Taking Stock

It's been a good run!

I've swum with the fishes and shared the stage with the guys from Hamilton. I've met athletes and sportscasters, presidents and prime ministers, and managed to feed the boys this winter. Eight nonstop months of corporate work has kept me busy beyond belief. So what have I learned from this cavalcade of rich experience? What's keeping me up at night, as I draw my first unencumbered breaths of freedom?

Still a writer. 

In between the work and my never-dull commuter marriage and 100,000 real miles flown, above, I found time to do a book group in Evanston for FOOD FOR MARRIAGE. (And let me tell you, these guys were tough!) Every once in a while I take a peek at my Amazon account and I was shocked the other day to find a sparkling review from a woman in Indiana who had somehow found my novel and made it HER book club choice. A complete stranger! Guess that's where the 12 sales in March came from.

Make no mistake. We writer-types like attention. We crave it. Need it! Sure we'd like to be the author who lands that crazy elusive six-figure deal, but those are about as rare as affordable rent in Brooklyn. I am part of a sizable writing community and to a letter we all do it for the same reason. Because we have to! That 3 a.m. treadmill of pillow clutching ideas needs a home. And for the diehards, no matter how many pundits predict the death of print, we still see the novel in all its dog-eared glory, as salvation realized from the pulp of trees.

So, with a little room to breathe, I took a week off (oh, except to co-produce and write a documentary film, because masochist/artists need more than one way to not make a living). I stared at the stacks on my desk. Three novels complete, vetted, beloved, and ready for sale. Two nonfiction proposals done, awaiting agency gold. And two new works in progress – one fiction, one nonfiction. 

Monday to-do list? Return to literature. I ran into a friend and fellow creative  I'd not seen in ages, at a party last night. He commented that I seemed happy. "New gig?" he asked. "You bet!" I replied. We clinked glasses. Time to return to self.