Many people think about writing a book long before they actually start. The major obstacles for me to start my first novel were lack of confidence in both my writing and telling people that I wanted to be an author. The only reason why I was able to overcome any of these fears is because I began to write instead of dream.
Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times Bestseller of The Stormlight Archive, told me a metaphor about aspiring writers during one of his book signings. He said that writing is similar to playing a sport. When someone decides that they want to play basketball for fun, no one bats an eye. If that same person decided that they wanted to begin writing stories with their free time, the world assumes that they need to be fantastic even though they are only starting. The major authors like Stephen King, James Patterson, and a slew of others are the equivalent to professional athletes. Most have had years of practice before they made a living from their work.
It isn’t fair to expect a new writer to be at their level. A new writer needs time to work their narrative muscles. After having time to practice, then they can begin to add a shine to their work. Becoming successful in writing is more about work than inherited talent. Every person who writes is a writer. The only people who are aspiring writers are those who are still dreaming of starting.
There is a saying that everyone has a million practice words before they can become a great writer. I pour everything I have into each thing I write, but I do not need it to be the piece that changes someone’s life. I am content with bumbling through my practice words because when I am done, I will have the skills to tell the stories that are locked in my head. I am no longer aspiring to become a writer. I am aspiring to become a good writer.