"The cool tropical breeze blowing from the west felt heavenly late this afternoon as the setting sun beat down on Richard’s face.”
I have no doubts this scribes’ scribblings will be better during 2019 as I complete work on novel number five tentatively titled Breach of Trust. Plus, novel six is in the works.
2) Authors are truly amazing people. No. I’m not talking about myself, far from it. I’m referring to all the authors I’ve had the privilege to meet, learn from, and read during 2018. Writing is a lonely craft, it’s you, a blank pad and pen, or laptop, and an overactive imagination. That’s it. Whenever an occasion comes along to interact with fellow wordsmiths, I’m all in. Recently I’ve joined a local writer’s group to branch out and connect with writer’s in my area. Also, for the past two years, I’ve attended Thrillerfest in NYC and been blown away by the comradery and genuine relationships formed during the conference. Where else can you crack a joke with Lee Child (about how you’re taller and better looking than Tom Cruise – yes I seriously did that!) and get a wry British smile in response, or shake the hand of David Morrell? (He’s Rambo’s daddy for those who don’t know) This year I worked on the security team keeping an eye on George RR Martin. I was clueless as to how famous he was until I arrived. Let’s just say there’s success, and then there’s SUCCESS! Same word, two very different meanings. Many authors went out of their way to offer me support, encouragement, and advice this past year. The Body man is a better story thanks to their feedback. I’m humbled. Truly.
3) The devil takes many forms, for years my Achilles’ heel was television and movies. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with entertainment in moderation. In fact, we all need it, but in life, you’re always giving something away to get something in return. I remind myself every year my most precious commodity is time. Two years ago, I found a new distraction from my writing, social media. Again, nothing bad in and of itself, but the devil is always in the details. Time is the great thief and my smartphone, and the internet robs me of it far too often. Frequent “glances” at Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook cut down on my writing which delays realizing my dreams. 2018 taught me I need to spend less time on social media and more time doing what I was put on planet earth to do.
4) This year I interacted with several unpublished authors. The most common question was, “How do we make it in this business?” There’s a litany of answers to that question. In fact, there’s a whole industry in the form of books, podcasts, conferences, websites, etc. etc. etc. all touting how an author can graduate from being unpublished to published. I’ve gone down the same rabbit hole, learned much, and still have an immense amount of knowledge to acquire. But I think most of us make this way too complicated. My number one piece of advice is simply this: write. Research, reading, networking are all essential, but the number one thing you must do is put in the time and create prose day in and day out. Period. End of story. Well, when you do that the story actually begins …
What’s in store for 2019? I haven’t the foggiest. But what I can say is my experiences and lessons learned in 2018 will help craft better stories, lead to new adventures, and spur me to greater heights. Failure is merely a stepping stone to success, and there’s only one way to let failure take hold. When you give up. Never allow that to happen instead always push on. I hope you’ll strive to do your best in 2019 no matter what goals you’ve set. Remember, Life’s a Journey, Not a Destination.
Onward and Upward.