My first year of writing fulltime has been, well, full. Full of lots. Full. That's a great word to describe it.
It's been full of fears. Full of failures. I've been full of myself. And full of ideas and inspiration. Full of freetime and full of freedom and full of not that much at all.
What possibly could I be doing with my time?
Let's take out being a husband and father and just focus on the the writing.
When I quit, I wrote a good portion of Out of the Devil's Mouth, which came out this past spring. I also envisioned more ideas for a series that might or might not see light of day (to see my thoughts on publishing, read Sky Blue). The edits and all that took time.
Then I went into finishing touches of Isolation, which just came out. It was almost good to go, but still needed slight tweaks.
Next (we're talking late 2007), I started writing Ghostwriter. I wrote about half and felt good about what I had (but oh, did I have a lot to learn about that!). Then I started working on two other projects.
One was a fantasy series for teens. I spent two to three months working on this (along with other projects) to get it to be able to pitch to publishers. The scope of the story is huge, one I've had in mind for some years now. I worked with my agent on the proposal.
The other project was a love story. I wrote it from January to March--all 70,000 words or so.
At the start of 2008, I learned that my publishing relationship with Moody was over. They canceled the final book in my contract with them (and publishers can do what ever they want). It ended amicably on the surface but inside I was sweating. A nice chunk of my income for 2008 depended on that last book.
The other cool thing that happened was my new publisher was excited about Isolation. So much so that they really wanted me to stay in this new box--supernatural suspense. Or Christian horror. Oh how I love boxes (see Sky Blue for more on that). So I decided to shelf the fantasy series. Not the right time. Later. But not now.
I finished the love story that didn't fit the horror box either. But that might be published under a pseudonym. My agent and new publisher both agree that it's a fabulous premise. It is. But the writing was just so so. So my agent said (and I eventually agreed). So I put that on hold.
Then I continued working on Ghostwriter. I handed it in a couple weeks late. No big deal (this is the first part of May). Little did I know that I would need to rewrite that sucker. Twice. It was good that I did. It needed it.
Meanwhile, Out of the Devil's Mouth came out in April and I did around 20 or so booksignings for it. I've been doing more speaking--at writing conferences and library events.
So with Ghostwriter finally finished, I went back to work on a new teen series idea (a great one I should say that fits what I'm doing). So this basically meant coming up with a book series with 30 pages worth of a beginning.
I'm back into the love story, trying to finish it this month so I can start my next horror novel that is due early next year.
I know what that story will be. I make little notes every day on it. The story never leaves me, just like that fantasy series doesn't, just like the love story doesn't.
I feel weighed down sometimes with these stories. Yet the moment I let one of them go, another story takes its place.
I've met some authors that don't have many story ideas. Or they have one and
then write it. But I'm different.
That's everything that's been keeping me busy. That and life. Lots of other things in life. Life is an interesting thing. It's amazing and fascinating and frustrating. But I thank God above for giving me so much. For letting me see my dreams, even if they didn't come wrapped in gold and silver.
I held that first novel in my hands years ago and truly believed that it was enough. But I'm only human, and it probably won't ever be enough until I take my last breath or my mind is gone baby gone (even more than it is now).
I tell these stories for myself. To make sense of the fears that surround me, to point out the demons that camp out all around, to point a light at all the love and the loveliness I've seen in this world, and to try to share my hope in the midst of it all. Some days I have hope and some days I don't. And both of those emotions go into my fiction. RELIGIOUS FICTION OR CHRISTIAN FICTION OR HORROR FICTION OR BLAH BLAH FICTION. Call it what you want--it's my fiction. And it's my life on the page and I thank God that some people out there like it.
What a year.
Having I been living out my dreams? Wanna know something? I left the dream behind and woke up to this anxious reality of the day-to-day of trying to make it as a fulltime writer. But the nice thing with dreams is that you can revisit them night after night. Or page after page.