I started this blog with the goal of practice. Sorry, happy readers, but everything you read here is all my rough work. I needed a way to get my writing muscles limber and strong, and there’s no substitute for just grinding out thousands and thousands of words. To date I’ve written 465 blog entries, starting way back in the days of Vox. There have been a few flecks of gold glittering in the steamy piles of mindcrap I post here regularly. Practice is giving yourself permission to make enough mistakes that you learn something
All that practice for what? In the last few years I’ve completed one novel of historical fiction, one non-fiction book about a Land Rover expedition I took in my twenties, and am at work on my third book, a young adult novel. Are they good? I think so. I love reading them, I laugh at the funny parts and get caught up in the action scenes. Check out the short story in the writing tab for a quick foray into the madness of a German bartender. I’ve edited and picked over every word of my books in the hope I have a publishable work that somebody out there will find as interesting as I do. Now I’m at the business end of writing, the clinical process of querying and finding an agent, a process akin to rolling up your love letters, stuffing them in bottle, and chucking them into the froth at the end of the jetty.
As much as I want to believe in luck I put my faith in hard and well-directed work. My first query is done enough to send out into the world, where it will hopefully be picked to pieces and sent back, but most likely ignored and left to bleach white in the desert of overwrought metaphors. But I’ll rework it and send it out again until I get something, a nibble. If I were a fisherman I’d tell some inspirational story about how many casts it takes to hook a beautiful trout, but instead I’ll end with this: keep writing, keep dreaming, and make your own luck.