It’s true, I have completed the first draft of my bicycling memoir. It covers the period wherein I rode 10,000 miles in two years. A quick comment at the end of my recent post about comedian Jake Johannsen went largely unnoticed, but I completed Chapter 24 (one for each month) and added and afterword and epilogue. Now I’m going back and editing it before I start showing it to other people. But after the reception to The Bike Rider and the Farmer, my first fiction piece, I feel like the year of effort is beginning to pay off, and I wanted to share that with A Dude Abikes readers. Lastly, since Sorryless, who frequently comments (and who writes an entertaining blog you should check out, after mine, of course!) has requested the occasional update, so here it is. Is four links in the opener three too many? I too, am not sorry.
Panstin’ It – Hard
Let me explain that heading. There are planners, who decide in advance what they’re going to write. They use sensible tools like tables of contents, outlines, and such. They are organized and get things done. Planners are the Erkels of the writing world. Then there are pantsers — people who do things by the seat of their pants. Not much planning is going on (let’s be real, none), but they are also committed to “git ‘er done.” Neither one is better than the other in my book, but can you guess which one I am?
Yep, A Dude is a panster for sure. But the fact is, I have finished the first draft of a book. That’s a monumental achievement for me. How? By diligently writing for 30 minutes four days a week (the days I’m not doing this here blog dealio) or 500 words, which is usually an hour and 1,000 words or more.
So now what? I’ve basically got a lump of clay where all I had before was those 10,000 miles in my old legs. I need to mold it with care and love. I’m talking full-on dead Patrick Swayze in the era of Ghost spinning that clay with a still-alive Demi Moore. (What, too soon? He passed away a full decade ago this coming September 14, 2009.) Maybe that’s a tad coarse but again, sorry not sorry.)
Point is, it’s a work of love, and I hope I can birth this baby into the world so other people can look at it and making weird cooing sounds and act like total idiots. And also buy it. OK, I am NOT advocating buying babies, that was a metaphor that totally went sideways. Sorry… NOT! (Sideways was a great movie about wine and men behaving like babies, by the way.)
The Times, They Are A-Tightening
By writing daily since January 1, 2018, I’ve amassed now only a book but over 350 blog posts. That’s not too shabby. At the same time, I’ve kept up with my biking, walking and yoga practices. But I’ve also not had a regular job I’ve had to show up at. That’s changing for a while at least, so that means I’ll have to budget my time better, prioritize, and cut back on frivolous things. I haven’t seen a TV show (outside of Marvel’s Agents of Shield and the Tour de France) for a month. And maybe I spend a little less time on other things, too. Often sleep, which always catches up to you.
However, I managed to complete those 10,000 miles while holding down a full-time job, so I figure I can keep it up. In 2017, I planned to bike half that much time and write during those five miles instead. That didn’t really happen, but maybe this time it will. The need to focus on what you’re doing can’t be stressed enough. Some people thrive on the background noise and din of a coffee shop. Others need a library (which isn’t as quiet as one would think). The a book is like an inanimate baby, which is to say not at all similar. However, treat it kindly, with respect, and so on is key.
When Will It Be Done, Dude?
That’s the million dollar question. The answer is when I can, hopefully sooner than later. I have a few candidates in mind who have ridden or do ride a bike, and also know how to read that I’d like to ask for feedback. I’m hoping they’ll take me up on reading the whole thing and commenting. Other options include finding people through MeetUp, the Texas Writers League, and so on. And after it’s fully revised, there’s publishing, which is a whole ‘nuther ball o’ wax.
I don’t know how all of that is going to go. It is too soon to tell. My hope is that it’ll happen before I’m dead, so I can collect fat royalty checks, retire and see the word. Since that’s unlikely, let’s just hope the pieces keep falling into place. And in the meantime, keep reading this blog. Thank YOU for your support! Wish me the avoid luck, but more so success, allies, and resources. Plus that old writer’s cliche – drinking too much alcohol (wait! was it drink copious amounts of it? I forget). Meanwhile, I’ll keep chugging away on edits.
Perhaps it will all work out and I’ll be a published author. You can be sure I’ll mention it here when I am. Even if it’s self-published at least you’re getting your story out there. Stories may make the world go round, but spinning your legs make the bike go. I think it’s a pretty good story, and I hope you will too assuming it makes the light of day. Get out there and live a great story yourself. And then come home and figure out how to tell it.
After all, no one else can live or tell your story.
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