Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Motive Behind the Words: Writing Right (by Stephanie Campbell)

I wonder whether there comes a point in all novelists' careers when they realize they've begun to write for the wrong reasons. I realized that I was in serious danger of crossing over the no-no line just a few months ago. At sixteen, I began writing for one reason. I loved it. I wrote because it was what I was born to do and was the only thing that kept me breathing. But as being a novelist became a full-time job, I found myself becoming more and more stressed when I wasn't going where I wanted to go. Then I sat down for some serious self-evaluation and asked myself one question: why? Why had I begun to feel stressed and anxious about something that had once been my version of Valium. That was when I came to one conclusion. 

I had begun to write for the wrong reasons. I wasn't writing for the sheer purpose of having stories to tell anymore. Stories no longer left me breathless from the joy of telling them. I would look up book genre popularity and write books according to the most popular sales group. Writing had begun to get redundant. I found myself whining when I had never whined before…Well, at least not about writing. I felt claustrophobic. I had to find a way to make myself write right again. I had to go back from being the work tired women (???) to a girl who wrote what she wanted because she just plain loved it. I made a plan of how to return from the black abyss. 

I wrote stories for free. I've never been a greedy person, and quite honestly, writing isn't exactly an overabundant money source if you aren't Stephen King. Still writing for free because I loved to write helped me bring clarity. When you write for free, it isn't about numbers. There aren't editors involved, so you aren't frozen, wondering what the third party is going to think. It's just you and the page. I imagine that's the way a horse must feel without a bridle or saddle. Sure, galloping with a bridle on is great, but it will never have quite the same value as running free. I felt something that I haven't felt for a long time. A rush of joy simply because I was writing for the sake of writing. 

Next I forced myself to forget about what's popular now. I could write about a talking kiwi named Bob, but if that was what I enjoyed writing about, then I would let myself do it. That felt good too. 

As time went by, a change began to happen. But strangely, it wasn't just an inward transformation. It was an outward one too. The moment I began to write for me again, my book sales rose. I saw significant difference in everything around me. I was blessed to hit number four on the Amazon bestseller's list just last week. That was when I realized something else. Readers can feel how much you love your book when they read it. And that's why I vowed that I'd always write for all the right reasons, no matter what happens in the future.

About Stephanie

Stephanie Campbell is a bestselling author from Ogden, Utah. She has been put in charge of adapting the Visible Scars series into novels and has worked side by side with award winning L.A. director Richard Turke. Along with working on Visible Scars, her books Specimen X, Specimen Y, and Specimen Z are being filmed by SGL Entertainment. Filming begins the summer of 2014. She is the published author of The Willow Does Not Weep, Racing Death, Case Closed, Mirror of Darkness, Hot Wheels, Dragon Night, Poachers, Dragon Night, Tasting Silver, Late but not Never, Specimen X, Tales of Draga, E is for Eternity, and P.S. I Killed My Mother. She is twenty-two years old.

About How To Get Dirt

Pickles Bartley has always wanted one thing–to have a family of her own. In foster care since the age of three, she’s had more than her fair share of bad homes. There’s no way she is about to give up her new home with Miranda and David; she is determined to have them adopt her–even if it means following her friend Prudence’s advice: “You have to be ready and form a plan if you want them to keep you.” So they do. In one of her old foster homes, Prudence blackmailed her foster father when she caught him kissing a pretty woman. Pru-dence insists that Pickles does the same in a four step operation called “How to Get Dirt.”

1 comment:

Sharon Ledwith said...

Thanks, Stephanie! A very timely post for me. I feel like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole in this business. Your post brought me clarity. Cheers and best wishes in all your joyful books!