In 2013, Karen and I launched the 20-minute-a-day Write Despite challenge to give us, and hopefully others, the impetus to push forward with working at a committed pace that would hopefully instill a daily writing habit and offer the discipline and routine practice we all need to complete our books—or plays, or stories, or anything else.
This challenge, along with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)—the awesome annual event where you begin a novel November 1 and finish by November 30—helped me complete my first novel, A Hundred Weddings. It forced me to give the previous day’s work a cursory glance and then MOVE ON. What I ended up with was a big, sprawling piece of crap first draft. But the bones were there, and I was able to finish that draft, then go back and rewrite. And then do it again. And again. And again. And again.
A Hundred Weddings was picked up by a small, independent publisher, Possibilities Publishing, and sent out into the world in 2016. I had a lovely launch, a bunch of fun readings, some book club events, an Amazon listing, and even a booth at the annual AWP Conference, all of which was a dream come true. Sadly, Possibilities folded a couple of years ago and I have no plans to re-release this book with another publisher.
But I’m still writing, and have published quite a few short stories in the last several years while working on my next novel. Karen’s second novel, Arborview, will be released sometime this year. Keep your eyes open for that one, guys. It’s so good.
So we continue to write, despite the distractions of the world. Granted, with the state our world is in these days, that’s been no small feat. Still, we persist. I hope all of you will too. And I hope this space can offer at least a bit of the encouragement and support you’ll need.