Being a Writer: Going from Title to Truth by J.R. Fehr
A lot of people say they’re writers, but not a lot of people actually write. I say this because that was me for many years. Sure, I had “written” things—even a few unpublished novels—but I was not writing regularly.
In one of the first conversations that I ever had with Chris Hansen—back when I had asked him to train me in story—he told me that I needed to be writing for at least three hours a day. This was one of his requirements for working with new writers.
“Three hours a day writing?” I couldn’t believe it. “That’s not possible. I have a job. I work eight hours a day.”
“It is possible,” he told me, “people do it all the time—people with families and careers. Sometimes it requires them to get up really early and write before going off to work. But they find time to do it.”
And then he said the words that would haunt and challenge me for months to come. “Writers write, directors direct, actors act, animators animate, etc. If you want to be a writer, then you need to be writing regularly.”
Hmm. I wasn’t writing three hours a day. I wasn’t even writing three hours a week! Had I been deceiving myself? Was I really a writer?
As I examined that question, I realized a hard truth. I wasn’t a writer. I was someone who wanted to be a writer.
But wanting to be something and actually being it are two different things. So I sat down and challenged myself to try and write a little bit each day. I didn’t exactly think that Chris was right when he suggested that three hours a day was realistic, but I figured I’d try to do at least an hour a day.
It took time—a lot of time—before I was able to build a routine around writing and develop the discipline required to sit down and write daily. At first, it was difficult to last even an hour before I would get distracted and seek some other kind of stimulation (I watched a lot more TV back then).
There were many blocks for me—insecurities and self-doubts that kept me from writing regularly. I was afraid that I would be judged, that people wouldn’t like my writing, and that the things I wrote would expose me. Worst of all, I was afraid that I wasn’t any good.
But as I worked on writing regularly, I gradually developed more and more focus. Soon, I found it much easier to get to that blissful place known to artists as a “flow state.” I was writing for hours at a time without any issues.
And best of all, I felt refreshed and energized while doing it! Writing daily became like breathing to me. Once I got into the habit of writing every day, I found it difficult to stop. On days that I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing.
That was what it took for me to realize that, yes, I could truly call myself a writer. Writing was now, without a doubt, something that I would be doing for the rest of my life. Before I came to this conclusion, I wasn’t really sure. I guess it was just more of a hobby for me—something I pursued on weekends or whenever I felt like it. It took me awhile to see the need to make writing a routine.
So, my advice to other aspiring writers is the same advice that I was given. If you want to be a writer, then just start writing. Don’t wait for inspiration or for that lucky break to come around. If it’s in you to write, and you can do it for long periods of time without feeling miserable, then you’re a writer. You don’t need publications, a career, or public recognition to make you one. Create because it’s in you to create. Imagine because your mind is a wonderful place. And most of all, write without fear and love the things you write. If you can do all this, and do it regularly, then—woo hoo!—you are a writer.
About the Books:
The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One
Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Publisher: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.
Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.
Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.
Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.
The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two
Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.
In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?
Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.
About the Authors:
The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.
When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.
Contact the Authors: