I'm sitting here this morning, eating my bowl of reduced sugar instant oatmeal, and smiling.
When I first decided that I wanted to write.... I call it a decision, but I don't fell like I really had a choice in the matter. Let me put it this way:
When writing found me, floundering and without direction, I got a feeling - a strange, this-is-it feeling. Suddenly all was right with the world. I stopped stressing out about life. It wasn't pointless any more.
It was as if I had found myself.
Countless rejections later, I began to question my new direction. Perhaps I wasn't supposed to be a writer after all. Perhaps the stories that were careening through my mind at break-neck speed, causing inconsistent bouts of insomnia and general turmoil were just a symptom of a sick mind and I would never amount to much. Maybe the best I could hope for in life was to remain a low-level administrator, bitter and alone, pining for dreams never realised.
Sounds dramatic, right? All the same, that was what was going through my head. By the time the last rejection for The Third Prince came through, I had pretty much given up. I was trying to resign myself to a life of mediocrity.
Then, one day, I went to a labyrinth walk. I had gone there to speak with Grandma, who had passed away January of last year. As I walked, I told her that I loved her and that I missed her (and at this point started crying), and that I'm sorry, but it doesn't look like my books would be published after all (Mum given her bits of The Great Man series to read as I sent them to her, and she loved them. She always pestered Mum for more). Then a little voice popped into my head and clear as day it said this:
No, it wasn't my Grandma's voice. It wasn't a voice I recognised at all. I also realise how incredibly crazy this sounds, what with hearing voices and what not. I swear, though, that's precisely what happened.
It was sudden. It was loud. It was thoroughly odd.
I had been toying with the idea already, having promised a LinkedIn.com friend of mine that I would put something up on his e-book distribution website. I just never thought I would do it for real.
After I won the chance to be published in Unlocked (Coming out August 13th, people. Don't miss it!), I decided that I could self publish after all. I could put some of my poetry out there, one or two of my short stories. That why why and how The Dying God & Other Stories came into being.
Now all the stories have been written. All the poems are in place. All that remains is having my Beta Readers send me feedback, final edits based on that, and scanning in my illustrations. Of the people I asked to be Beta Readers, four have generously given their time. Four pairs of eyes is a good amount for Beta Readers, so it should give the anthology the best possible shot at being close to perfect without hiring a professional editor (because I can't afford one). Hopefully, I'll publish it without seeing a single typo after the fact!
I have also asked my LinkedIn.com friend if he'll peruse the manuscript and give me the pre-approval for publishing through Lebrary.com. I'm fairly confident there aren't any major problems that will cause me to be turned aside.
I'm quite excited, though I know I am unlikely to sell very many copies - almost all of them will be to family and friends. It doesn't really matter at this point. I'm excited all the same.
That feeling I got when writing first found me? I have it again.