I was contacted by Bob Clary, the Marketing Manager at Webucator and asked if I would be interested in writing a blog post about what my goals are for writing fiction. This comes on the heels of National Novel Writing Month or what many call NaNoWriMo. I decided to jump on board.
Personally, I don?t spend participate in the NaNoWriMo, but many of my friends and fellow authors do. It?s not that I don?t believe in it, or think that it is possible, because it totally is. It?s because I am one of those people who can?t make that particular commitment due to my everyday schedule. ?I believe that when you make a commitment, to yourself or someone else, that you should always stand behind that. My writing commitments are with only three people, me, myself and I.
I know many who make the NaNoWriMo commitment and stick to it, completing that novel in a month, but I have learned it is better for me to stay on my own schedule and not push myself when my life and job become too hectic. Twice I have written novels in under a month. In December of 2013, I wrote Six Days of Memories in 28 days. In October of this year, I wrote Barbara?s Plea is 5 days. So I am well aware that when I have the time and the ability, I can achieve what I want.
Bob asked me to answer a few questions, and one of them was ?What were my goals when I started writing?
I started writing in October of 2010 and quite honestly, I had no clue what I was doing. Hence no immediate goal. A plot line came to me, I said hey, I like that, and I sat down and starting writing. I didn?t know any authors, or what I was supposed to do once I finished. My only goal at that point was to complete the story and somehow publish it. In April of 2011, My Blood Runs Blue was published using an online company that assisted me in self-publishing my novel. Once I held the book in my hand, I was hooked.
Bob also asked me ?What my goals are now??
With eight books published and two more written and waiting to go through edits, I have to admit, my goal is to get the voices out of my head as quickly as possible. I currently have 5 other books I am actively working on and a few more plot lines jotted down. This year, I had hoped to get four books published. I managed to get two published last June. On December 8th, I have a book that is part of a box set being released (Heroes to Swoon For) and I am also re-releasing My Blood Runs Blue that underwent some serious edits and revisions at the end of the month.
One of the questions that Bob asked me, I had to chuckle about, ?What pays the bills now??
For those who don?t know me, my full time career is as a law enforcement officer. I have worked in the field for over 14 years now and two years ago, I became a detective. That alone should explain to you why I can?t make those NaNoWriMo commitments. I never know when I?m going to get called out to work and one case can easily have me working 14-16 hour days for a week straight.
The good news is that my book sales now pay for my new books. I finally reached a point where the sales of my books are enough to pay for the next round of edits, graphics works and formatting for the next book.
My ultimate goal would be to make enough money that I could retire in 6 years and write full time. Now that would be nice!
The fourth question that Bob asked me was, ?Assuming writing doesn?t pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing??
Since writing only pays for more writing, and my law enforcement career still keeps the roof over my head and the technology in my hands, my motivation is simple: I want to be able to retire and keep writing. I also want to get the voices out of my head so I don?t go insane.
Writing is actually my escape from my job. Being a cop is stressful. I see and deal with things on a daily basis that many would never be able to handle. Sitting down and getting lost in one of my stories helps me to calm down and get out of the horrific world I sometimes have to deal with. I think that is why I really enjoy writing romantic suspense. I want to keep the hope alive that people can have a happily ever after, because I see so much love go wrong in my line of work.
Now, if I had been asked what my dream was about my writing, well then I’d say see one of my stories on the silver screen.
The last thing Bob asked me to speak about was, what advice would I give to young authors who wish to make a career out of writing.
Well, simply put, it?s not easy. It takes hard work and dedication. It takes commitment to yourself and your goals. It takes a strong back bone to stand up to countless rejections or negative reviews. It requires a person to not only write, but live in the story. To make it one that people want to lose themselves in when they need a few hours to step out of reality.
I always encourage young writers, I?m not that old of a writer myself since I have only been writing officially for 4 years, but I pushed myself, and I made my commitments and I set my goals, and I reached them. Start small but think big, and never give up.
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