This is a guest post with Kim from the Kim Here YouTube channel! Be sure to subscribe to Kim for motivation, vlogs, podcasts, and more!
We’ve all got “our authors”. The writers who turned us into readers, which turned us into writers. When I sat down and reflected, as I often do when I’m pretending to be smart, I learned that my favorites each taught me an invaluable lesson when it comes to actually writing.
These are the four authors who taught me how to be a writer.
I have so much to say about Neil Gaiman. So. Much. He taught me the beauty of simplicity in story telling. You don’t have to describe every article of clothing. Every hair on the main character’s head. If you have a STORY, you can have a book. Every one of his works are solid, unique, stylized, and gorgeously creative. I owe this man a lot. His ideas are not only original, but he owns them. He commits to every character, theme, and sentence. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Gaiman never disappoints.
He also taught me it’s okay to be weird. So, there’s that.
This guy, though! If there’s anything Douglas Adams taught me, it’s honesty. His writing is so on point it almost makes me sick. He has a way of explaining a feeling with pure, brutal, honesty. Funny. Relevant. Dead on. He can truly define the undefinable. I come back to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy time and time again just to smile and nod. Every time I read ANYTHING by him I think “Yes! You’re right! That’s exactly what that feels like!”
Adams helped me find genuine honesty in my own writing. And I love him for it.
Plus, comedy is HARD. I think that’s one of the most difficult styles of writing to master. And he makes it look effortless.
Say what you want about “controversy” or “inaccuracies”. I don’t care. Not even a little bit. Dan Brown can captivate. He takes cliffhanger to a whole new level. Some of his books I’ll get genuinely angry at, because it’s cliffhanger after cliffhanger and I just can’t stop! He forces me to keep going. His stories are riveting and enthralling. It’s inhuman the way he can suck me in. Witchcraft I tell you! But man… did I learn about how to keep a reader hooked. His books start with a million questions, and each time you get an answer, your questions triple. At least. Deeper and deeper you go down the rabbit hole until you feel like you can’t breathe.
It’s awesome. (And also a brilliant way to keep people reading, and buying your books… Which is sort of the point sometimes.)
Stacy Lynn Carroll
Stacy is an author I know personally. We carpooled in middle school. Not kidding. However, this is not a moment of promotion for my friend. This is me saying Stacy Lynn Carroll taught me one of the most valuable things of my career. Don’t wait. Write. Publish. Live your dream.
Boom. That’s it. Now, don’t get me wrong. She’s a talented writer. I love all of her stuff. My point is that she was the first writer to show me that indie-publishing isn’t something “desperate” people do.
When I first heard she was going to “self-pub” I was confused. My pea-brain thought that was only for authors who felt they’d been rejected one too many times. It was a way for them to say they were published without actually being published. I WAS THE WRONGEST WRONG PERSON OF ALL THE WRONG PEOPLE.
When I heard she was going to self-publish I read up on it and learned a thing or two…
- You have so much more control over your content
- You are the only one in charge of your career
- You can make MORE money indie-publishing than traditional publishing
- You don’t have to do what you don’t want to do
And that’s just the beginning. Carroll taught me that if I wanted a career, I could go get one. She taught me not to wait. Do it. Write your book. Publish your book. You. Just. Do. It.
If you want to write… write. You don’t wait for someone to tell you it’s okay. You don’t wait for an opportunity. You sit your butt down, and do it. Now, she didn’t actually say these words to me. Her attitude did. She showed me that if you want to write. You go and you do it. Your dream is worth it.
Thanks to the gorgeous people above, I’m a writer. I’ve always loved books and these writers help me create them.
I’m a writer.
And I love it.