While I am super anxious to share more info about Burning Skies with you all, I wanted to touch on a subject that, as someone who is committed to becoming a full-time writer, has become very prevalent in my life lately. And that is specifically the sacrifices I’ve been making the last few years, and how all of the people in my life have reacted to it. In a way, this post is part of the core of my blog’s purpose: the trials and triumphs of writing.
More than 20 years ago, I started writing, and it has since become my great passion! I’ve written for so long, I simply can’t remember or imagine my life without it. And I don’t want to imagine a life without it. I had grand dreams of becoming a known author, someone who inspired thousands, even millions with my stories.
Someday. Tomorrow. Eventually.
The dreams I had were always “Someday.” Whenever something came up to distract me from writing, writing became “Tomorrow.” And getting published? “Eventually.”
20 years as a writer, and I had nothing published, outside of Star Trek Dragon’s run on the internet. 20 years without making a dime off of writing (which, if you ever want to write full time, is important.) “Eventually” turned into 20 years.
Not long after I moved to Denver, which was a major turning point in my life, I decided to stop letting that happen. I was going to get published! If not with The Sword of Dragons, than with some other novel! Those of you who have read my blog from the beginning have seen the majority of that struggle.
It started with proving to myself that I could write full time, or as close to it as I could. So when the idea of Chronicles of the Sentinels was born, I decided to work on it, every. Single. Day. And I did. 2 or 3 hours every night after work. 5 or 6 hours every Saturday and Sunday.
In 3 months time, I completed pre-production, writing, and the first series of proofreads and edits on book 1, Legacy. It was, and still is, an exciting story, and if never picked up by an agent, will one day be self published.
I had done it! I had proven to myself that I was a true-to-heart writer.
And when I almost-had-but-lost an agent for Chronicles, that was when I decided to self-publish. I could have started with Chronicles, but I wanted to work on my first love: The Sword of Dragons (Hmm, there’s an idea for a blog: each novel, each series, as a love affair ;) lol)
I had some idea how much work was ahead of me, but I still had no idea just how much work it would take to promote the book and get it out there.
Between writing, editing, and working on my social media presence (such as with the blog you are enjoying right now,) I’ve been doing something writing related almost every day.
Balancing Writing with Life
Something else extraordinary has been happening since I moved to Denver. Any one who knew me before I moved here knows that I was once a very shy guy, who would sooner sit at home and play video games that interact with, well, anyone.
Since I’ve moved to Colorado, I’ve slowly emerged from my shell, and have finally built a base of some truly incredible friends, both at work and outside. I’ve gone to conventions, parties, and seen and done things I never, ever thought I would. And I love spending time with my friends, and seeing my family that lives in the area!
But I also work 2 jobs now. At least, that is how I treat my writing – as a 2nd, part-time job. I take it that seriously, and as I build up my platform and start to gain readership, I feel ever-more obligated to keeping up with writing (which is good, in my mind, it keeps me focused :) )
Anyone who has worked more than one job knows that your social life suffers to some extent. I don’t want to lose the friendships I’ve built up, and I genuinely want to spend time with friends and family, but in recent months, I’ve found myself learning to say something very important to anyone who truly desires to make it as a writer, an artist, a singer, ANY passion or artistic endeavor.
Learning to Say No
Before I continue, I know that many of my friends read this blog, and I want to say here and now: no, this post is not a gripe or an attack. In fact, you have no idea how wonderful it makes me feel when you insist I come have drinks with you, or go to a movie, or hang out, I love it! And I love each and every one of you :)
To my fellow aspiring writers, artists, heck to everyone out there with goals and ambitions: the word “no” is something you should learn to be comfortable saying.
In fact I’m suddenly remembering a conversation that my friend Wayne and I had a long while ago. He told me how he often overbooks and spreads himself too thin because he just hasn’t learned to say no when people ask something of him, whether favors or just to hang out.
And when he told me that, and suggested I learned to say no, I took that to heart. With some hesitance, I have started to exercise that powerful word. I hope so very much that my friends understand. I hope that they realize I have fallen so far behind my schedule as a writer, and that I need to make sacrifices to get back on track.
So while the word “yes” is equally as powerful, so is “no”, and if you can learn to balance the two, it will become a truly wondrous superpower!
Too dramatic to call it a superpower? I don’t think so. Because believe me, it is not easy. To all of my friends, I thank you for your patience and understanding, and your continued support of my addiction, uh, I mean passion ;)
And as always, to all of my readers, thank you so much for reading. Something I often write when I sign books, I now say to everyone out there:
Never give up on your dreams!
Thanks for reading :)