“To dream of a person you would like to be is to waste the person you are. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -–Mark Twain
Writers are alternately ecstatic and surly. When the pages fly by, we’re floating on a cloud of optimistic dreams. When the computer screen is blank, we snarl and curse anyone foolish enough to cross our path. Yet what we struggle with most is taking risks. Writing fiction is scary. Submitting that fiction is like stripping naked and exposing every flaw you’ve ever cringed over in the privacy of your own mirror.
Every writer has encountered, at least once, a person who snorted and with a haughty sneer proclaimed, “I could write a book if I wanted to.” Or the friends who try to hide their contempt behind a polite smile when they discover your literary aspirations lean more towards Bridget Jones than War and Peace. Who can blame us for nurturing our private fantasy of hitting the bestseller list and Proving Our Worth? Writing is a lonely business.
Taking risks leads to heart palpitations and makes writers prone to panic attacks. Yet risk is the foundation of art. There can be no progress without that terrifying leap into the unknown. There are no “write-by-numbers” book kits out there. You too can write Moby Dick! Just fill in the blanks and go. (Words included). Writing is a process of self-discovery as well as manual labor. Unless you push beyond the safe harbor, you’ll never tap into the deep water.
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ~Erma Bombeck
Life’s short, eat dessert first. Grab a fork and dig into that story!
And speaking of sweet treats… Author Misty Fanderclai’s Halloween story, Witches Anonymous is particularly yummy. Grab a piece of chocolate (you know you deserve it!) and savor the exciting conclusion.