The Journey

The Journey

Alan RowlandsonFor over thirty years I worked across Canada in the construction industry.  Beginning as a labourer, I studied to become a licensed carpenter and eventually took on the role of project supervisor.  During this period, the physical demands of the job eventually produced enough lingering aches and pains that I finally decided it was time to consider a different career path.

As a child I was an enthusiastic reader.  Regular trips to the city library always resulted in a large pile of books being exchanged for a similar stack of new volumes or old favourites.  Though I was not a big fan of English class during my school years, I thoroughly enjoyed any creative writing assignments.  A blank sheet of paper and an interesting topic were all that my mind needed to spark the flame of inspiration.

As life rolled on, I continued to enjoy the creative process.  However, the demands of work and the responsibility of providing for a large family limited the amount of time and energy available for writing.  Even so, I began to produce a collection of short stories with the intention of having them published.  It seemed like a safe and sensible way to test the market.  But before the series could be completed, a construction injury forced me to accelerate my plans for a career change.

I had already been outlining a number of novels in my spare time.  Now I realized that a greater commitment was necessary if I was to bring one of them to completion.  A decision was made, finances were put in order and a challenging odyssey began.  This new venture had a steep learning curve.  Initial ideas of serial publication were discarded due to the complexity of the novel.  Continuity issues and back stories were surprisingly demanding.  In the end, six months of sustained effort merely produced a rough draft and it was time to return to work.  With the resumption of my old duties, editing and polishing became a process of years, until a final copy was ready to be submitted to publishers.

After a number of polite rejections, I began to realize that the publishing industry was a business.  Surprise!!  These companies needed to make money, and with the limitations of their resources were not willing to take risks on unknown or unproven authors.  Having come this far I refused to turn back and so determined to self-publish.  This would allow the reading public to evaluate the results for themselves.  Thankfully, a positive response has encouraged me to continue with my writing.

Like most authors, I had a number of projects waiting in the wings while I focussed on the task at hand.  However, now that my time is free, one particular story has jumped into the spotlight, while a second is vigorously competing for the stage.  As if this is not enough, several other prospective novels are seductively whispering in my ears.  And what about the short stories?!  Only time will tell.