A little over a year ago now, I decided to start writing and submitting fiction. Because it's the kind of person I am, I had a "master plan" for how I was going to get my first novel published. A key part of that plan, of course, is actually WRITING a novel. I haven't manage to finish one yet. I'm working on it. However, a step on that path to getting my first novel published was joining the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America group.
I did that today. Yay!
It's not like I get a magic pony, buckets of cash, an agent, or a huge contract just by joining (yeah, learning I wasn't getting that pony was pretty devastating). I won't even get those things when I'm a full member with at least three SFWA qualifying sales. I have one sale now. When Digital Science Fiction gets SFWA status, shortly after their one year anniversary, I imagine, I'll have two (and hopefully a third or more in the meantime).
Succeeding at anything is often about setting and meeting realistic goals. Honestly, I didn't think I'd make it into SFWA as fast as I did, but count that as one goal met. So now what?
Today, my next goal is going to be finishing a novel in the next year.
I also have some short stories in the works I'd like to finish. I'd like to take as many cracks as I can at the Writers of the Future Contest before I become ineligible, so I'll split time between working on my novel and my stories, but I think I can manage both.
The one BIG thing complicating all of this is that I'm also an undergrad again, working on getting a nursing degree and qualifying for my RN. Getting that day job MUST be my first priority, and I'm not settling for just qualifying for the BSN program (I'm pre-BSN now), I want to be among the best students in the program. Plus I want to be the best father and husband possible, and lose sixty more pounds--I've lost 95 so far--not have the house fall apart around me, and accomplish a lot of other things(like earning straight As, so far, so good).
I honestly don't know how the heck I'm going to do all that AND write a novel that doesn't completely suck, but I'm going to try. Go me!