I wonder what the younger me would think if I could travel back in time and tell her about the long journey she would have to publication. A lot is out of our control in this path we walk as writers, but I made decisions along my journey that slowed my path to publication. I don’t regret those decisions. As much as writing consumes my every waking moment, it is not my entire life. I had children, a spouse, family, friends, and a full-time job. I’ve had to keep a delicate balance between my day job, family, and writing.
Some people are able to sprint to the finish line in their writing careers, and it works well for them. I knew myself well enough to know this was something I would have to take my time on. With a lifetime career as my goal, I wanted to focus on taking my time and ‘doing it right’ as my parents taught me. I’m happy that I published right out of grad school, but since then I’ve focused on my novels, and it has slowed my publication journey down. I remind myself daily that I am not here to sprint but to pace myself.
The thing is I know myself well enough to know that I’ll never reach the end of that marathon until my days on earth end. I will always be seeking a new story, new characters, a new genre, or a new medium to break into. It’s in my nature. I have no desire to quit. As long as I’m still running, the race isn’t over for me or my characters.
How do you see your writing journey? A marathon? A sprint? A roller coaster ride?