How Did I Get Here?

Going In CirclesHow did you get here? That’s a loaded question. But it is one that I got on my recent blog talk radio interview on Beyond the Cover – just in different words.

I was asked by host, Beem Weeks, how I started writing. That is a loaded question. If you aren’t prepared for it then you may freeze. But I think I handled the question well. But it did get me thinking about how I really got here. No, I got here the usual way everyone else did. I mean as a writer – how did I get to this time and place?

Well, I covered some of the details in the interview but it’s much more complex for me than just a few minutes of discussion in an interview. Why am I writing? Why am I doing it now? There are any number of questions that can be asked and answered as part of the whole notion.

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Ultimately, what a writer puts out for anyone to see is an extension of themselves. So life experiences become important. I’m not saying just go build up a bunch of memories from a bucket list so you can write good prose. No, it’s much more complex than that. It’s also the experiences that were unpleasant. The good and the bad, the highs and lows, are all aspects of character and plot that provide a writer with a wealth of important resources for fleshing out the elements of a novel.

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My own story – thirty years of writing this one book covers a lot of events. I finished the original novel in 1995 and was offered a contract. The terms were vague so I backed away. I tried my hand at short stories and let the manuscript lie for a few years. I started a few re-writes all around career changes and the arrival of a child.

After some time, health issues affected me though I didn’t know how much. I struggled with hypothyroidism and faded into sleep apnea. I didn’t know how much it affected me until these and a few other things were treated effectively. Then I woke up to what was going on. It was like being Rip van Winkle. Oh, I knew things had changed but I never really put it together until that time. I saw the opportunity and started writing again.

winding roadSome people might say I should have moved on and that may be well an good. But I had a finished book and it was salable years ago so I wanted to cut my teeth on it. I looked at the manuscript and held me nose at a mess that had gone quite putrid in the intervening years. So, I re-wrote it and began the journey afresh with more insights while learning some new techniques as I went.

It’s been a winding road – sometimes through the middle of nowhere – to actually publishing this upcoming book. When I started, the internet wasn’t even a daily reality and now you can learn more about writing in a month just off blogs than what used to be available in a few books. E-books weren’t even a thought back in those days and Amazon didn’t even exist. A lot has changed in the intervening years and the world of publishing has changed at an accelerated rate over the last decade with all the changes in technology.

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Right now is an exciting time. It’s a time of rapid change. It’s an interesting time. I’m glad I waited but I wish I had spent more time just writing along the way. I missed years of skill development and now I’m pushing daily to grow as a writer. However, these are amazing days to do so and I’m thankful for making it this far.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7


  1. Oh wow, PHS, your journey sounds so much like mine with the stopping and starting, less the health problems. Interviews will do that. They will get you thinking about the questions in a deeper sense than the answer you may have given. I was asked what made me want to write ghost stories and my answer is it’s always something I wanted to do and I’ve always loved ghost stories. Okay answer, but if I dig deeper it stems from a lot of life experiences that I could go into but won’t here.

    I did publish my first book around 1999 and then a couple of novellas around 2001 and 2002. then I kind of became discouraged with the publishing business as I was making pennies rather than dollars. I did keep writing here and there but for myself. What I have now is multiple books started that I would love to finish but then I have multiple ideas for new books as well. I’m trying to do a little of each. I need 3 of me to get it all done.

    My brother-in-law has sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes and has for some time and yesterday he found out he also has hypothyroidism. He’s struggle with weight problems pretty much all his life.

    1. Kim, thanks for sharing your story. I was frustrated with the publishing too at that time.
      Yes, the health issues are a struggle. There are some good books out there about dealing with hypothyroidism – best advice I can give is see a good endocrinologist, take the medicine correctly and work to be cognizant of what your body saying about it’s condition. Good input – thanks for the reblog again today.

  2. Wow, you me, and Kim must be cosmic triplets!! I started writing about the same time, health issues butted in, turned to short stories and sold to newspapers and then after 30 years,finished and published the book I had started with. No wonder i always feel so drawn to you lol. Kim, Same with you.

    Wishing us all good karma from now on.My hypothyroisism keeps testing negative so it’s probably the old mimicker, Lyme disease, that’s causing it.


    1. Ouch on the Lyme disease, Micki. My scores bounce around every year or so – probably due to stress. Glad you both made it back to writing. Yes we are on the same wavelength with that!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed this post. What a long journey you have been on. I am thrilled for you that The Bow of Destiny is becoming a reality. Congrats and best wishes to you.

    I really like what you said here:
    “Ultimately, what a writer puts out for anyone to see is an extension of themselves. So life experiences become important.” That is so very true! With the 2 children’s books I wrote (under the pen name Professor MacKay) and with my new scifi novel, The Immense Center, I poured my heart, my conflicts, my fears – myself – into them.

    Take care!
    – Michael

    1. Thanks Michael, all those experiences mean something to a writer. I sometimes wonder if younger writers really understand their experiences enough. I know I didn’t and probably still don’t but at least I have the perspective of years.

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