Well, I can hardly believe it’s been three years since I self-published my first novel, “Watching the World Fall”. The spring of 2010 seems like a long time ago. But, in a way, the time also seems to have flown. Family life (kids), work, travel, the small house projects which inexplicably balloon into albatross-worthy missions…it all makes it fly.
But, definitely, one of the reasons the time seems to have roared by is my own doing – my own deadline.
Not long after the book was released, I went to talk at my mother’s book group in Maryland. I think that was in July, when I already knew what my next two books were going to be. At the talk, attended by a few dozen of my parents’ pleasant, easy-going contemporaries, someone asked if I was working on the next book and when it would be out. I responded, accurately, that I was working on the next two and that I was shooting for a three-year deadline.
So, here it is three years later, and…
The book’s nearly done, which is super-exciting. I plan to have it out in about a month, which makes it timely for a lot of reasons. It will be out before the U.S. Men’s Soccer team cements its place in World Cup qualifying (not essential to the book, but it certainly would be a bonus). It could be an ice-breaker for the new school year. I’ll have something to show for being off from work this spring and summer.
Maybe best of all, I’ll have another story to be proud of – even if some of the material is disturbing, troubling and offensive (a key character in the book has become the only psycho I’ve ever really worked on). And it’s reassuring to know that I could stick to my own deadline of three years. I didn’t feel foolish when I made the claim – I really do want to write these novels faster and more efficiently than my first. Still, when I was working full-time a year ago and the spare minutes were coming after 9:30 PM (with my early-morning hours spoken for), I had my doubts. “Finishing” and “following-through” are two issues which seem to plague writers more than any creative subset I can think of.
Thankfully, I have a super-supportive and patient wife who knows I don’t just hack out artistic gibberish at the laptop all day. This is a passion and a pursuit – and it needs to be finished so I can return to the workforce. Paychecks are good.
Nearly there, and right on time.
For once, this writing thing has gone according to plan.