I have been writing for as long as I can remember. My first job wasn’t in fast food, but at a newspaper when I was 14 years old. I had an editor, and he was grouchy. I didn’t get paid much, but I loved it.
It wasn’t until my late 20’s I began writing fiction. I wrote short stories mostly, and some poetry and used a typewriter. Many of the short stories in my book “Forever Striking a Crucified Pose” started on a typewriter. After the internet boom, and computers were made available for consumers, I began re-tying the stories on Word.
Over the years, the files would go with me and I wrote more stories, and worked on improving the stories I had written years earlier. Then they sat on a file again. I probably went through a few upgrades on computers as time went by. Right now I’m writing this blog post on a Chromebook, and working on a desktop to write my stories using Windows.
In the past I have been published. I’ve written Editorials, I’ve had a few poems published. I mostly dabbled in political writings. I’ve had arguments with politicians and I’ve received hate mail, along with mail thanking me for the work I was doing.
I remember having written an essay on Ursula Le Guin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and her writing me, thanking me, but disagreed with my essay.
Over the past few years I’ve worked on a few screenplays and thought at one point I was close to having one purchased. We were within the final stages when the project was dropped. So I started working on a novel, and well trying to write and be married, and all that, I stopped.
I was working for a internationally recognized nonprofit organization. I dedicated my life to it. It was a 24 hour a day job to me. I was the director, and during my first year I had to put in over 20000 hours of overtime. But I loved it. I even miss it now. I am so humbled and blessed that I was able to meet so many people and assist them and I will never forget it.
Then in February of last year I had a heart attack. I was told I have congestive heart failure. I had the heart attack on a Friday, surgery that same day and was back to work on Tuesday, much to the chagrin of my wife who knew I was pushing myself too hard. It’s funny, maybe funny is the wrong word, but the heart attack was so painful, but it’s weird I guess how my wife took it more seriously than I did.
Knowing all of this, my wife and I spoke and I resigned my position and then began thinking of writing and she encouraged me to do so. I’m familiar with the Writer’s Market. I have been a subscriber for many years.
I have not submitted a lot of my work. I think over the past twenty years I may have when on vacation or had free time, I would send a few query letters out, but then go back to work, so I didn’t really give it my all.
However, after I resigned and began thinking of stories I wanted to write, I still had the several short stories and poems that had been stored on a file for all those years.
Having read so many books over the years, I had held out against self-publishing for multiple reasons. As I have gotten older, and after not only my heart attack, but losing my son to heart failure when he was 21, and realizing how fragile life can be, and how quick it can be over, I decided to self-publish my short stories and poems.
I realize that many may not read it, and there may be some editorial issues, I don’t know, but the stories are well written, and I love them. But I felt this desire to let them go, flaws and all, and it was never about sales, or becoming successful, but about putting it out there for it to be read instead of sitting on my computer, or writing multiple query letters.
In recent blogs I have written about the inner turmoil I have had about self-publishing. I’ve written about how being inexperienced to self-publishing I didn’t understand how to format the stories, or market them, and after publishing I read it and I was freaked out by formatting issues that had spaced words where there shouldn’t have been. I don’t know how many times I’ve went through it and taught myself how to format properly, and I’m still not 100% satisfied and still even considering pulling the entire book and reworking it.
But I don’t think as the writer, I will ever be 100% about anything. I’m a perfectionist and I see flaws where others see just words. Even with my newest book, “The Month of April” I’ve learned from my experiences with “Forever Striking a Crucified Pose” and instead of releasing it as soon as I finished I held off pushing the release date to April 1st. And I’m so glad I did, because I have made a few changes since finishing the story. I wrote the story in less than a month. And I love it. It’s one of the few things I have written in which even though I’ve read it at least a hundred times, I still find myself choking up while reading.
And when I say, I have a thousand other stories floating around in my head, it’s not much of an exaggeration. Just last night even as I was sitting at my desk I began going through old files and found a story idea I had forgotten about.
The thing is, I feel like I don’t have much time left. Maybe I’ll live another fifty years. I don’t know, but I want to tell my stories, and put them out there and I do feel this urge, and the ticking of the clock telling me time’s running out bud. And I’m not one who fixates on death or dying, because it doesn’t scare me as much as the thought of leaving my wife behind. That thought scares me.
At the end of the day, I have stopped worrying about whether or not to self-publish or fixate on traditional publishing. I’m just happy to be able to have a way to get my stories out there. That is important to me.
Writing is what I do, and it’s what I love.
So, only time will tell whether I eventually find myself working towards looking for an agent or publisher. I do have a few scripts I’ve written and a few I haven’t written that I could submit. But for now, it is somewhat pleasing to me, to be able to pick up my book and read it. It’s also nice knowing, something I wrote is there for someone to read and maybe have that same excitement I had when writing them, or even more, the excitement I have had over the years of walking into a library and picking up a book and falling in love with it.
That’s my thoughts on it, and I know what I’m up against. I know I’m no marketing genius. I’m a reader and lover of books and stories. And I’m so happy that I can give back, and it will be there for future generations to read. And I love it.
Pre-order my newest Book The Month of April here.
Also be sure and check out CHANNILLO. COM where I will be writing my mystery, thriller Peace in the Valley soon. And subscribe for more content and read stories from other amazing authors.
Much love and respect, Chad