One week from today, Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero will be fully available for purchase.
Those are words I wondered if I would ever be able to say. Ten years ago, I would have asked you what you were smoking to make a prediction like that.
Even still, despite doubts, I knew I wanted to get my work published. I made it my goal to get there and slowly, slowly, I worked toward that goal.
But how did I do it? Well, I’m glad you asked me that question. Let me give you a quick timeline of my writing:
- started reading adult fiction before I started school (I think I was about 4 years old). I know this doesn’t mention writing, but it began my lifelong love of the written word.
- Grade 1: had a classmate who was “writing a book”. He was using big pieces of corrugated cardboard for his pages, which were hand illustrated. I thought it was cool, but not something I could do.
- Grade 7: my English teacher had the class create a magazine. I wrote my first short story for this. Loved the creative process.
- Grade 8 & 9: my next English teacher really started to encourage my writing. Started doing creative writing for more of my classes.
- High School: MAJOR setback. English teachers here more interested in curriculum than creativity. Writing dropped off.
- College: No writing. No time
- 1994 – Started writing again as self-therapy for difficult bosses and job situation.
- 1999 – Took creative novel writing course. This was the beginning of 7-year novel.
- 2001 – Submitted first short story for publication. 6,000-word story took me 6-months to write. It was rejected but got personal note from Marion Zimmer-Bradley in rejection.
- 2006 – Finished 7-year novel. Then wrote Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero in a month during first NaNoWriMo
- 2007 – Revised 7-year novel and sent out. Rejected MANY times. Also began revision on Mik Murdoch. Wrote Mik Murdoch 2 (very rough) for second NaNoWriMo.
- 2008 – Continued to submit work. Had some interest in Mik Murdoch but no takers. More rejections.
- 2009 – Started Get Published podcast. More submissions. More rejections.
- 2010 – Wrote and podcast GalaxyBillies. Get Published still going strong. Signed contract to publish Mik Murdoch. First short stories published. Began work on steampunk collaboration with JRMurdock.
- 2011 – Revised Mik Murdoch further for publisher, Five Rivers. Still writing. Get Published still going strong. First draft of collaboration finished. Began revising GalaxyBillies.
- 2012 – Get Published still going strong (nominated for Parsecs for third time). Have contract for SuperVillain How-to Anthology (editing with Jeff Hite) for Five Rivers (so working on that). Finishing touches on Mik Murdoch for Fall release (in 7 days). Revisions continue on JRMurdoch collaboration and on GalaxyBillies. Also working on ActionPack Podcast with JRMurdock and Scott Roche (writing Boyscouts of the Apocalypse).
Okay, I’m going to stop there (since we are basically up to present day, anyway). As you can see, it all started pretty slowly and gradually got busier and busier. What you don’t see in there are the times when I wondered if I was ever going to get my work published. Would I ever be good enough? Should I just quit and save myself the pain?
The truth is, there were days, even weeks, when I couldn’t go on. I shut off my computer and quit writing. But I couldn’t NOT write. The characters kept calling to me and the dream kept re-igniting.
And I am so glad it did.
Another thing you don’t see in that timeline is all of the networking I’ve done over the years. I started talking about writing a LONG time ago. I have friends and acquaintances from more than 10-years ago who ask me, “How is your writing coming along?” The fantastic thing is, now I can say, “My first book comes out August 1st” instead of, “Well, writing is slow. Nothing yet.”
That has helped to motivate me along the way too.
Is my journey typical? I don’t know what typical really is. I’ve talked to many different published authors on Get Published and every one of them has a different story. For some, the journey was quick and for others like me, the journey was long. But common thread, though, is all of them have said the journey was worth taking.
So, don’t give up on your dream. If it is something you really want, keep driving forward.