That Last Mile

I’ve been talking about it for some time now, but the truth is I hadn’t actually been able to focus on it since around the end of May.  It’s funny, as a writer and a day-gig-go-getter and a self-promoter and a home-owner and a part-time political activist and a gamer and a short fiction writer and a roommate and a boyfriend and writing group participant and con-attendee, you’d think I’d have all the time in the world to finish it.  I must confess, I haven’t.  I did just get two short stories out to an editor, but those aren’t going to come close to paying my bills.

The “it” I’m referring to is Lady’s Blues, the first Jake Lasater novel.  I stalled at chapter 21 and have about 10 chapters to go.  The worst part is, I have to have it complete by the time the 2012 Colorado Gold Contest takes place on the outside chance that I make it as one of the five finalists.  Talk about a long-shot.

It’s a pretty daunting task at this point, seeing as I also need to finish converting a “How To Start a Business With a Mac” book to a “How To Start a Business With A PC” book.  I’m overbooked, but I have nothing else really in the way of me digging into the last mile of Lady’s Blues.  I’m encouraged, for the few people who have read chapters seem to dig it, and it’s steampunk with one of the protagonists being a young girl.  I figure it has the best shot of anything I’ve written for getting me fully into the publisher’s game.  Only time will tell.

I’m hopeful and cynical and fearful and an amalgam of other emotions, not to mention sort of stuck at this one part in the story.  But if it’s anything like Chemical Burn was, then I’ll have to slog through about one or two more chapters and it’s clear sailing to the finish line.  Keeping the writing going is always a challenge.

I was at a writer’s group tonight, and one of the topics that came up is the dejection that writers all too frequently feel because of rejection.  It’s the rejection dejection blues, and we all get it… except for those lucky souls who get struck by lighting and write one book, get a book deal, and are set for life or at least as a career.

I’m actually rambling here.  I got up at 5am this morning to alter my sleep schedule in preparation for leaving the house Friday around four in the morning so I can drive to Omaha, Nebraska and be there by 3:00pm for my first panel at OsFest5.

People generally think that the life of a writer is easy.  They have absolutely NO idea.  It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had, doubly so because the only boss cracking a whip is me.  I could easily just put the whip down, but having the self-discipline to keep jamming on it is something many people I know just don’t have.  I’m not bragging–well, maybe a little–but this isn’t bravado.  It’s not that I’m better than anyone.  It’s merely that I want this career that badly.

When you see what you want, grab on to with both hands, sink your teeth in and don’t let go no matter how much it bucks or how tired you get.

If there’s a secret to success for being a writer, I’d bet that’s the biggie.

Tenacity.

 

Q.

2 thoughts on “That Last Mile

  1. I’m continually amazed and inspired by your ability to crack that whip on yourself. And you’ve only just recently had a break in the constant stream of side projects and obligations that have most likely been preventing you from truly being able to focus on this story.

    I believe you can do this. Now is your time. Time to draw your lines, make your space and do what you were meant to do: write great a great book.

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