As a writer, picking my favorite author is difficult. (Maybe this is difficult for people who don’t write and only read, I don’t know.) However, I am certain that one of my favorite authors is Christopher Paolini. I got the opportunity to meet Christopher Paolini at a book signing and was able to ask him one question. I would have much rather sat down and had a chat with him, but because of a time constraint I was only allowed a moment. The question I decided upon was “What advice would you give to someone wanting to be a successful author?”
His response to my question was, (drum roll, please) “Write every day.”
His answer didn’t surprise me. (My first thought was probably something along the lines of, “Well, duh. Thanks, Chris.”) I have even struggled with thinking I’d wasted my question. After some reflection, I’ve decided it was good to hear the simplest of answers from someone who’s succeeded in doing what I love to do. Wanting to be an author can be an intimidating life goal, at times. Learning how to pay the bills while pursuing a writing career is stressful. Pursuing writing itself shouldn’t be, and the thought that this tidbit of advice is one of the aspects of achieving my goal is encouraging.
Now, I would love to say I’ve taken his advice and followed it to a “T,” but it’s not good to lie. Recently, I’ve gotten better. This blog has helped. I’m writing more and more. Another thing that has helped me, that I mentioned in a previous post, is managing my time in a way that I do more of what I am passionate about and gifted in. When I’m ancient, I’m not going to care if my house was messy when I was 24 years old. I’m going to care if I was living life in a way that allowed me to reach my potential. Only a couple days after I chose to spend some quality time on an illustration to go with a poem instead of some mundane tasks, I felt lighter. (I didn’t sulk over my house not being clean and did get around to doing it later.) People noticed a glow in my face. That was after only doing it once! Just think if I did that on a more regular basis.
…which I have been. (YAY!) I’ve been devoting more time to writing, drawing, and acting. Priorities are being set straight, but I’m definitely still learning. (Never stop learning.) So, I’m finally taking Paolini’s advice, but I’m even expounding upon it. Success is in the eye of the beholder. I would agree that I should write every day. I should also draw. I should also act. Finding the delicate balance of each of these is what I’m working on right now.
Thank you, Christopher Paolini for the simplicity in the crucial words of wisdom you shared. I regret that I didn’t appreciate it right away, but if you ever have the opportunity to read this post one day, I want you to know that I’m grateful and am finally putting the advice to good use. I hope to continue to use it to inspire me, not only in writing but in other activities I’m devoted to, as well.
(Maybe when I’m a successful author our paths will cross again, and we can pick each other’s brains a little more.)