There was a time, not that long ago, when I gave serious thought to putting away my keyboard and moving on to ventures other than writing. I had become discouraged, not with the creative process, but with the marketing and promotion necessary to independent publishing. So much time, so little gain.
I also thought that perhaps I didn't have the thick skin needed to withstand criticism of my books. Like every author I know, I thought each and every one of my books were minor masterpieces, worthy of nothing but high praise. I was wrong, of course. My books, like many others, are flawed. I came to this conclusion not too long after the brashness of my dreams gave way to the harshness of reality.
Now, I am fine with the knowledge that some readers will love my books, some will like them, some will think they're nothing more than okay, and others will intensely dislike them. I also realize that I will most likely never get rich, or even make a decent living, writing novels. In such a competitive field, one must have great talent (and maybe a little luck) to rise above the masses and produce a best seller.
Yes, I've fallen back to earth with a thud. I rise a little bruised, but otherwise unharmed. I will continue to write because I enjoy it. To me, each book is an adventure. I rarely know where my characters will take me. Sometimes they even have the audacity to put me in situations of jeopardy and dare me to find a way out.
That's why I write, for the thrill of the journeys into the unknown.
This summer I am aboard a pirate ship on the Great Eastern Seas, on the brigantine The Scorpion, being chased by the ruthless pirate, Coronado. It's difficult to give up adventures such as these and I won't even try. One more book to write this year and hopefully three the year after.
For now I am content with a keyboard on my lap and a summer breeze at my back.
Let the pirate wars begin!