by Tiffany S. Doran
One line at the end of The Bookwanderers by Anna James—which doesn’t give anything away about the story—really struck me, and actually gave me the motivation to write this. It’s something I think writers can appreciate and understand:
Stories last much longer than we do. Our stories are how we will be remembered—so we’ve got to make sure they are worth telling.
Wow, did that ever hit me. I connected with that so much. No matter where you are in your writing, you can take these words with you. I know I will.
When the whole world closed down, minus a few essential places and positions, seemingly in an instant last month, I got in a great dose of reading—one of the few benefits of being stuck at home for weeks on end, not to mention having my hours cut at work just before being furloughed.
On one of those days, we made a family trip to the grocery store—feeling a strong need to be out of the house for a little bit—and I noticed that Barnes & Noble was still open. Excitement filled my soul. A bookstore! A place that felt…normal, while I was stuck in a world that felt far from it. I walked inside, and all the smells hit me at once. The freshly printed pages, entangled with the smell of fresh coffee, brought a smile to my face.
I took my time as I searched the spines of all the new releases. I looked over some of Hope Ramsay’s Last Chance books while my daughter found a book about hamster princes and then started in on Erin Hunter’s Warriors: Into the Wild.
We then made our way over to the children’s section, where I got to talking with the manager about everything that was going on. I told him how much I loved books but how indecisive I was, and he made a suggestion. “The Bookwanderers“, he said, “is a great book that I highly recommend. We have only a few left. It has really sold well.” He led me over to a table that held the only two remaining copies. As I flipped through some of the pages, toying with the idea of buying it, I noticed that it was on sale, and that sealed the deal for me. That day, we returned home with all of our groceries plus three books, which meant it was still true that I can never be trusted to walk into a bookstore and not purchase something.
Your characters, plot twists, and happily ever afters—or happily ever nevers—will stick with someone long after they’ve put down your books.
The bookstore manager was right! I highly recommend The Bookwanderers. And it really got me thinking: So many pages line the shelves at bookstores, all filled with other people’s ideas and ingenuity. Suppose those authors had never put forth the effort to do anything with their talent. It’s easy to get discouraged when we’ve written something we’re not pleased with. Even if your inner critic tells you it’s garbage, to a reader it may be as beautiful as a freshly bloomed flower in the spring. No matter what you think of your own writing, focus instead on how your readers will receive it.
What you are writing now is how you will be remembered. Your characters, plot twists, and happily ever afters—or happily ever nevers—will stick with someone long after they’ve put down your books. So instead of being remembered as a blank page, be remembered for everything you’ve written.
Tiffany S. Doran is the award-winning author of soon-to-be-published Desires of the Heart. She’s a Tier IV Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, where you can see what she’s currently working on. You can also pick up copies of Tiffany’s published books on Amazon, and connect with her on her blog.
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