Eighteen years ago, while surfing the net (AOL), I came across an improv writers chat group and got into writing weird and wonderful things on the spot. One of the characters I developed through this exercise was Katherine Mitchel, the main characters of my book, Seasons, Book #1 of my suspense series: The Syndicate. I got the grand idea to write the book in late 1997 and have been fiddling with and ignoring it for the past eighteen years. Since the original version, it has gone through several major re-writes with only a few characters and sections still somewhat intact from the original concept, which at the time was more sci-fi than suspense.
About a year ago, I dusted off the old jump drive it was saved on and tried to work on it again. Well, I was horrified when I found that it was no longer on the drive! I thought for sure that any hope of ever finishing the book had been dashed away by an unthinking, delete-happy finger. It turned out that it was saved on the family computer, but for the couple of days before I found it, I was devastated. The old adage of you don’t know what you've got 'til it’s gone is so true! In my grief, I wrote what became the prologue and epilogue for my book. It was an elegy to the main character Katherine, who I thought had died with my book.
When I discovered the saved copy of the book, I began to write vignettes for it again. The tone and style of the book evolved greatly from the earlier copy. I got excited about writing for fun again. For the last 11 years all of my writing had been for grants, persuading philanthropist to give and give big. I am good at it, but it doesn't hold the fun for me it once did. I was ready for a change.
When an Indie writer friend of mine, from back home, posted on Facebook in October about the National Write a Novel in a Month (Nanowrimo) competition, I was intrigued. Maybe this could be the catalyst I needed to finish the book, I thought. So I pledged to write and finish my book over the course of November. I made friends with a very successful local Indie writer and began to meet regularly to work with her. She held me accountable and encouraged me to achieve my goal. With her support and the support of all my friends, my word count soared right past the required 50,000 words to finish and “win” Nanowrimo. I had finally achieved one of my life goals: the book was written! I have been working every spare minute since then to edit and format the finished novel. I am so excited that the day is drawing near when I can release my “baby” into the wilds of Amazon where it can grow and thrive on its own.
Don’t ever let anyone, including yourself, talk you out of accomplishing your dream. You really CAN do anything if you put your mind to it. So this week I am challenging everyone to think about a dream you have put on hold. Why is it on hold? What is holding you back? What can you let go so that you can make it happen? What would it look like? How would it feel to accomplish that goal?
KM Hodge author of the Syndicate Suspense Series.
Book #1 Seasons is available for free on Kindle Unlimited