Things continue moving in a positive direction for me these days. When it rains, it pours, and that has never been more true in my life. I’m to the point where I actually have to start turning work away.
I mentioned before that I have been contracted as an author for two full length book projects. Both projects have reached a turning point now, and this week I begin the process of submitting proposals to publishers and querying literary agents. It’s a very exciting time. Once we have a publishing deal I will be able to speak more openly about the projects. I find it interesting, though, that while my dream is to be a successful fiction writer, both of these non-fiction books are very much like what I would like to write about, in that they are stories of overcoming hardship and both carry strong themes of redemption.
There is a line from the movie version of Lord of the Rings that I often think of when it comes to writing. Gandalf has just put on a fireworks show for Bilbo’s birthday party, and then he visits Bilbo at his home, and they have an argument because Bilbo does not want to give up the ring. Then Gandalf makes his true power known and says to Bilbo, “Do not mistake me for some conjurer of cheap tricks.” I love that line. Gandalf has powers that allow him to do fun little things like fireworks shows, and that’s all well and good, it makes people smile and laugh. But ultimately his power serves a greater purpose. That’s an important lesson for us as writers, I think. It’s great to write fun beach reads and use our talents to make people laugh or enjoy some escape. That’s a gift. But the real vocation of a writer is to construct narratives that get to the heart of the human struggle, that shed light on the beauty in the world, and to allow our words to lead people from their darkness into the light of hope. That’s what I hope to accomplish, and I have that opportunity now with both of these books, and I’m so grateful for that.
In addition to these two book projects, I’ve also signed on to ghost blog for a law firm. It’s decent money, and the key to succeeding as a freelancer, until the big payout comes, is finding multiple streams of income, and this is a nice supplement for me. Plus I love the law, and I considered going to law school once, so writing about it is kind of fun.
Finally, I’ve also just been contracted as an editor of another full length book. Again, it’s good money, even if a short term project, and it will help get me over the hump until these other two projects start bringing in the kind of money I expect they might.
All of this adds up to Michael being a very, very busy boy. I’ve finally reached that point in my life where real success is close enough to taste, and it seems that all the breaks are finally going my way. Now I just need to work my butt off and make my dreams come true, because they are now right in front of me, just waiting to be claimed.
So that’s my life in a nutshell right now. Insanely busy, very happy, and finally, for the first time in my life, on the verge of true professional success, doing the one thing I’m truly passionate about. Life is good.
Thanks to everyone for all your prayerful support. It means more to me than I can express in words – an irony for a writer, I suppose!