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  • Writer's picturegordonjcampbell

Things I learned while writing The Courier.

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Several favorite blogs and the writers’ community Twitter feed were buzzing a few weeks ago.

The question of the debate was whether a part-time commitment to writing would be sufficient to produce valuable creative works.

I ignored the discussions because I didn't feel worthy of commenting as a novice writer on the cusp of self-publishing his first novel. The craft of writing has intrigued me since elementary school, and my skills as a wordsmith have been intricate to the success enjoyed through business.

I didn't have the vision nor the guts to commit to a career in writing from a young age.

My motivation to write going forward will never be the monetary reward as I’ve taken care of my family’s financial needs through other methods.

My reason to write is simply the fascination with the development of a story and the opportunity to engage with people who appreciate the art. (I hope some people like the story.)

Gregg Westwood is the protagonist in my first novel, and he's forced to find ways to survive, not unlike any writer pushed out of his or her comfort zone and striving to live on the sales of their work.

Stephen King worked as a teacher and in a laundry mat while typing his early novels throughout the evenings and into the early mornings. O. Henry created his short stories while in debtors’ prison.

Opportunity, commitment, luck, and hard work seem to be part of the formula for success as a writer. These factors are also part of the recipe to achieve most things worthwhile in life.

I’ve been encouraged by some fellow writers to share two points with aspiring authors. Enter first novel competitions and purchase the additional critiques by experts if offered by the contest. You might also consider hiring an editor from the Reedsy website or similar sources. ( .)

Both the contests and editors are vehicles ready to offer honest, and sometimes brutally real and straight shooting direction. Reading the cold assessments were painful at the time, but the process made my work better.

A clean manuscript free of grammatical errors, plot miscalculations, multiple points of view, and unrealistic concepts will have a better chance of finding an interested agent or success in the self-publishing world.

Would I like to be a full-time writer? Absolutely.

Let’s see if The Courier gains critical mass, and enough people demand the second novel currently in development by Gordon J. Campbell.

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