The past year has been a year of milestones for me. I wrote 350,000 words last year in new fiction, finished the first draft of my second novel, worked hard to find someone interested in my first novel (still no luck), and completed a bunch of short stories. I also completed my fifth year with the lab as an employee (now six) and got to go on a great two week summer trip with Jen.
And yesterday, I turned 50.
This was not a problem as far as I can tell. I’m not bothered by it at all, don’t remotely feel my age, and even the one big physical problem I’ve had lately – a shoulder that gives me pains when I moved it in certain directions – seems to have healed some and gives me a lot less trouble. I also completed the first round of line edits for the second novel, and officially feel it’s in second draft now. It’ll be off to an editor soon for a full read and developmental suggestions.
On top of the milestone birthday, I woke up… and got an email a half hour later which turned out to be a rejection for one of my stories. Well, that seemed par for the course. However, it was a personal note stating they liked the story a lot, it just wasn’t right for them. They felt sure it would get published elsewhere. So a negative turned into a positive, and it was an awesome day after that. My wonderful wife made me breakfast AND lunch, I got some perfect gifts (books, a video game, a Patriots Superbowl Championship t-shirt), plus two kinds of cake. 🙂 And Jen got a contract signed on the old house, so that should finally sell in the next month.
Good things abound.
And yet still… I’m 50. I haven’t sold a story yet, let alone a book. I feel like I’ve got some really good stuff in the pipeline, but so far nothing but a few nibbles. The fish keep taking the worm off the hook and I can’t reel them in. Some great comments on the shorts, some fantastic feedback on the current novel… still fighting to be seen.
I really shouldn’t complain. I took a long time off from writing, almost thirty years between the first time I tried to get publish and now. I’ve only been at this a couple of years “seriously”, I’m only on my second novel, I’m getting good responses. I feel confident it’s only a matter of time. There are people who try for five, ten, twenty years and never break through. So yeah… it’s still early days for me in attempting this.
But boy, wouldn’t I love even one story sale in the near future. That’s the milestone I really need and want most now. 🙂