So you can read my books

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Every novelist hits the point, sooner or later, where they think they just might not actually have any talent.

What do you do in that case? Should you just throw in the towel? Or muddle forward?

How do you know if you’re any good?

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how great their other talents.”
Andrew Carnegie

“Ten years from now, no one is going to care how quickly the books came out.

The only thing that will matter, the only thing anyone will remember, is how good they were.

That's my main concern, and always will be.”
George R.R. Martin

If you’re a discouraged writer, how can you tell whether you’re mediocre or destined for glory?

The bottom line is that you probably can’t.

You’re too close to your own career, and you can’t see what’s obvious to other people.

Other people can only tell you how THEY would write your novel. 

You must trust your dream, your own skill at whatever level it may be.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” 

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning. ”
Louis L'Amour

The bottom line? Write just to write.

Stephen King knows about fear. After he was infamously struck by a van in the summer of 1999,

he spent months in recovery with a fractured hip, a chipped spine, and cracked ribs.

Just sitting upright left him in excruciating pain. Meanwhile, his memoir and writer’s guide “On Writing” sat unfinished in a desk drawer.

“How was I supposed to write about dialogue, character, and getting an agent when the most pressing thing in my world was how long until the next dose of Percocet?”

 King wrote of the challenge he faced.

“Yet at the same time I felt I’d reached one of those crossroads moments when you’re all out of choices.

 And I had been in terrible situations before which the writing had helped me get over—

had helped me forget myself for at least a little while. Perhaps it would help me again.”

If he hadn’t made himself sit down to start writing again, Stephen King’s prolific career might have ended that July day.

But he did, and it didn’t.

“The pain in my hip was just short of apocalyptic,” King wrote.

“And the first five hundred words were uniquely terrifying—it was as if I’d never written anything before them in my life.

All my old tricks seemed to have deserted me.

I stepped from one word to the next like a very old man finding his way across a stream on a zigzag line of wet stones.

There was no inspiration that first afternoon, only a kind of stubborn determination and the hope that things would get better if I kept at it.”

King finished the book, and has published over 30 more since.

A not so famous author, Randy Ingermanson, wrote for 10 years before he sold one short story for $150 --

that's $15 a year or 3 cents an hour!

But the very next year, he sold both a non-fiction book and a novel.

You never know.  And that's the allure:

You never know.

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

After that, things can only get better.
Stephen King


  1. Fear is the mind killer, or something like that. . .
    I read S. King's book and how hard it was for him to recover. That would have been tough.

  2. D.G.:
    He certainly displayed courage, tenacity, and heart in his recovery. It really must have been tough!!

  3. HI, Roland,

    Man can I relate to King. I was struck with crippling arthritis in my mid 30's,,, bedridden for a year, wheel chaired for another... Crutches, walking like Quozimoto for years. Now... I'm back. Over a decade it took for me to walk normally. Sadly then, I wasn't a writer. But Kind is right... the pain consumes you and you live in limbo until you wake up and fight!

    And I still am. LOL. Now it's another battle.

    Have a great weekend my friend!

  4. So many great quotes. I think the one about you just being ready to start when you think you are done is the best. Or maybe the scariest time is before you start.

  5. If I am only a mediocre writer, well then, I'll just have to try to be the best damned mediocre writer I can be. I expect no fame or fortune, (Good thing!) but write for the sheer joy of it. Good reviews and pats on the back are the unnecessary, but much relished, cherries on top of our hot fudge sundaes.

  6. Michael:
    I am grieved to think you've gone through so much pain. Now, the eye.

    The battles never seem to end. Steel is sharpened by being filed. I am glad to see that filing has strengthen and sharpened you.

    Pain gives us tunnel-vision in which we can only "see" the pain.

    I pray this year brings you many happy surprises.

    Once you are in the middle of the fray you are too busy to be scared! Thanks for visiting and caring. :-)

    I think trying to be our best is all any of us can do! :-)

    But those good reviews are really nice cherries, right?

  7. Well I guess you'll never know, Roland, because you are 'not' a mediocre writer. You're a great writer :)

  8. King is so inspiring. I think writers need to take their time. No pressure except to publish your best work, which may take years.

    Thanks Roland. You could never be described as mediocre.


  9. Thanks, Wendy:
    Now, if you could just convince a few thousand readers of that. :-)

    Yes, each of us is in this for the long haul. And thank you for the kind words. :-)