Many of you must have experienced a point in your lives where you have aspired of being an author, have embarked enthusiastically on a novel but ended up nowhere? The point here is, have you ever introspected? Ever asked yourself why you couldn’t finish what you once so eagerly started with? Was it anxiety, was it a writer’s block or was it fear of not being recognised even after all the effort put in by you? One must bear in mind that all-time favourite authors like William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling must have once gone through a similar situation.
Mark Twain once truly remarked, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Hence, the most significant fact here is getting started. Once you have started with proper timing, conquered your fears and shed perfectionism, is when you can actually near completion. Never ‘try’ to be perfect, write as you do and you might not be the next Mark Twain, but the first YOU.
“By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.” You’ll be most surprised to know that these are the words of the author whose book series has been translated into 73 languages, sold millions of copies and accrued over $20 billion through movie adaptations and sponsorships. For Rowling, the inception of the Harry Potter series wasn’t as easy as it seems. Not only did she fail to make progress on her first book, but after falling in, and then out of, love, she ended up with a failed marriage. She came back to nothing. She had no job, no finished product and mouths to feed. She had hit rock bottom. As she struggled with depression, and living off meagre unemployment benefits, she resumed work on her book in cafes. After sending her manuscript to 12 different publishers and getting rejected by every single one, Rowling began losing confidence in her book. Finally, the editor at Bloomsbury Publishing company sat down to read the manuscript and agreed to publish it. She is today the author of the Harry Potter series! If you have a dream or a passion and you keep getting rejected or running into failure, don’t let that stop you. If you’re going through a tough time in your life, but working on something you really believe in, don’t give up. If you do, you’ll never know what could have been. Who knows, you might end up breaking records.
A similar situation can be traced down to the time of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A medical student initially, he tried hard to balance his medical career and his love for writing. In order to gain acceptance and popularity as a writer, he gave up his medical career altogether to pursue what he loved. Whilst struggling to write and medicine, he lost his wife. Grieved, financially weak and after multiple rejections he never gave up and followed his heart. Today he is the author of the famous Sherlock Holmes series, which have been made in movie and TV series as well.
“Creativity takes courage”, fear isn’t a problem, the fear of fear is. Pluck some courage, mix it with imagination, drain out the anxiety and cook up what your heart desires.