I wake up thinking about it. Thinking, “How do I get there? What do I do today to get myself published and into a thriving career that can propel me through the 26 books I am planning or have written?” It stands before me when I wake up and follows me to the kitchen. It pours my coffee and wakes me up. It has its hand on my shoulder all day, an ever-present reminder that I’m not there yet, that I need to keep working, that I need to make myself better.
I have tied my future to it, bound the fate of my family to it, locked my family name to it. All I can do is fight every day, from the moment I get up, for this one thing. I think about it always. I think about it in my sleep. This is it. This is my life. I have made it all about this one goal. My goal is simple.
I want to be the best. I want to create stories that tie people up inside. I want Aaron the Marked to save the lives of teenagers on the edge. I want Peter Redfist to inspire and frighten people. I want to change the way people are raising their kids with my thesis statement, simple yet rewarding. If I can get their attention. If they will listen to me, I can tell them all, “Invest in your children and you can change the world.” It is the one thing I have made my life about. I want it all and I am willing to bleed for it.
I am willing to work hours beyond count. Honing all day, digging with every waking hour for the right plot points and the right character developments. I am willing to bash my head against the wall searching for the answers, willing to do anything to make the story pristine.
This is what it is to be a writer, this dedication, this level of inspiration, this level of focus. I can do a thing that most people can’t. I have an ability that most cannot fully understand—that I cannot fully understand. I’m not sure where it comes from, not sure how I find it, but it comes and I’ll take it. Writers who are willing to do this should be read. I am earning that right every day.
Fuck getting paid. Fuck the money of it. If it was the money, I would have walked away by now. It’s the right to be read, the right to set a book in front of a person and say, “Here, give this your time. Invest your emotions and your mind to this.” Mediocre doesn’t work. Mediocre can’t get it done. Fuck you, get it right. Work it and polish it and seek the truth in your own work or don’t waste our time. If you’re going to be a writer, then bleed. Bleed out in the open, where everyone can see. Humiliate yourself and show it all. Bare yourself to the world, because anything less is a fucking insult.
Learn how to do it better, and better, and when you figure it out, reinvent it. Writing is not a job here. Not in this place, where I sit day after day pounding to break my fingers on a keyboard that was built to take it. Writing is not a nine-to-five here. Here in this room, it is a religion. It is a place to come to find truth, to hear the word of God. It is a place to find yourself and lose yourself. It is the wilderness. It is the desert. It is a walkabout. It is a vision quest. This is where fire meets steel, where sweat and tears become the power to move people and break hearts.
This is my obsession. This is my life.