As you may recall, I celebrated my 70th birthday a couple of Tuesdays ago. It seemed to an appropriate time to reflect not only on where I’ve been but where I see myself going in the future. The day before my birthday, I completed the rough draft of my 19th fiction novel: Ghost Elephant: Book 3 of the Zak Bates Eco-Adventure Series. (By the way, there are still a few spots left if want to join the Beta Reading team.)
So, I did a little math and came up with my vision/goal:
with Youthful Vitality
in body, mind, and spirit
So let me decipher that: Fifty books written and published resulting in an annual income of $100K per year by the time I turn eighty and that becomes my legacy I leave to my daughter and to the world. And to accomplish all that with a ‘youthful vitality in body, mind, and spirit.’ Why not?
Boy, that should keep me out of the bars, right? Well, I do most of my drinking at home anyway. But the truth is that I’m really pumped by this possibility and I know it’s doable. Well, the fifty book part, at least. Keep in mind, I’ve just finished the rough draft of fiction book #19, so I’ve just 31 more to go. I’m still trying to get my head around the $100K per year part. Definitely stretching the mental faculties to the point of brain strain. Here’s a little of what I wrote in my journal:
This is a game worth playing. It’s also a legacy worth leaving behind not just for Amber and our future grandkids, but also for the community of readers yet to come. Think about it. People still read and enjoy Dickens, Poe, and Hugo to name a few classic authors. People in mass are moved every Christmas by the characters created in A Christmas Carol. How about the characters of Don Quixote, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame? How about Frankenstein and Dracula? The list goes on and on. Legacies that are still making a difference, contributing to the song of life decades, centuries later.
So, what am I creating? Will Zak Bates be like Tom Swift Jr. was for me growing up for some other generation of fourth through sixth graders (and their parents)? I don’t know. Time will tell. So, nineteen written and thirty-one to go. Imagine Zak Bates #10 or 12, FreeForm #10 or 12. And maybe I haven’t even created my Frankenstein or Scrooge or Alonso Quijana. Who are the characters I’ve not yet given birth to yet? Let’s face it, thirty-one books are a lot of writing, many characters’ stories. Much to do, to play, to create in the next ten years, starting now.
And none of this is possible without you — my Amazingly Awesome Readers. You are both my inspiration and my motivation. So, thanks. Here’s to the next decade of writing and reading.