There was a commercial I saw a long time ago with NBA Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson, and it went something like this. Iverson provided the narration and said, to the effect, “A jump shot can get you many things…” as this is said, there is a video of a kid shooting ball in an rundown, empty outside basketball court. Then the commercial continues with clips of beautiful cars, beautiful women, beautiful homes/mansions, and of course, tons and tons of money. Then the commercial fades back to the kid at the court, as Iverson says, “…but all these things can’t get you a jump shot.”
While I still have not looked this up to verify, what I took this commercial to mean is simply this: The work will get you a lot of nice things. But the nice things won’t teach you the work.
Many times, we focus so much on the potential results of the hard work and of course, we usually think of the most glamorous aspects of those results. There is nothing wrong with this, except the fact that way too often, this is as far as some minds go.
As a writer, one thing quite a few people who want to write books have asked me, “Where do I begin?” The answer is simple.
I am the last person who will ca-ca on someone’s dreams. In fact, I love hearing them, however farfetched society may say they are. Because the bottom line is that no one can tell you whether or not you will achieve your dreams. If God places something in your heart and that is your destiny, then He is the ONLY one to say you can or cannot do it. Period.
However, I don’t believe I am stepping on God’s toes when I say that you will absolutely not be successful if you do not focus on the work. In this case, where to begin is to simply sit down and write. That’s it.
I know. It can be fun to think about your book turning into a movie and changing the world. New York Times Best Seller. Millions of copies. Book signings. Film festivals. Autograph signings. Movie Premieres. Celebrities. You name it.
But again…none of this happens if you do not sit down and write.
This also does not mean that those great aspects should be your only motivation to write. You should write because you want to tell your story. Inspiration like this is fine, but the problem comes in when you are so focused on those areas that the actual work becomes a chore. If that is the case, then writing is the wrong business to get into.
Writing is just like any other art. You will have to do it a lot before you are recognized, and even then, it might not be too much. This is not to bring down your spirits and has nothing to do with your writing itself. You could be a fantastic writer and/or storyteller. Unfortunately, society has their views about the arts and it sometimes takes a lot to be noticed the way you would like.
But oh, when that happens…
Anyway, there are a lot of steps that come between you writing and your work becoming whatever you would like for it to become. That is not meant to discourage, either. It is just the reality, and one you should prepare for. Don’t think for a second that you write and that’s it. Publishers may not like your work at first. Even if they do, they still have to put it out. Then they have to wait for buyers. If you choose to write your story into a screenplay, then you may need to look for agents, managers, etc., and even at that point, they would have to look for studios who would make your work into a movie. Even those who were successful as writers had to go through lengthy processes to get there.
But you know what every last one of them did? They decided to JUST WRITE. None of them would be where they are if they did not do so. Sure, they may have had those big dreams in mind as well. But at some point, they made those dreams secondary and realized that without writing, those dreams would remain just that…dreams.
Just write. The rest will work itself out.