the fun in that?
The main difficulty is writing. How many people out there want to write, but don’t? It’s even a joke sometimes (example: Ted in How I met Your Mother Saying “I’ll finally be able to write some short stories” when facing the prospect of going to prison.”) Writing is lovely. It’s cathartic. Some writing is like playing with dolls but as an adult (to me anyway). I think more people would benefit from writing more, just journalling would be good. Like a wise person once told me “less impression in, more expression out” (meaning less TV, less social media, less stuff in, more writing, more singing or playing instruments etc, more stuff out).
The second difficulty is getting people to read your stuff. I don’t have the answer to this yet. Sure, be active on social media and write blog posts. But I think (and hope!) that if you write well, and often, and publish many books (self-published or not, after all, there are MANY well-written self-published novels) your readers will eventually find you and learn who you are.
I needed just under five years to reach one of my dreams. I can call myself an author now, no matter how small and insignificant. And the word means a lot to me. It motivates me to write more and put more effort in. Like with my blog.
I think I’m going to go and lie down again. I’m not at a 100 % yet and I’m getting tired.
What dreams do you guys have? Would it help or hurt if you knew that you would only need five years to reach them? Would it make you work harder or put it off?