Archive for December 1st, 2006

So it begins…

Hello. My name is Brendan Cody and I’m an aspiring novelist.

It sounds like an introduction more suited to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting than to a writing blog, but they do have more in common than you might think. Let me share a secret with you: writing fiction is not a career; it is a vocation. To decide to write a novel and enter the foray of the publishing world is an insane, obsessive thing, because the odds that you will ever earn a living from it are stacked firmly against you. If you doubt me, simply read this for a harsh dose of reality. Fiction writing is a capricious and mercurial career choice.

So why do it?

Because a writer must write. It is as essential to his existence as breathing. It is an addiction that compels you to tap and keep tapping until you have a novel, and then another, and another. It is passion for a good story, the best you can make. Only that passion to write will carry you across the rough waters of doubt, publisher rejections, your own fears, and bring you onto the sun-kissed island where you can create your own worlds, mould stories, determine fates, and learn to know and love your characters as intimately as if they were your very own children.

The hope that you can earn a living from doing what you love is always there. And that addictive dream, more powerful than alcohol or any drug, is what drives that passion to create. But a dream it is nonetheless. In the words of one of my characters from the final pages:

“Evaluate your dream carefully before you embark on the journey to achieve it, because dreams cost, sometimes dearly.”

I can only hope that, for me, reality will not imitate that particular piece of art in some cynically prophetic way. It is a journey that I have decided to share with you, in case you too are an aspiring writer. Perhaps you can find some useful perspective in here. For my part, I only hope it will not scare you off. After all, what alcoholic, knowing what was ahead of them, would have taken their first sup from the poisoned chalice?

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