Monday, April 16, 2012

“Hey! I can write a book!” by Linda S. Glaz

“What’s the big deal? Anyone can write a book if they have a good idea, right?”
As writers, I’m afraid to say we hear this often enough to irritate a saint. It’s assumed that an individual comes up with a great story line, sits at a computer, plunks out the story, and then the publishers are lined up at the door ready for an auction.

“I could write a book if I wanted to. It isn’t brain surgery!” Now, here is a truth. It’s not brain surgery. A surgeon knows that he’ll use all of his skills, construct something brilliant, receive dozens of kudos from his friends and the patient’s family, and then take home a paycheck(even if the patient doesn’t make it). An author knows he’ll sweat blood, write something brilliant for hours, lay her heart bare by allowing it to be read, rewrite, bleed some more, and take home…no paycheck. Another truth? Writing, while an absolute living, breathing necessity for some, can produce as much heartache as it does joy. It isn’t a profession for the thin-skinned or weak of heart. It IS a profession for masochists. And while I say that tongue-in-cheek, there is a bit of reality in it. We don’t live for instant gratification in our jobs, but that would be nice. We don’t expect Cinderella stories of immediate fame, but that would be nice. We don’t have improbable expectations realized like winners in a lottery, but that would be nice too.

We are hard working individuals, male and female, with people living in our heads, telling us stories: some sad, some happy, some downright bizarre, but there are stories to be told. And the only way those people in our heads can come alive is if we are the conduits that transport their tales to the rest of the world.

Puck. Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Eyre. Clark Kent. Sherlock Holmes. Sir Lancelot. Anne of Green Gables. The Cat in the Hat. Hamlet. James Bond. Moby Dick.

Imagine growing up and never having met some of these wonderful folks. If the author had balked at the life he’d been called to, would we ever have known Scrooge? Scarlett and Rhett? Or even—shudder—Hannibal Lecter???

Imagine this generation of readers without Bella and Edward…Katniss and Peeta.

Right on, oh mighty writers, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a big deal. It is. A very big deal. And you are the one to take that big deal to the readers. It is what you do. Don’t lose faith, don’t turn your back on your craft, don’t EVER GIVE UP!


Rick Barry said...

When new acquaintances learn that I have a couple published novels, they often reply that they, too, have considered writing a book someday. In most cases the impression is that, rather than experiencing the creative compulsion to tell a story or to share information, these good folks just think it would be cool to show friends their name on the cover of a book. I'm afraid that type of motivation won't last over the long haul. However, if a person sees characters and plots in the imagination and simply must share those stories, then I agree 100% to keep practicing, keep learning. One who can't resist writing will make much better progress than one who wishes he had written. (I'm still working at honing the craft.) Thanks for a nice post, Linda!

Joanne Sher said...

Needed this reminder today, dear Linda. THANK YOU.

Patty Wysong said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Linda. You're right.

Often I think life would be easier if the voices in my head...the people in my head...would just be quiet or even go away. But then I realize how boring and quiet life would be. Boring is nice for two or three hours, but a lifetime of it? *shudder*

Davalyn Spencer said...

Amen and amen, Linda.

Caroline said...

Love your posts! You're right on target.

Beth Ziarnik said...

Great word of encouragement, Linda.

So many of the characters you mentioned impacted my life through reading. One of the reasons I love exploring my own story characters as I write, hanging in there and not giving up.

I've also taken to heart your words of encouragement during our November correspondence. I didn't forget! Thank you so much.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Great post!

Yes, writing a book is a huge feat, but dealing with the revisions/edits, platform building, and rejections necessary to get that book out there can be daunting. That's where it helps if you're positive that writing is what you're meant to do. And that's also where God steps in to encourage you along the long path to publication!

Linda Glaz said...

It's funny, Beth and others, I sometimes think God called me to be an author cheerleader instead of an agent. (hope I'm wrong, Joyce) but it feels that way at times. I would encourage anyone who truly lives to write to never quit! You just never know what's right around the corner...