In my dreams, I’m a famous and best selling author. I’ve had a dozen or so novels made into major Hollywood blockbusters. I have a half a dozen homes, a collection of vintage automobiles, and I travel halfway around the planet on the slightest whim, just to have lunch at that fabulous little cafe in Dbrovnk.
That’s the dreamy part. The pragmatic part is that I live in an ordinary home and have a (semi) ordinary day job that pays the bills. I am The Next Great Novelist, but to realize that destiny I must put forth the effort it requires to attain that lofty goal. In order to sell the First Novel, I must first finish writing it. That’s where the pragmatism slaps the dream down and tells it to take a number.
This morning, as part of my daily avoidance mechanism for writing the First Novel, I visited this blog. And by this blog, I mean that I didn’t actually start doing any writing, but instead wasted a bit of time browsing other blogs. I’ve also perused a few websites in the past that explain how to publish the First Novel (and the rest of them).
My friend, whom I’ll affectionately call “Chainsaw,” for reasons that he will understand, has published a couple of his books already. Published used to mean a huge display of flashy hardcover novels occupying front and center at every bookstore in the county. That might have been how it worked back in the 1900s, but this is the 2000s and we do it a bit differently these days. Published, in Chainsaw’s case, means he uploaded his file to Amazon, filled out a few online forms, and clicked a couple of buttons. Dun Da Dun! Published.
I can see that a lot of writers here in Blogspace publish their works for free. I understand the process of marketing. It’s all about making your name into a brand, selling your product, gaining recognition. It’s work. If it was easy, we’d all be living in Malibu/South of France/Tahiti.
I’m not young anymore – which is perhaps why I tend to be the Grumpy Curmudgeion often – and I find myself holding onto some traditional concepts. I’d really like the First Novel to get published in the traditional manner. I know, because I learned all about it in fifteen minutes on the internet, that it is a daunting challenge and that for every great breakthrrough new author who makes it onto the New York Times bestseller list with his first novel, there are thousands and thousands of authors who worked just as hard, produced books that are just as good, and for whatever reason – perhaps just plain old chance – are still doing their day jobs and dreaming of the day when they too can join the ranks of the wealthy and famous authors.
There are a lot of things that will need to happen before my dream can resove itself into reality. I have rather a long list, but the first item is obvious. Before I can begin the efforts to get the First Novel published, I must finish writing it.