As an aspiring author, nothing is more satisfying that receiving a good review of my work, and I’m sure you’re the same.
This article doesn’t just apply to writers, but to everyone. If you’re someone who has a passion for doing absolutely anything, then read on.
It took me years to figure out what I was good at. From a very young age, the idea of being an author seemed like a good one, yet, I didn’t know exactly what that was – yes, I knew it meant writing, I knew an author was someone who created a book, but I had no idea what the ingredients were for being a writer.
It wasn’t until Year 9 (you must forgive me, but I don’t know the US Grade equivalent) that my teacher pointed out just how creative I was. I was always pretty bad at English, both language and literature, but I always loved creating thing. At Primary school, even creating a new game entertained me for days on end. In year 9, it was pointed out to me that I had a talent for creating stories.
Naturally, this excited me more than anything else. Finally, I thought to myself. Yes, finally! Finally, I was good at something… at least I thought I was. Little did I know, that I was far from a good writer at the time.
I remember speaking to my cousin about writing. She pointed out that the best way to become a full-time writer was to enter competitions, to get myself on the map. That certainly is one way of doing it. So, we found a competition known as “Wicked Young Writers”, and the best thing was that the deadline was only a week or to away, so my waiting time wouldn’t be too long.
I immediately go to work on my very first story, “The Baby In The Winter”. The word limit was only 750 words, but that was enough for me. I finished it within a day, and the feeling I felt was second to none. Finally, I was a writer. I had finished something I set my mind to, and the emotions were very rewarding.
Alas, I didn’t make it into the final. My emotions were dragged down to the depths of my heart, turning cold and sour. But I didn’t give in. Next year! I thought to myself, and indeed, next year, I tried again. This time, I tried something a little different: I wrote something similar to a previous winner of the competition – a fan fiction. It became apparent to myself that I had a fascination with dark literature, bleak, cold and unforgiving.
The story I wrote that year was was a much deeper and darker version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I saw a huge change in my writing style. It was fuller, bolder, and far more descriptive than the last. I had learned what a paragraph was (somehow I missed that lesson in school…), and I understood the fabrics of a story.
Alas, that year, I didn’t get in again. I began to lose hope. Maybe my writing simply wasn’t good enough? Yes and no. My writing was solid, but it lacked originality. I understood how to write, but I was missing the one thing that makes a story stand out – NEW. I was missing my own ideas, failing to see past the curtains; there was a good story there, but it wasn’t what I wanted to write, no, it was what I thought others wanted to read.
The third year soon came by, and this time, my story was strong, original, what I wanted to read. I persevered. I had hope this time. I had actually sat down and thought it through, it was my own story.
That year, and the year that followed, I got into the top 20 in the country. I didn’t win, but it was something.
Dedication. That’s what I learned. Most people fall at the first sign of failure. I almost did, but I didn’t let myself fall. I took it upon myself to never accept no as an answer, and it paid off. Now, my mind knows no limits.
Failure is the sole reason we persevere. If we succeed in everything that we do, we’ll never learn anything. When faced with failure, know that it isn’t a step back, but a ladder. It’s not going to be easy to make it to the top, it will take time, a very long time, but the end goal will never change, so long as you learn from your last step.