There is a quote by Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I spent most of my life never truly understanding these words. I started in the Human Resources field over 25 years ago. While I had jobs I enjoyed, I found them dull and uninspiring. I looked forward to weekends, dreaded Monday mornings…it was work. Looking to find inspiration in other sources, I relied on one of my favorite pastimes, literature. Disappearing behind the pages of a novel provided adventure and a sense of peace and security. I envied the authors, but knew I could never write a book because writing was something “someone else” did. Passion, however, has proven my assumption wrong.
In 2007, after dabbling in my own limited writing for many years, I joined a writing class. When I left the first session, I felt as if the world had suddenly opened up in front of me. Words screamed in my head and the need to put them on paper consumed me. I was hooked. I continued taking classes and joined a writer’s group. Slowly, my lifelong perception that writing a book was for “someone else” began to change. It was not long before I found writing short stories difficult because the characters and plot lines kept growing in my head. One short story in particular, “The Kingdom of Gold,” consumed my thoughts, and in 2008 I had the crazy idea to turn my creation into a novel. I plugged away at my writing and soon my story was well over 50 pages. I would wake up at 5:00 am just to sneak a few words onto the page, spend my lunch hovered over a journal developing characters, even lay in bed fine tuning the plot lines.
I can tell you the exact moment when I knew I was going to finish the book. In 2011, I signed up for a writing retreat in Italy hosted by the local writing teacher I had grown to consider my mentor. We were sitting in the medieval village of Carmine Superiore outside of a church built in the 900’s and editing a section of my novel. If you have ever seen the movie “Star Trek: Insurrection” there is a section of dialogue when one of the characters defines a perfect moment as “when time seemed to stop and you could almost live in that moment…” I experienced the perfect moment while sitting outside the steps of this thousand year old building. I knew I wanted to be a writer.
After my trip to Italy, passion drove my creative mind. I absorbed every bit of knowledge I could about writing. I continued my novel, poured over writing-themed instructional books, attended classes and groups, anything I could to learn. I explored other avenues of writing and published two articles in local magazines, but I found journalism felt like work. Fiction was my passion. In July of 2013, I finished the first draft of my novel, a high fantasy called “The Kingdom of Souls.” Since then, I have been editing and revising, and even started the second book and developed concepts for a third and fourth book. I have been plagued with a question though…So now what?
My focus is now on researching publishing options. So far, all my research is pointing to self-publishing. Traditional publishing is a difficult nut to crack and even more so now with the success of self-publishing. An audiocast on NPR “Self-Publishing: No Longer Just a Vanity Project” discusses the financial risks a traditional publisher takes with a new author. The audiocast also gives some great links to self-publishing sources. The hunt continues!
My inspiration is now reality, but a new journey has just begun. I will be sure to pass along any bits of wisdom I learn on the publishing world. Also, if anyone has suggestions I would love to hear them! Keep writing!