I have arrived in the future. Six or more years ago, probably more, but I have honestly lost track, I started writing this book, which has become the novel, Out in the Garage. Now I have entered it into the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
I packed away the three most recent draft manuscripts, and I had to start a new box, because the old one is overflowing with past drafts, various notes, backup CDs, etc...Six years worth of stuff. Although I am not completely sure how many drafts I have completed, I can be reasonable certain that the number is over 20.
I have been through it literally four times in the past few weeks, rewriting, editing, proofreading. Now, at least for now, anyway, I am finished with writing it. Now I will hope for the best as far as the contest goes and hope fully I can come out of it with a publishing contract or at least feedback that will help me get a publishing contract.
Now, down to business, there are a few people who I will be emailing pdf advanced copies to read. Those people I have already discussed it with and shouldn't (hopefully) be surprised.
In addition to focusing on my classes and my new job (which starts next week), I will be completing all of these short stories that I have started and will be sending them out to markets where I would like them to be published. After that, I will starting on my next book, the social satire, Born in 1984, which I will be brainstorming/outlining thoroughly before I actually sit down to write it, so hopefully I can cut down the whole writing process by several years.
I believe that, if I can be fiscally responsible and continue working towards my goals and, hopefully, make a little extra money publishing, that I should be able to get it done by the end of the year. It really depends on how busy I am with school and life and what-not.
I plan on incorporating my studies, including my thesis, into the writing of this next book, so, in some small way, at least, and especially if I do well in this Amazon contest, I will be able to justify taking the time to write it, particularly because I know it is going to be the best thing I have ever written.
It is strange for me, very surreal indeed, that I have finally finished this first novel. So much happened in my life, most of it really good, over the process of writing it, and at times, it seemed like I would never finish it. Even if I end up publishing it on my own, I will feel accomplished.
I think the key to success in following one's dreams is to not give up, to keep learning and working and pushing towards the future, trying new ideas and focusing on strengths and minimizing weaknesses. I don't know exactly what the future holds, but, certainly, the dreams I have worked towards through the goals I have set are reasonable possibilities, and will continue to be more reasonable, as I continue to work towards achieving them.
No matter what happens I am truly very grateful for all of the support I have been given over the years, from all my family, friends, coworkers, classmates, teachers... I have been very lucky. I could not live with myself, also, if I didn't take the opportunity to thank my wife for all of her love and support over the years. She, more than anyone else, pushed me towards setting and achieving my goals. She found me when I was lost and continues to believe in me and support me. I cannot thank her enough. I am truly a very lucky man. Thank you. I love you.
Thank you also to all of the musicians who have provided the soundtrack to my countless hours of sitting and typing and writing and going more than just a little crazy at times. Without you all this would not have been possible, either. Right now I am listening to The Amboy Dukes, "Missionary Mary", from Journey to the Center of My Mind, which, I suppose, is a good choice to play me out.