I have been told that my “bucket list” is more adventurous and dangerous than most. While this may be true, it does not cause me much concern, as I have been involved in a fair degree of danger throughout most of my entire working life. You could say; “it’s all I know.”
I can not say exactly when I was first bitten by the bull-running bug, but Ernest Hemingway had a lot to do with it. I found something dangerously romantic about the idea of heading off to a village in Northern Spain and running along narrow cobble-stoned streets as a hoard of snorting bulls pounded mercilessly behind, hell-bent on charging forward at all costs – absolutely refusing to be inconvenienced by those who would stand in their way.
That is the point at which I have lost many inquisitive souls, trying to fathom why one would voluntarily elect to put themselves in the way of stampeding bulls. “That is very dangerous, you know,” some would advise me, in a manner akin to telling a young child that placing their hand on a boiling kettle was not a good idea. “Yes, I know,” I would politely inform them, “but that is the best part – the challenge is to survive the ordeal and be one with the beast.” By the way, I can definitely say that Spanish bulls have much more attitude than Irish bulls.
Thinking that I did not fully grasp the danger (despite the fact that I had been planning on doing this for more than 25 years), they would add; “people actually get gored to death running in front of the bulls.” “Aye, some do,” I would agree, “but it wouldn’t be half as much fun unless there was the risk of getting run through by their horns or trampled to death.” That was always the exact spot where I lost them. I could see it in their eyes.
Having just published my first book, I am finding that I am now back in livestock territory, only this time, I have elected to grab the bull by the horns. The main difference I am finding; is that this ride is going to go on for a lot longer and as such, will prove to be more challenging. Like running from a herd of storming bulls, the actual writing of a book (for me) was the more straightforward part. After the initial rush of becoming a “published author” has subsided, one begins to realize that the “heavy lifting” is all ahead.
For me, research has become the name of the game. Having said that, I can not begin to imagine what it must have been like trying to “get the word out,” or find suitable teaming partners prior to the internet. As I read continuous blogs and postings about what it takes to get your book into the hands of reviewers, publicists…and just about forget Agents or traditional publishing houses, I realize that it is all ahead of me.
Makes me glad that I am an adrenaline junkie. If you find yourself in the same boat, I would say; “hang on to those horns and let’s see where this ride will take us!”