For week 50 of the Marketing for Romance Writers yearlong blog hop, the writing prompt is:
My biggest accomplishment
Compared to my wife, I’m much more accomplishment oriented; she’s more relationship oriented. My accomplishments are important to me, and I have three major ones.
#2 (tie) Music and literature
Music – I can’t possibly decide which is more important to me, my writing or my oboe playing. Music has been important to me a lot longer, since my teens, but although I came to writing twenty years later, it occupies more of my time these days. Hence, a tie.
In my mid-teens, going to orchestra concerts felt almost painful. I wanted to sound like a professional oboist, wanted to make tunes soar and wring tears from the very walls. I didn’t think I ever could do that.
I still don’t make walls wet and never will, but though I’ve never made a living with music, I’ve been principal oboist of the Civic Orchestra of Tucson for 31 years, and held the same position with the Kamloops Symphony for a decade. I’m not nearly as good as I want to be, but I’m better than I ever expected to be.
Writing – I didn’t write my first novel until I was nearly forty, and I was pretty shocked when Silhouette published my second effort. I honestly didn’t think I was good enough to be a writer. When Silhouette dropped me after three books, I was hurt but unsurprised. It just confirmed my self-doubts.
I didn’t write for several years, and then wrote a couple of science fiction books that didn’t sell. For over a decade, I published nothing. Then I lucked out with a hardcover/softcover sale of The Trial of Tompa Lee, still my biggest non-Silhouette seller. I wasn’t prolific, but I began to think I might actually become a real novelist.
I’m not there yet, by own standards, but Rescuing Prince Charming, released this month, is my 17th book. My confidence (and ego) have grown to keep pace.
Sales are moderate to disappointing, but some of the reviews have been good. “I haven’t read a romance I enjoyed so much in a long time,” and “quite unlike anything I’ve read before and is well worth getting,” and “many steps above the average sci-fi romance novel.”
I bet you can see my head swelling from wherever in the world you live.
You may notice that my accomplishments aren’t one-time things like, say, running a marathon or winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Instead, they’re ongoing processes that define who I am. That’s especially true of my number one: my family.
At the risk of feeling ancient, I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 48.5 years, since a week after graduation. If the marriage wasn’t mostly a happy one despite the inevitable ups and downs, there’s no way I’d be writing romance.
None of our four children is an axe murderer (yet) .Our family life is stable and happy enough that everyone comes home for Christmas, even though we’re scattered across three countries and two continents.
That, my friends, feels like an accomplishment.
What about you?
What have your achieved? Tell us in a comment, then check out the other >writers taking part in this blog hop.