Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Not-So-Unlikely Beginning


I want my site to seem well thought out—professional, even (although I know that might be setting my sights too high). But I am not going to masquerade as if I were some established author. I'm not. Not even close. Not even within a hundred light years. 

The purpose of this site—my blog, contact info, works list, etc—is about laying a foundation. Some place that I might take the first steps in following my dream of becoming an established author. It's another kick in the pants for me to get in and write. 

Since this is a beginning of sorts, I thought it would be nice to give some background info on why I'm pursuing authorship. While I have for a long time drooled over the fame and recognition of an being a highly-recognized author, I have never made real attempts at making my dreams a reality. Sure, after reading a particularly popular series I would sit down and say to myself, "Self, it's time to write a super awesome book so you can be famous." And then I'd sit down and try to write the next Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. I might've even taken some time (as in a few hours) considering the plot and characters. But soon enough I'd start trying to write my masterpiece. The dialogue would feel disjointed and unnatural, and within a page or two I'd thrown in the towel. 

That was, until about a year ago. At the end of December 2011 or early in January 2012 I did something that I've never done before—I made New Year's Resolutions. I always thought New Year's Resolutions were stupid. Why not make self-betterment adjustments to your life as soon as you think of them, rather than wait until the end of the year? Still, on a whim, for 2012 I made a few resolutions. 

First Resolution: a house. I'd been married for three years and felt my wife and I were at a good point to make that transition. But in order to make it a reality, I knew I'd need a better job. So . . . Second Resolution: new job. The two goals seemed so grandiose I decided, just for the heck of it, I should add the goal of writing a book. It was a shrug of the shoulder's resolution, and even as I made it I didn't expect to actually do it. 

But then something weird happened. Before the end of January, I actually landed a new job. And the only reason I even applied for it was because of the resolution. Within a few months my wife and I decided to look for houses, and after looking at over a dozen we picked one that we toured the first day. Having accomplished the two resolutions that I felt were long shots, I decided I would write a book and finish all three. 

I already knew what I wanted to write. It was a story I had been turning over in my mind for close to a year, and I knew I had enough plot to write a novel. Still, I didn't want raw author meat in my novel, so I spent the first six to eight months of the year working on short stories and writing assignments. I even got to experience the great joy of discovering one of my short stories was going to be published (something that I realized wasn't as difficult as I imagined it might be, but at the same time was incredibly uplifting). And with that extra boost of motivation, I tackled my novel, Never Upon a Time, finishing it in December, just in time for the new year. 

A new year and more resolutions. I made more this year with a pole-vaulter mentality (if you make it over one bar, try a higher one). They are mostly writing goals—from writing more short stories to working on editing/pursuing publication of my novel. Making this site was one of my goals. I knew if I wanted to truly pursue authorship in the 21st century, I would need to get cracking at making myself visible, regardless of how awkward or strange it might feel.  And look, it's January 15th! Kabam!

Why am I doing this? Well, to answer that we will need to get a little serious. So imagine soft piano music playing lightly in the background—so quiet that if I hadn't mentioned it being there you wouldn't have noticed. 

I'm doing this because I love writing. Even if nothing sprouts from the seeds I'm planing, I don't really care. I've discovered there's joy in sowing. I want to take steps so that I might be able to write more often. I can't honestly say there isn't a small (okay, big) part of me that still want's to be a famous author. What really matters, though, is the realization that even if I don't "make it" as an author, I'm still going to write.

As to why I love writing, I'm not entirely sure I know the exact answer. Although if I were to wager a guess, I think it would have to do with the fact that I am creating things that, before I thought of them, never existed. There is a fulfilling satisfaction in reading a story and thinking, I made that. 

I'm planning on writing some short stories, and will likely make some available for free on this site. Besides that I'm going to continue editing my first novel while looking at publication options, and am planning on writing another. And, of course, I am still working 40+ hours a week at my "real" job. 

So there's a little information about the beginning of my pursuit. If you at all intrigued, feel free to comment or contact me. If you have advice or criticism, feel free to comment or contact me. If you are in the same boat as me . . . welcome! Feel free to leave info for you blog in the comment section and I will take a look at what you're up to. I've also tried to figure out how to add "Share" buttons to the blog, so if you can see them and you feel like sharing this, please give them a whirl to see if they actually work. 

My next blog post will likely have to do with what I learned after writing my first book, so check back to see those juicy nuggets of information. 

And if you read all the way through my post, thank you! You're awesome! 

-Daniel