A few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine about being a writer. He is an aspiring writer like myself. Even though I have published a book I still call myself aspiring because I am so new to the process, I am an indie author with one charity book and one novel and because while it is probably outdated as a theory I still think of traditionally published authors differently than self published authors. The only reason I still feel that way is that I look at my first book and while it is fine for a debut novel I can easily see why it was rejected by traditional publishing houses. It wasn't good enough yet I was able to work with an indie publisher and get it published anyway.
Through the process I learned so many things that I wouldn't trade for the world but it simply opened my eyes to the level of work I have yet to achieve. I am not sure I am there yet though I am doing best to keep climbing. It is just a matter of practice and dedication for the most part. Getting to the point that I can sit down and write when I need to also took practice. When I first started I could be distracted by almost anything. I would use the excuse that I had to be in the right mood or that I was lacking inspiration. I struggled so much. I would write a small part of a scene, or the entire one if I was lucky but then I would have no idea where to go from there.
That is what my friend was telling me. He said that he feels like if he could just go off to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for a month with no distractions then he would be able to finish his book. I explained that I remember feeling that way and had tried it once. I wasn't gone for an entire month but I did lock myself away for nearly a week to dedicate myself just to writing. the problem I found was that the lack of distractions became a distraction on its own. It drove me crazy. I still tried but I wrote very little. In the end instead of creating my own work of art I sat back and read a few works by other artists instead.
It wasn't until a number of years ago when I set my mind to doing Nanowrimo that I discovered how to push past all the excuses and take control of my book. I finally had the moment that all new writers should be looking for, the time when the characters start talking and you can finally hear them. They take control telling the story they are meant to share. As the author all we have to do is sit back and let the words flow from their mouths through our fingers and onto the pages. We are a medium not necessarily the creators we all like to think we are. In time I learned to open up to the characters, to recognize the inspiration that was coming through from a character not yet spoken to. It is by allowing them to reach out to me then having an open mind to receive whatever message they have to share that my stories are born.
I tried to explain all of this to him but he has not had that moment. Until it happens it is difficult to imagine. I was talking about how a character had taken hold of me in order to tell me the entire layout of a story one time even using her name in the explanation when my friends looked at me as though I had lost my mind. To them I probably sounded like someone that should have been committed but for those that write it makes sense. We are a little off but in a good way. Writers a form of medium that can communicate with those that yesterday didn't exist and tomorrow could be a household name. We make contact and share what they have to say with the world. It isn't a bad way to spend the day.