Today is the day that I was able to reveal the cover to my first full-length novel. I thought it might be a good time to do a bit of reflecting on the process of writing the novel and how that has fueled me to continue writing and pursuing my muse in the future. It started back in October or November of last year. I started with the idea of a loving mother and a troubled son. This brought me back to two eras of my life that were full of fun, trouble, chaos, and most importantly for this story, brotherhood. I dove deep into the emotions that were buried within me from these times in my life and explored them openly and honestly.
Before writing Chasing Demons, I would write when I had the time and did not make consistent time for writing. As I began on the journey I realized that the time that I am not completely drained from work and making time for family is early in the morning before I leave to work. I tried waking up around 3-3:30 in the morning to have some time before my day of work to write. It was a breakthrough for me and made things just start clicking in a whole new way.
As I was able to continue this on a pretty consistent basis I decided to take Stephen King’s advice from his book, On Writing, and create my own writing space in my man cave/garage. Having a writing desk where I can play some music, do my Wordle, drink my coffee, and just be there to write made everything feel that much more real.
This book was a personal journey that brought me through highs and lows. Hemingway said, “No tears in the writer, No tears in the reader.” I can’t speak for the reader, but the writer laughed, cried, sat in wonder, and went through the full spectrum of emotions during the experience of writing this one. It was a commitment that pushed the limits on what I thought I was capable of, and I can’t wait to keep right at it with more projects in the future.
I’ve read, written, and submitted more than ever since starting to write this book. It’s been a time of taking shape for me and learning who I am as a writer and a person. The horror writing community has been very supportive and so have friends and family that have found out about my burgeoning interest in the craft.
The submitting has led to tons of rejection, which is always something new writers are warned of. What I was definitely counting on, but still had trouble dealing with, was that rejection kind of sucks sometimes! Hailey Piper, a brilliant and successful author was talking to young writers on Twitter and gave a little nugget that helped my mindset with this a lot. She said that she aims to get over a hundred rejections every year.
Wow! Aiming to get rejected over a hundred times in a single year. Talk about a glutton for punishment, right? It clicked in my head instantly, though. Aiming for such a high goal of rejections does multiple things. It makes getting rejection turn into progress towards a goal, leading to the possibility for a positive spin on it. It forces you to submit as often as humanly possible to try and meet this insane goal. Most importantly, it leads to more acceptances.
I will probably end up near half of the goal of a hundred rejections for the year. That is still much more than any other year for me and has definitely done the job in the acceptance field for me as well compared to other years. This, of course, can feel like swimming through the black seas of rejection to acceptances that are few and far between, but you cant argue with the results being better than when you don’t bite the bullet and send, send, send.
The main takeaway from this tangent is that through writing Chasing Demons I’ve also began to feel more connected to the writing community. Like even if I’m not fully on the inside, yet, that I can belong there and that I can learn from the wealth of knowledge that is shared openly from so many incredible authors that are working hard in the field today. It really is like a new golden era for horror and the more that I read from modern authors the more that I see why people have been claiming this. There is just so much good stuff out there right now.
I guess I just wanted to sit here for a bit and think about how grateful I am for the experience of writing this novel and everything that it has done for me. Great timing with Thanksgiving coming up next week. It was a transformative experience and the time that I spent with Michael, Tim, Dominic, and Logan in the town of Fairmont, Texas will always be close to my heart no matter how many stories I write.
Thanks for reading, and I hope that you check out Chasing Demons on December 2nd, 2022.