In the years since its inception, the Inking Cap writers have added a few to their numbers (most recently, myself and Ryan.) I've known the gang since we met at the LDStorymakers in 2009, and we've been going strong for five orbital cycles.
However, I wasn't always officially a member of the group. So far as I understand it, the reason behind the delayed invitation was that my rate of production far exceeded everyone else's. I would throw down in a normal day what some of them might get done in a week, and I would do this all week long without slowing down.
Did I beat my chest over this?
A foolish question.
What was my secret, you ask? Did I expertly manage my schedule and plan my days to the last minute? Did I have inhuman discipline, and a divine talent for telling people to bugger off during my writing time?
No. My secret was that I was a single dude with two part-time jobs that only kinda sorta required me to get a full night's sleep. I had no kids, no pets (barring roommates), and a passion to be published.
So I wrote. I grabbed that churn handle and cranked on it until the literary butter burst forth from between the digital planks of my word processor barrel (and if you think that's the worst metaphor I've ever written, you haven't been around long enough).Should a cursory glance at the others' barrels prove that they had poured in only a paltry amount of milk, left it out, and let it sour, well then! Someone's not very serious about their dairy.
Then I met a girl. We fell in lurv. I liked it, so I put a ring on it. A few months later we were married. And before even the dog came along, suddenly I didn't have hours and hours of free time. Gone were the 10K days, the late-night edits, the reading binges, and the need to worry about things like "budgets" when paying for a writer's conference. She had my back, always has, there were just other temporal real-world factors to consider, and I couldn't ignore them without imperiling our relationship.
Which I don't want to do. 'Cause I kinda like her.
Now, one naughty puppy and one cantankerous toddler later, I have a job with an ultra-flexible schedule and a somewhat unpredictable slot of sleeping time every night. Suddenly I understand what these other Eagle Mountain Writers were up against, what with their careers and their mortgages and their seventeen kids and two dogs and church callings and soccer practices and oh my holy crap WHY DID NO ONE WARN ME OF THIS?
It's not so bad, really. I still get plenty of writing done, though I do wish I could do more.
Ironically (or perhaps not), now I'm a member of the group. Why? Because I get it. Now we're all in the same race, same kind of car, with the same specs and 3/4 of a tank of gas. Having been in both the Full-Size Sedan Lane and the All-Wheel-Drive With No Speed Limit Lane, I can see what a drag it would have been, to constantly get lapped by this uppity little twerp who had no idea what everyone else was dealing with.
At our last group meeting (make that our last two meetings, which are now monthly), I was thrilled to see the amount of progress everyone is making on their writing goals. And for those in the group who haven't done a lot of writing, they have darn good reasons--like college degrees, and law school, things which require a fair bit of writing on their own.
This year, two of us will have fully-finished and workable manuscripts to carry into the editing stages. Two more will have made solid and respectable progress toward the same goal. And the rest are steadily chipping away with admirable fortitude, while still juggling no small amount of chainsaws and Molotov cocktails.
My point is, great work, gang. You're an inspiration to me, and I hope to keep contributing well to the group. See you out there :-)