I am not an “aspiring” or “wannabe” writer or novelist.
Things I don’t do: Read books on the craft, take classes on the craft, read industry blogs, learn about genre or marketing, worry about my credentials or my status, have a status, want to be taken seriously.
Things I do: Write, read, listen
When I was in high school, yes I think I did want to be a writer and at the time that meant getting a big publishing house to accept your work. I had this crazy notion that I was meant to write and share stories. Oh man, was I delusional! My high school councelor talked me down from that idea because– yes we’ve all heard it– “you can’t make a living from writing.”
Thing is- she was right. At the time you had to be published through a big publishing house. How many people successfully can do that? The odds were on par with all the kids I knew who wanted to be a rap star. (Okay, maybe not really, but it felt that way.) And at the time, my writing was pitiful. There are plenty of good young writers and honestly, I was not there yet. I can only see that now with age and vision and after finding one of my binders filled with stories that I used to slave over, pouring out of my brain just so I could sleep peacefully.
Sometimes this all makes me very nervous. No, my friends, I don’t need assurances that I’m okay, that doing things my own way will be fine. This is something I know, but I still deal with constantly. This is my own demon I have to fight back. It’s that doubt that always is present and creeps on in when I’m not looking for it. The idea is that I am somehow doing something inherently wrong as if there is one path to get where I want to be.
There isn’t. Here is the truth: I’m a writer, but I’m mostly a story teller. I’m working on a novel that will become more. Much more than one novel. (Like good lord, will I ever be able to finish?) And I have no desire to submit it anywhere. I never have. This story is so old that I put it down for close to ten years. Only within the past two years have I come back to it and found something salvageable- amazingly.
Yes, it’s that original story I worked on in high school that I knew was horrible and decided to put away until I could be better. Until I’d lived life a little more and met some crazy goals I had. When the time was right, I knew I’d feel it. And I have. The time is now. (Or, well, next year anyway. Dear World, please don’t end until I at least put out the second book.)
And the only thing that concerns me right now is writing about it and getting it out so that others can read it. That’s all that matters to me.