Friday, March 15, 2013

Encouraging Words

When you write those first words - be they scawled in pen or typed by nimble fingers - how do you know it's going to work out? Do you remember the first time you sat down to write a story, how it felt to enter into something partly revealed, wondering if the whole thing is going to come together?

For me the stories that worked were the ones that kept pulling me in, stories that felt like they were already told and I was tasked with getting them all in one piece. That was a long time ago, and those stories were written in pencil for my grade school teacher. As I got older, the tales got complexer, and that same instinct to go in and discover the tale as a whole led to a mess, and lots of despair.

I tried and failed and tried and failed, then tried some more. I didn't give up. Looking back, I wonder if I ever had a choice. It's a bit like being a kid, with a wall between me and an endless land of chocolate-covered houses.

Eventually, I made it over that wall, only to find there are no chocolate mansions or ice-cream rivers. However, the world of writing is strange and wonderful, endless and intriguing, and with the skill to explore it that I've cultivated over those many years of jump-jump-jumping, I'm more than eager to skirt a perilous canyon or two - the view is more than worth it.

For those of you who want to succeed at writing, if it's in your heart to do it, then you will. Being a good writer is not about a talent or an aptitude, it's about a yearning; the truth is, "good writer" is something you are constantly becoming, not something you are. Talents and skills are great, but those things without experience and the gray hues of wisdom are chaff in a bonfire. It's committment that counts, and under all that, a real love for what you do.

If you love stories and the words that knits their sinews together, then keep loving and keep building. Never give up - not just because you might be close to success, but because, in truth, every time you sit down to develop this wonderful thing called story, success it all around you.

Graeme Brown is a Winnipeg author and line editor for Champagne Books. He writes epic fantasy, with his first story, The Pact, due for release this May. He is a frequent blogger and a tweeter, and a full-time math student.


Big Mike said...

Whats amazing is how your muse improves with each story. I have received 5 star reviews from the first novel, yet even I can note the clear progression to more enveloping, more realistic stories, more powerful and gut ripping characters. Unless you fight the natural evolution of your skill, its inevitable to evolve. Even have my "read all your books" readers note the continual improvement. And that's a good thing, not bad. So, be all you can be, don't fight the learning curve.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

It's very true you have to study, practice and evolve. A good ear, a better memory and the ability to become absorbed in your story will get you as far as you can go. oning will take you ever closer.

linda_rettstatt said...

Great blog, Graeme. I wanted to write for years before I finally started. Something always seemed to stop me--probably fear and self-doubt disguised as something else. When I finally began to write, the words just flowed--confirmation that this was my passion.And, yes, like any other art form, we learn and improve as we go

Liz Fountain said...

Very true - the real reward is in the creative process itself; and if even one reader loves it, that's icing on the cake. Even if that reader is myself!