Several months ago, I had a meeting with someone whose opinions carry a well-earned level of respect in the writing and publishing industry. You may recall how that meeting affected my writing from the post it garnered. The hour I spent with this person served as both a reality check and a Karate-Kid-crane-kick to the pants that if I was going to succeed at this novel thing, I needed to up my game.
While I came away from that meeting somewhat dismayed by his reaction to the very rough draft of my manuscript, there was one very important take away I’ve hung on to ever since. As he laid waste to my story with his red pen, he asked me an important question. “Why do you want to write this book?”
The question caught me off guard. Perhaps because I hadn’t really given it that much thought until then. I knew I enjoyed writing. I knew that the feedback I was receiving on this blog proved that I had some skill at the craft, albeit raw and uncultivated. It seemed like the logical progression of a writer with aspirations to be published. But that wasn’t the answer he was looking for.
“Don’t tell me why you think you should write a book,” He said. “I want to know why you want to write this book.”
I thought about it for a moment and said, “Because I have this story to tell, and I believe it’s worth sharing.”
He smiled and nodded and told me that is the answer he was hoping I’d give. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned that day, was that a writer has to believe in the story he is telling. He has to feel like he needs to do whatever it takes to get that story out. That the story is important and that it deserves to be shared. Without that belief, without that conviction, the writing simply doesn’t stand a chance.
Since that day, the progression of this novel has moved slowly to say the least. As I’ve said before, sometimes life gets in the way and you have to take a step back and enjoy those moments of distraction. While I’ve put my novel on the back burner for some time now, it hasn’t changed my belief in the story. I still feel as strongly about it today as I did when I answered that question.
But you, my loyal readers, continue to stick around and encourage me whenever I’ve called upon you. The delays in my progress have disappointed me, but not for selfish reasons. I’m disappointed because many of you have asked about the book, cheered me on when I hit a rough patch, and expressed your excitement for its completion. I’m disappointed because this story I believe in so deeply, remains behind closed doors and unavailable to the very people who have led me to this point.
My goal is to begin pressing forward again, and while I have no timeline for completion, I can guarantee that if you stick around, there will be an end result for me to share with you. Of course I cannot guarantee you will enjoy it, but if you enjoy this blog, I have a good feeling you will. I have kept much of the details of my novel under wraps, hoping to build your anticipation before revealing any major details. However, it occurs to me sharing something, anything, about the story may help to keep your interest.
Some of you have asked me what the book is about. I’ve been closed lipped on the subject, but now seems like a good time to drop a few breadcrumbs on the path to keep you following along. So what it is about? Well, it’s difficult to answer that question in one all-encompassing sentence or paragraph. At the heart of the story is family. Family is the most important thing in this writer’s life and it was impossible for me to develop a story line that didn’t revolve around family.
It’s about the importance of family. It’s about the image that a family portrays to the world versus the truth that exists behind closed doors. It’s about giving in but not giving up. It’s about a boy and the shattered picture of what he believed was true and how the man he becomes faces the task of putting that picture back together.
In a world where entire sections of bookstores are devoted to supernatural romances and science fiction, this story will tell of the relationships and interactions of actual human beings and the emotions involved. My goal has always been to write a story that will make the reader feel something, something familiar and honest and real. I hope when all is said and done, that is exactly what you will say I’ve done. Thanks for sticking around friends…there’s more to come!