The other day I went to a local restaurant where the people know me as a regular. As I paid for my meal the cashier asked me, “Hey, so what do you do for a living anyway?” And instead of proudly proclaiming, “I, sir, am I writer! A wordsmith, a stringer of sentences, a paragon of paragraphs!” I sort of blanked. I chuckled to myself and eventually told the person, “I am actually a writer.” As if I couldn’t believe it myself.
And as I ate my tacos piled high with lettuce and cheese, I examined that thought internally. The reason I felt almost surprised to call myself a writer is because I’ve seen so few of my writings in print. True, I spend the majority of my days in one of two chairs throughout my house whittling away with pen and paper, but without the payoff that comes from writing–that one-of-a-kind feeling when you hold your writing in your hands–I feel unfulfilled.
But fret not, friends! For the dry spell of publishing is about to end!
At the start of the new year I began working for a local magazine in my state as the head editor. I researched and wrote 95% of the magazine myself which ended up being a full-time job; setting up interviews and creating digital media went hand in hand with the writing. I had to take steps back from the writing I was doing to focus purely on calling and emailing people all over the state about credible information. Now, FINALLY, the magazine is at the printers and will be distributed throughout the state within the week. You may begin your celebrations now.
“Why is this important?” you may ask. Well, because when that sucker is finally delivered I will get that one-of-a-kind feeling which only comes from holding a physical copy of your writing. Say hello to fulfillment. Getting the magazine to the shape that it’s in now was no small task, and each issue afterwards is only going to be thicker and more in depth with the content, but I am excited at the future.
I’m excited because not only is the magazine due out soon, but I’m coming up on the end of the current novel project I’ve been working on. Since I finished most of the articles and magazine’s content a while ago, I’ve been CRANKING out the pages on this story. I wanted to get it done before the next issue so I don’t lose momentum again. (Momentum is the most important thing when writing for me.) The novel has several working titles at the moment, nothing I’m happy with yet, but I’ve had a beta-reader going through the first few chapters and with each chapter sent back the feedback is more positive. It’s taken a long time to get out, mainly because I lost my momentum halfway through by picking up the magazine, (it’s important, I tell ya. Really, really important to keep momentum) but the second draft is almost done. The end is clear in sight.
So, while I may still hesitate when asked what my career is out of the blue by someone, I’m definitely still writing up a storm.