For over 10 years I had an idea for a story. Several ideas, actually. It took me many sleepless nights to think, and dream, about how all of these wild stories of mine could possibly tie together. Then, from plenty of out-of-the-box thinking, I had a way. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. These ideas keep me awake at night, and consumed my thoughts during the day. I had to write it. I felt like if I didn’t my brain would explode.
Now, I had been down this path before. I had several false starts throughout the years, that were just horrible. Like Pink Floyd wrote, “Half a page of scribbled lines.” But that was when my mind was still in brainstorming mode. Back then, I did not have the ideas or the structure, and I struggled down many dead-end starts.
But then, something happened. I’m not sue how to put my finger on it. But suddenly all the ideas and structure hit me, and like Forest Gump said “I started to RUN!” And I was finally off to the races. Not only adhering to my ideas and structure, I could also explore new thing, new plots and story lines. It’s funny but the story starting writing itself. I had heard that a thousand times from authors, and I didn’t believe it, until it happened to me.
Okay so far so good. But then, I had two initial drafts of two separate volumes of Astar’s Blade: The Provenance & Kilmer’s Ghost. I had just set down and knocked out over 80,000 words per story. I thought that was the hard part. I was wrong. That is when the frustration started to creep in. So now, I had the completed stories, worthy of not just one, but two, books. Then revisions, editing, more revisions, more editing – this was not surprising, and I expected it.
But the thing that frustrates me the most is working in a vacuum. I worked, continue to work, hard on this stuff, and NO ONE GIVES A SHIT!
This is not unfamiliar territory for me. I have been a musician since 1979, writing music and lyrics, and performing on stage. We recording original songs and published them to a variety of musical outlets, and NO ONE GIVES A SHIT! My monthly “royalties” for our productions average less then 10 cents a month, and even those are thought to be just “accidental” clicks to me. There is nothing more frustration to have a song “unsung.”
Which takes me back to writing. I get the feeling it is the same ole shit happening again. I will bust my ass writing what I consider to be a story that is really good, just to have no one read it. I struggle with formatting, ePUB / MOBI / PDF / Photoshop / InDesign and social media, editors, and a bunch of other time consuming obstacles, just to be stymied by a bunch of fake critics and sarcastic people – none of whom actually gave my story a chance.
In the end, I believe I have to continue no matter what. I have a story to tell, and my job is to tell it. I cannot deny it.
In my first book, The Provenance, there is a scene in which Aberfell, the Supreme Historian, tells our hero Almon that his life might be in danger in proceeding to go on the path he has already taken. It goes like this:
Almon stopped laughing. Looking at his feet, then he shook his head. “No, I can’t do it.”
Aberfell squinted at him. “What do you mean, you can’t do it?”
“I can’t leave,” Almon said, looking at Aberfell. “Not when I know I am so close, there are so many things yet to learn, especially about this subject.”
If you are reading this, and I hope to God someone is. Please know, that this is just the start of my Universe, and I will continue as long as I can until …well, until I cannot any longer.