Lesson From Other Writers

One of the things that has helped me to carry on with my personal journey of writing a novel is to read about the struggles of other authors, especially established authors. I have yet to hear a writer who claims it has been an easy ride all throughout. While self-doubt may not be an issue to some, yet, moments of discouragements and the occassional spectre of a writer’s block are realities that a writer has to deal with all through the creative process. I read that Harper Lee, the creator of the classic “To Kill A Mockingbird”, had, at one time, wanted to destroy her manuscript at a moment of frustration with the story and her own slow progress.

So when recently I realized that I needed to revise some parts of my novel for the second time, which means I’m now writing its third draft, that would have been enough reason for me to think of throwing away the whole dream into the trash. But then I remembered the author Khaled Hosseini (author of “The Kite Runner”) who said that in the course of writing his second novel he had changed it (partly, I presumed) five times! Then, in an interview with J.K. Rowling (of the Harry Potter fame), the famous author admitted it took her 5 years (!) to complete the first Potter book. Hmm, how many times then did she change or revise her manuscript within that relatively lengthy period of time when that book was no more than 300 pages long?

It’s liberating for me once I realized these facts. It’s been two and a half years ever since I started writing my book and still there’s no end in sight. While I shouldn’t be unnecessarily sluggish with my writing, I told myself that I should simply focus on achieving my goal. So, I discovered that there are at least three P’s a first-time author must not lose along the way: Passion, Patience, Perseverance!

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About jptecson

An aspiring writer of fiction, currently working, or should I say, attempting to write his very first novel...
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2 Responses to Lesson From Other Writers

  1. Chris Neal says:

    I read yesterday that the manuscript for The Help (best seller and soon a movie too) was rejected 60 times before finally being accepted for publication. In that time a friend of the author’s had read it, decided it would make a great film and wrote the screenplay. I guess the moral of the story is, get a thick skin and keep plugging away at what feels right.

    • jptecson says:

      Hi Chris, thanks for your comment and for sharing this story. It is always encouraging to hear such stories, helps me to resolve to “get a thick skin” as you say it. And, yes, I’ll keep plugging at it because it does feel right to me to write this book to the finish, no matter what…Good luck to your own endeavors! Thanks again…

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