To celebrate the publication of She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick, I am really pleased to welcome the author on to the blog. Marcus has written an inspiring letter to his unpublished self, which I do believe will motivate others still waiting to reach their publishing dream.
16 years ago
Stop that, stop thinking. Get on with it. Just do it (write that down, it sounds like a good strapline for a sports manufacturer). Get on with writing, and stop worrying about it.
What do you mean? You already are…? Oh, I thought you were struggling with things, with, you know, writing. You’re not? You’re getting on fine…? Can I look at what you’re doing?
No, fair enough, I wouldn’t show anyone else either. It’s just that I thought you might be finding things hard, not knowing what to do, that kind of thing. It’s hard to look back, you know. So much time has gone by since you wrote The Machine, plus those other three books that were so bad that…
Okay, I’m sorry. That was a low remark. I know you know that you were just trying to learn how to write. If only you’d had the confidence to go on a creative writing course… but no, I guess you’re right, that would have never worked for you. It works for some people, I can see that now, but you were far too timid to ever show anything to anyone. And yet then, you did just that – how did you manage that? What? You were naïve? You just sent things off and thought someone might publish them? I don’t buy it, I really don’t, but if you say so, I guess I have to believe you.
So what advice can I offer you? Have sixteen years taught me anything that’s worth knowing? Well, I think it all comes down to just one thing: never forget why you started writing in the first place. I did, a couple of times, and that’s when things went wrong. That’s when I didn’t know what to write anymore, or if I did, how to do it. The last time, it took me a long time to get it straight, and I only did in the end by remembering that one thing: why did you start in the first place? To make money? To be published? To have people read your stories? No, none of those things, and I know you know why, really, deep down. Just don’t forget it.
I ought to leave you alone now. I can see you’re busy. Writing, writing without a care in the world, or a thought about why you’re doing it. No whens or whos or hows, or whats. Just don’t forget that, will you…?
Because, if you keep at it, just like that, one day you’ll write a book about coincidence, and one day you’ll even get to talk about it, and write a blog about your book about coincidence for a blog called Serendipity. And I know that would make you smile.
She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick is published by Orion and is available to buy now.
To find out more about Marcus Sedgwick: