I have a major block when it comes to blogging: Who am I that anyone want to hear what I have to say? But then I had an idea!
As of this date, I am an unpublished writer. As you can read in my bio, I don’t have a background in writing (other than creating my own adventures and worlds for D&D), I don’t have an established fan base, or ‘platform’ (this will be my first blog), and I have no formal training in . In essence, I am a newborn writer. So, why would anyone want to follow my story? Because I don’t believe I’m unique. I believe there are many others like me who have real talent, and have an amazing story to tell, but don’t know where to begin.
So…this is my story.
I have a finished manuscript (~150k words), the first book in a series, which is currently scouting the interwebs in search of representation and publication. This book will be my authorial debut, and I am very excited to see it on shelves one day. I’ve wanted to be a published author since the 4th grade, but I lacked the confidence to pursue it. It wasn’t until I was living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after two grueling years in combat that I made the decision to realize my dream. But I had a serious problem: How do you even start writing a book?
My first step was to write something. Anything. But even accomplishing that much was proving to be difficult. After three eternities (*maybe an hour or two) I was looking at my first piece of writing since high school that wasn’t for a D&D campaign I was running. I remember reading it over, catching my the few mistakes I’d made, and thinking, “Damn…that’s not bad!”
Then I sent it to my friend…
That’s when I realized I had a LOT of work to do. He suggested I subscribe to David Farland’s “Daily Kick in the Pants” for some writing tips. David Farland had just over 100 blogs at that time, and I read every single one, taking copious notes as I did. Farland, who teaches writing at BYU, said that the blog was great for people who wanted to take his class but didn’t want to pay for it, because he was blogging most of what he taught!
After a couple months of researching the craft (I continued reading Farland’s blog, and also read “Hooked”, by Les Edgerton, and “Characters and Viewpoints”, by Orson Scott Card), I returned to the piece of writing I sent to my friend with my newly trained mind.
It was crap!
It was worse than crap. I couldn’t believe I’d thought it was even remotely good. If I was going to continue to dream of publication, it was going to be a long, difficult road. Instead of letting that dissuade me, it renewed my determination. I didn’t think that I’d never be published; I thought to myself, “Self…that writing really sucked. But, for a first attempt at an actual story…it was pretty impressive. Imagine where you’ll be in a year!”
I admit, I still didn’t know what I was doing, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me. If dreams were easy, they wouldn’t be dreams.