How Badly do you want this?


Sacrificing for success.

I have just read, and thoroughly enjoyed, The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis.  As the daughter of the brilliant writer Penny Vincenzi, you might imagine Emily would have produced her first novel effortlessly. Not so. In a recent blog, she confesses she ‘worked until midnight most nights, with [her] girls waking just after seven.’ She writes, ‘I wanted to set a good example to my girls, and when my eyes were fizzy at midnight and I was desperate to stop, that drove me on.’ Now her book is at number one in the Kindle charts – a hard-won and much deserved success.

Nothing worth having comes easily. Stephen King (whose book On Writing is one of the best creative writing help books ever) taught English all day, spent his summers working in an industrial laundry and wrote at a child’s desk in a cupboard at night. His first novel, Carrie, went on to sell a million copies in its first year. King is now the nineteenth best selling author of all time. Whilst it’s tempting to imagine ourselves as Barbara Cartland, lounging on a chaise longue whilst dictating books to a secretary, the reality for most writers is much grimmer. Years of poverty, hard work and disappointment. Many talented writers never get published, not because they aren’t good enough, but because they aren’t prepared to make the endless sacrifices required.

Yet given the choice of succeeding with very little effort, or working for years to achieve the rewards of our dreams, I know which I prefer.

So let’s place our aching hands back on the keyboard, and keep writing. Success might be just around the corner!