Now, surprisingly enough, this is a topic about which I am very familiar. Someone said to me the other day, why write a blog if you don't use it to promote yourself and your work? I gave that some thought and came up with what I considered to be a well thought out and logical answer.
I write my blog for two main reasons. Firstly there are some things that I am passionate about that I want to share with others. These things are usually the "biggies", such as the meaning of life, purpose and the pursuit of happiness. Now, I have discovered some wonderful recipes for success and happiness that have changed my life a million-fold for the better. My idea is to do my little bit to share those things with as many people as I can
I therefore regularly use my blog to try to disseminate some of that information. I don't pretend to be an expert on happiness - God knows I'm still a novice at this game, but what I can do is point readers in the direction of experts or "gurus" who genuinely can help them to make their lives better and to give them the opportunity to experience some of the satisfaction and joy I experience now on a daily basis.
So, that in a nutshell is the second reason I write my blog. It is a different creature to writing a novel. It requires a different mind-set and a different way of expressing myself. Put simply, writing a blog makes me think outside of the fantasy world inside my head. It makes me focus on the realities of life and what is important to me, my family and hopefully the world in general. It stretches me professionally, mentally and spiritually. I find it is a necessary means to stay grounded and focused, on actual reality, for a change.
If you have read any of my blogs in the past you will realize that outside of writing; politics and sport are my twin passions. With my current media ban experiment still in place (3 weeks down and one to go), I haven't had the opportunity to experience or comment on politics for the past three weeks. Secretly I do wonder how the Blue Ribbon Committee probe is going, but from a day to day perspective, the media ban has had zero negative and many positive benefits in my daily life - more on that next time, when it is finally over.
Let's start with my precious baby - my first novel; "The Second Coming". I am currently patiently awaiting the publication of my debut novel. By all plans, intents and desires this should have been published by now. Why it hasn't yet reached the marketplace is down to a number of reasons. The Publishing House I am with (Pentian/Lantia) is a relatively small Spanish based operation that I suspect is experiencing an enormous growth rush at present. They have just signed up one of the true superstars of the literary world; Paulo Cuelho, author of perhaps one of the most influential books of its time; "The Alchemist". I imagine my humble little publication, and no doubt others, are playing "second fiddle" to the great author. What can I say? The man is a literary genius and who am I to consider myself usurped by such a man?
There was a time, not so long ago, when such a thing would have frustrated me incredibly and sent me into a spiraling descent of annoyance, anger and ultimately depression, but thankfully those days are long behind me. I just concentrate now on my second novel, which is around 75% complete, knowing full well that "The Second Coming" will indeed come in its due time.
As a first time novelist I naturally had grave doubts about my ability, my work and its suitability for publication - Even being confident in who you are doesn't always allay the fears totally. My publisher said in his last email this: "This book is very special to me...I enjoyed it very much when I read it and I believe it will be a commercial and professional success." That's enough validation for me to get on with the second novel and forget about worrying about the first. It will be published soon - that's all that counts.
God looks down on Earth and is disgusted with what he sees his creation has become. He decides that humanity is a failed experiment and he orders Earth and humanity destroyed. He will start again from scratch. JC, however, intervenes and requests one more opportunity to turn humanity around. He is given one year to see if he can make a significant difference.
"The Second Coming" begins with Jesus (JC to his friends) in an induced coma in a Manila hospital after having been hit by a bus, losing his memory in the process. The book follows the exploits of Jesus and his "disciples" as they seek to firstly recover his memory and then embarking on a mission of saving humanity from the brink. The action takes us from Manila, to Davao, back to Manila and then off to Pangutaran Island in the Sulu Sea, as JC and his "disciples" seek to make a difference. There is interwoven into the story the burgeoning romance between Jesus (Jose Christian Castillo or JC for short) and his number one "Disciple" Maria Lyn Manyanan (Ma for short).
So that is "The Second Coming". It really is a good, insightful read and hopefully will stimulate some thought as well as give pleasure to the readers. I can't tell you when it will be published - just SOON!
When it is available, please BUY THE BOOK / LEAVE A REVIEW / and HELP TO FEED A STARVING AUTHOR!
My second novel is entitled "Just a Drop in the Ocean". It is, again, a love story, but one that spans an entire generation. When I started writing this I had no real sense of just how big it would end up being. I could probably have written two novels based on this particular story, however, I have decided to forge on and finish it as a single work. I am currently at 150,000 words and consider that there are still probably four or five more chapters to write. The book should top out at around 200,000 words, which I guess is entering the "War and Peace" or "The Thorn Birds" territory.
To do the time-frame of the romance justice, I have decided it is necessary for the book to be this large. As I tweeted this morning; "I hope this is a tome and not a tomb for my literary career." Never mind, only two things matter to me: 1/ Telling the story fully and completely and 2/ Satisfying my own need to write it. As I said earlier, I don't need outside validation for my work anymore. Yes, I do write for other's enjoyment, but I succeed for and am happy in my own enjoyment and satisfaction. Don't get me wrong here - I want very much to be a best-selling author; it is my dream - but it's not why I write.
"Just a Drop in the Ocean" follows the very disparate lives of two people; Nick Stevenson from New Zealand and Theresa Mercado from the Philippines from their early friendship forged in the 1970's as pen-pals through to their rediscovery of each other in the twenty-first century through the power of the Internet. Sound familiar? Hmmm, no, it is not auto-biographical although I won't pretend I didn't use some of my own life experiences to color and enhance the flavor of the story.
The first draft of this book will be finished this month (March), with editing planned for April and then begins the fun task of trying to get it published. Looking forward to that - NOT!
And that, my friends is what this Author will be doing for the next few months. I hope this has given you some small insight into my life and my works.
One of the things I have learnt over this entire journey of self-discovery is that we never know how our dreams will be fulfilled. The point is we should never focus on the end result - it will happen, if we do the work - how it will happen is out of our hands; we just have to put ourselves in a position where it can happen.
Because of this I am always looking for and actively seeking new ans innovative ways of pursuing my happiness. I know what is my happiness - it is writing, so as long as I am actively engaging in that activity I know my dreams for the future will be fulfilled. For now, the fantasy of the novel is what is pushing my buttons and demanding to be written - but for the future; God only knows! Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say; "The Universe only knows!"
This is YOUR life, nobody else's, so don't waste your days trying to make other people happy - If you are happy, then so will all those around you be. Follow your bliss! You can't go wrong if you just do that!
FOLLOW YOUR BLISS AND MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!