Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's Your Challenge?

© Marta Stephens, 2008 all rights reserved

My darling girl ... when are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. ~Aunt France, Practical Magic

Aside from being one of my favorite and fun movies, I think this quote from Practical Magic applies to every aspect of writing. Let's face it, we writers aren’t necessarily “normal” and it does take courage to expose our inner soul to the world.

For those not familiar with my work, I write crime mystery/suspense and up until a few years ago, my work was something I shared only with family and friends. Close friends. People who love me; in whose eyes I can do no wrong. It was a safe place to be, but a little voice in the back of my head nudged me forward. I expanded my circle to include an amazing group of talented fellow authors -- the real test of endurance. It wasn’t long before my writing evolved from a pastime, to a passion, and now an addiction. A good addiction because perseverance has led to the release of the second book in my Sam Harper series, “The Devil Can Wait” on November 3. So to those who wonder if your dream of becoming a published author is realistic, it is. Just keep at it.

What keeps me going? The challenge to top my previous attempt; to write a better book, develop a smarter marketing campaign, create an attention-grabbing book trailer and a captivating cover. Why? Because once a writer is published, he or she becomes a public figure and anything less than the best is a step in the wrong direction.

Maybe I am obsessed, as a few special friends “affectionately” dare to call me (admit it, you have). Do I hit my mark every time? No, of course not. No one does, but unless we try, unless we ask the questions and charter a new path, we’ll never know our full potential. So crawl out of the comfort zone and feel the edge of an uncharted road beneath your feet and see where it leads.
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Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.
THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (November 3, 2008)

SILENCED CRY (2007)Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book FestivalTop Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)


Kim Smith said...

Great post Marta~! I need constant reminders that unless I put my butt in the chair and make the attempt, I am not going anywhere fast.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Well said, Marta. I'm reminded of the earlier days in my own writing career when I counsel young writers and see this sometimes daunting writing life through their eyes. Reminds me of the first column I dared to write, the first book cover design, book signing, or radio interview. Each was a scary event, but I pushed myself and just did it. Sure, there were some mistakes made, but I learned and didn't looked back. Great piece, thanks!

Marta Stephens said...

Thanks Kim and Aaron. And what a great feeling it is when we try something new and actually succeed!!

Anonymous said...

I am always happy to know that my dream is not always going to just be a dream, if I keep at it. I long to be a great novelist, I do, and I don't mind hard work for it, so it was great to read your post today. I am hopeful and love the encouragement you gave us today. Thanks!