This is a spontaneous out-of-schedule post because there’s something tied to this very date that deserves it: it’s already five years since I started writing. Where the hell has the time gone?
And so I thought I’d make a small look back and reflect a bit on those five years.
There are things that worked well, things that didn’t, and many between.
Back on 21.7.2015, when I gave writing a try and wrote a demo chapter, I had no idea what I’d be getting myself into. I had no idea whether I’d even like writing, or if I even could write. There was a decent chance that my bare-bone idea was a total nonsense – and despite the encouragement from the few people (un)lucky enough to see at least a bit of it, I still fear that it might be a total nonsense.
After finishing the demo that eventually stretched to some 24000 words in a month (and thus gave me a good hint that I was actually liking writing), I thought that 10 years to finish the series might be a realistic idea. And because I was clueless (I still am, but not as much, I hope), I thought it’d be clearly divided into isolated parts, each book being self-contained writing time.
And thus, I hoped to get the first book done by 21.7.2018.
The fact it’s still not done doesn’t mean a complete failure, though. I’m getting there, even though with a delay of some 27 months, but I’ve done a lot more – I am preparing to finally publish the first book, working on the second book (in progress of third draft – more in the regular monthly update), and have a rough draft of the third one, so once it gets going, it should go well. Not to mention a store of ideas for future spin-off projects.
All in all, I believe to be well on track for the 10-year goal, even if the checkpoints changed a lot. But that was a part of getting into the process and getting to understand it, and seeing that sometimes it’s impossible to plan something when you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.
And as I came to soon see, it’s not just about the destination, but the journey as well. I haven’t ‘met’ many people – but the few I did helped me a lot. I’ve came to understand the world of writing, I went through several stages of taking more or less strict stances, and eventually to a point where I’m willing to see many perspectives when I see all the different ways other writers work and all the different goals they have. Sure, I still have my opinions and preferences, and I am willing to talk about them – but I am not to force them on anyone else.
Now, what I think could be better in the future? Writing faster would be nice but not if it was at the cost of frequent fatigue. Becoming a ‘real’ part of the writing community? Yes, I’d like that, seeing how many people are able to give insightful advice, I admit I’d like to be to do the same. To help others at least a bit. Maybe now that I’m about to go through the crucial last steps myself, I’ll learn something that might help others…
And that brings me to probably the most important thing to mention: without the people who help others navigate the raging waters of writing, I’d not be nearly at the place where I am now. And maybe I could make this a kind-of personal thanksgiving. So, thanks to everyone who helped me in any way:
Chatti and Kimund from my World of Warcraft team, who were the first to see something good in my poor drafts.
The people so tirelessly sharing their advice and that I’ve managed to come across (or maybe they’ve found me, in fact): K.M. Allan, M.L. Davis, Lorraine Ambers, Ari Meghlen, Mary from Wild Writing Dreams, Yari from MyIndieWriting, and Kathy Rodgers to name those I’ve been following the most, and a few more (feel free to come and give me a hell for not mentioning you – I am genuinely sorry, I’m putting this post together on the spot because I managed to forget about such a milestone until I was on my way to work so no pre-drafting it).
My beta readers – Andres Rodriguez (the first) and Ben Connor among others. And finally, the very special and very best group: people who are both helpful bloogers and even more helpful beta readers: Ed White and Rebecca Alasdair. Thank you all, you rock!
And since this is an anniversary, those should mean cakes. But I’m lazy to search internet for stock pictures and then go through licenses to see if I can use them for free, so you’ll have to accept a poor MSpaint doodle of a bookish cake I’ve made in less than five minutes. Bon apetit!
So, cheers to the journey behind me and to new adventures coming. Hopefully with more friends made along the way and emering all the wiser.
I’ll welcome your comments and questions, as always. And feel free to share where you’ve been at the five-year mark (or where you hope to be if you’re not there yet).
Happy anniversary, Tom! You’ve achieved so much in those 5 years. Congrats! Thank you also for the shoutout 😊. I’ve enjoyed watching your writing journey too.
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