For a while I’ve felt an ache in my intellectual bones, an itch in the brain that just won’t go away on its own. I’ve decided to scratch that itch and see where it leads, but it’s not something I can do alone.
I’m going to become a writer!
When I was seven, I penned a story about my future self. It went something like this:
“I get married to a beautiful woman and have two children, a boy and a girl. I write books, explore, and adventure.”
Fast-forward to today:
I’m married to the beautiful and intelligent love of my life, have a swarm of children (literally double the number I anticipated), have been able to explore a little—though certainly not as much as I’d like—and, thanks to those same children, live a life of ceaseless adventure (dare I say survival?).
What’s left? You guessed it: the writing of books!
The long road
To give you some backstory, I’ve been reading voraciously since obtaining a library card in my early teens (oh, the ecstasy!), but I didn’t really start writing regularly until I hit college, where my English classes gave me no choice but to embrace the craft at some level.
It stuck with me too. When I took some time away from MSU-Billings to get a job in the ‘real world,’ I found myself increasingly drawn to commit to paper the stories that were always floating through my head, and when I landed a job at a banking call center—where evening and weekend shifts provided long stretches dead time—I took my scribbling hobby to the next level. It was slow work, and I had no idea what I was doing, but there, in the confines of a grey Wells Fargo cubicle, my love of the craft began.
Since then, I’ve never really stopped, in part because of The Nordale Project, an ambitious effort to write a book in which several character voices and actions are dictated by other people. If that doesn’t sound hard, then give it a try and let me know how to do it properly, because it’s been one of the most challenging written works I’ve ever attempted.
The next step in my journey
Over the last fourteen years, that project has produced a full-length fantasy novel: The Bloodwraiths of Nordale, a story about two brothers who must come to grips with the choices they’ve made in their lives as assassins while they search for the remedy to a deadly curse that has been placed upon the older brother.
We’re on a final round of aggressive edits, and I expect we’ll finish those within the next year. After that, I’ll be looking for a good editor, an agent, and a publisher so that I can at long last become the ‘writer of books’ that my childhood self once predicted.
As anyone who knows anything about getting published will tell you, my odds of actually getting an agent and a publishing deal are remote, easily a hundred-to-one. And this gives me a clear mission and timeframe to work with.
Mission: Improve the odds of making my authorial dreams come true with Bloodwraiths by:
Demonstrating I can write
Cultivating a fan base / network
Strengthening my writing
I have one year to get it done.
This is a perfect juncture to talk about S.M.A.R.T. goals, but as much as I want to do that, I need to postpone that discussion for another day. For now, I need you.
Your vital role
Writers write for many reasons, but threaded through all these reasons is the desire, nay the need to be read.
Just as a cook or baker derives his or her satisfaction from those who enjoy their craft, so writers derive their energy and a great deal of joy and satisfaction from knowing that others are enjoying their work.
More than this, though, writers need to be read because they need feedback on their work (further extending the cooking analogy!). Sure, we learn by doing, but we learn faster by doing and then receiving feedback on our work.
Would YOU, whoever you are (friend, relative, co-worker, or complete stranger who somehow made it to the end of this article), please consider reading or even commenting and following along on something I write?
Your help would mean so much to me, more than you can know.
To those who have made it this far, I want to thank you. And I want to thank again those who will be willing to give of their precious time, energy, and thought to help me grow as a writer.
I hope you enjoy what you read, and I look forward to your feedback.
The boy who would be a writer