I wish I could say writing my latest novel Light Bringer changed my life, it would make a good story, but the fact is, it made little difference outside of bringing to a close a lifetime of research.
It was the fourth novel I wrote. I’d already experienced the joy and sense of accomplishment completing a novel gives one, and I’d already experienced the disappointment that comes from having a novel rejected. I’d already experienced the joy of getting published and the disappointment of lackluster sales. Now, if Light Bringer would go viral, that would change my life!
Writing Grief: The Great Yearning, my non-fiction book about surviving grief, didn’t change my life, either. In fact, my life had changed first. Writing was how I coped with the changes.
Here are some responses from fellow Second Wind Publishing authors about how writing their book changed their lives. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .
From an interview with: J J Dare, Author of False Positive and False World
Writing my first book a few years ago gave me confidence. I believe it was an exercise to prepare me for the challenges I would shortly face in my personal life.
From an interview with: Noah Baird, Author of Donations to Clarity
I think people thought I was pretty weird before the book. They still think I’m weird, but I think I get a pass now because I’m a writer.
From an interview with: Calvin Davis, Author of The Phantom Lady of Paris
After penning the Phantom Lady, I was not the same person. The actual writing of the novel took about five and a half years. During that period, I wrote and rewrote again and again, etc. That said, the truth is, it took me all my life to write the Phantom Lady. The penning of my two other novels was preparing me to write TPLOP. The production of my countless short stories was also tutoring me on how to create the Phantom Lady. And during all this time of schooling, “the lady” was inside me clamoring to be liberated, as I was clamoring to liberate her. “Free me…free me,” she screamed. When I completed the last sentence of the novel, the lady was finally liberated. “Thank you, Calvin,” she said. “Thank you.” Finally, she was free…and so was I.
From an interview with: Sherrie Hansen, Author of Merry Go Round
I think each book that I’ve written has changed my life. I remember an episode of Star Trek, Next Generation, when Jean Luc Picard was swept away to live out his life on another planet. He eventually fell in love, married, had children, and learned to play a musical instrument. When his new world came to an end, he learned that he had never left the Enterprise, and that the whole alternate life experience had occurred only in his mind, in a few days time. I feel like that every time I finish a book. It’s like I’ve visited some alternate reality and lived the life of my character from start to finish, feeling what they feel and experiencing what they experience, when in reality, I’ve just been sitting at my desk, typing away. In a very real way, I think each book makes me a richer, more multi-faceted, more understanding person because I’ve walked a mile (or a hundred) in my character’s shoes.
From an interview with: Coco Ihle, author of She Had to Know
Absolutely. In a couple of ways. My sister and I talked in detail about our lives before we met, and how we felt about all the things that happened and didn’t happen through the years. Our talks created a stronger bond between us.
Another way my life changed was, my adopted mother used to accuse me of starting projects and losing interest before finishing them. Well, I took that criticism to heart. I know she’s up there smiling down at me, because I finish projects now.
So, did writing your book change your life?