Hello. Welcome to blog post #200.

That’s crazy. Thank you, if you’re a consistent reader or if this is your first time dropping in, know I appreciate it you in the soft recesses of my soft, squishy heart. This blog was started sometime in May of 2018 (I don’t have the exact date and don’t feel like looking it up) and while I know a lot of these posts are fancy pictures with just a few words, coupled with the occasional random television and book review, but deep at the heart of it is the same message:

What I learn on the way to becoming a published author.

This is in the byline of my author bio on this site:

Fifth Draft is where he details what he’s learned on his quest to become a published author and the greatest Pokémon League Champion of all time.

Okay, so that last line doesn’t mean much of anything since the Pokémon League Championships are so close and I’m way behind on collecting my badges for entry…

Right. Anyway. Moving on.

I’ve learned big things that carry little weight and little things that carry lots of weight, like dark matter floating out in the publishing sphere. Just to rundown a quick list: You have to query agents, the more you know about your subject material the better, not every “NO” means your book is bad, hitting deadlines is sometimes the most important trait you can have about yourself, and not being published by age 32 is not the end of the world.

But the truest thing I’ve learned?

In the previous (nearly) 2 years , I’ve gained 64 followers. While they may not check out every post, they still felt it good enough to go, “You know what? I’ll exert the extra energy to give this chap a Follow. I liked what he was doing here with this one post, ya’ see?”

And that’s enough! Sometimes, that has to be more than enough.

Because the thing I’ve learned the most about writing, (coming second to just do the bloody work) is that it’s lonely. “Whoa, settle down peeps. A writer on the internet is going to talk about how writing is lonely,” I hear you thinking. Yes, that’s right. I’m psychic, but I can only use it to see internet comments in my readers’ minds exactly 3 seconds before they type. Everything else is a big, blank blur. It’s the most useless mutant ability ever.

But, it’s not “lonely” in the way you might typically think, where you’re trapped at home, sitting at a keyboard, not going outside. (Ha! We’re all living that life now, bay-bay!) No, positive social media use can lead to strong networking and community building, so that’s not it. No, it’s we spend so much of our time in our own minds, crafting stories, building worlds, honing in on what might make a character unique, and at the end of the day? All we really, really want?

Is for someone to like them.

To enjoy them. To feel that reading something we put on the page was not a waste of time and was in fact an inspiration to them. Someone they’ll think about long after reading. Every time I glance at my bookshelves or put on a soundtrack to a video game I am instantly taken to that moment, when I met a group of characters I dubbed “friends,” and we had an adventure, and how I wish I was still on that adventure at the very moment.

And I think all authors want to have contributed to that for people.

Project Updates:

– I’ve sent out Project: GREY, my MG sci-fi adventure, to two more agents. Will send to at least one, maybe two, more this week for them to check out.

– Getting more notes down for Project: TWILIGHT, what’s shaping up to be YA contemporary fantasy, which is looking like I’ll be writing it sometime in the fall at this pace.

– Project: NESS, a MG contemporary fantasy, which I was supposed to start writing April 1 as part of Camp NaNoWriMo is still on hold until I reconnect with my student whom I was supposed to write alongside. We’ll see how to proceed.

So that’s three books in motion this year while balancing being a new father, slowly losing control of my Dad Bod because sweets aren’t, according to my wife, “healthy,” and wondering about whether or not I can continue freelancing as I am in the near future, granted we don’t all start eating each other with Covid-19 radiated teeth because some “Karen” out there wanted to get her roots fixed…

Oh. I read a 236 page fantasy novella and 370 pages of comics in the last 10 days.

Books And Babies
Books and Babies.

Oh, and I cut my hair. Remember haircuts? This is before:

Quarantine Hair
This. Is. Madness.

This is after:

Quarantine Haircut 2
This. Is. A. Filter.

I don’t know what the next 200 posts will bring. Maybe another baby (Or two… *shudders*). Maybe a book deal. Maybe nothing, and I’ll still be here, jotting down ideas, thinking things out on the web for everyone to see, and making people mad because I didn’t like Steven Universe. Well, if that’s the case, here’s to 200 more.

Thanks for reading,

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Twitter: @robacosta

Instagram: @robacosta

Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com