Today I was looking over a brochure Erin had picked up at Barnes and Noble last week. It was titled “Discover Great New Writers.” According to the brochure, “Established in 1990, the Discover Great New Writers program seeks out the best new literary talents from among the many books published each season.” Some of the authors who have been part of this program include Jodi Picoult, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Cornwell, Elizabeth Kostova, and Khaled Hosseini.
As an avid reader, it is easy to forget that the authors whose books we love to read all started out where I am right now: as an unpublished author hoping to get their story out to a mass market. Every author has to start at that place. None of us are born as a successful, published author. It’s easy to forget that when you look at the career of an author like Stephen King or Dean Koontz or Margaret Weis. Each of them has had 25-plus year careers with dozens of books to their credit. But at one time, they all started with zero books published and no one new who they were.
As an unpublished author working on finishing my first novel, it is easy to get discouraged at times and feel like you can never reach that goal. Those voices telling you it’s a waste of time or you aren’t as good as those people are simply manifestations of our own insecurities and doubts we all feel for varying reasons.
Whatever has happened in the past, that is just where it should stay – in the past. We can not allow ourselves to be held prisoner by the demons of our past. Nor can we allow ourselves to be lost in the hopeful dreams of the future. We must work hard every day to create the future that we are meant to achieve. It’s helpful every now and then to get little reminders that we all start at the same point and all we can do is work hard and try our best to make our dreams come true. These little reminders can help silence those voices for a little while at least.
We only live once, so whatever your dream may be, no matter how impossible it may seem, give it your all. Whether or not you “make it big,” you will be happier for trying, and who knows where your efforts will take you.