to my Imagination
- About the Author
- Free Download
- The Lost Viking Saga
- Work in Progress
- Here's What I Think...
- Flash Short Story
- Darrach's Vade Mecum
Here's What I Think...
I was asked by
to share my thoughts on my writing career. Here are my answers to their questions.
1. What were your goals when you started writing?
When I started writing I really only had one goal...to get all the stories in my head onto paper and get them into the hands of readers. As family and friends read my work I added to my list of goals. The first one I really focused upon was to see my work reach the hands of people beyond my original scope. To do this I had to take the steps toward publishing and accept the fact that I may face some rejection. I began to enter short story contests, submit work to magazines, and took the plunge to self-publish my first novel,
The Lost Viking Saga
. The endeavor was well worth the effort and has motivated me to publish more. It is quite a thrill to open a box and see it full of your own title.
2. What are your goals now?
In my mind, as an artist and creator, goals shift, change, and evolve. I believe that keeps me fresh and growing as an author. My present goals are to increase my body of work and hone my discipline to write even more so that I am never at a point where I am not working on something. I am also sorting through information and working toward acquiring an agent as I perceive that as the next big step toward expanding my career as an author.
3. What pays the bills now?
I have been employed as a Technology Analyst for FedEx for almost fifteen years now. It not only pays the bills, but allows me the freedom to pursue my desire to be an author. There is nothing wrong with having a day job. In fact, I think it allows an author the ability to draw off of life experiences to further enhance what you are able to bring to your stories.
4. Assuming writing doesn't pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing?
For me, writing is not about money. It is all about creation. If my only motivation for writing was for personal gain then I believe my work would be shallow and lack substance. I write because it brings me joy and because it is a means for me to participate in something greater than myself. I am motivated to write because it is a part of who I am. I cannot bottle inside the things that I have been given to communicate. To have a story unfold on paper and to hear how it impacted the thoughts and ideas of another human being is, for me, the greatest motivation to keep writing.
5. What advice would you give young writers hoping to make a career out of writing?
First of all, don't be side-lined by failure. It something you have written fails to reach the heights you expected it to, set it aside, and try again with something else...you can always come back to it later. Don't expect to become a best selling author on the first try. BUT...don't stop just because your first attempt doesn't meet your expectations. Keep creating.
Also, don't fall for the myth of "writer's block". I do not believe in the idea of writer's block. It is my opinion that it is lack of motivation to write that keeps us stagnant. I tell those who ask me for advice to just keep writing even it the idea isn't flowing like you feel it should...just write. You can always revisit the work later when you are more motivated to create. G.K. Chesteron said, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." If you truly believe that you have a gift then use it. If it is worth it to you to communicate your ideas, then be willing to write down things that you know you will want to change or edit. It is all a part of the process of creating. Only God was able to create and say, "It is good." on the first attempt. I know that I at least need to improve and enhance what I create. Very rarely can I say, "It is good." on the first lap around the track.
I am a great admirer of Ray Bradbury. He wrote constantly. I once read that he wrote an average of three stories per day. Not all of them reached print, but it was through the constant act of creation that he was able to produce a lifetime body of work that still floors me. If you really want to make a go of it and make it a career then be willing to do what it takes to make it happen. It requires work, perseverance, humility, and honesty. Just because you aren't making wads of cash from it doesn't mean it isn't your career. In my mind, a career is a life calling. My career is not being a Technical Analyst...that is just my job. My life calling, my career, is to be an author. You cannot realize that dream for yourself until you are willing to take the risks necessary to see it come to life.