Three Years Later (And All That Jazz) - Why Writers Should Dare To Dream

Life's funny, sometimes. Time, doubly so. Three years seems like such a long time, but then you think back to where you were and you can't believe it seems so fresh and new. Then you think about all that's happened in those years and your brain starts to make small popping noises because those two things don't seem like they can both be true.

Three years ago today (March 11) was the Tohoku earthquake, subsequent tsunami, and sub-subsequent (if that's how it works) Fukushima nuclear meltdown(s). I was there at the time (Japan, I mean - not Fukushima) and helped in what small ways I could, and patched up my roof as best I could, and tried to get on. I moved to the U.S. later that year and got married, and I'm still here, three years later.

Pretty sure that's how you fix a roof. Almost certainly. Maybe.

The Japan Times has some striking photos of Tohoku three years after it was hit - see here.

Three years. Really? Gosh. It's a good amount of time to measure my life in, I think. Enough time to get into trouble but not enough time to get too comfortable.It's strange to look back at my life then and think - huh, he didn't know that Eren would work out. It was just a story he was writing - a dream, I guess - when he had time in-between teaching and exploring Japan and trying to plan a wedding in a country he barely knew. But, Eren was important enough that quite a lot of nights were spent typing away and trying to ignore the fact the ground was shaking (not because of earthquakes, mind - my house was right next to the bullet train tracks, and old, and made of wood, and tended to wobble a bit).

The time poured into Eren back then is what makes Eren possible now. My publisher sent over illustration proofs yesterday (illustrations! Of Eren! Wah!), and we're talking about covers, and release dates, and they're using words like 'marketing' and it's all very real. I couldn't have known this was all coming but I wrote the words anyway, and I'm thankful I had the time and the opportunity.

If you're a writer and all you have is a dream, then don't lose sight of how amazing that is - because you're a writer and you have a dream. That's magic. Hold onto it and if things seem like a waste of time, if it feels like you're fooling yourself that your book could ever make it, remember that every other writer felt that way, feels that way, and will feel that way.

We can be a dour bunch at times.

Japan will always be a huge part of who I am and I have every intention of returning when I can. For now, I send them thoughts from afar and will probably eat sushi today, because that sounds like a good thing to do.

In other news:

I joined the Fearless Fifteeners! Yes, I know, Eren comes out in '14, so I'm not really a Fifteener (I'm not really fearless either, let's be honest) but it's a group for debut writers, and it's filled with rather snazzy folk. Go check them out and read all about the wonderful new worlds people are making. You can see my little bit here and even learn what I'm afraid of (Hint: It tends to be wet).

More Eren news to come, soon - I promise.


  1. Time. Wow. When you said March 11th it reminded me that this was the date of my first kiss (I won't tell you how many years ago THAT was!!!!). Thanks for the beautiful post. It's nice to be reminded that all the hard work we put in now will pay off in ways we never imagine in the future.

    1. A good memory, I hope! Yes, nice to see benefits of work, if only as a reminder that the writing I'm doing now will be worth it. It will. It WILL.