This week, Mariam Kobras, awarding winning author of The Stone Trilogy romance novel series, contemplates the mysteries of being a writer, as her next book, Waiting for a Song, Naomi’s Story, has just been released.
Being a writer…one of the great mysteries of life.
by Mariam Kobras, guest blogger
It’s right up there with: why do we dream, why do foods that aren’t good for you taste so good, why are some feelings good, and some bad, why do we make wishes, and where does that deep, almost painful yearning for something that we don’t even know come from? Why does it grip us in unexpected moments, like when we’re standing on the beach and breathing in the tangy sea wind, or when we’re at the opera, and Cecilia Bartoli sings Casta Diva?
Why do we feel that something big, some big, colossal, and yet unfathomable force is moving around us, unseen, unheard, and yet we can sense it, knowing in some mysterious way that it’s there.
Isn’t that how writing works too? Isn’t writing the attempt to catch moods, feelings and the elusive memory of something that never even happened?
Just last night, chatting with my publisher, something she said made me pause and ponder this. We were talking about the impostor syndrome, and why so many writers encounter it at some point in their career. That’s when I paused. We’re celebrating the release of my fourth book, Waiting for a Song, with this blog hop. The launch of the fifth is within sight, and the sixth is written and waiting its turn.
I said, “I have no idea what to write for Cindy’s blog. I’m no academic. I’m just a writer.”
And my publisher said, “And you know a lot more about the writing process by now. So write about that.”
But do I?
When do we turn from hopeful amateur into author, into someone who actually knows what they’re doing? Is it when an agent or publisher accepts our first book?
I think not. Writing one book is easy. Most of us have a story to tell, even if it’s only one. Only when you’ve submitted it, and a publisher has accepted it, everything changes. Publishers don’t want a book. They want an author. They want a person who—sooner rather than later—will turn into their own brand.
Following up on that first book isn’t quite as easy. Expectations and hopes are looking over your shoulder, and their shadows can be mighty daunting. Writing my second book, Under the Same Sun, was pretty daunting. I never knew I could do it until it was finished, and printed.
Did I feel like an author? No way. I felt like a bumbling amateur, again
Book Three, Song of the Storm, was a bit easier. I knew by then that I could please my publisher. She wasn’t thrilled that I wanted to write about 9/11. I understood her hesitation. It’s a difficult subject, but it was something that I had to do. My heart was demanding for it to be written.
But did it make me feel like an author? Not at all.
Strangely enough, it was only after the Stone Trilogy was finished and I’d recovered from the emotional turmoil of leading my characters through that blackest of days, after I’d seen all three books together and held them in my hands, that I could let go. It felt as if I’d done the task that I’d been set, and done it well, and now I could do whatever I wanted.
Writing Waiting for a Song, Naomi’s Story and the other prequel, The Rosewood Guitar, Jon’s Story, felt like being on vacation, like walking along that shore that Naomi and Jon walk on nearly every morning. The words bubbled from my imagination right into the keyboard. They danced onto the screen of my faithful little MacBook in no time at all.
So do I feel like an author now?
The truth is, I’m still not sure. It’s good enough for me that my publisher is sure. I’ll just keep on writing and pour out the stories, and let others judge if they’re good enough to be read or not. And anyway, does it matter whether I feel like an author or not?
I’m in a happy place.
That’s really all that matters in life. That’s the real mystery, happiness.
Thank you so much for hosting me today, Cindy!
This was the ninth stop in Mariam’s Book Launch Blog hop & Giveaway to celebrate the release of Waiting for a Song, Naomi’s Story. Don’t miss the next stop on June 19th on Nita Beshear’s blog where Nita will review Mariam’s new book!
GIVEAWAY: ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive a red leather journal with cream pages and a ribbon marker—like the one Naomi used when she wrote the lyrics that won Jon’s heart. To enter, just leave a comment below (US and Canada only please). Prize courtesy of Buddhapuss Ink LLC.
For more chances to win, please visit the Buddhapuss Ink or Mariam’s author page on Facebook and click on the Giveaway Tab!
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