I was off and running, and then, sitting on my balcony smoking a Marlboro red and sipping on a snifter of Hennessy V.S.O.P., I heard the second blast of the gun. After twelve thousand words, and with the story running strong in my head the characters yapping away at each other, it was a reasonably horrible moment of realization. But it was realized, and once so, it was time to get back to the starting line.
Like any “glass half full” person I immediately starting framing the disaster in a positive light – at least it wasn’t sixty thousand words (that’s already happened with the other series), it’s not for Bangkok 3, but it might still work for Bangkok 4, and so on and so on – but it still hurts dammit.
Well, as Chance is fond of saying – it is, what it is.
The thing about disasters, crises, upsets and other maladies to the human spirit; is that they’re best gotten over with as fast as possible – so this weekend is all about cranking out twelve thousand words, with a little bit of front-end procrastination thrown in, in the form of this cathartic post to get my head clear and warm up the fingers.
Biting the Bullet
There are so many stories I have kicking around in my head that I have to be disciplined about who I allow to start talking. Once they start they’re hard to shut up. There’re short stories that are practically fully formed but I know that they’ll take at least a couple of weeks to get out, and while they would make me more money; money is not my objective. My objective over the next five years is to gain readers, those who sign up on the website to be informed of when my next book is out and those who will read and comment on those books. Don’t get me wrong, the money is nice (having “free” money to spend usually is), but I set a goal that when I am fifty-five I will quit the day job and write full-time – and before quitting the day job to write full-time, I would put out a minimum of one book a year. I set that goal for myself back when I was forty-six and, when I turn fifty this year I will have stuck to it.
I could probably do more, but I know how all-consuming writing is, and at this time, my priority is to make sure that the business I own grows and flourishes; such is the responsibility I feel to myself, family, partners, and those who work with me – my successors are already nominated and being groomed; so I am not worried about what happens to the business when I retire to the role of Partner from my current role as CEO.
The responsibility is to turn everyone’s dreams into reality. The people who work with me, some of whom I have worked with for a decade, have gotten married, had children, gotten divorced, had more children, have lost family members, been awarded prizes, been flooded out, and; they’re still there – trying their hearts out every day, and for that I owe them my heart, and my promise that until I turn fifty-five, I’ll be leading from the front.
Which doesn’t leave much time or environment for getting the movie in your head going. But that’s okay; it is, what it is….
My other priority is to write the best story that I can; and that takes focus, discipline, endless patience, and a willingness to be brutal to your own effort. I have thrown away far more words than I have published; whole paragraphs, chapters, a half of one book and the whole of another. It’s painful, but it’s the right thing to do when you know it is not your best – because the goal is not money; the goal is to write stories for you to enjoy and get excited about.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my fingers are warmed, the word-choice neurons are firing; it’s time to settle into the blocks and make a flying start on Bangkok Series #3 – I think you’ll like it – I do.