AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: PART 1
Imagine writer’s block equivalent to three feet deep steel-reinforced concrete. Before I completed and published my first novel, almost every time I sat down to write, that’s what stared back at me instead of my notepad or monitor. Concrete.
You see, I was one of those authors brimming with creativity but, like the cartoon, sat for hours in a room surrounded by crumpled paper.
I wondered. Why is writing so hard? I’ve written poetry and short stories since childhood. I won scholarships in English Literature. So, when I tried to write my first novel, why did my words, so clear and inspired in my mind, fall mangled, lost or broken on the written page?
As a child I knew (or thought I knew) that one day I would write books. You can imagine my depression when I considered the prospect that I could not write a book. I cannot count the times I screamed, “If it’s this hard to write a book, it’s obvious I’m not an author!” Yet, I kept writing. I tried everything. I wrote with my eyes closed. I’d pull words I’d made with a label maker from a box, dropping them on my desk in some wild hope they would inspire me. I even bought an expensive and, I hoped, magic pen to help me write through concrete.
Worse, I tried to quit writing. God knows, I tried. During those turbulent writing years, if I’d had the money, I would have hired a hit on my writing muse.
But I couldn’t stop writing. Cruel world! Was my writer’s life some bizarre Pit and the Pendulum where, if I stopped writing, I might save myself from the ghastliness of the pit, and yet, plagued, driven by my writer’s muse, my fate might be worse ― to stare above me, horror-stricken, as a swinging, razor sharp and descending blade permanently edited me before a book editor?
Happily, I did not ‘off’ my writer’s muse. Now, having published several award-winning novels, I can look back to what helped me overcome writing obstacles, and look forward to more books to come.
I hope the following points help you with your writing.
• As the saying goes, “Don’t think. Write.” In hindsight, thinking while I wrote was my worst writing offense. I was one of those authors that as soon as my first words hit the page, I’d stumble into editing mode, killing my creativity and stifling my muse. Try it if you don’t already do this. Just write. Don’t worry about what comes out – even nonsense. Keep writing. Eventually, it’s the only way you will discover your writing voice. Editing comes later.
• If, like me, you’ve felt you’re destined to be an author ― you are. Have confidence. Most people have no idea what talent and commitment it takes to write a book so if you’re thinking of writing a book or writing one you already stand high above the crowd.
• There’s no writing formula that works for everyone, but what Ray Bradbury taught me helped my writing:
- Write during the same hours each day
- Write in the same place
- Surround yourself with what inspires you. When Ray hit writer’s block, he’d reach out to his cluttered desk, pick something up ― maybe a plastic dinosaur or astronaut ― and, after a moment’s reflection, start writing. If you’re surrounded by what inspires you, whatever you look at or pick up will inspire you.
Make sense? Whether yes or no, stop reading and get writing.
Frederic Perrin is the author of Rafi’s Song and the Stones of Erebus (Mom’s Choice Awards/Eric Hoffer Award), Rella Two Trees ― The Money Chiefs (Mom’s Choice Award) and Jordan Wilde ― The Devil’s Hoof Prints. In his author’s journey, he was also the creative director and final editor for American Idol’s commemorative book, Backstory and Season 9 Highlights, creative director for school yearbooks featured on the television series, Glee and a General Manager at Friesens book manufacturing.
Today, he is writing two new books, publishing young children, and helps fiction and nonfiction authors write, edit and publish books.
COMPANY:Author, Creative Director and General Manager
SHORT BIO:Frederic Perrin is the author of Rafi’s Song and the Stones of Erebus (Mom’s Choice Awards/Eric Hoffer Award), Rella Two Trees ― The Money Chiefs (Mom’s Choice Award) and Jordan Wilde ― The Devil’s Hoof Prints.