There are more Novelists by Night than you may think. In fact, most novelists, I would suspect, at the very least, began as part-time writers who were also juggling their full-time jobs. Did you know that Nicholas Sparks was a former full time scholarship athlete at the University of Notre Dame? In fact, he still holds a track and field record at that same university. Mr. Sparks also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at a public high school. He wrote THE NOTEBOOK in six months!
Since THE NOTEBOOK, Mr. Sparks has written an average of one book per year, which translates into 20 books in 20 years. Need I say, “impressive?” OK, it goes without saying…but, WOW!
Stephanie Meyer, author of the famous TWILIGHT series, worked as a stay-at-home mom with 3 sons, when she began her writing career. Agatha Christie, aka the “Queen of Crime” and noted as the “second best selling author of all time” after William Shakespeare, worked as a nurse at a hospital during WWI when she started writing. Mark Twain left 5th grade, when his father passed away, to go to work and support his family. One of his jobs was as a printer’s apprentice, another was as an editorial assistant at his brother’s newspaper, which is where he realized his love of writing. Later, he even became a river pilot’s apprentice, earning his license so that he could travel frequently up and down the great Mississippi River, which as we all know, became a featured setting in many of his most famous works.
The list goes on and on, including famous names such as Stephen King, who was a high school English teacher, J.K. Rowling who was on welfare before gaining fame, writing the Harry Potter books. Charles Dickens worked at a shoe factory and John Grisham as an attorney.
Nora Roberts, author of more than 200 novels, has been quoted as saying that opting for writing as a career demands discipline in life:
“You’re going to be unemployed if you really think you just have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your shoulder.”
Those of us who love to write know that the experience is both meaningful and satisfying. We know that there is something very fulfilling about throwing ourselves into our individual projects where the end goal is to cross that finish line and complete a novel. The most important point to keep in mind is that this extraordinary endeavor is absolutely attainable; however, as Mrs. Roberts said, it is one that will absolutely take discipline.
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