Monday, 7 December 2009
The Golden Opportunity for Unpublished Writer
As I was sitting in the bus today, brainstorming a script idea for my WB assignment, the thoughts behind the title of this post came to me. I have never attempted a script before. While I don't mind trying it, my dream remains to write books. But I am glad that I am going to try this. Just as I am glad that I have tried poems, short stories of various genres and novels in various genres. This is the golden opportunity we have as unpublished writers. Currently, we don't have any writing income so we don't expect it. However you are paying the bills, it doesn't depend on the story you write. So right now, you have the freedom to try whatever the hell you want. You have the freedom to experiment. See if you find yourself falling in love with a genre or a form that you never considered before. If your book gets published tomorrow (congratulations), it's fantastic, and possibly your dream come true. But with that publication, there will be expectations. Your agent/publisher/reader will want to see similar things from you - unless you write mainstream fiction. Yes, you can write different things and you can diversify, but I don't think you can do that after just one book. You need to give people a chance to recognize your name as a brand name. So if your first book is a mystery, the chances are, everyone wants your second book to be a mystery too. But what if you suddenly fancy writing a science fiction? Well, you can't. At least not without spending a whole lot of extra time, because you have got a deadline for a mystery novel. But right now, while you are unpublished, you can write absolutely anything you want. You can take the time to decide what you enjoy writing most. You can take the time develop ideas that might not go anywhere, or even take the time to find new ideas even though you already have fifty of them waiting. So my point behind all the rambling is that as much as we want to get published, let's not forget to enjoy this period of being unpublished. The analogy that comes to mind is about single people - ok fine, single women - who worry a lot about finding the right man before a certain clock stops that they forget to enjoy the freedom of single life. When you are married, you will have the experiences of married life, so while you are waiting for the right man to come along, you might as well have fun being unattached. Same thing with writing. Publication will bring its own joys and pains, but until then, enjoy the journey to publication. Learn. Grow. Experiment. WRITE.