I must admit I’m blessed.There aren’t many people who get a shot at a second career – especially when it’s doing something they love to do. For me that passion has always been writing. (Second only to reading.) For most of my adult life I didn’t take the opportunity to find my writing voice – the opportunity was there but for one reason or another I didn’t take it. So when I turned the ripe old age of 55 I decided to get the one book written and cross it off my bucket list. I pulled out the old manuscript that I’d been cranking away at for almost ten years, finished it, and sent it off to be published. What a thrill when I saw that first book in my own hands! It didn’t matter that I’d spent more on getting it published than what I would have paid for a cruise for two. It didn’t matter that even after careful editing it still contained typos. All that mattered was that I had written my book!!
Ten years ago this month 201 ATWATER became a reality. And ever since I have kept on writing. It was difficult when I worked a full time job because I had to cram my writing into blocks of time I’d carve out of my daily routine. But I continued on because it brought me happiness to create stories that people wanted to read.
As I progressed through my new career I set out learning more and more about the art of writing, editing, and publishing. And most of all I learned Patience. Yes, Patience with a capital P. Just because I threw words together on a page didn’t make for a good story. But I’ve learned to refine my writing, dispense with useless adjectives, and tighten up my phrasing.
Next month I will publish my seventh full length novel. I’ve also written three short stories with several more to come. During the past ten years I’ve had the pleasure of writing a news column for a weekly periodical – this was terrific experience because it taught me to write well while meeting a deadline and how to make the best use of space.
Several folks have suggested that since I’ve come so far in my writing, I might want to think about republishing 201 ATWATER with all the corrections made. I simply say ‘no thanks’. I’m keeping my first book just the way it is because sometimes I need to go back and see where I came from, how amateurishly egotistical I was, and see how far I’m come and how much further there is yet to travel with my writing.
To all my readers I say a profound and heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’. To those who support me and encourage me – I couldn’t have done it without you. And to those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading one of my books, “What are you waiting for?”