While at the San Francisco Writers Conference this past weekend, I had the pleasure of hearing David Morrell, author of First Blood (Rambo) speak. He gave the lunchtime keynote.
I figured this would be another boring fiction talk, especially since it was by an author writing the type of fiction I don't read. Plus, I "do" nonfiction, not fiction. However, Morrell spoke about finding your own voice and subject matter, so my ears perked up. This was a topic in which I was interested.
And one thing he said rang in my ears for a long time: There comes a time when you stop writing about what other people want or about what you say you must or should and you write about what you want--what's important to you. You stop listening to other people. You write the book you must write.
I thought about the book I started writing when I first said I was going to become an author. I felt a sense of purpose about that book. I was passionate about the topic. I felt inspired to take on the project and complete it. However, when I got negative feedback from publishers (and others), I tabled it and started on another project.
I felt a sense of purpose and passion about that project as well. I was inspired. And then I left it behind as well when I didn't immediately get a green light from an agent or publisher.
I gave up too soon. I didn't continue believing in myself. I didn't pursue my project relentlessly. I wrote about other things...sometimes about things other people told me I should pursue.
The book I felt I must write remained unwritten.
It's time...time to write that book. Have you written the book you must write?