Thanksgiving is all about counting your blessings. I’m all for that. It’s so easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, and the coulda shoulda woulda’s of life. Last year, I went through a medical ordeal that taught me a thing to two about life and the quality of how we live it. I’ve been slogging way at a job that wasn’t challenging. Fear over money ruled my life. Anger over how I felt stifled with my job, only to come home and not do a damn thing about changing my life for the better.
As a writer, I’ve put my passion on the shelf, living in Passive Action, writing blogs no one saw, writing music reviews and interviews very few people have seen. My writing was sporadic, relegated to an actual hobby. That changed in 2014.
This was the year I challenged myself to write at least a 1000 words everyday. It occurred to me that if I did at least 1000 or even 500, I would be one step closer to actually writing a book. Imagine, writing 1000 words each day – or even more? It would mean at the end of 365 days, I’d have the first draft of a book.
So, I got down to business. I wrote 1000 or more words a day. Some days I could only write 500 words feeling absolutely unaccomplished and unsatisfied. Then, the next day, I’d take those 500 words and realize that it was the start of a full fledged short story. Thus began the work. I wrote short story upon short story. I didn’t judge my work. I didn’t care about what teachers had to say, or any old lessons about short story structure. I just did it. It’s not to say that basic English and structure isn’t important, but I’ve read enough essays and stories to know what works. From J.D. Salinger to David Sedaris to Flannery O’Connor – each writer has their own voice, their own structure. As long as you tell a story with the who, what and whys…you’ll find your audience.
Why am I saying this? Because my book of stories is coming out in December. I’ve just approved the final draft and it will be ready for upload to Amazon later this week, and then Kindle in the coming weeks. Publication date will come. And why am I mentioning this? Because a year ago today – these stories – plus dozens of other essays and novels I have in the works – did not exist. With the help of a great life coach, and the goal of getting my writing out there in a goal of Massive Action – this book is happening, folks!
And there’s more to come!
Not only that – I want to coach people to do the same thing. If you have a talent in writing you feel is just sitting on a shelf because you’re so tired after a long day at work – know that you can still get work done. If you set a fun challenge for yourself, you will accomplish a terrific project. When “Hitting Water” is published in December, as I’ve mentioned, there will be more books to follow. As I learn the publishing world with each novel or story collection, I hope to gather the wisdom to help others who want to get their writing out there by helping them with the lessons I’ve learned.
And I will be truly grateful for being able to do that.
For now, I’m just grateful for everything.
And for turkey – I’m grateful for those critters giving up their lives so we can have a delicious harvest dinner. (Seriously, I can’t tell you the guilt I have over eating animals. My dogs have given me this profound empathy for living creatures. Maybe next year I’ll be thankful for going vegetarian.)