By Nichole Giles
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky to attend a sci-fi/fantasy CONduit, during which I listened to an address by Howard Taylor, artist/ author of the web comic Schlock Mercenary.
Howard’s address in a sentence: Hard work takes time.
Howard’s address in another sentence: Don’t let fear of failure stop you from trying.
Third sentence: Practice and experience lead to optimal performance. (And by Howard’s calculations, you’ll need to “practice” for approximately a million words and a minimum of ten years.)
His speech reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks prior to this CON. She said, “I continue to be amazed by your ability to create and construct an entire story from beginning to end. It isn’t a common thing, no matter how many authors you know.”
And she’s right. Of course, she’s right. The ability to follow a creation through is huge. Just the idea of starting a new project like a book can often be intimidating. But finishing is a true measure of success. Even if that particular book is never published, we have successfully completed a monumental task simply by finishing it. There’s something to be said for that.
By writing a full manuscript, we jump into a small percentage of authors and wanna-be writers. Think about those who start new books all the time, or who claim to be planning to write a book, or building a world—but never actually finish the project. Those of us who finish, actually, truly finish, are unique.
So, if you have a completed manuscript, no matter how bad you think it is, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve already succeeded.