I did a thing.
Specifically, I started writing.
I started at the end of February and wrote everyday. My goal was five hundred words per day. Most days I surpassed it, writing for an hour or more. When I looked up on April 9th and took a breath, I had finished the first draft of a book.
58,000 words. Barely a novel, but I had done it. So now I ask myself, what's next? In truth, I don't know. What I have figured out so far, from reading and researching online, is the following:
I have quite the hill to climb. I take it as a given I'm no Hemingway or Chaucer.
I did learn something critical in past month. I learned that I love writing. It was all I wanted to do. I set aside my usual pursuits to get in just a few more minutes to put words to page. Telling the story in my head and getting it out on paper was my sole focus. Turn it into something real. I found that the more I wrote, the more other stories would spring forth, demanding to be put to the page as well.
I have notes now for four other books and I've written two short stories, another 8,000 words.
My plan then is to keep writing and navigate the publishing process, learning along the way. I will document the journey here, updating once a week. Everything I learn I will save so I have a record to look back on and hopefully share with others to help them in their writing journeys. Why repeat my mistakes, right?
Next steps will be:
If after six to twelve months I have no luck with traditional publishing of the short stories, I'll be posting them on this site.
The publishing process will force me to learn manuscript formatting and get me comfortable exposing my work to actual criticism. I'm going to need a think skin. After 30 days or so, I plan on revisiting the first draft of my novel and begin cleaning that up.
I will also start working on my second book, which I am extremely excited about. I'm thrilled to share this process with you.