When Good Intentions Meet Real Life

Yes, it’s been a while. Since my last post, I have kind of lost the motivation for doing much of any kind of writing. Doubt has crept in and I’m not as confident in my skill as I used to be. It all seems like such hard work and I’ve begun to wonder if it’s really worth it.

However, there is now progress being made, small though it is. I signed up for one of those Agent boot camps at Writer’s Digest – mainly to make sure I was actually good at this writing thing. Yes, my writer friends have all told me I am and while that should be good enough, it really helps to hear it from someone for whom finding good writers is a paying job.

The deal for this boot camp is to submit the first 10 pages of the current work in progress. As it happens, I already had the first 10 pages written – in more than one form. I have been struggling with where to begin my current story. I’ve gone way back into the past and several steps into the future with openings written for pretty much every time period in between.

So I sent off one idea, which actually hit on a few items on the agent’s don’t list. Thankfully, from her response, it appears she did read the whole thing. She also gave me plenty of input on what an opening scene should contain. One suggestion was to start with how the hero got into the mess I showed in my submission. As it happens, I did already have that scene written. Just one of the many starts to this thing. I did some work on it and sent it off well before the deadline. I am now awaiting her feedback.

I have already gotten quite a bit of confidence from this exercise. Not that I’m actually looking for an agent, although if I get an offer out of the session, I will give it serious consideration. No, the most valuable thing I’ve gained here is professional confirmation that I do, in fact, know what I’m doing. It’s also given me the motivation I need to get the thing polished up and out on Amazon as soon as possible. Become a published author in real life as opposed to just dreaming about it.

I guess I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not really seeing the point of going to all the trouble of writing something that may or may not see the light of day. It’s been a hobby for so long that it’s hard to make myself believe it could really happen for me. Granted, it would be a self-published work but there are now many inspiring examples of how a self-published author can really make a go of it. Not to drop any names or anything but Hugh Howey is a prime example. The man is currently cruising the world’s waters in a sailboat he has had custom built, basically living his dream. He posts pictures to his Facebook page on a regular basis. Gorgeous views of the ocean that look inviting. While sailing would not be my fondest dream, I can envy the freedom that he’s enjoying.

All of which means it’s come down to this – either I get something out there (or several somethings) or I put writing on the backburner in favor of finding an 8 to 5 and reenter cubeland. I get the shudders just thinking about it but savings only goes so far and it’s time to do something about it.

That’s where things stand right now. I do feel as if I’m at a precipice that demands I either jump or turn back. Jumping is scary as – well, you know. Turning back is even scarier. While I’m not sure of the correct path, I do know I can’t stand here forever. I have to move.

One way or another.

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