Have you ever had a bad day? Worse than that – a bad week, month - or year? We all suffer dips and lows, some the size of a pothole and some the depth of the Mariana Trench. Our lows can be short, long, personal, emotional, professional; all kinds of root causes but always the same feeling inside.
I’ve been thinking about the lows and dips experienced as a writer. I don’t know a single author who hasn’t doubted their ability to write. Some days it can floor you completely. The small demented mosquito voice inside your head, whining.
“You’re no good at writing, why are you doing this?” Or “stop wasting your time, you’ll never succeed.”
I silently tell that voice to go away, and make a conscious decision not to listen to it. Not because I think I’m good at what I do, but because I love what I’m doing. I love writing. It’s as simple as that. And that covers the second whine too…
Define success. Success is being fortunate enough to love your work, to feel inspired and enthused, to have your spirits lifted simply by being able to do what you were meant to do. Success is deep-rooted in living the life you were meant to lead. It’s a deep soul need before response or reaction to your work is even thought about. It’s why any writer first picked up a pen, and these days, began to tap their keyboard.
There is one thing that knocks the whine right on the head - swats the buzzing mosquito - and that’s when readers get in touch and give feedback about your book. We know that stories will resonate differently with everyone, and that it’s impossible to write a book that everyone will enjoy. I have to confess whenever I get feedback, I’m still so shocked - and humbled and grateful – that my work has touched someone’s heart. Every time a review hits I get emotional, which sounds a little mad I know, but authors pour their hearts into their pages, and reviews are golden moments.
So a true life moment. When writing prophecy, my doubt mosquito grew so big I felt like I was stooping to walk, carrying the weight of it on my shoulders. I should have named it Mariana. To quote one of my son Ed’s sayings, it was so big it had elbows and a mortgage. The ‘nearly giving up’ stage loomed. I gloomed around. I got writer’s block. I procrastinated. Everything seemed easier than going back to that manuscript.
Then I got an email. Theo’s mum. Asking me when the sequel was due out, and telling my how much Theo loved Spellboda. She sent me Theo’s review, and his picture, which I’m sharing below, just as Theo wrote it. And this time I actually cried. It arrived at just the right moment, and gave me what I needed to repel Mariana and get on with what I love doing most of all.
So thank you Theo, and to everyone, anywhere, ever, who’s felt inspired to review a book. It’s a golden gift to give a writer. I’m hoping to meet Theo soon, when Prophecy is launched, and I can’t wait!
By Theo (j c clarkes biggest fan)
Spellboda is a one of its kind immersive book. It's a happy and sometimes sad book with lots of plot twists and just the best book ever.
I think this book is good because it tells the readers that if you have a parent or friend who just shouts at you all the time you should try to talk to them about it. In Trevors case his dad, Sykes shouts at him. Later in the book we learn that it's because Trevor looks like his mum who died and his dad still hasn't gotten over it yet and Trevor should give him another chance. The book also teaches us that we should do the thing you love.
I loved this book because I also have a love for birds of prey and its just so amazing.
I would recommend this book for 8 year olds and older.
I give this book a 10/10 about everything.
Keep going j c clarke your doing amazing don’t stop.