By Robin Kaye
Last weekend I spoke at my local library about writing, my path to publication, my books, and the general state of publishing. I’m told I had a great crowd, which amazed me because there were only about 10 people in attendance, all of whom I knew. Still, it was a lot of fun to have the opportunity to speak to crowd who was actually interested in what I had to say.
The best part was when my favorite librarian got off from work early to join the group. She regaled everyone with the story of how I would come into the library a few days a week, check out a gazillion books and tell her about the book I was writing.
I remembered how much fun I had writing my first book. I had three small children at home and had moved across the country to a place where I had no friends or family. I came to writing through a back door, or so I like to think. I felt as if I needed to write. I needed the creative outlet that writing gave me. It never occurred to me that anyone else would be interested in reading what I had written until someone I respected asked to read my work. I didn’t think much of it, so I emailed my tome to her. She loved my story and urged me to have it published. I’ll never forget my shock. Someone actually seemed to enjoy what I had written as much as I did.
I’ve found that most people, at some time in their lives, want to write a book. I hear it all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I should write a book about somebody’s life. I usually thank them and explain that no one but them could possibly do it justice. If they have a story to tell, they should be the one to tell it.
Writing a book is a daunting task. You not only have to write a book that you would enjoy reading, but that others would want to read as well. All writers have to be self confident enough to believe that other people would find their thoughts interesting. Then they actually have to sit down and do the work. Facing that blinking cursor every day is usually enough to cure anyone of the need to write. But it that doesn’t get you, then there’s the uphill battle to get the manuscript you’ve poured your heart and soul into published. Putting out there to face rejection, revision if you’re lucky, and finally the reviews.
Speaking at the library Saturday and seeing the pride in my sweet librarian’s eyes when she told my story made me realize, yet again, how lucky I’ve been to achieve my dream of publication. I admit to being an overnight success. I know I’ve yet to hit the Times list, the USA Today list, or any other list for that matter, but the four years in which I worked toward publication is considered an overnight success.
I can’t say if I’d have had the tenacity to write and pursue publication for 25 years, as I know some have before being published. I do know in my heart that I would have never stopped writing. It’s something that is necessary to my life. The fact that I’m lucky enough to have been published is just icing on the cake.
What about you? For those writers out there, how did you come to writing? For those of you who want to write, what’s keeping you going? Or what’s stopping you from telling your story? If I had a wish for all of you, it’s to have a revelation the likes of which I had Saturday. It was a wonderful experience to look at my journey through someone else’s eyes and rediscover my love for what I do, and what I would continue to do, even if I never had reached my goal.