I never used to enjoy writing. In school, trudging my way through a report was agony. Reading the book was hard enough, but now I had to write my thoughts about it? And simply saying "I liked it." was never enough. Of course several pages of explanation and detail was required to satisfy the Machiavellian instructor. Ugh!
After school... now that was a new animal, at least as far as reading was concerned. I started to LOVE reading. It started with The Hobit, and Lord of the Rings trilogy, but went wildfire crazy from there. Now, I frequently have at least three books at some stage of completion on a variety of mediums. Paper/Hardback, ebook and audiobooks are all part of my repertoire now. But, writing, who has the time to do that on top of reading everything in sight?
I guess I do. Retiring from teaching after thirty-five years opened up a bit of time during my days. At first, reading, relaxing and cooking filled the time. Cooking had to go once I gained over twenty pounds. Volunteering at the local museum helped fill the time, but I needed more. Curiously, at the suggestion of my brother, I decided to try writing a science fiction story. they were always my favorite genre, so why not? How hard can it be? I have regretted that thought ever since. Not the writing, but that ignorant opinion. Writing is HARD.
The stories on the pages we read are the result of hours, days, weeks, and years of effort to get everything just right. Point of View, Show Don't Tell, Building Tension, Plot Flow, and more on top of spelling, grammar and punctuation all are vital to keep the story from becoming anything more than a tangled mess of disjointed words. I had to learn all this the long way around. Writing the first draft took only a few months, and I thought I had a pretty good story. Publishers and agents had a very different idea.
Over a hundred rejections later, I decided to getr really serious and hire a couple of professional editors. Boy did they open my eyes. The story, they said, was good, but needed a LOT of improvement to make it publishable. I was shifting point of view mercilessly, which apparently is terribly distracting to readers. I needed to completely reorganize the chapters to make the plot flow smoothly and build tension throughout. This was difficult at first, but by now I had invested so much time and effort I was determined to conquer this beast and learn how to write.
OK, I put my ego in a vault and listened to their advice. Incredibly, they were right! Hegira emerged as a much improved story. After a few more rejections, and the demise of a publishing company which had accepted Hegira, Solstice Publishing said they loved the book and wanted to publish it. Wow! Success! And I was hooked.
I still have a lot to learn, but I have learned enough to make writing the sequel, Recusant, a much better experience. I still had to get better at some things, but was definitely improving, at least according to a couple of my editors. Someday, I may actually get good enough for people to enjoy my work and spread the word. I would love to see a royalty check of more than twenty dollars a month. Oh well, at least I am doing this for fun and not to pay the rent or anything.
Moral of the story: Turn a frustration into a challenge, work hard, and good things will happen.