It’s been a while. The last month included the holidays, two trips out of town – one to the southwest with my bride, one to the East Coast for a family emergency – football playoffs, a viewing of the second Hobbit film (which turned out to be pretty good), and lots else. Unfortunately, it didn’t include a lot of writing. So with the new year, it is time to get back to work. For the first post of the new year, I am going to start with something a little more positive.
I’ve been doing this routinely for eight years now and as such, I’ve talked to a lot of people about writing. When I mention that I write short stories, have had a few published, and have written several novels, at some point in the conversation, I almost always hear the same line. Any seasoned writer has heard this and knows what I am about to say. When I talk to people, I hear: “I would love to write a book but….”, or some variant of that sentiment.
My response? “Well, what’s stopping you?”
You hear a litany of reasons: no time, no ideas, no thought on where to even begin, etc. Hogwash. Like anything else, if you really want to do it, you can do it. The question is how badly do you want to do it? I realize that as I look back over the past few years, I have lost count with the number of people who have told me they would love to write a book. Other than folks who were already writers when we met, I don’t know of a single one who has taken the leap. I have tortured a few short stories out of some friends but that’s about it. I also know at least two would-be authors who have done it for a while and then sworn off it. And that’s too bad because there are no end to the good stories out there to be told, so it’s shame when people quit or never even get started.
This is why I have respect for anyone who soldiers on in the face of adversity, following their calling. They’ve taken the chance, made it a priority, and gosh-darn it, they don’t give up. Romance novelist Jayne Ann Krentz once said, “Believe in yourself and in your own voice, because there will be times in this business when you will be the only one who does.”
Amen, sister. So keep shining on, my fellow crazy diamonds. And believe you can do it, because you can.
Muse: Welcome back, knucklehead.
You too, shrew-face.