Facing forward

Hi everyone,

As we all know, writing stories and finding publishers for our work is a slow, tedious business. I was fortunate to have two new titles come out in 2018 plus a chapter in a book for the classroom and some poems in anthologies. This year I have one new book coming out plus the lead article in next month’s Winter Issue of Missouri Reader.

In 2020 two new trade books are set for release. One is nonfiction, one is poetry. Two more trade books come out in 2021. One is fiction, one is poetry. I think I’ll have one, if not two, education books out during that same period.

It’s a long time from now to 2021 so I will do all I can to get more projects under contract by then, but in football parlance, this is a ground game. Progress is usually made in a series of short yardage gains. I’ve sold 101 books in 52 years so my average is roughly two books per year.

To Matt Forrest Esenwine, Charles Waters, and you others who are coming on strong now as you build your careers, I applaud you and wish you much success salted with patience for the process. Every time someone knocks you down, someone else will give you a hand up. It is, after all, a humane industry.

15 comments on “Facing forward

  1. Thank you once more for sharing your journey. I love ‘slow, tedious business” and “salted with patience.” My journey as a writer did not begin in earnest until about 2001 when i moved here to the Adirondacks, although i had about a dozen articles published during the 10 years before that. My first book, adult nonfiction came out in 2004 with Jessica Kingsley PUblishers in England. I did not publish another until my Mom’s memoir came out in 2011. I self-published my cookbook in 2013 because i’d been writing a food column for our local paper about 10 years by then, and everyone kept asking when i was going to come out with a cookbook but all the publishers kept saying i didn’t have a large enough platform. I started seriously studying children’s books and writing more poetry but did not get much published (other than my weekly food columns for our local paper which are still going though they’ve been cut back from 2 newspapers to one). I have several picture book drafts, a couple chapter books and a middle grade historical fiction i’m working on but haven’t succeeded in getting anything published. I’m still hopeful. I did have 2 chapbooks of poetry come out – one in 2017 and one in 2018 and am hopeful for one in 2019, with 3 different publishers. And I”ve had some poems in journals and magazines but nothing in the children’s magazines. So i’m pushing on, trying to submit more and hoping to find an agent…

    • Good morning, Yvona, and thank you for coming by to add your own experiences. Yours is a good example of the slow but steady progress it takes to become and remain a writer. I wish you success in 2019 and beyond.

  2. Thanks for the support, David – and congratulations to you, on all your successes, as well as those yet to come! You’re right about the football analogy, it’s definitely all about the short passes. I’ve been averaging a couple of poems in anthologies each year – for which I’m extremely grateful – but no book contracts since “Flashlight” and “Dinosaur.”

    Yet, here we are not halfway through January, and I’ve learned I’ll have that poem coming out in the Donald Hall book, two poems in Highlights, and two different publishing houses have shown interest in two different PB manuscripts…and we’re less than 2 weeks into the new year! And this is in addition to the poems I’ll have out in two different 2019 anthologies. Of course, anything can happen with regards to the books – it’s never a done deal until it’s in print – but one has to just keep on moving forward!

  3. Congratulations on your achievement, David, and thanks for the encouragement! As Aesop said, “slow and steady wins the race.”

  4. You are amazing, David! And so encouraging to other writers – and those who plan to write someday. Thank you for sharing your stories of success, along with the reality that not every word you write gets published.

    • Hi way over there, dear Su. You caught me headed off to bed. Thank you for your kind words. If my blog is worth anything, it’s to provide an honest place to share our journeys. Goodnight hugs, David

      • Hope you slept well! Danny and I were just treated to the sight of a beautiful bald eagle perched in a small tree on Antelope Ridge – one of the ridges behind our house. (I named it Antelope Ridge because we often have pronghorn antelope resting on the side of the hill catching the warmth of the sun.) I grabbed my camera…but too late. It took off into the bright blue sky – perhaps heading out to find a rabbit for breakfast.

      • Antelope Ridge. I love it! And I love spotting bald eagles. We haven’t seen a one at Goose Lake this year, a first, but there are several in the area around Lake Springfield. Such a majestic looking bird. And I did sleep well last night. Never stirred until 9:00 this morning when my M.O.W. made me get up.

  5. I’m sure you can guess why I gave “Coyote Ridge” its name. It’s the other ridge behind our house.

    Glad you got a good night’s sleep!

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