When I first "started writing", and I'm not sure at what moment in time that officially was, I also wasn't sure why I was doing it at all? I think the very first notion I had as to why I began to write was likely just a personal challenge to myself to see if I could do it. We often ask people who do things that we consider odd, dangerous, or extreme in terms of effort and perseverance why they do the things they do? Most will reply with something cryptic, like when the mountain climber proclaims "because it was there".
For myself I'm a very curious person. I like to know what my limitations are, and I like to imagine myself doing things that most would not consider doing. I can sometimes find myself in a bit of trouble as my appetite for pushing my personal growth seems to never be satisfied. At one point I felt good just because I had begun. Then I felt better when I reach the word count for a full length novel, even though only I had read it. Eventually I finished the book, and began to share it with hopes of nothing more than having someone other than myself enjoy it. As it turns out more than a few people have enjoyed it, and I hope over time the number will grow substantially.
I'm very likely (almost assuredly) never going to get rich off this. I'm probably never going to make a full time living off it either. In fact as of this very moment from a financial view point if you (or my fairy godmother) told me I'd break even, I'd be pleasantly surprised. So there needs to be something more to it. Something to keep me pushing through all the hours I've devoted to a "hobby", and the hours I've worked at my real job to finance the hobby.
Fortunately I found out what this is very early on. It's J.B. Lexington (pen name) who I've know since the fifth grade but lost touch with until recently. It's L.K Elliot, a fellow FriesenPress author, it's about Kelly Armstrong the well known author, and JJ Sherwood, who I had no idea existed only a few weeks ago. Basically it's about the people, the places, and the life experiences.
J.B. Lexington is someone from my past who is now a published author (Forever Eve). She has gone to great lengths to help me with my dreams, as she chases her own. L.K Elliot is someone with enthusiasm and passion I've never seen anywhere else in my life. She radiates such positive energy that the rest of us can charge our own batteries just by following her journey. Kelly Armstrong is the first really big name author I've met. I met her in a very small Canadian town while she spoke to a small group of her fans. This experience reminded me that there are still people in this world who never forget the rest of us no matter how much personal success they find. And then there's JJ Sherwood. A total stranger who while trying to manage a huge fundraising event of her own stopped, and took the time to explain to me what exactly was going on.
That's what I love about this writing thing. It's the little things you don't expect, it's the people you never knew you'd meet, and the places you never imagined you'd find yourself.
Everyone who has ever read or written, and I don't mean as a profession, I mean at any level for any purpose has likely had a dream of finding their way out of the mundane life they currently live. For that matter it's really not even about writing. For some it's art, for others music or acting, and for many it's some great invention that will change the world. I think our dreams aren't always about wealth and power (though theses things are often included in our dreams). It goes back to basic survival, that feeling we have deep inside us to know that things are going to be OK.
The problem is when things are "OK" we run dangerously close to being "not OK". Our dreams of grandeur, and glory might really not be such self centered aspirations as they appear even to ourselves. They might in fact be nothing more than the desire to know that OK will always be, OK. The big trick of course is in figuring out how to make these glorious dreams become reality, even in some lesser version of themselves. The people who really have it figured out are the ones born with surnames like Gates, or Trump, or perhaps Hilton, although some with these names have managed to somehow create their own struggles where there need not be any.
I recently looked to someone who has had great success in my chosen arena of dreams Mr Steven King. A man who I'm not sure where you've been the last thirty years if you haven't heard of him even if you've never picked up a book. I thought why not use Mr King as a role model? He certainly has found the formula and all I need to do is whip up a fresh batch of the same for myself. I picked up his book "Steven King on Writing" based on the advice of my friend James from FriesenPress. What I found odd at first, although now it makes perfect sense was that in his book on how to write, Mr King spent little of the first third of the book saying anything about writing.
The book instead focused on his own life story. His is a story filled with very ordinary and humble beginnings, hard work, passion, a bit of luck, and no shortage of demons. His story was really very similar in many ways to so many others that have found success. First he enjoyed the process of doing what he loved (writing), and would have done so without and fame or fortune. He was willing to take chances, and make mistakes, he admits to a great number of them. Above all Steven King is someone with great work ethic and perseverance. His work ethic goes beyond writing. It includes doing whatever he needed to do to pay the bills. His perseverance goes beyond the many rejections he received for his writing, and includes his personal battles with drugs and alcohol. He did have a bit of luck here and there, but I'm a believer in making your own luck, and I think Mr King certainly made most of his own. I think Mr King would agree that luck is not out there looking for you, so you better be on your feet and out there looking for it.
This my friends is why I headed out several weeks ago on foot with a back pack over my shoulder filled with books, and bookmarks. I had a single water bottle and was loaded up for a long walk on a hot day among people who didn't know me, or likely have any interest in my personal dreams. As it turns out by days end some did show some interest, one bought a book right then and there, and another seemed to genuinely feel like she had met someone who had done something special. I wasn't out making millions (around $3 was the real actual total before expenses), I wasn't getting famous that's for certain. I was out there getting dirty, getting some sweat on my brow, and my back. I was out there enjoying the process and trying to be in the right place and time for a little luck to find me, or for me to find it.
The Blog of Timothy Weatherall
Timothy Weatherall is a fiction fantasy writer from Ontario, Canada.
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