I asked my good friend, J.C.L. Faltot to share with us a little bit about his experience as a writer. Whether you’re a writer, painter, musician, or any type of creative in between — I think you’ll be encouraged by him to continue to pursue your passion. Check out his post below
Y’All Know Me, Still the Same Old…Wait, What, You Don’t Know Me?
It’s a big world out there. Last I checked, the world census was well over six billion…and counting. That’s over six billion lives. Over six billion thoughts and opinions. And of particular interest to me, over six billion stories to tell.
The story part is of interest to me because, well, I tell stories. And sometimes those stories find their way into a book. Or two. Or three. It’s a fine way to make a hobby into something you can get a paycheck for. But, naturally, people have to know you have a book before they can buy it. Hence, the dilemma of every aspiring writer that’s out there.
Writers like me,
As a kid, I loved reading and writing. I knew from an early age that the concept of “story” intrigued me. So I began to write stories in my free time. I wrote for my teachers, my parents, and even my classmates. And with every little story, I learned something: how I told stories, my style, and what piqued my interest. These were the building blocks of a future that would seek to tell those stories on a larger scale. The larger scale being mass publication.
But, first, some work needed to be done.
In 2011, I began writing essays that would become my first published book, Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts…. And before we go any further, I know what you’re thinking: that title sounds a little absurd. And yes, you’d be absolutely right. That’s because I wanted it to be absurd. I wanted the title to sound ridiculous, to sound crazy, but most of all, be an eye-catcher. Because that’s what I thought I was supposed to be: a satirical funny man with a quirky sense of humor. I could write. I could tell stories. And I could be funny. That’s what I thought was right for me. And if I’m honest about it, it’s what felt most comfortable. Writing in any other way filled me with fear – and nobody likes to be afraid.
Turns out, God had some other plans for me. And he broke down my love affair with Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts… rather quickly. The Lord was after my heart – the one place where inspiration and desire come funneling out of. And when the timing was right – as it always is – I found myself ready to receive God too.
You see, after the release of my second book, I had a serious wake-up call. I was feeling like a failure. The writing gig, as it were, was teaching me some hard lessons. Like, how self-publishing a book is great – if you have a ready audience (I didn’t). And having more control over your work is awesome – if you’re willing to invest a lot of money with little to no promise of reward (yikes). And lastly, learning how the publishing world operates is invaluable – provided you’re willing to dive in and make mistakes along the way (and I made many). My book was out, but everything was feeling … unfair. Like, God himself was against me. I needed to change some things up. That’s when I made a choice.
I prayed to God to give me insight (what else could I do?). And when I asked, he gave me one clear message: ditch the satirical funny man pitch and write something else. Be different. Everyone can stand on the sidelines and point a finger at the problems of the world. That’s easy. Instead, ask yourself…
What really grabs your attention?
What really makes you want to pound your fists on the table with excitement?
And what is it that you really want to see realized in story?
When I stopped ignoring these areas of my heart, I got what I was looking for: a story I was excited about. And it wasn’t anything like the angry voice I had started off with. That had been replaced with a new one: a voice more like the excitable little boy who first fell in love with storytelling. I wanted to write fiction, more specifically, science fiction. Hence, The Road to Mars, was born.
God gave me a new platform. He put people in my life that could help me get published again. And what’s more, I had the unique advantage of experience on my side. Something I had initially used for my own gain was now being used for something else (funny how that works out, eh?).
So here I am again – writing stories, but doing so without that angry voice in command. And here I am, self-publishing once more, but doing so without the hard knocks of feeling helpless or defeated. And just like before, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of me. But, hey, that’s okay. I’m still working on that part. Still learning. Still experimenting. Seeing what works. Seeing what doesn’t. Only this time, I’m not afraid of doing what makes me come alive. Because with so many people in this world, it’s easy to never be noticed when you’re always afraid.
P.S. You can follow me on Facebook! Click here.