I often like to remind myself of Noah. You know Noah of ark fame. We all know the tale. God tells Noah of the coming of a great flood. He instructs Noah to build an ark in anticipation of this flood. Now, when you read the story as a child I’m sure you tended to think that God told Noah to build this Ark one week, and Noah did so, and then the next week, the floods came. Noah was saved, along with his family and two of every creature, while everyone else perished. But in reality, God came to Noah years in advance of the flood. I’m talking a loooong time in advance. So much so that seasons came and went with no hints of a flood coming. People were LAUGHING at Noah. I’m sure there were points where even his family, including his wife may have doubted what Noah had said God told him. Yet, Noah persisted and kept doing what he’d been instructed to do. I bring this story up because many of you have strong desires in your heart to accomplish something. You didn’t ask for the desire. But it’s there. You may have comfortable jobs. But there’s another job that you have the desire to do; but on the surface, it doesn’t even look like you’re eligible for such a job. Well, it’s my opinion that if you have a strong, sincere desire for a career change, or some noble task that it appears on surface that you’re not capable of doing, don’t poo-poo the desire away. It could be your Creator talking to you. You should listen. Despite what your naysayers mumble, despite what even well-intentioned love ones may mumble. Despite even what your own internal naysayer is mumbling. You have the desire to do something for a reason. That goal can be yours. It may not happen overnight. It may in fact take years. But if it’s for you, then it yours for the taking. Dream big, act BIGGER. The flood will surely come.
I am a huge Dallas Cowboy fan. I have been since 1979; so it’s kind of an ingrained habit. I live in NC, so I follow the Panthers secondarily. I say all this because I’m getting ready to reference something the QB of the Seattle Seahawks (Russell Wilson) said and I don’t want anyone to accuse me of front-running. Anyway, Wilson said that one of the things he and his teammates decided last year or maybe even the year before was, why not them? Why not the Seattle Seahawks as Super Bowl champions. They were just as deserving and hardworking as any of the other teams. So why not them? And I just love that! So I’ve decided why not me? I’m just as deserving and hardworking as the next person. I have hopes and dreams. So why not me! And why not me…now! There is no reason why not so I’m claiming the success I desire. And I’m claiming it right now! It’s my time. So sayeth me, C. Edward Baldwin. It’s my moment and I’m claiming it! And I encourage you all to do the same. Claim it. Whatever it is that you hope and desire to have…claim it. Why not you? And why not you…now!
I just have to pat myself on the back for just finishing my second novel. It’s part of my promise to myself that I will enjoy every step of this journey that I’m on. As some of you may remember, I attended my first writer’s conference last week. One of the writers, Barry Lyga commented that he wished he’d taken more time to enjoy some of the smaller successes along the way to become a bestselling author. In other words, he wished he’d enjoyed the process more. Of course, I realize that’s kind of hard to do when you don’t know if or when you’re going to reach the goal you’ve set for yourself. In other words, if I knew for certain today that I was going to hit the bestseller lists exactly on Sept 15, 2014, then I can really let loose with the enjoyment now. But the truth is, as humans we really don’t know when/if we’re going to hit that major goal or milestone, so we fret and worry in the meantime. But I’m going to buck that trend. I’m going to try and enjoy everything along the way, starting with just appreciating the fact that I’ve finished my second book. Yeah, I did it! It took me four years to complete my first novel, Fathers House. And now I’ve completed my second one in a little more than seven months. That’s two novels in five years! I’m really cooking with grease now. And I’m ecstatic! As I go thru the process of finding the appropriate publisher, I’m not going to rush the process, I’m going to relish these moments. And I encourage everyone, no matter what your goals are, please take time to relish the process and journey that you’re on.
I’ve had a few people ask me how do I spend my time, so I thought I’d blog about it. First thing, C. Edward Baldwin is a working stiff. Needless to say, I’m no Stephen King, or John Grisham, and no where close to them at this point in my career, which means I currently have to earn a check from sources other than my writing. So, as you can imagine I have a very, very busy life. I work a nine to five, I’m a volunteer youth athletics coach (basketball, football) I’m a husband and father (with two energetic boys, 10 & 4 years of age), My family supports me in my writing in spirit only at this point, meaning they expect me to shoulder my share of the family load. I have to be husband and father. That’s the number one ranked job of my three jobs: 1. husband/father 2. writer 3. nine to five.
Still, I have to make time to write and I do. And when I’m not writing, I’m reading–i.e. novels, books on writing, newspapers/magazines, any and every thing to help me better my craft. I do all this while I too, await the big break. I know there are no guarantees in life. You work hard, you have faith, you pray, and then you well, wait. So that’s basically it, I work, I write, I read, and I WAIT. Oh,and did I tell you– it’s a great life!!
I attended my first writer’s conference this past weekend. And I have to admit, I now understand what all the fuss is about. So I will say, if you’re a writer and you haven’t been to one of these things, you need to get off the old hind-side and get to one. I met many writers this past weekend, from every position on the scale, from the I’m going to write something one of these days, to the I’ve written something and only my mom has bought it, to the I can move ten million units by just waking up, and every point in between. I was surprised to learn that a lot of writers feel like I do most days. I love the craft. I hate the craft. I can’t live without the craft. I hate that I can’t live without the craft, etc. etc. Hearing others talk about writing, the craft and the process, is what can I say…inspiring.
I will not name all the speakers and panelists that impressed me because there were numerous ones and I know I will forget someone. So, I’ll only say who had impressed me the most. And that was hands down, Harlan Coben. The man is obviously a genius, and of course, he’s a major bestseller, multiple award winner, etc. etc. But I found him extremely funny and very informative, and yes, inspiring. I admit that I really didn’t feel like writing tonight. But I thought about something Harlan said, and by George, here I am, tapping away.
So anyway, that’s my two cents worth. If you write….then write, and then try and squeeze in some time to attend a writer’s conference as soon as you can. I know some of you are saying I can’t afford to go; but really, I say if you’re serious about your craft, you can’t afford, NOT to go.