My name is Steve Myers. I am an aspiring writer on a journey to publish my first book, then to springboard this into a writing career. And why not me? Why not you, for that matter? I have had the chance to hang out with famous authors like Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells. When they describe how they got started writing, they weren’t so different from where I am now, likely where you are as well.
I refuse to believe that becoming a published writer is something that one with sufficient drive, consistent effort to refine their craft, and a little luck can’t achieve. And don’t bother to tell me I’m wrong, because you’ll just see me putting my fingers in my ears and saying, “La! La! La!” You see, when I was 17 years old, I wanted to be a writer more than anything. I didn’t want to be an astronaut, engineer, or lawyer. I wanted to wrangle words for a living.
A lot of well-meaning people just didn’t want to see me disappointed. They warned me that there are a lot of people who never get published, that you can put in years of effort and never reap what you sow. But you see, it wasn’t their fault that I didn’t follow my dream. It was mine, because I listened to their advice. That was the better part of 30 years ago. Since then, I got a degree in electronics (a “good, reliable job”), learned to program, taught myself web development and graphics, and finally learned online marketing.
A big part of selling online has to do with creating effective sales copy. And “copy” is just another way of saying “writing.” So I have come full circle, through several solid, dependable jobs back to my first love, writing. I rediscovered that I love to hear the clickety-clack of fingers on the keyboard and dreaming up what I’m going to say next. I also found that I made those who employed me a lot of money, but for some reason, they didn’t want to share it with me.
So how did that take me the final step to writing a novel? Well, I’m going to credit my geometry teacher for that. I don’t even recall his name, but the way he droned on and on in a monotone voice taught me the one thing I hadn’t really learned up to that time, how to daydream. One particular daydream kept coming back and refused to let me brush it aside, a story about a regular teenage boy who learned that magic existed for real. Then one day, a guy my daughter was dating (later to become my son-in-law) told me that he had published a book. He encouraged me to do the same, and that was the final push I needed to begin.
I began by typing “Chapter 1” and then something strange happened. The words flowed. My character became real. His mom, girlfriend, and even his cat named “Kritters” came to life in my mind. What’s more, I learned that I loved the process. But most of all, I found that friends, family, colleagues, and even a professional writer liked what I created.
So that gave me the license, the excuse to call myself a writer. If you write, you too are a writer. A publisher doesn’t give you the title by crowning you with laurels. A monarch won’t touch your shoulders with a sword and name you, “Sir Scribbles.” You get the title of writer if you’re dedicated to the craft of spinning tales, dreaming out loud, with the ultimate goal of writing stories that keep your readers up way past their bedtimes.
As I said at the beginning, this is one writer’s journey. I hope you’ll come along for the ride, slaying your own personal dragons of doubt along the way and joining this fellowship. But I get to be Samwise Gamgee, because Frodo was kind of a whiner at times.
This blog will detail what I learn along the way. It will stand as a log of my stumbles, challenges, little successes, and ultimately of reaching my goal of becoming a published author. Because you see, I’m just too stubborn to give up. And in the words of Han Solo, “Never tell me the odds.” I get to believe what I want to, and to the nay-sayers, I can only point out the door and say, “Get out of my dream!” Let the journey begin…