Just Keep Writing
Several years ago, I was attending an event where author, blogger, military spouse, mom, and wife Sara Horn was speaking. She is the first actual published author I had ever met in person, and sitting there, she and I clearly had so very much in common, and I was nearly jumping out of my skin to pick her brain after she wrapped up.
I admit I was nervous. (I am ALWAYS nervous!) I had just begun blogging, writing the first hundred or so words of my Mythnium novel, and working as a Freelance Writer. I knew that I was not only amateur, I was so inexperienced, I didn't even know the questions to ask that would benefit me the most. Granted, I knew she was not the kind of person who was going to laugh in my face or tell me to get lost, but at the same time, I feared that she must be approached by hundreds of people like me wanting to get her sage advice, and that she would not be as authentic in her answer to me as I hoped.
Still, I was determined to get some face-to-face time. After she was finished, we were all lined up to thank her, have her autograph our books, and go about our merry ways. Finally, it was my turn to talk to her, and I went completely blank.
Like - I had NO IDEA what I wanted to ask or say. She smiled at me. And she waited. And I finally found the words. I don't remember exactly what my question was, but I remember how she made direct eye contact with me, and I remember her exact answer.
"Just keep writing. Even when it is hard. Even when you don't think you have anything to say. Even when you don't want to. Just keep writing."
Simple. Complex. Hard as heck. The easiest thing to do some days. Like climbing Mt Everest on others.
I remember blinking at her in surprise. I guess I was expecting her to break out a chart of daily activities I needed to do, or maybe recommend a class or seminar or something, so when she didn't, I felt a little deflated. I remember shaking her hand and thanking her, and moving on.
It was not till later, as I sat down to write for a class I was taking that I ruminated over her words. I wrote them down and I stared at them. These words were echoes from writing groups and authors I talked to on Facebook. For as simplistic as I felt her advice was, those words were genuine and honest from her, and they were engraved in my memory. Over the years following that meeting, I have gone back to her advice, and gone back, and gone back, and pushed forward learning hard lessons and celebrating tiny victories along the way.
I am not the author that will push out stories and books consistently like clockwork, like so many other authors appear to do these days. However, I WILL complete my book one day, and I will complete more short stories. And the World of Mythnium will entertain and enthrall someone somewhere just as it does me... because I will "just keep writing."
***If you are a Military Spouse looking for inspiration and word of encouragement, I encourage you to seek out Sara Horn's website and her books.