First off, I’d like to say I’m sorry for disappearing last month. All I can say is stuff happens. I know that isn’t much of an excuse, but it’s the truth. Stuff did happen, both good and bad. We all go through it. So, I feel no need to belabor the point.
This is a new year. An opportunity for a different set of promises to be made, kept or broken as the situation calls for. My promises are few this year. I’m following the dictate, keep it simple stupid. In some vain hope to actually follow through on them, I’ll post them here, so for those of you following my journey through life, it’s up to you to knock me around, when you see me slacking.
The first one has nothing to do with writing, or maybe it does. I promise to be a better man than I was last year. I would like to strive to succeed with the important things more than fail. So who defines what’s important? I do of course. What’s important? Being a better husband, father, grandfather, and brother to the MOST IMPORTANT people in my life, my family. I want to be a better friend to those I know and the strangers I meet. For me as a Christian, that means following the teachings of Jesus, and not necessarily those who use his name to justify their own ideals and not follow his. Lately, being a follower of Christ is a catch-all for everything wrong with religion. Again, this is me speaking for myself, but feel free to quote me. Being a follower of Christ means loving unconditionally, even those different from you. That includes, color, creed, nationality or sexual orientation. Jesus loved with his whole heart. How could I do less? Besides, last time I checked I was in no position to cast stones.
Secondly, I would like to be a better writer than I’ve been in 2013. I’ve grown comfortable in my niche. That isn’t to say, I haven’t done the best I could have. I’m just saying there’s more worlds to explore. As hard as it is to believe, there’s more in the world than vampires and werewolves. As much as I love both of those, I have other loves. I don’t see myself getting to them during 2014, but I’d like to piddle around and see what’s going on in the other corners of my imagination. I hold no false expectations any thing will come of it. I am a bit on the lazy side left to my own devices. I am ashamed to admit that fact, but this circles back to the better man business. If I can admit the truth to you guys, maybe I can admit it to myself. I’ve got an inkling of where these new worlds might lie, so hopefully I can shake the lazy long enough to get something done.
My third promise might be the hardest to pull off, so I’m leaving it with only three. The part about writing nobody tells you, is that writing is only half of the job. The second half is making a person who is introverted enough to create worlds and populate them with people so they don’t have to deal with the real world that they have to actually step out from behind the computer screen and interact with the very people they’re trying to avoid. Whew! That was one long sentence, but I had a lot to throw in there. If I hadn’t done it all at once, I might have chickened out.
Telling others how great the book you wrote is, might be the hardest thing for me to do as an author. Not because my books aren’t great. They are. Otherwise, I wouldn’t put myself out there. I’ve just never been one to brag. I might hint around at it, but actually coming out and saying how great I am just feels wrong to me. I’m not great. I’m learning. As proud as I am of my books, the truth is I am still growing in my craft. For all I know, there’s tons more I still have to learn. That learning process is one of the reasons I write. I love to discover new things. Sometimes, those things just so happen to be about me. Sometimes, they’re about the world around me. At this point in my career, I can’t see myself stopping . I’m having too much fun.
So instead of bragging about how great I am, this year, I should be bragging about how much fun I’m having. By osmosis, that means you, the readers, get to share in that fun. How? By delving into my books. Because, if I’ve done my job right, you should have as much fun reading them, as I had writing them. At least that is my hope. I know my books won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m alright with that. I’m not a fan of a lot of things people say I should like. Every reader has their own particular tastes. I write what I like to read. Since there are a lot of people reading what I like, I hope I can touch those readers, and like the authors who inspire me, I hope I can provide the escape people need. If for the briefest of seconds, I can make my readers forget their troubles and give them an adventure that puts a smile on their face, I’ve done my job. As an author, that is my goal, and what keeps me writing.
Well, there’s my promises for 2014. Not resolutions mind you, but promises. Resolutions get broken. Promises have a slim shot at making it through to the end of the year. If I succeed at achieving just a small bit of each one, I’ve accomplished something.
So, I thank those of you who stayed around during 2013. I welcome those of you checking in for the first time. Lastly, I wish each of you a year full of love, success, and may every one of your dreams come true.