I’ve never been published.
I have to qualify this, though. I don’t have a published book. I’ve written articles for a broadsheet, had an essay included in an anthology, and my written work is all over the Internet. But no book I can call my own.
Several years ago, I began writing a graphic novel with a couple of artist friends. We all agreed the plot was terrific (I still think it is) and we thought we had it in us to do it. The problem was, I think, that none of us would take the lead in the project. We were either lazy or uninspired or just lacked motivation. Also, although the preliminary art was great, the characters didn’t look the way I wanted them to. Because I was the kind of self-absorbed writer who apparently didn’t know how to do a collaboration. Then I thought, maybe I ought to do a project on my own first before trying to work on something with others.
So I started plotting plots. Plots for novels, that is. The problem was, they were all in my head, and they stayed there. I didn’t write much down, aside from character names and descriptions. Any professional writer will tell you that this is not a good thing. Just about every wannabe has an idea for a novel or two in her head. It’s the .001 % who actually sit down to write something substantial down on paper (or an electronic file) who become writers. And it’s the ones who do that every day who actually become novelists.
There’s something to be said about the creative environment. One day, I found my work enabled me to work with actual writers. They weren’t all published authors, but they had manuscripts — or chunks of novels — tucked away in their computers. I began to meet published authors and artists. And some of my friends began coming out as writers and authors. I was excited for them, and I thought maybe it was time to finally commit to the page.
Currently I’m working on an 2 novels on my own, and one trilogy in collaboration with a few other people. My graphic novel will have to wait, though, until I get I get my friends to commit to it with me (or until I learn how to draw). (Oh, wait, I just remembered I had two graphic novel outlines tucked away. Sheesh.) Why so many projects, you ask? Well, I have ADD. Neil Gaiman says the trick is to work on more than one thing at a time so you could alternate when you find yourself having difficulty focusing. So far I’m not meeting my word count targets, but I’m working on that. And my word count every time I sit down (or lie down, and work on my iPod) to write is increasing, at least.
This weekend, one of my friends is getting a hotel room. He will stay there until he finishes his novel. In my docket, there’s a manuscript written by one of my friends’ Mom which I need to read and write up an appraisal of. I’ve promised to be one of my friends’ beta readers, and I’ve asked one of my friends to be the beta reader of one of MY own novels. Then there are my own manuscripts I have to get back to tonight.
These are interesting times indeed. At least they are in my world.
Good luck to all of us.
L.I.T.E.R.A.L. is a group for writer bloggers. This week’s topic is “Has your book/story/epic been published? If yes, how was the experience, and where can we buy your book? If no (or not yet), why the delay? Is there anything you know you should be doing to make it happen?” If you’d like to join the party, instructions are here.