Friday, March 15, 2013
When you write those first words - be they scawled in pen or typed by nimble fingers - how do you know it's going to work out? Do you remember the first time you sat down to write a story, how it felt to enter into something partly revealed, wondering if the whole thing is going to come together?
For me the stories that worked were the ones that kept pulling me in, stories that felt like they were already told and I was tasked with getting them all in one piece. That was a long time ago, and those stories were written in pencil for my grade school teacher. As I got older, the tales got complexer, and that same instinct to go in and discover the tale as a whole led to a mess, and lots of despair.
I tried and failed and tried and failed, then tried some more. I didn't give up. Looking back, I wonder if I ever had a choice. It's a bit like being a kid, with a wall between me and an endless land of chocolate-covered houses.
Eventually, I made it over that wall, only to find there are no chocolate mansions or ice-cream rivers. However, the world of writing is strange and wonderful, endless and intriguing, and with the skill to explore it that I've cultivated over those many years of jump-jump-jumping, I'm more than eager to skirt a perilous canyon or two - the view is more than worth it.
For those of you who want to succeed at writing, if it's in your heart to do it, then you will. Being a good writer is not about a talent or an aptitude, it's about a yearning; the truth is, "good writer" is something you are constantly becoming, not something you are. Talents and skills are great, but those things without experience and the gray hues of wisdom are chaff in a bonfire. It's committment that counts, and under all that, a real love for what you do.
If you love stories and the words that knits their sinews together, then keep loving and keep building. Never give up - not just because you might be close to success, but because, in truth, every time you sit down to develop this wonderful thing called story, success it all around you.
Graeme Brown is a Winnipeg author and line editor for Champagne Books. He writes epic fantasy, with his first story, The Pact, due for release this May. He is a frequent blogger and a tweeter, and a full-time math student.