Guest Post: A Letter to all Aspiring Writers by Leonora Meriel
Greetings, aspiring writers!
You are dreaming about the most wonderful job in the world. But also one of the hardest jobs in the world.
First of all – the desire to write is a wonderful impulse. Our world is creative and your soul is responding to the most fundamental urge of the conscious being – to play with worlds, words, ideas, possibilities. To create. It is the most beautiful and natural thing, and it suggests that the inner child in you is very much alive. This is important, as you will need to let your inner child roam freely in order for your stories to be the most wild and imaginative they can be.
Writing – and any form of creation, be it painting, dreaming up buildings, dancing, music – are the most natural and beautiful expressions of the best side of humanity. This is why they are so highly valued and loved and appreciated. It is a great and noble thing that you desire to be a writer, so now, here are some practical elements of the dream, and some up and down sides to the journey of fulfilling your dream.
The most clear definition of a writer is: someone who writes. So, time to start scribbling, click-clacking or speaking into your voice recorder. Make it a habit. Make it sacred. Write every single day. Make it the most important thing you do in the day. The clearest sign of a serious writer is what they read. So, time to start reading strategically. Whatever genre you write in, read widely from the best authors and analyze what they do.
And finally – learn to complete a piece of work. Start with a poem. Write it. Edit it. Finish it. Say – it’s the best I can do at this point in my writing life. And leave it. Then write a short story and do the same. Then a novella. And then – yes! You’re ready for a novel. Write the novel (6 months); edit the novel (6 months); if you think it is publishable then pay an editor to improve it (2 months); and pay a proof-reader to check it (2 weeks). At this point, you have a finished product which is the very best you can produce at this point in your writing life.
And then next step? Do it again. Your next work will be better. And better. And better. And you will be a writer.
There are so many ups and downs in the journey of a writer. It is a strange career where we put our work on public for the entire world to judge. We have to learn to accept the praise and the disgust for work that has come pouring from our soul. And yet, despite the ups and the downs, writing is still the most beautiful, noble and natural occupation for human beings. Creating, imagining and playing with worlds and words.
Go – write! Create! Weave ideas and possibilities! Whether it is a hobby or your full-time career, every piece of creativity on the Earth makes it a more beautiful place.
About the Author:
Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm. In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company.
She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.
During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.
In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.
Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.