Hello to all you out there trying to survive this crazy winter! The weather here is gorgeous, but I promise not to rub it in, much. 🙂 This week I haven’t done a lot with my novel. I rewrote my query letter a couple more times but it still needs some work. It’s so hard not to doubt yourself with something like this. Every time I think I’ve got a draft I’m happy with, something else occurs to me and makes me drop everything to rewrite it again. Doubt is a constant companion of the writer who longs to write something of value. I have lost track of the times I have fell into the pit of despair over my writing during this process. Because writing is usually done alone, this doubt and despair can be even more intense. There are usually no other co-workers there to talk you down off the ledge. This is when a writer’s motivation becomes so important.
I’ve thought about my motives a lot as the time drags on with not much to show for my book in terms of forward movement. I feel a bit like that Dear Liza song. The one about the hole in the bucket where the lyrics proceed through this convoluted list of what it will take to repair it. (You can Google “There’s a hole in my bucket” if you are unfamiliar with the song.) It always seems like there’s one thing after another that you need to do if you want to get your book published. Just when I think I’m one step closer, it feels like I learn about five more steps that I need to do now. It’s been a long road so far and I know I still have a long way to go. But it’s the thought of having my book out there for people to read that keeps me going.
Some people write because they love it. Well I do love to write, that’s true, but more so I love entertaining people. I’ve always loved telling stories to basically anyone who would listen. I love seeing them laugh at the funny parts and tear up at the sad parts. Even though I love to write, I’ve always worked better with an audience. I don’t want my book to just sit in my computer, in a folder buried out of sight. I want to share it with the world. I want my readers to be transported to the world I created. I want kids to join forces with my characters at the park when the play make-believe. I want young adults to see themselves in the people in my books and not feel so alone. I want adults to read it and be reminded that they’re never too old for stories that stretch the imagination. It’s one of the reason I’m working so hard to get my book published. I’m not doing it for the money (though I wouldn’t turn it down haha) I’m doing it for the readers. For every person who picks it up and gets sucked into it. For everyone who needs a little adventure or a little break. For anyone who is bored and wants some excitement. I write to be read.
But that’s not my only motivation for writing these books. I also don’t want to take my job as a writer for granted. My writing has a dual purpose. Along with entertaining, my writing is also about being better. It’s about making the most of what you have. It’s about changing the world for the better. There is so much negative in the world. So much pain and hurting. I want a story that praises the best in people. That challenges them not to settle for the status quo but to work with others to make things better. Books have the power to change people. I don’t just say this as some axiom I heard once. I say it because I know from experience. Books have changed me. They have made me a better person. I’ve learned a lot. I’m more compassionate because I see things from another’s perspective. I’m more aware of the suffering of others and the injustices in this world. I’ve learned to be grateful for all I have been given. There are so many ways that books have made me better. I want the same for those who read my books. I don’t want to waste my opportunity to include in my books, concepts of love, friendship, standing up for the underdog. I won’t beat readers over the head in a preachy, judgmental way, but mixed in with the action will be many ideals such as justice and honesty.
These are just some of the things I’ve thought of this week when I’ve thought about all the hard work I’ve put into this endeavor. It’s something I think of when I feel like quitting. I want to help make this world a better place. I want a world safe and good for my sons to live in. Writing a book may seem like a small thing to do, but it’s something I can do. So I will take my chance. I will work hard. I won’t give up. And if nothing else, I will set an example for my children, for those around me, for anyone who will listen. So no matter how many rejection letters I may get. No matter how many times I have to re-write my query letter. No matter how many hours I have to spend, I won’t stop until I’ve achieved my goal. I will change the world, even if it’s only my own little corner of the world. I also want to encourage all my writer friends out there. Remember that when you write your stories you have the opportunity to make things better. Don’t take the responsibility lightly. And for those of you who are a little shy about your writing, remember that stories are written to be read. Be bold, be a world changer, even if it’s only for your own little corner of the world.
Until next time!