A Writer In Instant Gratification World

IMG_0149 I am a writer. By day, I work as a software engineer to pay the bills. I am also a single parent. There is no other means of supporting myself.  As I am not published yet (and I am getting closer), when I tell someone that I am a writer, they give me this dismissive look. I will explain I am looking for an agent. This has been going on for a while now, but for years it was, I am still trying to finish the book.

Inevitably, the non-writer will then suggest I self-publish or insist I go around the agents and go to some small publisher. And there are plenty of writers who do this. Not my path. I want to go through the gatekeepers and get published with someone who will put me on the bookshelves in both small and giant bookstores. Then they look at me like I ought to settle for whatever I can get. I’m stubborn so that’s not happening.

I also write epic fantasy. It’s not something you chug out in a year. Some of the early drafts of many chapters in Shadowed Castles were written when I was a wee kid. I have over 100,000 pages of notebooks, early drafts, scribbled maps, index cards with characters, creatures, and world history that I have been collecting since 1981. These records take up most of my attic. This is not some tea cozy mystery (which I happen to love). This is my life’s work. Now granted, I have about twenty books worth of great stories of research and ideas.

Shadowed Castles took me years to put it in a publishable state. I put it through a workshop back in the late nineties. Then I abandoned it for a good while. I simply was not ready to write that story. I wrote screen plays, short stories, and even tried a couple of literary pieces before coming back to what  I truly wanted to write. Once more I went to the workshops. Those early drafts were seven years ago. Now, I have something that I feel really good about, but it took so much time to get there.

So I am a writer living in a world of instant gratification.  This is particularly difficult when I turn down invitations because I am busy writing or when I take a day off (I do this a lot) to polish my manuscript or to respond to a request for more pages or a full. I do not do vacation. I write.  Non-writers do not seem to realize the hours of work it takes to finish a book, to revise that book as you attend conferences, interact with agents and editors and other writers, meticulously pour over each detail.

The non-writer lives in the world where if you want something, there is a great shortcut to get there. Yes, this even exists for writers (self-publishing). It’s not for me. I know there are success stories in self-publishing, but for me, it’s more than being in print. I want to squeeze my book into the company of David Eddings, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan (may he rest in peace), Mercedes Lackey, Patrick Rothfuss, and the like. I hope to tell stories that do for my readers what those writers have done for me. So I will remain a writer looking for a home in a world with little patience for me.

2 thoughts on “A Writer In Instant Gratification World

  1. “I do not do vacation. I write.” I’m right there with ya babe. To me vacation is writing.

    I’m hopping over to give you a congrats regarding your Janet win. Your piece is forever in my heart.
    Wonderful work, simply wonderful.

    Like

  2. …and when you’re famous, which you WILL be one of these days, you’ll have a great story to tell of the years of patience, persistance, and endurance you’ve lived through to bring your dream to life. Keep at it!

    Like

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