The tongue can get us into a lot of trouble. Words come out unedited. When my publisher for my Titanic book came to spend the day at my book signing at the Titanic Display in Pigeon Forge, TN, she and her husband took me and my friend out to dinner.
The conversation turned to books being read and written and I looked at the publisher’s husband and asked, “Do you read or write?”
He said, “I do both.”
Oh, I felt so ridiculous, having wanted to make a good impression as an intelligent, successful author. I failed.
Fortunately, everyone laughed good-naturedly, knowing I was referring to the writing process which requires a lot of both.
But that reminds me of the many times (every time) that I’m trying to write my story in a way the reader will enjoy, I feel like a failure.
A while back I emailed my agent with the words, “Everyone is going to find out I’m not really a writer.”
He emailed back, “Ha. Ha. When that email came in, I was on the phone with another client who was saying the exact thing, that she’s not a writer and never will be.”
I’m now writing my 54th novel. But only once in this writing business, did I ever feel like a “real” writer during the process, and that was with my 50th novel, Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic. From the time the editor said, “Yes, if you can do it in a short period of time,” I wrote the first draft, 120,000 words in six weeks and it required very little editing. My craft and creativity came together in a remarkable way. I felt it flowed.
All the others have required work, and time, and change, and editing and wondering if I’m a real writer. After each book is finished, I’m surprised that the effort came together and I can remind myself that I am a writer, one who works hard in this profession.
When I begin reading a book, I think of all the time and effort that went into getting those words down and realize again how much effort this and any profession requires. And I’m so grateful for readers.
I can read. I can write. And am so glad I don’t have to “speak” my novels.
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