When being published writer was only a dream, you never really thinking what and how you write. You just know a novel was a bind of papers printed with thousands of words. ( Like then what I was doing, I just literally write anything that I can think could be a novel. I wrote a hell lot of stories. Sometimes I tortured my friend for reading my craft. Bless them! They said nice things, because they can’t do the same things.)
At this phase you show them who you are: a writer, unpublished writer.
Moving from unpublished to published writer is a big accomplishment. There’s a line that you finally crossed. A label you will carry for ever.
You remember when you still unpublished writer, then someone you know got their article/story published in a prestige newspaper or magazine, you saw this as huge thing. Even if they only published once, you still admired her/him, because not so many people around you ever published something.
You start envy them, write a hell lot of stories, worked hard, so you can change those unpublished writer tag to published writer.
And when you finally make it, you felt like flying. (I think I didn’t stop smiling for like a week the first time I got mine)
But when you finally been in this game for some time, met many published writer in many occasion, befriends with them… (In my case, even my husband is a published writer) being published writer is not a big deal anymore. It’s the time when you realize you’re just a fish in a crowded pond.
You’re not the only writer (unpublished) among your closest friend anymore, where you surrounded by people who always said nice things about your craft. Now the number of the people who read your book expands. Some of them say nice things while other say bad. Some make you flew, some threw you in a well.
And finishing writing a book wouldn’t be dealing about tag anymore. It felt like not a matter of accomplishment anymore, since it’s just about adding number to your list. A writer of 2 books, a writer of 3 books, and so on… Like living a life and your age number growing bigger. Once you’re an infant, then a toddler, then a teenage, then an adult, then you realize you’re being adult for ever. You’re not going anywhere anymore. It is pretty scared isn’t it?
So I’ve been questioning my self for a while and trying to find answer… Those conversations in my head went like this:
Q : What can make this game still worth to play?
A : Move to the next level!
Q : How do you know you move to the next level when you literally doing almost like the same thing on every book you wrote (Writing, researching, writing, editing)?
A : Do something you never did! Just like living you need to expand your vision! You need to test your guts. Pull the envelope. Challenge your self. Do what you never did! Do what you afraid of! Doing new things, makes you knew more about your self. Testing limit expand your bravery. You’re never growing when you stay in your comfort zone.
Q : Okay?
I’ve been published several book, and all of them are young adult book. So challenge for me is writing children book. Challenge for me is writing historical fiction.
Actually I have several of those in store. I haven’t edited them since I wrote the first draft. I’m still waiting perfect time; waiting for a better writer of me, so I could pull that off fairly. Meanwhile I just go with my on going project (yeah, another young adult book). And I’ve only been being published writer for 5 year. It’s kind of in a toddler phase right? I know Neil Gaiman has been in this game for 20 year, and still writing. (He’s one of my favorite writers btw)
I guess as long as you keep challenging yourself; as long as you have a pile of unanswered questions, this game will always worth to play.
(I’ve been post this video before but I guess this is perfect to put in here)
This video always inspiring. Thank Liz Gilbert!