Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday's Words for May 19, 2010

I’m about to do something this week that I can honestly say I have never done before. On Friday I will visit our local High School, where I will speak to the creative writing class about the writer’s life.

I know this prospect would unnerve a lot of people. It would have terrified me several years ago. Fortunately I’ve reached that point in my life where things of this nature don’t make me nervous. I am who I am, and you can take me or leave me.

That’s not to say I’ve not been thinking long and hard about what I’m going to say to a room full of 17 and 18 year-old budding novelists. I’ve been giving it a great deal of thought, in fact.

I once had a writing friend who attended a seminar given by a well-know Canadian author who is no longer living. I asked him what it was like, and he said that he’d survived it. That is to say, this noted raconteur did everything in his power to convince all the budding novelists who had paid darn good money to hear his words of wisdom that they were fooling themselves if they ever thought they could get published.

As you can surmise if you’re a reader of my essays, that is not what my message is going to be.

I believe in being positive, thinking positive and expecting positive things to happen. I’ve had both trauma and drama in my life, and a healthier than necessary dose of bad luck and things going wrong. But the way I see it, everyone does, and if I don’t surrender to the negative then it doesn’t matter how many times bad luck strikes. It will never truly win.

The teacher asked if I could share what my life as an author is like, and that’s easy enough to do. I really have the best job in the world. I get to go to work every day in my pyjamas, and if for some reason I don’t like my playmates, I can change them so that I do, or I can get new playmates altogether.

I truly believe there has never been a better time for becoming a published author. This medium of the Internet is changing constantly. When I published my first novel in 2007 it could be said that e-books were truly a niche market. That is changing, and changing fast. Now, most NY publishers have adopted a “publishing model” for producing e-books. Amazon is selling the Kindle by the hundreds of thousands, and more and more people are going “green” and choosing e-books over print.

Some people, I’ve been told, will only order print books of those e-books they particularly liked.

There are more opportunities today for authors who want to be published than ever before in all the history of human kind. That’s the message I want to give to those students. I want to tell them that the key to success in anything, is not giving up. I want to tell them, and have them believe, that they can do anything they set their minds to—but that doesn’t mean the road getting there will be easy.

I don’t know whether that message will get through, or fall on deaf ears. I can only do my best, and really, if you do your best, that’s all anyone—including you—can ask of yourself.

Now available, the final chapter in this series
Song of the Sirens 3: The Beauty

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