I came across a notecard in my desk that I wrote out ten years ago, right around the time my first book was being published.

This is what that notecard says:

1974, 1975, 1977, 1977, 1978, 1978, 1979, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1981, 1981, 1982, 1982, 1982, 1982, 1983, 1983, 1984, 1984, 1985, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1987, 1987, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1990

Just those dates all handwritten.

Obviously from the image I put above, you might be able to guess what these dates are.

They are the publication dates for Stephen King's books from his first in 1974 to 1990.

I wrote this as a way to motivate myself. I was newly published and would be lucky to get a second and a third book published. My first wasn't being made into a movie and wasn't going to sell millions.

Still, I held on to hope.

Over the years, I've pulled this notecard out and looked at it.


That's the wrong question.

The question is why not?

So as I look ahead to next year's books, my notecard would look like this:

2000, 2001, 2003, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2006, 2007, 2007, 2008, 2008, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2010, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011

I'll mention several things.

I'm sharing this not to brag. I don't brag, not when most people in this world still have yet to pick up a TT book. I share it to reveal one of the many ways I've helped to motivate myself.

I also will say that I can kinda understand King's downward spiral into drugs and booze. No, I'm not going in that direction, thank God. But keeping up dates and deadlines like this is quite something.

Okay, fine, I'm bragging a little. Cut me some slack. I get to pat myself on the back every now and then, right?

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