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The Rockefeller Preserve has become my sanctuary. I walk and run in the woods in search of mostly exercise, but secretly I also look for inspiration.

I can’t say I find it, only that after I’ve spent an hour I’ve at least burned calories. But sometimes I tell the trees my problems: the challenges I face in working to become a published novelist.

I guess you could say I’m lucky, and I do get Arts and Culture articles published online at AOL’s Tarrytown Patch. I could live a much more enisled existence. Still, my heart wants more. And so does my soul. Doesn’t every writer?

In grad school, I listened as a professor railed on about his former colleague’s (a really famous writer at Princeton) inability to appreciate or see all of her success.

“You never heard such moaning, the professor complained. Meanwhile, she publishes a book a year, gets advanced royalties, and that’s not counting her short stories and essays.”

To my first mind, my less famous professor was being a hater. Yet it did seem impossible for someone so famous to be so insecure. But fame and fortune don’t fan the flame of insecurity. Insecurity is its own monster.

Insecurity isn’t my challenge: mine is getting and knowing that my novel is structurally sound and landing in the right hands. It’s a bit of a crapshoot. And minus religion, it all seems to be a walk of faith, chance, and happenstance.

You have to drive the publishing campaign like you know where you’re going. Momentum is your ally.

And until I’ve got a structurally sound novel in the right set of hands, I’ll have to keep moving. Keep my mind focused and my energy directed. And I’ll push against hope that all my good work, great training, focus, and drive lands me published.

And then I’ll start all over again.