I have been thinking a lot about the rest of the year and how I would like it to shake out. Of course, before I state my plan I should recognize that none of us can really see 5 minutes into the future. So as I give you an update on what you can expect moving forward, I will remain rigidly flexible.
Before we look forward, I think we should look backwards a few months. One of the bigger events of my development as a writer is that I actually typed “The End” on book number one. It came in at about 86,000 words and is only eight years in development. About two years ago, I thought I had a finished product but I was wrong. Way wrong, so I cut the first thirty thousand words, and cut the last twenty thousand words from the ending. Completely rewrote the beginning and ending while I kept the middle fifteen thousand words. Then to flesh it out, I went back in and added another twenty thousand words to the total product. That is almost like starting completely over with the same idea.
I sent it out to the first three beta readers over the weekend so I am patiently waiting on their thoughts and I am moving forward with book number two which is actually the second half of the first book that I re-wrote. Hope you’re not confused yet, because I certainly am.
I will be random in my posts this summer. We have a lot going on this summer with normal family vacation plans, a house that we are trying to sale and if we do then we have to find a new house and actually move. Plus some other things going on with the family, all good trust me which will probably combine to take extra time away from this site. One topic I will be tackling is Bar-B-Que to include some recipes and some of the tricks I have learned from cooking BBQ over the past two years.
Also during the spring months, I had a stronger than normal bout with anxiety. For all our new friends and readers, I am not a normally nervous or anxious person. I like to think of myself as a calm, steady person who is consistently predictable in my life. But ever since I deployed to Iraq in 2003, I have found that I am just unsettled during the springtime. It seems to creep up on me in March and peaks in April and by the end of May, it seems to have worked its way out of the system. Full disclosure, my issues are very mild and I would not classify my mood swings as harmful, dangerous, or anything that requires special treatment. But it gives me an understanding and compassion for the men and women that suffer from a full blown case of PTSD.
I think that part of my increased anxiety this year relates to the fact that I haven’t finished writing about the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. I have another ten-month period that I need to document but haven’t because the last two rotations were the most stressful and the person I was during that time was the least honorable me. I have been finding excuses to write about that Rob, but I need to get those stories out so I can move on. So you can look for those stories sometime in the fall. It will be a series that lasts a couple of months so there are so many stories both good and bad that I would like to relate to you in general and specifically for my kids who should get to know who their Dad was before they were alive.
Around Christmas, I am sure we will have plenty to discuss with a new President about to take office and of course that is the busy time of the season for me at work, so I will try really hard to finish the year strong by getting book number one finished and complete. At the beginning of 2017, I am going to focus hard on looking for a book agent and I want to start shopping the book. In February, I am scheduled for training with my work and I will be scarce for a couple of months.
Which brings us to late spring 2017, my goal is to have an agent who is actively shopping book number one and to have a completed draft of book number two out to beta readers and to start working on book number three. I know it sounds like a lot but right now all I see is time slipping past me. Two years ago, I was in training for my work and I was struggling to learn a new airplane. It was the only time in my aviation career that I had serious reservations about my ability to learn a new airplane. It was really difficult for me because of a lot of reasons but I made myself a secret promise. That promise was the five years from then, I would have real options about continuing my current career or starting a new career as a real live, highly paid author.
I know the odds are stacked against me, I know there are better writers out there and I know that in order to replace my current income I have going to have to be big time. But in order it be big time, you have to dream big time. And of course, all these dreams haven’t been squashed by the four beta readers so I still have a chance to be somebody.
Until next time, keep on rockin.