This week’s guest writer is the awesome Melka Stansah, author of The Raven Trilogy: The First Journey. She shares with us her reason why she writes 🙂 Enjoy
Why Do I Write?
by Melka Stansah
So my first novel was out, the media and sales platforms were set up and reviews started coming through. At first, it was so exciting like a breath of fresh air; I had a new life as a writer.
My daily routines changed tremendously – from a social media illiterate to a highly dependent user.
I joined the online and offline writer’s club and posted on my social media as frequently as possible. I did everything I could to keep up-to-date with my frenzy writer’s life.
Few months of rigorous promotions passed by; the statistics were flooding, everything from reviews, ratings, interviews, number followers, sales numbers, etc. The expectations were building and it became harder and harder to catch up with everything, especially for me, a part-time writer with a full-time daily job.
Then slowly it turned into a relentless pressure. What was exciting in the first place was no longer to be. My days went by with a set of repetitive tasks I must do – the same questions each and every day.
“Sales are important. What should I do to increase sales? What should I put out there on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? What should I do to get reviews?”
It was intense and it became worse when I even didn’t have time anymore to do things that give me enjoyment and inspirations to write – music, movies, catching up with friends, travelling and even reading.
In the brink of breaking down, I decided to take some time off from everything – from writing and from any promotion activities.
I needed to find the answer to what makes all these worthwhile again. I came to the question “What am I writing for? Why do I write? What kind of writer am I? What kind of writer do I want to become?”
I was so afraid to find that I no longer knew the answer to those questions. I was lost and when I lost the reason why I write, I lost everything!
Like a lost child searching for a way home, I turned on the music I haven’t heard for quite a while. My choice went straight to the music that inspired me to write my first novel in the first place. Geez! How I missed the voice, the rhythm, the melodies especially the lyrics of the songs!
The music that came from the artist I love and admire not only because of his powerful vocals and stage presence but also his powerful message to be proud of who you are regardless how people see and judge you (Adam Lambert – Trespassing).
And as the message was written all over his music, I was inspired to put the message into a different media, into my writing, into my novel.
And that was my novel all about. My initial goal in writing my first novel and get it out there was to share this inspiring message with anyone else who wants to read and discover it.
I did not think of how many sales I would make, how popular I would become or how many fans I would have.
Honestly, at this stage, I don’t have anything to be proud of in those areas of achievements but I knew some of my readers told me they did check out Adam and his music after they read my book. So I did share his music and his message to the new group of audiences, didn’t I? At least I did achieve something in that area and believe me, thinking of that made me feel so much better.
I then remembered when I told my parents that my first novel was released. When they congratulated me, they didn’t wish my book to become a best seller or wish me to become a famous author.
Instead, they said, “Hopefully your book becomes an inspiration for many and changes lives for the better.”
It was a genuine and spontaneous reaction from them that I didn’t expect at all. The expectation was a bit unrealistic and unmeasurable, wasn’t it?
As far as I was aware off, success was measured by numbers and popularity. How do we measure success with only ‘inspirations for many’ or ‘changes lives for the better’?
I got the answer from a review by Ashley Nestler. Part of her review said:
“Watching the characters in this novel unfold was enjoyable, and I found myself growing attached to Raven by the end. He was a true warrior, and seeing his strength grow despite the setbacks of his past made me feel hope for the future of us all. Raven is a true role model for readers of all ages, and I think that young adults would benefit the most from this novel. It is a great mix of fantasy and real-life lessons within an original storyline.”
Hope. I highlighted that word incessantly. “Hope for the future of us all.” A reader read my book and she felt hope. It was one word that put the smile back on my face. It was as if I rediscovered the true meaning of writing.
That word brought a new kind of life in my writing spirit. If my writing had that kind of effect to someone, it wasn’t all for nothing.
Later on, I met a talented young author. I was so lucky to get to know her and had an opportunity to read her book (Yasmine Hamdi – Spirit of The Wind).
I won’t be a spoiler and tell you what the book is about but I highly recommend it. I quickly fell in love with her amazing book. What astonished me even more what drove her to write it.
She wrote her book because she wanted to preserve and protect nature and the wilderness. Her strong determination and passion were enough to put me to shame.
I had the same determination and passion when I wrote my novel to encourage people not to be afraid of who they are and their potential. Somewhere along the way, everything got blurred. I tumbled and lost. My meeting with Yasmine was like a reminder of what it was all about.
Writing is not all about me as the author; it isn’t all about how successful or famous I would become. It is a prize for sure but writing is also about everything I write – it has a special power in it and itself.
As a writer, I have that special power to change lives for the better or for worse – just like my parents said. And that’s why I want to become a writer in the first place.
That’s why I write.
So yes, reviews, ratings, sales, fame is important for me as a new author because there is so much to learn from them to become a better writer.
But one dearest thing I must hold onto and never lose along my writing journey is the reason I write. And with that reason set clear in my mind, I’m ready to set off.
Connect with Melka
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Big thanks to Melka for sharing her thoughts on this blog.I always appreciate the time my guest posters give to contribute to The Eternal Scribbler. Do make sure to check out Melka’s book and visit her social media pages!
Now, you may have noticed a lack of post from me last week – well, that was due to a house emergency that ate up all my spare time on Friday and Saturday, then I was out Saturday evening to enjoy Bonfire Night and when Sunday came around I….was knackered. Hence the lack of a post.
I promise this week will be different as I am (hoping) to get some time before Friday to actually get the post written! 🙂
Thanks to all my awesome readers and to the new followers who’ve joined me. Hope you like what you read. Feel free to leave me comments, I love answering them.
NB: Photos supplied by guest poster