I have a confession to make.
Last year, I had two book signings where I had my guests scribble anything they felt like writing on a cute little notebook as a keepsake.
Those were two of the most special events in my life and I wanted to remember the people who were there with me and for me when those events took place.
But I never had the time to read the notes because I got so busy. We were traveling. On top of that, my freelance writing, book marketing, family, and my attempt to write a sequel took my time, energy, and my ability to do things like a normal person.
Until two weeks ago.
I was sitting in front of my PC trying to fight distractions and happened to see the notebook, so of course, I opened it.
I then saw this simple note from one of the kids who came with a parent to my Barnes and Noble book signing. On the note, she said, “Nancy Drew. Thank you.”
And that was a special moment.
Because something really important came back to me.
I realized why I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
I wanted to create characters that my readers will remember, fictitious heroes that will change lives, fire imagination, persuade people to step out of comfort zones, fight, love, laugh, cry, feel, live, wake up, find secrets, and solve problems.
I didn’t start writing thinking I was going to make money or be known or have my name on the byline of my work or go to book signings and actually sign my books.
When I first started, I just wanted to tell stories.
I wanted to tell stories of those people who couldn't, wouldn't and didn't tell their own stories for different reasons. I wanted to tell stories that I myself created. And I wanted people to listen because it's worth it.
But of course, I started growing as a writer and began enjoying the gifts of merely putting words together. I got paid, I got space, I got people seeking my skills so I could be their storyteller. To me, that was a sweet and just reward for always being distracted.
But I’m glad that's not my primary reason for being a writer.
Because some days, writing can be exhausting and it can push you to the limit. When I feel like giving up some days, my real passion for writing comes back.
The sheer pleasure of telling stories keeps me intact.
That's why I write.
And so, I’d like to ask you.
You told me you wanted to be a writer.
And that’s awesome.
But before you start, you have to know your main purpose for wanting to write.
Ask yourself that question.
And when you find the answer, do not forget.
Because once you jump in, you will be thrown in all sorts of scenarios, sometimes unusual and weird and uncomfortable.
When that happens, your true purpose for wanting to be in the complex world of writers will be your sole hero that will keep you afloat when you’re ready to drown.
In the meantime, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank that little kid.
Hi Erich. I’m not Nancy Drew but I’m honored. She’s my hero, too and her character will always live in my imagination. I thank Carolyn Keene, her creator, for that. One day, I hope my characters will live in my readers’ imagination, too and that my stories will intertwine with their realities in a positive way. I hope my stories become a beacon of light to those who need to be reminded that yes, crappy things happen but unhappiness is just a state of mind and that they can always choose to turn their lives around.
Now back to you, aspiring writer.
Next week, we’ll talk about another subject.
That's related to writing.
By that time, I hope you’ve already found your purpose and that you still have the heart and the passion to become a writer.