It's Never Too Late - On Becoming a New Author


NOTE: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 2015. Re-published in Jan 2017 to resolve text viewability issues. Blog content is unchanged from 2015.

In 2008, I 'met' a woman in a fan chat group who had just written and published a novel. She was an ordinary person with a quite normal career (I think she was a nurse) and she had written and published a novel! How cool was that? I let that little bit of information sit in the back of my mind and germinate for a while. If she could do it, why not me? Of course I didn't have a clue how to write a novel, let alone how to get it published, but it brought me full circle to my original life plan. I had survived an angst-filled adolescence by writing poetry and short stories. I even edited my small high school's newspaper. It was a very small school, and the newspaper was close to a one-woman show, but it was my first foray into journalism, and I enjoyed having a platform. I envisioned a future as a journalist and writer.

Alas, as with many of our youthful plans, life's adjustments got in the way. In my case, it was a work schedule that prevented me--an English major--from taking English classes my Freshman year in college. I discovered Sociology, changed my major, and 3 years later was left wondering what I was going to do with my life. Looking back from the perspective of a completed career, it all worked out pretty well. I'm a hard worker, and when I was given an opportunity for an entry-level position in the field of contract management, I put my shoulder to the plow and dug some pretty darn good furrows. I retired as Director of Contracts for a defense electronics company. Not so bad, I think, but not the creative field I had imagined.

While I was building my career, I forgot about writing novels. There was no place for flights of fancy or creative story-lines in my world. Instead, my writing focused on succinct, well-organized compilations of factual information. I was, however, still an avid reader. My childhood passion for good story-telling never waned, and when I reached a point in my career where the challenges were few and far between, I remembered my original life plan. Was it too late? Could I still do it?

No one would ever accuse me of being spontaneous. I took the same approach to writing that I took with all the other choices and challenges in my life--research through reading. Initially, I bought 'how-to' books, like "How to Write and Sell Your First Novel" and "How to Write a Damn Good Novel". I started putting words to paper and struggled with the concept of 'showing' versus 'telling'. I marveled at the idea that someone could actually write something that was more than 20,000 words. How do you do that?

My first attempt at a novel was about 80,000 words. My second was 150,000. Neither of those books have yet been published. They still need a bit of work, but I have hopes for them. When I made the decision to self-publish SECOND CHANCES (that decision deserves a separate blog), I was terrified. Was it good enough? What if no one likes it? Will I just embarrass myself?

I have learned some things. It will never be good enough. The editing will never stop unless one day you say: enough. It is an imperfect creation, a humbling process, and a leap of faith.

It's been an exciting time taking the path planned for my younger self. Perhaps it was meant to be that my muse slumbered while I gathered life experiences to enrich my characters. More importantly, perhaps my story can inspire others to follow their own long buried dreams.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic

FOLLOW ME

  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Facebook Classic
  • c-youtube

© 2015 by Rita Boehm. Proudly created with Wix.com