You Can Write The Next Great Novel!
Did you know, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee makes an estimated $3.3 million US Dollars in royalties each year? According to wiseGEEK.com, this is equivalent to around $9,000 USD each day. What is particularly amazing is that these funds all stem from the one book published in 1960 – the only novel she ever published.
Lee Harper is the success story most writers dream of, though it was not easy. It took a lot of hard work.
Whoops! There it is – that word – WORK. It is the four-letter-word we can not escape.
For Lee Harper, according to a biography in The Big Read, she spent at least five-years on the manuscript and nearly lost it when she tossed the pages out a window.
I can picture her now, at her typewriter, staring at the page she has rewritten more times than she can remember. Her eyes blurry and her head hurting – she feels frustrated and inept.
Then, she snaps!
Her fists pound her desk and she throws back her head in an anguished cry. She springs from her chair, toppling it as she storms over to a window. With both hands she forces it open, ignoring the cold burst of wind that pushes past her, snatching at window curtains and her nightgown. She reaches back to her desk and for the loose leaf manuscript lying there. She takes it in her hands and then flings it out the window, scattering the pages on the icy wind.
Fortunately for her and the rest of us, Lee had a change of heart and rescued her manuscript from the icy slush.
Once a publisher/editor did get his hands on it, it was then another two and a half years of editing before To Kill A Mockingbird was publishable.
The moral of this story is that it can be done. You can write the next “Great Novel”. But, you need to be prepared and willing to put in the hard work.
And, maybe stay clear of any windows.
Until Thursday, Write On!
~ K. L. Parry