Introducing myself, I’m Rick Shaw. I’m one of Jack’s newest authors that have contracted with his publishing house. House of Honor will be releasing my book New Perspectives sometime in the future. This is an exciting time for me, I never imagined I’d ever become a published author.
I guess that’s unfair to say though. I have been published in specialty magazines. Writing has become a stronger pursuit for me as I’ve gotten older. I’ve been pursuing the journalist aspect for the past few years in the interest of antique tractor collecting. Writers create from what they know, and I have a passion for tractors.
I am also a blogger. My musings can be found at antiqueiron.media. It’s a fun little place that reminisces older country life, mostly anyway. I’ve typecast myself though, and I’m lucky that the following allows me to break the mold every now and then and talk about unrelated topics. Jack came over to my blog and relaxed; telling us about his days in the Military. His story about big airplanes was very enjoyable and I hope he shares more in the future.
I’d tell you I write poetry, but I really don’t. Poetry comes to me on waves of emotion. It’s hard to explain, just how that works, but I can’t just sit down at my keyboard and think “Okay I’m going to create a poem today” It won’t work! Most of my poems are melancholy reflections of life after a loss.
I’m a part-time writer, which I’m sure is true in many cases. As much as I’d like to be full-time, my day job interferes. My career path, over the past 34 years, has a tendency to steal ALL of a person’s life. I drive a truck. The romantic hype that songs created back years ago is totally untrue. Truck driving is hard. If a young person came to me seeking my advice, I’d attempt to steer them on a different career track, such as being a writer.
My biggest discovery about writing is there’s work involved. It is a job, just like anything else. Time needs to be dedicated if you're going to succeed. Research has shown me that many people write, but fewer actually get published. I personally lucked out, pitching my idea to Jack. I may not have been discovered had I not taken the leap of faith and contacted him. Of course, I don’t know that for sure. I wasn’t looking forward to seeking a book agent, and Jack can probably attest that I would need a good editor had I self-published. It doesn’t matter, I found my publishing house. I’m grateful for that and loyalty runs deep in me.
So, you’re published, congratulations! Well, I have bad news. Unless you’re an instant best-seller, the road doesn’t end. Don’t get too drunk at the celebratory party, there’s work to be done the next day. I want to believe that New Perspectives will be my breakout, but I’m a realist. My current work is better anyway. Next work? Of course! I’m not done, why would I stop at one?
I was back on the keys right after I submitted. That had been a false start though. The manuscript I’m currently composing started on January 8th. This one is coming faster than the last one. I don’t think I’ll need eight years to finish again. Hopefully, especially for Jack, the editing process will be much easier this time.
I’ll be glad when we get past that process with the first book. That’s something else you need to realize. The book isn’t finished yet, there will be fixes needed here and tweaks there. When I get an email from Jack with an attachment, I almost dread what I might discover. I’m probably not golden to an editor, but I don’t want to be the biggest problem child either. The book you read won’t be the one I submitted.
These pearls of wisdom I’ve shared aren’t new knowledge. I’m not unique in my pursuit of the craft. Just realize, if I can fumble into this the hard way anyone can. It just takes determination and dedication. Dream your dreams, but while you’re doing it takes the time to write the book.