I’ve had an opportunity that not everyone creates for themselves. I have spent the last three years paying attention to the dreams that I put off for most of my life. Next year, I turn 50 years old. Three years ago, I realized that I had never seriously tried to write a novel. I was also very concerned that my kids would grow up and I wouldn’t know who they are. So, I took what seemed like a risky leap for a lot of people. I left a successful job running an award-winning green business program in Chicago to become a NOBODY.
The first two years, I resisted truly embracing the chaos and nobodyhood of being a creative writer, and kept focused on sustainability consulting work. But then something great happened. I discovered Nanowrimo , or national novel-writing month, on November 15, 2011. In two weeks, I wrote 50,000 words. I had no idea that I could write that much. Something about focusing all my attention on writing a novel from scratch helped me get serious about writing in a way I had never done before.
Then, I entered Amazon’s publish your novel contest earlier this year. I made it through the first round to get comments that my book was incomprehensible. I now realize that I did the classic newbie sci-fi writer mistake – I did a data dump in the first chapter of the book.
About a month ago, I finished the draft of my novel that was finally good, and that gave me the confidence to start the process of finding an agent. I’m now reading all the sci-fi fantasy books I can to see how other authors are writing their books, because I’m not finished writing novels. Now, I know how to write a novel, but need to keep working on the craft. I’m writing several other non-fiction books now, but will begin the next novel in my series during nanowrimo.
The side benefit of writing the novel is that I learned about CreateSpace from Amazon, which is amazing. I now have clarity on how to create the books for the Putting Life into Your Livelihood series of workshops that I’m offering in Chicago. Click on the link to your right, if you would like to learn more about the first book, Writing Your Destiny.
I wouldn’t have truly grown in my abilities as a writer if I hadn’t allowed myself to embrace writing chaos. And that has had so many positive impacts on my life.
Are any of you in that place of chaos? Or have you moved your way through it? What advice would you give other writers in the midst of being a nobody? I’ll be writing another post on that later this week.
Until then, keep on writing your destiny!