Monday, July 16, 2012

An Update

I took a look at the ol’ blog this weekend, and noticed that the last update was on my birthday. Though it may be relatively easy to post only once a year (and on my birthday, at that), that’s not what this blog is about. No, this is about chronicling my journey toward (and hopefully “in” for many years) the world of writing.

First thing’s first: unfortunately, it looks like I won’t be coming back to insideSTL on a full-time basis to cover the Rams. Though the gig was fun, and I learned a lot about the industry, made many new friends along the way, and taught myself a more disciplined way of writing, Tim’s going in a different direction with the site. All I can say is “thanks” to Tim for the opportunity, and I’ll still drop by on occasion in the STLRams section to offer up my thoughts. And hey, I’ll still write about all things sports over at Hank’s Sports Blog, semi-regularly.

On the bright side, the shift gives me a lot more time to do what I really want to be doing: write more fiction! I’m happy to say that my first novel now has a name: Debt of Souls. I’ve written the blurb and everything, but I don’t know if I should post it here now, or wait until the book is ready to go. Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

At the moment, the manuscript is in the hands of my crack team of editors, who have already offered some great feedback, and are putting some real thought into this thing. Some of the discussions I’ve been having with folks on the team have been heartening, others…well, let’s just focus on the positives for now, okay?

I finished up my big edit of the manuscript and got it out to the team on July 4. Last year, I probably would have made some overly sappy, “Your Own Personal Independence Day”-type post to commemorate the occasion.

Though you were deprived of such a self-indulgent screed, you may be wondering what exactly I have been doing since Debt of Souls has been out of my hands. Have I taken another vacation? Am I sitting around, playing videogames, waiting for the editors to do their jobs?

Hell no!

I’m proud to say that I’m already 10,000 words into my next novel, which, for now, I’ll call Project Flux Capacitor, not because it’s any kind of Back to the Future-inspired fan fic, but rather because it does involve time-travel and I have a really solid title for it that I don’t want anyone else to re-purpose.

It’s already been an incredibly fun book to write, and I hope that my enthusiasm transfers over to the page….err…”screen”…whatever…

The outline is finished, so I’m just filling in the blanks, and hopefully it’ll be ready to go by sometime this fall.

Aside from that, I’m working on the outline of my third novel, which is in the early stages, and I’ve been kicking around an idea for an e-commerce startup, which may or may not happen depending on the folks I’ve been talking to, and some of the technical/cost limitations.

Though I’m “busy” on any given day, it’s still incredibly liberating to be able to take an afternoon to play a round of golf and make up the “work” I miss over the weekend. I put “work” in quotes because after finishing a novel, it really doesn’t seem much like work anymore. It’s something that I enjoy doing that (hopefully) will provide a living. There’s a sense of confidence in my mind, a voice that says, “okay buddy, you’ve done this before, just keep typing and you’ll finish it eventually,” which is empowering as hell.

That’s not to say that I don’t experience the days of doubt; the harsh critic inside my head calls me some terrible things, including some insults where I’m not even sure what they’re supposed to mean.

But I do actually enjoy sitting down and getting to work on any given day now, which is what I set out to accomplish over a year ago when this little experiment started.

And hopefully, I can keep that feeling going for a very long time.

D.J. Gelner is a fiction and freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri.  Follow him on twitter (@djgelner) or facebook (here).  E-mail him at  You can also listen to his podcast (Bottle and Cans) here.

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