Back in 2008, I attended the World Fantasy Convention for the first time and had the privilege of being at a workshop presented by David Morrell, author of First Blood (Rambo) and over thirty other books. His words impacted me a great deal and I was recently reminded of them in a post at Writer’s Digest of inspirational quotes from authors at Thrillerfest. David Morrell was amongst those authors and was quoted as saying, “Your obligation as writers is to distinguish yourself. … The ultimate result should be a book that you write that no one else could have written.”
This was a large part of his workshop I attended and when I saw that quote, it not only brought back the workshop to mind, it made me question my current WIP. David Morrell told us we better have a damn good reason for writing our book. Why are you writing it? Find the books that you were meant to write.
Was I meant to write the novel I’m working on? I’m really not sure. I did spend a great deal of time brainstorming different ideas, (thanks to Fran Wilde for her suggestions-I shall blog about that some time!) and polling any of my friends who would listen. My current novel idea was the one that rose to the top. Does that mean it’s THE book I was meant to write? Wouldn’t I instinctively know that? “Ah yes, this is the ONE!” I’m 75 000 words into this WIP and I am not convinced it is. Then I begin to fear if it’s not the right one, that means it won’t be the one anyone is interested in reading, representing or purchasing.
Am I alone in questioning this? Are you currently writing or have you written the book you were meant to write?
When I get into these conundrums, dull-drums, the self doubts, I turn to my Mom who always encourages me to keep going. When I brought this all to her attention in a frenzied panic, her words of advice? She said, maybe this is the book you’re meant to write right now. So write it.
Best advice ever? Maybe. I’m sure David Morrell would approve. I guess I have a novel to finish. Thanks, Mom.
Note: I have blogged about David Morrell’s workshop in the past, if you’re interested you can read about it in more details HERE.