Why Did You Do It?

People keep asking me the same questions over and over again. The main one is, “Why did you publish 3 books at one time?”

The answer is really quite simple. “I didn’t intend for it happen that way.” Several years ago, when I decided that I would be leaving, my then present job in 3 or 4 years, I wondered what I would do after I left. I knew I wanted to travel and get more involved in social activism, but I figured that wouldn’t take up all my time. The thought occurred to me that I might get a part-time job for the extra money and the routine it would provide me seeing as how I was so used to that constant schedule. Then the brilliant idea of fulfilling a dream to become a writer became a real possibility.

With unbridled zeal, I dove into writing. Over the next few years I amassed a collection of short stories and unfinished novels and novellas. The last two years or so before I retired, I hunkered down and finished some of those incomplete works. When I did finally leave my job, I had theses edit ready manuscripts and all this unused time on my hands.

After a few trips traveling here and there, boredom beginning to stare me blankly in the face, so I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, “Find an editor,” and that is exactly what I did. She welcomed me with enthusiasm, encouragement, and good advice.

I dumped one manuscript on her. Then two and I said, “What the hell…” and gave her a third one, as well. The rest is history.

People also ask me. “What is it you write? All three books are different and for different audiences.”

I’ve heard the messages, just like every other writer. “Find and write to your audience. Pick your genre. Write what you know. Blah, blah, blah…” I’m not saying that this advice isn’t prudent and valuable. I’m just saying that I write what interests me. I read more than one genre and so my writing covers more than one genre. As well, in a way I think this is a method of finding my personal voice. It’s almost like retrieving something from the back of the closet: you have to move all the stuff in front of it before you can get to it.

 

In other news:

I’d like to announce the eminent release of the second book in the “Fantasy Fire Series – Faces in the Fire.” The release date is not certain, but by the end of August or the first of September it will be available. Look for a definite announcement on my website and Facebook page. (Wow, 4 books in one year. Who would have guessed?) It will be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I’m also in the process of writing the as-yet-unnamed third book in the series. Hopefully, the fourth and maybe fifth and final book in the series will be completed by late 2019.

Let me end by thanking everyone for the interest and support they have offered me during this process. It has been miraculous and awe-inspiring. I am very grateful and encouraged. Thank you.

Till next time, remember. Give yourself the permission to dream.

Getting it Done

Getting it done. That is, getting the book written. I don’t mean having the book ready for publication, but just getting the story on paper from the opening sentence to the final period. That is a lot easier said than done. Though there are still many steps before completion, getting it in a working first draft stage is paramount. It is that vital first step. Not simply because it is a long arduous process writing a book, even though it is, but because we let so many things get in the way of achieving our goal. If you don’t finish what you start it’s as if you didn’t do anything at all.

There is the infamous writer’s block. I define that as those times when you couldn’t write your name with a blow torch, not to mention an ink pen. For some odd and unexplained reason there is nothing there. No ideas, no words, no concepts at all. It’s as if all aspects of language have disappeared from your brain. It is a scary and frustrating thing. How do you overcome it? I have no answer for that. I simply go and do something else until it passes. And it does; eventually.

Then there is what I call the constant editor. I am totally guilty of this. Rereading and rewriting what you’ve already done, going over things and making punctuation corrections, spelling corrections, letting the search for the perfect word put all progress to a halt, rearranging sentences and paragraphs, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Instead of just writing the doggone thing and coming back to fine tune what you’ve done later. “Stop it!” I have to forcefully tell myself. “That is what rewrites, subsequent drafts and editing are for.” But those things don’t happen until after you’ve written the thing.

The busy body, we are all guilty of this contrary to whether you are writing a book, starting a business or doing anything else. This is the time when we just can’t seem to find the time, energy, or concentration to do the work so we make excuses and find reason why we can’t do what it is we need to do. Everything else in the world is just one priority above the work. We find that we can’t concentrate because our mind is on anything and everything else. Excuses like “You’re being selfish or irresponsible and should be doing something more important. This isn’t a priority, at least not as important as say, washing the dishes. I’ll do it later when things calm down. I’ll get up early and do it then or I’ll double down and do twice as much tomorrow.” All of these things and more are just delaying tactics and excuses. To make things worse when we admit this to ourselves we feel twice as bad for not buckling down and getting it done.

The list of things we allow to get in the way of our goals is long and varied. This was just a small portion of some of the things I have let get in my way when in reality there is only one real reason. “I simply did not sit down and do it. My commitment was to be kind, lacking.”  Doing anything you have a passion to do from writing a book to learning to play an instrument to getting that PHD, takes commitment and determination.

Will some things fall to wayside? Of course. Will you have to rearrange things and make some sacrifices? Yes. Will your efforts result in a success? Maybe, there is no way to know that until you put in the work.

Getting it done is more than just sitting in the chair and banging on the keys to get something on the paper. It’s acknowledging that what you want and what you do matter. It’s giving yourself permission to put your own personal desires high on your priority list. It’s saying to yourself and the world “Hey this is important to me.”

My First Blog Post

This is my first blog post. I have sweated over what to say. What to write about that would interest others. I could promote my newly released books, talk about what’s coming soon, write about new projects I’m working on or even do a stream of consciousness about things I am thinking of writing. I do plan on doing all of those things, but I’m choosing to first answer the question I am asked more than any other:

“What made you decide to write?”

 Like most questions about important decisions in your life, the answer is both simple and complicated. And like most answers, the details are both common place and a bit ethereal.

 I was, like so many of us, an awkward kid. I was tall, thin, shy, and horribly insecure. Though my mental acuity was intact, my physical development was out of proportion. I was a mixture of kid parts and adult parts trying to coalesce into a cohesive representation of a young man. My social skills were non-existent and quite naturally I was not a member of the popular crowd. I agonized my way through puberty and the unpleasant teenage years.

I found that books were my saving grace. They became my companions and my best friends. I discovered I could learn about all those things I had imagined and wondered about as well as satisfy the curiosity that comes with one who lives in his own head. The characters in fiction stories became my friends and the lecturers in non-fiction books became my mentors. Our relationship was private and satisfying.

Naturally, as time went by, I dreamed I could not only be a consumer of these books, but a writer of them as well. I wrote and kept those stories to myself, afraid to let others read them for fear of criticism and rejection. As with most things, if you hide them from the light they wilt and die away. Then the inevitable happened. Life got in the way. The duties, obligations, and distractions of my life caused me to put my dream in storage. Sometimes you just can’t seem to find the energy or drive to pursue dreams and deal with the demands of your life.

Now that my time has become my own, I have rekindled that desire and found the time to peruse that moth-balled dream. I can finally unleash the stories that have for so long played over and over in my mind. Three of those tales are in my present library of books, the fantasy “Hearts of Fire”, the pre-dystopian fantasy “Planet Eden,” and the thriller “Cast a Long Shadow.”

“Hearts of Fire” is an on-going series, the second book in that series will be released soon. I also have a collection of short stories, “Small Bites,” coming down the pike. And I am presently working on a historical drama set in colonial times, along with a collection of serial stories about a dysfunctional detective named Titus Spelman.

I want to thank everyone that has shown interest in my work and hope that I provide you with as much enjoyment in the reading as I have had in the writing.

Talk to you soon.

F. R. Wilson