Writing?

I’ve been writing. I’ve revealed that on social media a few months ago when a couple of my short stories were published. This was something that I had been playing around with since I was in college.

Way back in college I took a number of writing classes with all of my art related courses. And I really enjoyed all the reading and writing. So I took more classes and started to write on my own. I even went about writing a novel. Mainly I just wanted to see if I could do it. I did and I had a great time doing it. It wasn’t that good, but hey I was learning.

I never even thought of pursuing writing professionally. I had always wanted to draw. And, strangely enough, I wanted to tell stories with my artwork. I wanted to work in comic books as well as play around with comic strips. Graduate school came next and my interest evolved as I took more classes. I saw all the other related opportunities that were available in the sequential art field. I ended up falling into storyboarding. This dealt even more with writing since I would then need to read and study scripts on a regular basis.

After graduating I worked storyboarding for commercials, film and television, animation, music videos and so on. I worked for years in Los Angeles and ended up moving back to North Dakota with my wife. My business allows me to work remotely since I do all my work on the computer and location only really matters if I had really found it necessary to be in the storyboarding union and work on big movies. My business was doing just fine so the move worked out great.

All along the way, I still fiddled around with writing. I would come up with some story ideas on my own and either just write them down or storyboard them or draw them. Sometimes sculpt or paint them too.

Our son came along and so had the idea of creating children’s picture books. I had never really thought of doing this in the past, but my son brought it out of me.

I also had a secret. Something that I kept from everyone. Even my family. I was writing. Seriously writing. I would get up early before everyone and stay up late after everyone went to bed and write. I would read and write and study the craft. I hid books on writing and over a few years I had written (for myself) over a hundred short stories.

More importantly, I had the crazy idea of writing actual novels. The short stories were my way to practice and see if I was any good. When I started to submit them, I got a lot of rejections. I mean, a LOT. But then I started to get some feedback and eventually I sold my first short story. Then another. I had actually sold two pieces!

After I taught cartooning at the International Music Camp this last year I came home and wrote my first novel that I had been planning. The first draft took less than a month. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I also revealed to my wife and family that I was writing and had been for the last few years. I posted notices when my two short stories were officially published and after I had finished my second draft of my first novel (okay, I had written one in college. so I guess it was my second), I let a few people read it. My first ‘beta readers.’

And now it is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I have been writing my second novel. At first I thought about writing a sequel to my first novel, but I changed my mind twice while prepping for NaNoWriMo and settled on an adult Sci-Fi novel whose premise I really enjoyed working on. It’s going quite well and I’m way past my daily goal. It’s longer than the last novel so I’m hoping to have the first draft fully finished by early next month. But I will more than complete the 50,000 words required to complete NaNoWriMo.

And that is what I have been up to lately. I will be posting again within the next week with another update and will post links to my two published short stories then.

And, by the way, yes I am still drawing and sculpting 🙂

Until next time, All The Best!

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