A couple of weeks ago I'd met up with a friend I hadn't talked to for over a decade. He used to be an instructor at the martial arts school I'd taught at. Read about my opinions about that in my bio.
We're both writers and we'd talked about writing the story that calls to us. With all the vampiric stories that are being churned both in the publishing and film industry, I don't blame people for jumping on the band wagon. But the point of being an artist is to express your soul. And if your soul says write a vampire story, then write a vampire story.
When it comes to finding out what you want to do with your life, what story should be written, what path you should take, you need to be honest with yourself. How do you be honest with yourself?
First of all, are you honest with other people? I'm not talking about being a saint, never telling lies, never doing anything wrong. Were human. But do you care about what other people say about you? Do care about what other people think about you? Do you put all your stock in your status in life?
Why is this important?
Because any of this, namely your ego, can block your true self. You become motivated by the things that seem important--the size of your house, the German car in your massive garage, the name brand clothes you wear, the title of your job, bottled water. Do these things matter? That's for you to decide. Do they matter when it comes toexpressing yourself honestly? No.
When I went to the San Francisco Writers Conference, Richard Paul Evans, one of the keynote speakers said something that really hit home. Especially since he's a New York Times bestselling author. He said write your truth. Don't hop on the bandwagon. Don't be a follower. Lead by leading.
Bruce Lee said the same thing. Honestly express yourself.
Look at the things that you're drawn to. Do you love music? Any particular kind? Try that out. Do you love software programming? Try that out. Do you love selling? If you have an affinity for houses, maybe you should be a real estate agent. Or if you love helping people get healthier, maybe you should try physical therapy, personal training, nursing.
Is there a common theme that runs throughout your life?
For me, I've always loved stories. And I always loved fantasizing, putting myself in action movie roles, imagining what it would be like to be betrayed by a close friend, finding myself in a fantasy land where I'm a warlord. Since my sophomore year, I've tried to write novels. But when it came to deciding a major in college, I never thought of majoring in English or creative writing. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe the things I had to go through as a person lent itself to writing the series of novels that I'm writing now.
I'm not angry about it. Nor do I judge it. I realize that I have stories to be told, and I'm telling them.