Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The longer I work on my writing, the more I have a greater appreciation for what an accomplishment it is to be a published author. There might be some authors who climb the ladder by skipping a few rungs but I think this is the reality. An author negotiates each step up the ladder feeling like they are blindfolded, handcuffed and with ankle weights on. When they reach what they perceive is the top of the ladder and “voila”, remove the blindfold...they see that the ladder’s rungs have grown exponentially.
So, what’s to be admired?
I am amazed by authors like Tracie Peterson and Nora Roberts who are so prolific. How can they write so many books in a year? You know they must have learned how to be disciplined and treat their writing like the job it is.
I delight in authors who can make characters come alive and not seem like clichés. I recently was introduced to a Colorado author, Kristen Heitzmann. I read some of her books and her characters seemed like they were real people with strengths and weaknesses trying to live life. Lee Child and Harlen Coben have some unforgettable characters that have hooked me and their upcoming books are always on my “wish list”.
Who doesn’t admire Jane Austen? Okay. There are probably some of you. But her style and word choice can tickle your ears like a beloved melody that is familiar if not known to all. I love the clear voice of Lisa Samson’s “Hollywood Nobody” young adult series. You find yourself zipping through all four books in no time. “I’m just sayin.”
I will never forget staying up into the wee hours reading Brock & Bodie Thoene’s Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles series and trying in vain to stifle my sobs so I wouldn’t wake up my husband. And it takes a lot to move me to tears.
I regard highly Vince Flynn, C. J. Box and other thriller and mystery writers who keep me guessing or so involved in the story that I can’t wait to finish the book. (I experience many late nights reading with my Kindle and reading light so as not to disturb my husband who probably wouldn’t notice even if I left the overhead light on. Do we see a pattern here?)
Even the authors who share their knowledge with us about the craft of writing are certainly worthy of my admiration. Although I may struggle to remember their words of wisdom and to apply them, they have turned on the lights for me in more ways than I can list in this short blog post.
So, what’s to be admired? The scores of writers who have persevered and poured out their guts, funny bone or poetic phrases for our enjoyment and awe. Congratulations! And for the rest of us, keep writing and maybe one day someone will admire our use of the gifts God has given us that we struggle to express on paper.
Elaine Clampitt is Secretary/Treasurer of Mile High Scribes. Her normal schedule has been interrupted with the return of two of her children home from college for the summer. She is trying not to let this interfere with her writing pursuits, although, with ice hockey season coming to a close, she anticipates having more time to write, watch Hawaii 5-0 reruns and travel to warm and sunny places.