The hardest thing about writing, I think, is the tenacity. The keeping at it to complete a book, or at least a long one. Short stories I can turn out fairly quickly. Even some short books I’ve been able to get out in a surprisingly short amount of time. But the longer books… They take more endurance.
I’ve been working on Twilight of the Gods, which is a prequel of Hungry Gods, and the more I work on it, the longer it gets. There are a lot more characters with a much, much bigger plot going on. This one’s going to be a superhero epic! But, damn, does it take a long time to write!
Which wouldn’t be an issue if I were a full-time writer. Then my job would be to entertain all you fine folks! I could do so much more!
But it’s not. My actual job is much more demanding, with much more responsibility beyond myself or even my family. In fact, both of those things are considered secondary to the greater goals of the service. So in order to feed my family and stay out of the brig, I need to dedicated most of my time and energy at my “real world” job.
But, hopefully, I’ll be transitioning away from that job next year. I’ve officially put in a request to get out of the Navy (yes, I have to request it, it isn’t an automatic thing) next summer. I could go on for days about the goods and bads of being in the service, and I’m very proud of what I’ve done, the people I’ve worked with and for, and the places I’ve seen in over twelve years of selfless service. But ultimately, I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s a young man’s (or woman’s) game. I have a family now, and dreams other than those issued to me. It’s time to move on and make a new life.
The bad side of that decision is that my whole life is about to be turned upside down, dropping me and my family into a situation where nothing is guaranteed anymore. Uncle Sam won’t be there to protect us and nurture us anymore (or throw us into war-torn territories, for that matter). Which means, I NEED TO START LOOKING FOR A JOB! So that’s also going to draw precious time away from what I’d rather being doing, which is writing for a living. Of course, at this point, we’d all starve to death if I hinged our future on that.
(Part of that starvation I’ll contribute to pirate websites and those who download from them, since I’ve just been alerted to another one benefiting from my hard work while I go unpaid for my labors. Don’t do it, people! You enjoy an artist’s work? Then pay them for it! Is pitching the artist or author a few bucks really that terrible? Why pay some internet asshole instead??!)
Anyway, the point of my rambling (mostly to myself) is that my superhero epic is going to be delayed more than expected. I may even push it back a month or so further so that I can shift gears and get a short novel I wrote 13+ years ago up and running and out into the world. It’s an urban fantasy-noir-Asian mythology story that I’ve been afraid of working on because it’s so important to me. But now I’ve realized that being afraid of screwing it up and therefore not ever getting it published, isn’t doing me or any potential readers any good at all.
So while I’m working on my resumes and job hunting, I may find time to get that shorter project done. If so, I’ll let you know. And then it’s back to the epic, one page at a time.
Thanks for “listening.” And if you hear of any good nursing jobs opening up next summer—or even better, any creative jobs where people get paid to do what they really love (supposedly they exist, but I just can’t imagine—it’s called “going to work” because you have to do it, not because you love to do it, right?)—don’t be shy about sharing.
(It’s not that I don’t enjoy nursing, but it’s not my dream job. I’d much rather turn out 4-5 books a year instead of just one per year, you know?)
Okay, better quit rambling and get something else done today…
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p.s. Another delay in getting more novels out (none in over a year now!) is that I spent a lot of last year writing short stories. Two of which have been published in the last several months, two more are coming out this fall, and three more are out to editors, awaiting judgment. “So I’ve been writing, honest I have!” I insist, reminding the stern glare from the mirror…
p. p. s. Amending this the next day: In looking through my old notes on the noir story I mentioned, I see that the first draft of Solitaire was finished almost 14 years ago to the day: 07 August 2002. Wow. Now I have to get that story done before any more years go by!