Dreamer

By Ekta R. Garg

May 26, 2022

Storm Rising by Chris Hauty

Release date: May 3, 2022

Genre: Political thriller

On May 8, less than a week after Storm Rising released, Chris Hauty posted the following on Twitter:

“I toiled in Hollywood’s salt mines for over 3 decades. Wrote my first novel at 62. And now I’m hawking the ass-kicking audiobook of my third novel. If anyone advises you to bail on your dreams, tell ’em they can gladly #*%k off.”

When I read that, I stopped and stared at it for a minute. I had no idea that Chris wrote Deep State after the age of 60 nor that his career in Hollywood was so long. I knew he had a lot of experience, but I didn’t know the depth of it.

The thing that stuck out to me the most, though, was the sentiment in the last sentence; the fact that even after living in the world of Hollywood tinsel, Chris was just as anxious as us “young’uns” when we think about our writing dreams. Those of us who spend parts of each day in the writing trenches have a tendency to assume that everyone around us is fighting from a much nicer trench. One that includes huge publishing contracts or deals in said Tinsel Town or audiobook releases read by the coolest people on the planet.

In this tweet, Chris Hauty sounds like a regular, every-day writer.

My response to his tweet was this:

“This is so encouraging to hear! Sometimes I worry that I started my writing career too late, but this is exactly what I needed on a Monday morning. Thank you!”

Because I do worry. I’m 43 years old; I’m four years away from becoming an empty-nester. We’re having conversations about our children going to college and what they’re going to pursue with their lives, how they’re going to accomplish their dreams, after I spent the first 15 years of my 19-year marriage helping my husband accomplish his. It’s hard not to feel like life is passing me by, like I’m observing from the sidelines and now running on the sidewalk to catch up while everyone else is sitting in a sleek vehicle zooming forward on the main road.

But tweets and messages and stories like Chris Hauty’s remind me, over and over again, what a gift a writing career is. As long as I stay in good health, there’s absolutely no limit to how long I can write. I can keep going until I keel over my keyboard one day. What other career affords someone this much time and leeway?

After my debut released last year, I’m more eager than ever to keep writing and publishing. I want to grow my readership and my connection to the people who enjoy my work. On those days when the writing isn’t working or I have to devote hours of my day to other tasks that have absolutely nothing to do with my latest book, I get frustrated and cry. I want to run away from home. I fantasize about getting in the car, driving away, and spending two or three weeks in some safehouse where I have nothing but my computer, some books, and long stretches of time where I only have to take care of myself.

That’s not the case, obviously (would I tell you I was in a safehouse if I actually was in one right now? :>). What is the case is that real life is messy and interconnected, and writing a book is hard because we have to carve out time from nonexistent hours and days to make it happen. So when established authors—or those people with lots of experience in general—share these kinds of feelings, I’m encouraged.

Their trenches aren’t necessarily better; their cars aren’t necessarily zooming faster. Even if they are, they’re still aware, every day, of what a special thing it is to be published and validated by readers and the industry alike. And when I hear affirmations like this, it makes embracing my writing dreams so much easier.