We’ve all heard the expression. Normally, I blog about the writing projects I have scheduled. This morning, I decided to write about something a little more personal. As I approach my 5 year anniversary with writing, it’s made me think a lot about what I’ve been through, where I’m at in my career and where I need to be moving forward.
I believe that my career as an author can be split into 3 periods. Why am I telling you this? Well, if you’re an author or plan to be one, I believe you can learn something from my experience.
Period one consists of the day I published my first book (Gunship) through the day I published The Colony. During this period of time, I was confident that I knew everything. There wasn’t anything in the world of writing and publishing that I needed to learn (I was a typical newbie) and it led to a lot of mistakes on my part. How I made it through this period of time, quite frankly, is beyond me. But I did. I told everyone that I wrote for a living becaause, dammit, I was proud of it!
Period two began shortly after I published The Colony and lasted until I was nearly finished writing One Last Hero. This is the period where I saw the err of my ways and realized that I truly knew nothing about the industry. That was a hard pill to swallow. Writing your thoughts and then publishing them to the world, only to realize later that it wasn’t your best work. That stings. During this time, to be completely honest, I lacked confidence. I never considered quitting, that’s not in my DNA. I did, however, begin to find it difficult to tell people what I did for a living.
About two weeks ago, I feel as though I turned a corner. Period Three of my writing career began. The best way to explain the feeling I have right now is understanding that I have a lot to learn, while finally believing in myself as an author. I’ve dedicating myself to becoming better at the craft and I’ve finally gotten myself structured with routine. I woke up this morning at 4 a.m., which is something I would have never considered early on in my career. Currently, I write from 4-7 in the morning and then continue to write from 8-1 p.m. I now understand that this is my job. Nobody walks into the profession at the top of his or her game, as with any other job. I’m no Stephen King, but one day that guy will either fear my ability to write or respect my effort to improve.
In closing, I no longer worry about things that are out of my control. Things like sales and reviews, these are things that haunt the daily lives of most authors. Not me – not anymore. Now I write for myself. I’ve rededicated myself to becoming the best author that I can be. I’m finally doing things the right way, and I have a small team of people behind me that I trust. Together, the end result will be something to be proud of. So, 5 year anniversary, I welcome you with open arms. It’s been a long, incredible journey, and I’m a better man for it.