So this is going to be the last RMFW blog post that I’m doing for a bit. I told Patricia Stoltey and Julie Kazimer that I’m stepping down. I just can’t juggle it all.
So I promised Ms. Kazimer thatI would write the greatest blogpost ever. I thought about calling it “The Greatest Story Ever Told” but I think that might have been done already. Then I was going to call it “The Myth of Success” but that didn’t feel right, so then I was thinking “Go Into the Light, Carol Ann” but that would date me.
So whatever this last post is called, the point of it all is this: I am claiming success and I am making definite choices about what my goals are.
That’s been my problem for a decade now. I couldn’t make a choice when it came writing. I wanna write for the market. No, I wanna write the book of my heart. I want millions of fans and trillions of dollars and billions of groupies. Er, wait, trillions of fans, billions of groupies…no…anyway…
I am deciding that my main writing is goal is to only write books I’m proud of and publish them by any means necessary. And whatever happens, happens.
That’s what I’m choosing. But choosing is hard. Take me to a Vegas breakfast buffet with both donuts and waffles, and you’ll see me eat both. Dammit! But no, I’m learning, I have to choose.
I can’t work on five projects all at the same time. I can’t accept every opportunity to market my books. I am a limited resource. So I have to choose where my time goes. In 2017, I should have five more books on the market, three romances I wrote with Andrea K. Stein and two more books in The Juniper Wars Series. And that’s a lot right there. I can’t do more. I am being forced to choose.
And I’m choosing to drop some of my commitments to focus on finishing those projects.
And I’m choosing to think of myself as a successful writer.
It’s December, my friends, and darkness reigns. The days are short, the nights are long, but even before the Christós event of 0 A.D. (ish), human beings have celebrated the light in the middle of these long, cold days.
For my writing career, I thought the only light that counted, the only success, was a long day of blazing sunshine lighting up every corner of every continent. I thought that J.K. Rowling or James Patterson international success was the only light that mattered.
And so I counted myself as a failure.
But no more!
I have a flickering candle of a writing career, five flickering books lighting up my little corner of the world. I am truly proud of the five books I have published, and that is a success. And I’m celebrating that success.
And I think I’m finding the courage and contrariness needed to write a whole bunch more. I will light the world with candles, one uncertain flame at a time. I’m trying to go back to basics: to write what I love and to let go of expectations, and to do the work while enjoying the work.
And that is key…to do the work of writing while enjoying the work of writing.
Knowing that all the while, there are people who will not like my books, that will criticize how I use commas, or sniff at me because I am not traditionally published. Let ‘em. What other people think of me and my books is none of my business. That’s not my job.
My job is to write Aaron Michael Ritchey novels.
And so, I have to let go of a few things, but what a great achievement that is, that I’m busy enough that I have to choose what to work and and what to step way from.
But I am truly grateful to Patricia, Julie, and to everyone at RMFW. Without that mighty Colorado organization, my entire life would be different.
I’ll be back though, when I come up with something I just have to share with ya’ll.
Until then, come gather around. It’s dark, but we have light.
For that’s the great promise of Christmas, that there will always be light even if it’s just a single candle burning.