This is the afterword that will be included in the pdf copy of the Sixth Age of Sand, applied here to be shared easily.
I’ve read more than a few authors’ forewords to early works in which they describe their first book as a labour of love. Not the case here – The Sixth Age of Sand is a labour of principle.
Ever since I was young I had some vague aspirations to have a job that somehow involved creative writing. As I let my twenties grind away under a host of boring jobs like data entry and motel management, I operated with the idea that I would, eventually, find some time to set my life aside and grind out some books, which would change everything. Aspiration like this is not uncommon – most people think they’ll do this.
The year I turned thirty, I felt I had run out of excuses. I set myself a goal to write a short story every week. It didn’t matter what the content was, or how long it was – I just wanted to be able to say, every week, that I had completed some work. By the end of the year, I figured I’d have a book, something basic, some first step.
That’s what you’re holding, now. My first step.
2013 was not a good year for me. I attended too many funerals, mourned too many pets, and watched too many loved ones wasting away under the ravages of unconquerable disease. Sections of this story have been written in hospitals, at bus stops, on trains, in classrooms waiting for examination results, and in bed at night with tears on my face.
It’s done, though.
And I’m sure that I can do it again, and again.
What I want you to know is that you can write a book. You really can. Even if you can’t type, with speech recognition programs now, you can write a book. If you’re waiting for a motivating factor, if you’re waiting for an opportunity to start, here it is. Start. You can do it. It’s easy if you just keep at it. Write a little every week, and you’ll have something eventually.