Recently asked, "If you haven't been published, what's the point in continuing to write?" If you have to ask that question, it is obvious you have never been a writer. It's also likely you have never had a passion for anything in your life, because if you did, you could fully understand why I continue to drive on.
Oh sure, it thoroughly stinks when you get that 60th letter that says, "Dear Raymond, your query was appreciated, however this is not what we are looking for at this time." Depressing? No. Puzzling maybe. Puzzling as to why I have let 20 different members of family and friends read the story that I truly believe in, received feedback that would make David Baldacci feel complimented, and yet, the agents don't think it will sell....or whatever. It stinks. It really does. So why bother?
For one thing, that which I love to do more than anything else, I could never call a "bother."
Why does the marathoner toe the starting line of a race he knows he won't win? Passion! Why does a hiker climb a mountain just to have to come back down later? Passion! Why do collectors collect, when they will likely never sell their collection and reap its value? Passion! Why does an actor or actress get up on stage day after day, possibly achieving nothing more than any typical "starving artist?".......you guessed it. They have that passion to express themselves through their talents.
"Mr. Black's Dog" was the first story I ever wrote. I was in the 3rd grade. I won the writing contest at the Orwell Village School in Orwell, Vermont. The two silver dollars I received as an award I believe have long since been spent. Why, as an eight year old, did I decide I loved to write? I have no idea. In High School, (Fair Haven Union High School, in Fair Haven, Vermont) I was encouraged by my English Teacher, Margaret Riter, that I had natural writing abilities. I blew it off. That typical teenage...."whateverrrrr..." we've all heard a thousand times and come to hate. Upon my mother's passing, I wrote the Eulogy. The Funeral director, said, "you ever thought of writing?"
So here I am. "Paradox of Justice," and "Troubled Memories" lay dorment, awaiting that one person that will read those infamous first 3 chapters, and say, "Who is this guy?" Maybe they'll ask to see the rest. Maybe they'll ask to meet me. Maybe they'll ask to read "The Bird nest." Maybe..........maybe they won't. Will I keep writing? Yes. I'll write until forever comes. It has nothing to do with the $ signs that might result from being published. It has to do with my need to run that race whether I finish first, or last. If everything I have is ever taken from me. If I find myself with nothing but the clothes on my back, I'll find a piece of white birch bark and a lump of coal, and I will write. I will never stop. Why? It's my passion.