October 21, 2011
Dear Future Self,
I am writing to you from right at the beginning of your writing career. You are about to submit your first short story, you have just begun the journey to understand the publishing, marketing, commercial side of writing, and are still in the early stages of the creative side as well. So, what is it that I want to say to you, my future self? First, I believe that I will get to you some day. You are out there – with short stories published, novels published, and a fantasy world of depth and mystery that is appreciated by your audience as much as you care for it now.
Second, I want you to remember some things from now, things to be carried forward into that future.
Remember why you are writing – how much you love the words and the stories, the characters and the richness of the land you are creating. As time passes your writing will (hopefully) improve, and, no doubt, it will change as you change. Don’t disparage the things you are writing now – no matter if they’re never published, no matter if they become that story that you could squirm to remember its melodrama or verbosity. Don’t be unkind to me, here and now, struggling to figure all this out. All of the things you have written and will write are genuine, and passionate, and sometimes awkward. In that they are as human as you are. There will always be critics who hate your works and ones who love it. Don’t forget you have chosen a middle path – to love the work and to keep learning and striving.
Remember what it is like to be a beginning writer and to be flooded with advice and forecasts of doom and woe. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be honest about your experience of a writer’s path, but when you are sharing that experience remember to share the core of your passion as well as the warnings of the pitfalls.
Remember that I still have to go through all the challenges and hardships that you have already learned from. Honor that journey. Send me hope and encouragement for the tough times, send me joy and excitement from the successes.
I am excited to meet you someday – hang on, I’m on my way!