It’s been a long time coming

This post…

This post has been coming for a long time now. This post has been virtually in the works for 10 months. Over a thousand hours of my life spent working toward a goal. And just a few days ago, I reached that goal.

My book is done.

I have, for the first time in my life, completed a story I set out to finish. Through countless attempts, I have finally completed my first step, as a writer, toward my dream.

I am an Author.

All of that said, it’s time I take my next few steps. As I posted in a prior update, I’ve begun querying agents. However, as you all know, this is a long and painful process. Additionally, I posted an update about future plans and story ideas. I have made my choice and will begin outlining shortly. In the mean time, I’m recovering from fatigue and taking up a few short stories that I’ve had floating around for a while.

However, before I sign off and take my much needed break, I will drop the WIP name of my next book.

Epic of Q’tal

My name is Jason Penn and I am an author.

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7/14/2015 And so it beings

It certainly doesn’t feel like only 8 days have passed since my last post. This update will be short, but it’s a major one. As of today, I am querying agents. As of today, I’ve taken the next step in becoming a published author.

Now, I don’t assume it’ll work out immediately and everything will be sun shine and rainbows, but it is a big step. My book is finally in a state where only the eyes of an agent and editor can improve it. I can make tiny tweaks here and there for months, sure. However, I feel comfortable with what I’ve accomplished and waiting around trying to nail perfection won’t get me anywhere. It’s time to face the crucible and suffer rejection as all authors before me. Hopefully with it, I will grow.

7/6/2015 Update and Steps Forward

Nearly a month has passed and finally I return. I went to my grandfather’s 90th birthday and was able to spend a little time with both of my grandparents. My grandmother was doing as well as I could hope. It was awkward being around so many family members. The hundred and ten degree weather didn’t help the experience either. I’m just glad I was able to see them.

My writing stagnated after I received the feedback and it’s taken a lot to get myself back into the groove of things. However I’ve been in contact with her and she has given me lots of guidance.

I entered the Pitch to Publication event too. It helped get me writing again and even though I’m pretty sure I’m out of the running, it was far from a waste of time. I wrote an entirely new opening that brings the reader right in. I got a bunch of revisions done to the first chapter to make things flow better. And on top of that, I got some good experience in writing query letters. Over all, it was a good for me.

Today I sort of just woke up and started doing things. General house work, gardening, finishing a closet, and then I simply opened up my manuscript and started editing. I’ve gotten through the first chapter and I’m awaiting her critiques of the second and third. So in the mean time, I worked up the energy to write this update and to say that I haven’t given up.

With renewed vigor, I write on.

6/10/2015 Update and Setback

So if you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that a day ago I was getting pretty excited as I wrapped up the last of the list of things I needed to edit. Well, things were looking great. And seemingly, that’s exactly when the universe decides to pull the rug out from under me.

At the last minute, I received a message from an author friend who said she would critique my work. Sadly, she found enough that needs worked on to warrant delaying for at least another fifteen days. Considering how I felt the marathon was over, but was just informed I’ve got another few laps to go, my spirits are low. However, it isn’t all bad. On the upside, I’m getting much needed guidance and if it means a better story in the end, the setback will be worth it.

Yet this wasn’t all. I also received an unpleasant call. My grandmother has just been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. So yeah… That’s happening. I went from top of the world to bottom of the ocean in the course of just an hour. Yes, it was that quick. Got the email with critiques and hardly half an hour later, got the call.

*Sigh*

By how terribly I’ve written this post, the fact that I haven’t sleep should probably also be brought up.  Updates might be a little sporadic until I get my spirits up, but as I write this, I can still feel my resolve returning. I’m not giving up, but I’ll probably be in a sour mood for a while.

To All Aspiring Authors!

One of the hardest challenges I’ve faced on my way to becoming an author is this:  Of all the people around me, I am the only one who sees what I’m doing as a job.

Most people close to me seem to assume I have loads of free time.  You know… Because what I’m doing isn’t really work…  The 8+ hours that I spend most days agonizing over my manuscript doesn’t count.

I can’t speak for everyone, but this is directed at those who’ve experienced the same thing I have.  All those little things people ask you to do because you’ve “got so much free time,” that stops you in your writing tracks and takes you out of the moment/mood/mentality that you just spend the last HOUR working yourself into.

Sure we can say “no” or “I’m busy,” some of the times.  Yet as time goes on, it wares at us.

And when you seek assistance or an opinion on your work, so many who said it was cool that you were writing in the beginning, don’t really care anymore, if ever.  They feign interest or support for only so long and eventually you just quit asking.  Who wants to pressure someone into reading your work?  And from those who will give you the time of day, they’re usually people whose thoughts come with some kind of bias.

In my case, I’ve got a parent who things what I write is spectacular.  But let’s be real here…  They may love it, but I can’t seem to get anyone else interested in it for very long.

So what do you have then?  A clearly biased opinion (which in many ways is detrimental) as your soul source for support and encouragement?  It eats away at you.

Yet we don’t want to give up and step back into the daily grind for the rest of our lives.  We do little things like schedule writing times where no one is allowed to bother us.  We persevere in our little vacuum.  Every milestone we reach means the world to us and oh so often is our only source of motivation.  One thing I often have to remind myself of is that once I get publish (Not if!), all of my effort, the months of screaming silence as I live mostly within my own head, will all be vindicated.  That first check or agent deal will retroactively turn all that “wasted time” that others seem to see it as into legitimate work and me building my career as a writer.  This is a truth we all share.

So this is a shout out to all my fellow aspiring authors out there!  Don’t lose heart.  Don’t give up. Keep on grasping for your dream.

Introduce yourself to me!   I will follow your progress blog and give words of encouragement.  I will give you an honest opinion.  I will get excited over your intricate schemes and when you update on how many more words you’ve written or how much progress you’ve made.

You don’t have to be alone in your endeavor.