STOP. Back up. Everyone look out.

When my dad was teaching me to drive, I argued with him about something and he said,

“Listen to me: I’ve driven in reverse farther than you’ve driven forward.”

It was a disarming statement that made me laugh. I think about it sometimes and chuckle. I saw something today that made me think of it again.

I was driving home and merging off of I-495. I took the Route 7 exit. If you stay on the exit, to the left, you go towards Tysons and on Route 7 West. If you take the immediate right exit, you would take Route 7 east towards Falls Church. I take the 7-West exit.

While staying left, I saw someone who had taken the 7-East exit. They hit their brakes suddenly and stopped and then pulled onto the shoulder. Their reverse lights ignited and they started backing up. On an exit, on an interstate highway.

I bet my dad has still driven in reverse more than I have driven forward, but I’ve never seen this kind of behavior anywhere else but in the Washington DC metro area. What is it about people in this region?

What is so terrible about turning around? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? If I take the wrong exit or I make a wrong turn, I don’t slam on my brakes, endangering everyone behind me and myself, and reverse.

Why do people here think they can just stop and have everyone get out of their way because they made a wrong turn? It’s a uniquely “DC thing.”

If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life… maybe

I wrote a book called Titan. It’s about a superhero that I created. I am working on publishing it. No matter what, it will be published. I’m using Amazon’s “Createspace” solution for self-publishing and I have commissioned an illustrator to design my character and a book cover. However, I am also working with a publishing consultant to sell my book in the more “traditional” way.

I have to draft two documents for the consultant to help me polish and, ultimately, submit to publishers and maybe agents. The first is a pitch letter (query letter is another name for it) and the second is a proposal, which is supposed to be a more in depth description of my book. Kind of like a book report. The pitch should be no more than one page—short, concise, and to the point. The proposal, on the other hand, should be longer somewhere around 5 pages.

It’s a grind. I loved writing Titan and I love thinking about it, but I finished the first draft years ago (how many, I don’t remember anymore, but it was at least three). I’ve revised the book. I’ve edited it. I worked with a line editor to polish it. I want to move on. I’m writing another book right now, but I’ve set it aside to work on the proposal. It’s tough. I want people to read what I’ve written—that’s really the goal for me. I want people to read it and like it and, hopefully, want to read more. This has never been about money for me.

However, publishing a book is a transaction. There is a business side to it. I can tell you right now that I don’t like it. I think my goal now is to not only write something people like, but to do it well enough that I don’t have to keep justifying the work. They say that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, I love writing. But I’m tired of moving backwards or sideways. This proposal is a real chore and I can’t wait to finish the first draft. Writing about my writing is not as much fun as it might seem to be.

I wanted a better, pithier “premiere” blog post, but this proposal is rough and I had to get that off of my chest. I hope it gives me the chance to put my work in front of a wider audience.