Since my internet is basically on the fritz today, I couldn’t post the post I wanted to. But in the hight of a little panic, clarity comes in an unusual way.
I’ve met a lot of new authors this year and seen plenty new one pop up in our community. And yet I still believe this post is as relevant as it was when I did my very first post on Love Bytes back in October of 2015. New authors, even seasoned ones can all take something away from this. And I’ve reread this post, seeking places where I could add something more, and yet, I fond myself, not being able to add anything new because this still rings true almost two years later.
The evolution of a writer.
Once I could write 10k words in a day, it was easy, a puff in the wind.
Now, it’s torture to write 1k.
Why? I ask myself every time, and I know the answer all too well.
It’s not writer’s block, or laziness, it’s not the lack of inspiration or motivation. On the contrary, it’s the opposite.
I have grown as writer, with each piece of writing, each batch of manuscript edits I get back, I mature as a writer.
They say authors need to read a lot, yeah, I agree, to some extent.
There is no better learning curve than writing itself.
Before, in the happy days, when I could master 7-10k words in a day, I didn’t actually think what I was writing, what I was saying. I just wrote. Now, I weigh each word, I contemplate each sentence, I think about what I’m trying to say, and scrape out the different pros and cons to all the different ways one sentence can be written. Sometimes it’s not what we say, but how we say it.
Writing is never easy, as authors we pour time, tears and frustration into each manuscript, and it’s even harder to say I have evolved from my writing, or my writing has evolved.
Can you actually say; you have evolved, matured in your writing, in your craft as an author? It’s a question I wonder if most authors ever ask themselves.
I’m not talking about the words you use to misspell, or the grammar mistake one use to make, neither about your increasing vocabulary.
Can you take two of your books, completely strip them of cover, title, and author name, and hand two blank cover books to your readers then have them say, “These two books were written by two different authors, that these two books each have their own individuality.”
Sure, one could say, the characters are different, the setting, the plot, tempo, and the theme is different, but again, I’m not speaking about those things.
Authors tend to have little trends that sometimes transpires through every piece of writing they put out. It could be something as simple as tropes, one of the characters is always a virgin or if not, they have gone through such a traumatic experience that when they do end up in bed with the love interest, they treat it as their first time.
Or, in every book the MC talks about their special place, away from everyone else, where they could live their lives cut off from the world, a little sanctuary just for themselves.
Or it could be the rhythm of your writing, two alpha males rut, and there’s sexual tension leading up to some big climax and they end up together, fast past, roars and growls, “You’re mine, but I really don’t want you, up until the end, when I can’t resist you anymore.”
Can you point out yours without having to go look for them?
Does all your books have the same trend to them, the same phrases, the same sayings, the same rhythm? Do you swap out old cliché for your own versions of them? Do you slow down one tempo of a book and speed up another?
Surely, any author can go and say, oh, yeah, my writing has evolved, look at my first published work compared to my latest published work, but can you go and say; I evolved from my last released to my latest one? Not that simple, is it?
One really has to dig deep in our self and our writing to find the answers, they should be there, and you just need to pinpoint them… because if you can’t, there is something wrong.
You will see throughout my whole rambling, I never once mention what the maturating is. That is because each author’s maturity will be different, it’s something only you can answer yourself.
There is no right or wrong answer about this. There is only your conclusion.
But the answers all exhibit the same reaction:
It’s nice to get praises from reader, lovely five-star reviews reflecting how well our books are written, or how much our reader love them with their words of praise.
There is no greater reward, than actually being able to self recognize our own worth, our own achievements, our talents. It’s all-consuming, empowering and uplifting experience and feeling.
But remember, writing is journey, not only of discovery, but self discovery. In my writing career I never once stop learning, and I don’t want to, because I fear the day when I do, my writing career will come to an end.
Go back, go look for an old, first, unedited draft, print it out, go sit in a corner and read it. Look at the mistakes you made, and hear your brain go into overdrive as you tell yourself; This could have been written so much better, this could have been said so much easier, and WTF is that? This does not make sense, what the hell was I thinking. And be thankful for the journey writing has taken you on. For the lessons you’ve learned, for the way in which you have grown and matured, not just as an author but as a human being .
Another way to see self growth in writing, is to keep a book diary, write a story, one chapter at a time, after each book you’ve publish, and see how the chapters mature over time. See how your writing grows.
This is a self journey of discovery, one we will understand and appreciate only within ourselves.
I want to leave you with something. It’s a quote that I live by, in every aspect of my life.
“The perfect being, huh? There is nothing in this world that is truly “perfect”. Though it may be a rather large cliché, it is still the truth. It is the ordinary people who look up to “perfection” as an ideal and seek after it. But in truth, what is this idea of “perfection” truly worth? Nothing. Not a single thing. I detest “perfection”. To be “perfect” is to be unable to improve any further. There would be no scope for “creation”, not a single gap in one’s knowledge or one’s ability. Do you see now? To true scientists like you and I, “Perfection” is tantamount to “despair”. We aspire to reach greater levels of brilliance than ever before, but never, NEVER, to reach perfection. That is the paradox through which we scientists must struggle. Indeed, it is our duty to find pleasure in that struggle. In other words, the second you allowed yourself to spout a ridiculous word like “perfect”, in truth, you had already been defeated. That is if you wish to be treated as a scientist.”
Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Bleach manga; Chapter 306. Not Perfect is GOoD by Tite Kubo.
It as simple as replacing “scientists” with; me, you, us, author, writer, mother, father, brother sister, friend.
About Wulf Francu Godgluck.
They come to me in the night, creeping into my head. Their voices are all different, their stories all dissimilar, but they keep saying the same thing…
“Show us, tell us to the world. Bring us into yours, and make us known.”
Then I sit and they take over. They tell their tales of love, loss and sinister misfortune, not all of them get a happy ending, but they are pleased when their part is written.
I sometimes find myself lost in my own mind; a world very similar to our own yet so different. Things don’t go bump in the night—they squeal, and crawl under your skin, making you grind your teeth, and your stomach turn over and put your nerves on edge. Then there’s the drama. Oh, the drama!
I write because I must! There is so much inside of me that needs to get out. So many stories to tell, characters that want to be heard, and hearts lost and won. Words and art are my way of bringing my world to others. I enjoy telling tales of the human condition but working in elements of the supernatural. Werewolves, Vampires, Zombies, Witches and the unexplainable all set against the human world or worlds of their own.
I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, grew up in a working class family and enjoy writing, cooking and spending my husband’s money! Yeah I’m a cocky little brat too 🙂 (and proud of it, spankings included.)