Today, I picked up a copy of Gena Showalter’s Firstlife. There were many other books I and series I could have chosen, including but not limited to The Danish Girl, Still Alice, The Girl on the Train, If I Stay, The Mortal Instruments and, of course, the infamous Hunger Games.
There were other people around me, twisting their bodies into all sorts of shapes so they could see around me. I wasn’t moving. I was rooted to the ground.
I thought about how hard these authors must have worked; how their books, at some point, may have reduced them to tears; but despite that, they picked themselves up and kept going. Because they didn’t just want to write a New York Times Bestselling Novel– these authors took the steps they needed to get there. Publication consists of a lot of hard work and sometimes little reward.
This is how people distinguish between a goal and an accomplishment. Between wanting and acting. I wanted to write a paranormal romance. I wanted to write a poetry chapbook. I took the beginning steps, but gave up half-way through because I found it too challenging. It’s during times like that when you find out what you really want to achieve, and whether or not your reasons behind it will get you there.
To write a book, you need:
a) A lot of guts.
b) A tonne of incentive.
c) A passion for writing.
c) Unwavering emotional support from family and friends.
I love to write; that’s enough for some. Not every writer wants to write a novel. Some of us find joy in the short story, or flash fiction, and feel no need to extend themselves beyond that. That’s fine, too. Do what you want to do– not what others expect you to. A writer doesn’t need to write a book to be considered a writer.
When I looked at the books on the selves, I felt a desire to write something inspiring, or to be one of these wonderful writers. Sometimes the feeling passes. If it does, you probably shouldn’t try to write a novel. What to do if it stays with you is seen all over the world, in the form of 500 page thrillers, dorky romance novels, and inspiring children’s books.
If you’re a writer looking to get your work out there, I run a literary magazine called The Drowning Gull. We’re currently reading for a nature-themed, NONFICTION AND ART ONLY issue– so if you create in those categories, please do send us something.
Thanks for reading!