Hello, thanks for visiting the “about” page. Maybe you’re lost. If not, well, I’ve written a little bit below in case you do what to know who I am and what I am planning to do!
The long-term goal
“The best time to take being an author seriously was twenty years ago. The second best time is, well, right now!”
I’ve put this off for a very long time. Too long. My goal is to put all available energy, after fulfilling the needs of paying the bills and taking care of the family, into authordom. I have enough material planned to write for several years without needing to come up with more, and that doesn’t take into account pivoting or coming up with new things that might push what I think is next further down the list.
I set a 10 year goal: by August of 2028, I want to be in the world as a legitimate fiction author as measured by amount of readers and finished work I am proud of, and that’s just the start. I purposefully left off “quitting day job” or any sort of financial benchmark. Neither of those things are the compensation that will fulfill my need. Maybe they happen, maybe they don’t, but the only requirement I have is that I reach the hearts and minds of LOTS of people with my fiction. If I attain that goal, then the other things are just logistics problems.
Im about 1.5 years into the 10 year plan. I gotta say, going from zero to one was hard. Really hard. Having to bone-up on modern publishing, both traditional and indie, was like self-learning a graduate degree, and having to train up all my prose-planning, prose-writing skills involved a great deal of book-learnin’ at the public library, reading about craft and theory, and going through the slog of having to write several hundred thousand words just to peel the scabs off of the skill I had let atrophy away.
Thankfully, I think I finally picked them clean and can now grow anew. Having to choose which mistakes I can learn from through other’s experience and which I need to experience myself is always a challenge. The success of so many indie authors has made it difficult to know which well-trod paths to follow, and which to paths to cut through untrod ground my own. I don’t have any clear answer, I just keep my compass aligned to one question each time I am faced with a decision: which option will you be most proud of, and which option aligns with your values?
Writing as an avocation
Writing fiction has been one of my most deeply held interests since childhood. I wrote on a electric typewriter before I ever had a computer. I looked at authors as role models and heroes. I wrote and wrote in high school and college, majoring in psychology and creative writing, taking every course in the latter that was offered.
I dabbled in writing stories, creating unfinished work after unfinished work for years, some quite long. But, I never finished anything and never took it seriously. I didn’t know what it meant, and the idea of writing books was characterized as some sort of mythical endeavor that special others could do, but not me. So, I kept at the day job.
The Day Job
I became enamored with computers and design as a young teenager in the mid 90’s, and at the time learning how to “build a website” was something you could base an entire career on.
Well, I started working as a web designer in 1998, just as 11th grade ended—yadda yadda yadda—22 years later I basically still do the same thing. It’s evolved with the time and become a lot more sophisticated in tools, process, and output, but for me it is all the same unbroken evolutionary chain of designing experiences that people have via computer screen.
During this time, I started writing non-fiction for my work, mostly in the form of blogging that became more and more complex as time went on, slowly becoming more and more widespread. By the time I sort of stopped my non-fiction writing, my articles had reached around 1.75 million total pageviews over about an 8 year period. For a while, I really enjoyed writing non-fiction and writing about the topics of my day job. I gave talks at conferences, produced online video courses, met people, went places, and supported myself and my family. Now, I am able to take that knowledge and apply it towards my own creations: the output of my work as an author.
This background has given me a great deal of experience in digital products, content creation, and internet marketing, but I’d been applying that knowledge toward the products of my employers, or to the topics of design and technology that, while interesting to an extent, were not what I wanted carved on my tombstone.
The day job career supports me and my family monetarily, but there’s a void of purpose in my soul that can’t be filled with money or the accomplishments of a traditional profession. Until the work that originates from the wellspring of creativity deep inside my mind meets and connects with people, LOTS of people, I’ll never feel like I’m pursuing a life’s purpose that rests on myself alone.
Writing as a vocation
It took a long time to get here, but eventually I made it to the first day that I decided to start writing one of the books I was planning, and then finishing it. That was August 4th, 2018. I was 37 years old.
I wrote for about 8 months as much as I could. On March 31st, 2019, I finished the first draft and typed “THE END” at just about 321,000 words. I’d done it, I wrote an entire draft of a book. I was no longer just wanting to finish a book, I had done that seemingly impossible first step.
And then, I started a second. I’d seen that it is possible to finish a manuscript, so I wanted to now know if it was possible to finish one with a different approach. I am currently working on that second manuscript at the time of this writing (April, 2020).
This is the small start to a long and—hopefully—worthwhile life pursuit to bring fictional stories to people in whatever form I can get it out in. Starting with books, hoping to expand into graphic novels and audio, I am working as hard as I can to get it to you. I hope there will be something you like.