Memoirs of a writer 2.
Have you ever written something really bad and felt like burning the very computer on which it was written in an attempt to completely erase the evidence of your poor talent? Well, I have-not destroyed my computers- but felt bad several times, but it never stopped me from writing some more. I saw this as a test by life, to see if I had what it took to be a writer and thankfully I passed the test. As a writer, focus and persistent effort at your craft are more important than having great talent. The really great writers are those who are devoted to their craft, not just the talented ones.
My first book was on singing and performance. Of all subjects, I chose the one that had a very limited market. I chose the one that would be tough to sell. I chose the one that could side-line me among writers. I chose the one that could fail in the market place. But I knew no better. There was no one to guide me, so I did the best I could in my situation. These days when I see the subject that some first time writers choose to tackle, I feel so sorry for them. When that book fails in the market place, as it eventually would, not because of lack of talent but because of an unwise choice of a subject matter, they will give up and pursue an unfulfilling career while the desire to write burns within their soul.
With hindsight I realise how risky the subject of that first book was but I was desperate to break free from the vicious cycle of going from one humiliating job to another. What made that book successful was my drive to sell it. I sold it like my life depended on it, and it did. I was like a lunatic dancing in the market square, without shame, without fear, just selling my book. I knew that if it failed in the market place, my future as a writer was doomed. I entered the market and pushed it until it started selling. Since then, I have learned to write what people are interested in and willing to buy and read.
If you want to write something good, you must keep writing to get to the core of your soul where the good stuff lies. Unless you are an exceptionally talented writer, your first pieces of writing may be discouraging or to put it harshly, depressingly bad. No matter how your initial works turn out, don’t give up on your writing. To become a good writer, you must first be a not-so-good-writer. To be good, you must write continually to remove all the dross, dirt, crap, from the treasure which lies within your soul. As you continue to write, you will reach the mine of pure gold in your soul. The words that flow out of your soul will amaze you. You will wonder, ‘Are these really my words?’ Yes, they are. To be a good writer, choose a subject matter that engages you, that stirs your soul, that comes from a place of your deepest convictions and values, that is when the really good stuff will begin to flow like a river of pure gold.