I’ve been floundering a bit since my semester in Oxford. No, I haven’t been doing nothing. The occupation that enables me to eat (which is perfectly reputable but shall remain private), church, this blog, and various demands of daily life take up much or most of my time. But these by no means take up all of it. And, like I said, I feel like I’ve been floundering a bit.
Part of that has been uncertainty what my focus should be. I’ve considered continuing my education and getting some additional letters after my name. But I’m not at all sure just what I’d do with those letters. I’ve thought about joining the permanent diaconate. But as I’ve weighed the pluses and minuses of joining the clergy or remaining in the laity, I now think I’d prefer to remain in the laity. And, though if I were much younger I’d consider an academic career, I don’t want that now. So what would be the point of getting an additional degree is an open question indeed.
And, as I rediscovered in Oxford, academic work can sap most of my time and all of my energy. I’ve come to doubt the wisdom of such an investment when the returns are so doubtful.
Instead, I think I’ll resume my writing. Other than this blog, my writing has been on quite a long hiatus. I just haven’t been motivated. My experience with the publishing and book retail world since the publication of God Knows What It’s Like to be a Teenager hasn’t been very encouraging.
But lately my mind has been returning to a novel I wrote then put aside years ago. I completed a draft of Pilot Point in the 90’s. A Pulitzer Prize winner, no less, saw it, liked it, and recommended it to three literary agents he knew. But only one of those three then even bothered to look at it in spite of the impressive recommendation. And that one did not take it on. That experience was one of the things that soured me to the literary world.
But since then, with the advancement of the internet and other technology, it’s become more possible to be successful with a book even if the big publishers and agents ignore it.
And through these years, I’ve remained so convinced that this novel can be really good, great even, that I determined to return to it one day and get it published. This is one of those things (spending a term in Oxford was one, by the way) that I knew I would regret if I passed it up.
Well, I think the day has come to begin rewriting Pilot Point.
Oh, and there will be changes. I wrote the earlier draft long before my Anglican days. Now it shall acquire a strong Anglican flavor.
But don’t get too excited just yet. I can be a very slow writer.