Why am I starting a second career as a writer now as I approach (am already in?) middle age? Good question Cherished Reader of this Website. Unfortunately, I do not have a good answer. I’ve always loved reading, mostly science fiction, but my writing was limited mostly to school and work. (I dabbled with writing poetry in high school. I feel extraordinarily lucky that none of those works survive.)
For years I’ve used writing stories in my head as a technique to fall asleep. In the Fall of 2016, I made my first attempt at putting these stories on the page. I wrote parts of two short stories and got stuck. Or I failed to devote the time to finished them. Or I used the former to justify the latter.
In May 2017, my family took a road trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Ottawa. This involved a lot of driving by yours truly. In an effort to entertain and/or encourage our two young children to sleep in the car, this also involved my wife sitting in the back between the girls with me alone with my thoughts in the front seat. Oddly, those thoughts turned to a completely new story. I found I would work through scenes in my head while driving during the day and then put the words down on my lap top each night after the family went to bed. To not disturb them, I spent a lot of quality time on hotel bathroom floors. Oddly, those are not the most comfortable.
For whatever reason, that trip proved to be the motivation I needed to get the stories out of my head and onto the screen. Since the words kept flowing, I set two goals. My short term goal was to write 50,000 words in 2017. Essentially, I expanded the time period to achieve the NaNoWriMo word count goal from just November to half a year.
My long term goal is to sell three short stories to publications that the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America designate as professional markets. Three short story sales qualify a writer to apply as an Active Member of that association.
My next post will discuss where I stand with those goals.