I should just be an Author.


Part of my HUGE pile of stories and plotlines. / Photo by KidZond.


“You should just become an Author.” My 7-year-old son said to me today. I was taking him to school, and we were discussing my new job and my new hours.

I told him that I took my new job because it’s days, and it also gives me more home time. The ‘price’ I pay for this is working Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Long hours, yet the free time, and being home with the kids to see them off to school and pick them up is worth it.

Then I added, “And I can write more, you know, become a famous author and we can travel the world. You know, so I could see new places and meet new people for my stories.” That’s when Nick had the simplest of solution. Just become an author.

If it was that easy.

I have been writing seriously for the last 10 years. Working on plots, styles, narrative methods, dialog, you name it. It’s been a fun journey. Yet the serious part always seems to elude me. I’ve submitted, been rejected, didn’t take it personally. I’ve read hundreds of articles on how to be a better writer, thousands of inspirations memes and quotes, listened to famous authors opine upon their craft and still…yeah.

Over time I have come to the conclusion I write like a sculpture. How so? Easy. If you have ever sculpted in clay (which I have) or know of the process, it’s a little weird. You start with a hunk of clay and pull parts away. Molding those parts to become the basis of your work. You will add this, take that, look at that small piece off to the side and maybe put it on, like it and keep it on, or hate it and remove it. In the end, you will have a round pile of ‘useless’ clay that will become another project. And hopefully you will have a finished piece. Or cover it in plastic to get back to later.

But it is that round pile of useless clay that may spark a better sculpture. One that you will really love. Sometimes, the small pieces become larger works.

Either way, you become attached to your sculpture. Even if after it is done, and you put it on a shelf, you will one day go back to it and smile. Thinking to yourself  “Wow, that sucked, but was fun” or “I should rework that piece, maybe paint it, or add this or that.” You rarely toss it in the trash. Because, well, you made it. It’s got a whole bunch of you in it.

When it comes to writing, advice is always nice. Honest opinions better. Yet I have found that the best advice is my own.

I can’t write for money. It would be nice, just to sit back, watch my works sell at an insane rate and have to hire a financial advisor to help me with my oodles of royalties. But I’m not that kind of writer. I tried that on a few stories, geared them for commercial success, but they didn’t have any heart.

It took a while for me to realise that I have to write for myself, and hope what I, like others, will too. That is a gamble, a big one. Yet if the story is going to go anywhere, I have to love it first before anyone else will.

Not good enough.

Like all writers, I suffer from self-doubt. That of course is what is holding me back. Well that and a little ‘Dad Issues’.

My father was a voracious reader, as was my mother. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t see a book in one of their hands. My mother was such an avid reader that she would get a quarter way into a book and put it down. When I asked her why, she told she had read it before. Dad was mostly into histories and biography’s. Thick tomes that he would stay up to the wee hours of the night reading and smoking his Mores cigarettes, a pall of smoke above his side of the couch, as he quietly turned the pages.

Yet my father was one of those people who belittled the achievements of others. If you had a great idea, my father had either thought of it, or told you why it wouldn’t work. It was this odd ‘Not good enough’ attitude that I believe has seeped into my brain and stops me from completing my books.

Even those novels and short stories I have finish, sit. Put into file cabinets or xerox boxes waiting for me to take them back up again and breathe life into them.

Yet my father’s ghost haunts me. Wandering through my mind to give me an excuse not to finish any of my works. I’ve cheated his ghost several times, yet those submissions fall under the umbrella of commercial works, going for that mythical Financial Advisor, just to have them tell me, that I may want to keep my day job.

“You know, Dad was pretty hard on you.” My brother Jay has told me often. He was right, dad was hard on me. I’m not certain why.

I find myself wanting to feed my father’s ghost. Find reasons to despise my own works. Even when I have finally convinced myself that I need to write for Me first, Readers second, his “No one would read that.” pops into my head. And I put my project aside.

Over the years I have conquered many of my fears, psychoanalyzed myself to the point I know where my arachnophobia, relationship problems, brussel sprouts hatred and fear of white rabbits with black eyes all come from. Oh, and Japanese Silky Chickens, the Hens, they give me the creeps.

I get myself, for the most part. Always something new to learn about yourself, yet for the most part? Yeah, I get me.

Except for my father’s ghost. That is still with me, and I still struggle to conquer that fear. That I will never be Good Enough, no matter how hard I try.

It is a totally irrational fear, one that should not have a hold on me. And maybe, from the proverbial mouth of babes, I should just be an Author.


Even if my works aren’t good enough.


2 thoughts on “I should just be an Author.

  1. I have a friend who’s a lot like your father. I have a plan to have a serious talk with him about it the day he tells me he’s going to be a father. Belittling everyone else’s success, nothing is ever worthwhile if he didn’t do it.
    I know from him it comes from his abandonment issues with his own father, trying so hard to prove himself to the man who didn’t want him. Unfortunately it took an ugly twist. Maybe there’s something buried in your father’s past that you don’t know about, something he struggled with. The point is, it was probably all about himself and never really about you. I’m sure you’re a great writer. So write with your heart, it’s the only way we stay sane through the day job ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope I didn’t come off too harshly toward my father. He was a wonderful man and a great Dad. I do know his past, and where his demons stem from. He was belittled by his father and abused by him. I’m sure his desire to be ‘Right’ and ‘The Best’ came from that.
    My father never laid a hand on me. He would “talk” to you about what you did wrong. All four of us kids secretly wished he would have just spanked us! lol.
    Unfortunately he passed away before I started to write. I am secretly curious on what he would have thought of my works. He was an fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy when he wasn’t reading books on History. He loved Star Trek and would watch re-runs of the show. He introduced me to Science Fiction, and my love of writing tends to go that way. So, in a way, I have him to thank for my love of writing.

    As for you friend, yes, please do talk to him. I have four children, I support whatever they want to do. Even if their ideas are zanny. I still give them my support. I will offer advice, but only when asked. I know why I do this. I never want my children to feel their ideas, their passions, are stupid, worthless, not worth the trouble.
    Now I have battled with this, my father instints kick in and I want to save them from disappointment, yet I think about how I felt when my dreams were dashed, and I hold my tongue. Keeping your mouth shut and letting your children make their own mistakes, or successes, is, sometimes, the hardest part of being a parent.

    And Thanks, I loved your comment and insight.


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