THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER, BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
"What if I spend a thousand hours writing and nothing comes of it?"
"What if I spend two thousand hours writing and write a great novel?"
"What if I can't find anything to write about?"
"What if I let my imagination run free?"
"What if no one believes I'm a writer?"
"What if I believe I'm a writer?"
"What if I never get an agent?"
"What if I self publish?"
"What if I don't think I'm that good of a writer?"
"What if I practice three hours, everyday, and become a good writer."
"What if I don't like criticism?"
"What if I grow because of criticism?"
"What if I'm afraid and have doubts?"
"What if I have no fear and trust myself?"
"What if it takes a year to write my first book?"
"What if I write two books in 11 months?"
The list could go on and on, but as I look this one over, I realize that writing a novel is not for the weak minded. Writing will drive a person to both their highest highs and their lowest lows. How long we mentally remain in one or the other depends on our individual personalities.
THE WRITER- A SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL
This next little bit of information is nothing more than putting everything in perspective.
The 2014 Census says that the population of the United States was slightly over 318,000,000. Reduce that by 118,000,000 due to children, elderly-elderly, a partial population who does not care about anything, and the balance those busy texting and checking the apps on their phones.
With 200,000,000 people in the U.S., let us say 2,000,000 are writers who have written one novel, with at least 50,000 plus words. That would mean that a total of only 1% of U.S. population have accomplished this feat. Refining that number a little more, how many of those 2 million have written two novels, half? The group narrows down to only .05% of the population. Let me cut it down one more time. How many writers have written three novels, I wonder, half of that one-half, of one percent?
My point is simple, anyone who can sit down and write a book, no offense, I do not mean a self-help book, I mean a novel. A story, created in the author's head from start to finish is in a select group. If that same individual has the inner strength, determination, and the ability to stick to it and write another book, and then another, believe it, they are a rare individual.
Add all of the positive, "WHAT IF'S," to the mix and life, will be rich, and meaningful.
As the sun began rising in the east, I got out of bed, opened the French doors, and from my vantage point I look down and see a portion of the 17-mile drive, in Carmel. This time of the morning the ocean is calm, the air is crisp, and several miles out over the water a wall of fluffy white clouds are gathering.
I fill a pot with water and heat it for my favorite tea, turn on some music, and sit down at my computer. Hours later, when it's time to take a long break, I stop and see that I've typed over 3,000 words this morning.
When I wake from my dream, everything I had just imagined disappeared except for the teapot, music, and my computer. I believe every writer dreams of a place where he or she would like to escape for inspiration. However, for most of us, we usually sit in a room with four walls, where maybe there is a picture or two, some music, and a beverage, and we have a day job to go to. When all is said and done, the single most important element we all have in common is a writer's imagination.
The reason I began this post with my Carmelscape , is because of an exercise I do now and then. I sit down and write a short story, no longer than 2,000 words. I choose a character, a man walking his dog in the park, two people at the beach, a store clerk waiting on a customer, a police officer giving someone a ticket for jaywalking, etc. Then I choose if I want it to be a comedy, drama, love story, crime story, and begin to write.
Once completed, typing errors and all, I re-write it again, except with a minor change here or there. If it was a comedy, a re-write it as a drama, or a mystery, I change the plot of the story, while the characters and location remain the same. I can add new characters, but I never delete original characters. Off I go and when I reach 2,000 words, I stop.
Not to be complacent, I write a third variation of the same short story. I do this now and then to challenge the creativity that sometimes disappears. While searching and discovering, the last thing I would ever do is distract myself by listening to the radio or turning on the TV. I am not advocating this is for everyone, this is a form of improv, and I do it, to push my imagination because I'm a writer, so I write.
I was six or seven when I first learned to ride a two-wheeler bicycle. Looking back on that day, my father took the "sink or swim" approach in his teaching method. I got on the bike and said the famous line which all children say their first time, "don't let go!"
We went around in a circle, and I felt good about myself, slowly pedaling, somewhat unsure, but still I was riding the bike without trainer wheels. I'm not sure how it happened, but at one point I turned around, and my father was no longer walking alongside me. He was standing off to the side, watching me and I was headed straight towards the garage....door. The door won that day, but not long afterwards, I conquered and overcame the need for dad or anyone else to hold on to the bike. I rode alone.
Does it matter if it's a bike, or a golf club, hitting a baseball, playing a musical instrument, learning to speak a second language or writing? Everything that we do at one time or another is a challenge. I believe only two obstacles stop all of us as we watch those who compete. Becoming one of the ones who jumps in and becoming one who wins.
Effort and practice, it is going to take a steady amount of the first, and a whole lot of the second.