Monthly Archives: September 2012

Lunch with Friends

As I do occasionally, I met some of my former workmates for lunch yesterday. Since retiring from my “day job” and writing full time, I still like to keep in touch with selected people I once worked with.

Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of people facing retirement and found myself envious. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like not having to deal with the corporate rat race or an alarm clock—to do exactly what I wanted to do every day of my life.

For me, of course, it’s a bit different than it is for the average retiree because my writing career keeps me as busy—if not busier—than when I worked a traditional job. I’m not complaining. Believe me. I love writing novels, but there is a dark side to my world.

First of all, every time I meet my ex-colleagues for lunch, I always feel a little down when we part company. I feel nostalgic and disconnected, completely out of the loop. I miss the social commerce of the workplace, the camaraderie, talking about Monday Night Football the morning after, discussing politics, participating in a pot luck for a holiday. All these little things I took for granted now seem so significant. What’s the saying? “You don’t realize what you have until you lose it.”

As much as I love it, writing is a lonely job. It’s just my computer, me, and my creative thoughts. Some days the words are flowing like a waterfall; other days I can hardly write a meaningful sentence. What I can’t do, is walk away from my “office”, pop my head in a workmate’s cubicle and escape from the demands of my job. I’m a solo pilot.

Moral of the story: If you’re part of the corporate rat race, hate your job, can’t wait to retire, and want to shoot one of your annoying colleagues in the face, take a step back and look at your career from a different perspective. You just might discover that the benefits outweigh the liabilities.

UPDATE: I thought you might be interested to know that Amazon Publishing will release, I Do Solemnly Swear, my third novel, on October 16th. And here is more exciting news: I’m about 52,000 words into my fourth novel entitled, Hypocrisy. I hope to have the first draft completed by December 1st.

Stay tuned for updates.

 

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Author Hobnobbing

I attended a local author gathering on Saturday at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego. There were about 25 authors there along with 20 or 30 prospective buyers. It was a meet and greet event, which gave authors not only the opportunity to sell some books, but also to hobnob with other authors and share war stories.

Events like this—unless you’re John Grisham or Patricia Cornwell—do not generally yield many sales. If an author can sell 6 or7 books, he or she is doing well. Even though a bookstore sponsors an event like this primarily to sell books—why else would they host such an event?—I believe it serves the authors better than the buyers or the bookstore.

I spoke to about half a dozen authors one on one and asked about their journey from obscurity to publication. Although each account had unique circumstances, there were remarkable similarities in each author’s story. The one common denominator consistent with every author I spoke to was that years of rejection preceded success.

Any artist—whether a painter, writer, sculptor, vocalist, or musician—pays their dues. There are few, if any, overnight success stories. Now you might believe that a particular person made it big on the fast track, but that’s only because you never heard of them and don’t know that they’ve been at it for 15 painful, lonely years.

The moral of the story is a simple one: rejection is a prerequisite of success. So if your dream is to be the next J.K. Rowling or Pablo Picasso, prepare yourself for a long, arduous journey.

UPDATE: I’m 45,000 words into Hypocrisy, my fourth novel. And don’t forget, Amazon Publishing will release, I Do Solemnly Swear, my third novel on October 16. Check it out. http://tiny.cc/mtmfkw

Stay tuned for more updates.

 

 

 

 

 

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