Writers write not only out of want, but out of a need to release the stories inside their heads that beg to be written.
In today’s world, there are more writers and authors than ever. We live in a world where publishing a book is relatively easy, although the hard work that goes into writing one should not be undermined. Whilst there are tips and tricks that guide and unite every author, everyone has their own individual experience which belongs solely to them.
Sharing these experiences means we can give each other a sense of hope and help each other to improve. We are never perfect as writers and authors; even the best are still learning their craft. Whether 8 or 80, we’re all constantly learning how to improve, how to be better storytellers. The experiences of others can help teach us these skills, showing us how to write better stories and develop our creative selves.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. It began with stories written in indecipherable squiggles which soon became more readable stories and poems. These were, inevitably, a little rough around the edges but when I revisit them, I can see how spending all those hours scribbling made me a better writer. At the age of eight, I decided I wanted to be an author and began writing my first novel. It was in reality about ten pages long and strongly resembled Enid Blyton’s work. But that’s how we all begin, isn’t it, by being inspired by the ideas of others?
Famous authors have often spoken about the power of reading and how, to develop true writing craft, one must read many books. How else can literary skill truly be developed, other than by reading an array of novels? I believe that reading and being read to as a child partly sparked my desire to write and share with others the wonder I felt and still feel when reading a good book. Everyone needs that sense of escapism, whatever age, and being able to understand language is a great gift.
The process of becoming an author involves finding one’s own voice, but we must first learn from those who came before us. When we do find our voice, it is susceptible to change as we grow both as writers and as people. As a child, this voice changes more often and less consistently, but even when we are adults, it doesn’t simply stay still. Part of the beauty of being human is our ability to change the way we think and feel, however old we are. The more experiences we have, the stronger our voice can become.
During my mid-teens I started writing several novels, but the problem was that I kept growing up. By the time I looked back over drafts, my literary voice had developed and I was no longer satisfied with my previously childish tone. When I did eventually start writing a novel seriously, I was just beginning to find my own unique voice. It was only when I finished university that I completed the final edits and felt satisfied. Although my voice now continues to grow and change alongside me, its core values remain the same.
In all the years of writing and self doubt, deep down I never stopped believing that I would achieve my end goal. I often felt so close, but with the continual rejections that came with wanting to be published, it was difficult to see the hope. But when writing is a passion, through and through, giving up isn’t really a part of the picture.
Writers write not only out of want, but out of a need to release the stories inside their heads that beg to be written. I, like many authors, live part time in my imagination. Wherever I am, whoever I’m with, I’m always wondering how I could write what I’m seeing, how best to turn what I see into words. I wake up at night to take down notes and always have a notebook with me. The voice that cannot be silenced should not be silenced and must be allowed to break free.
The problem is that somewhere, we all assume that getting the dream should be easy. We look at others and think, ‘well, how did they do it?’ I still think that sometimes, but I know that everyone has their own challenges and their own journey. I have achieved my dream, but it took many drafts, rejections, tears, bouts of hopelessness and a huge amount of resilience to get here. And cruel doubts don’t just go away. They creep back with every setback and success. But they have to be managed and understood as part of the creative process.
So, to every writer out there, my message is don’t give up. There is no shame in rejection, in losing hope, in taking the time to pause and to rest. But I say this: if you are truly a writer, and if you want it enough, keep believing. Only you can make it happen, and you never know what lies around the corner.