June 17, 2014

What Writers Regret

by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine

By the time the mag celebrates its 3rd anniversary in July, we will have had the pleasure of featuring over 600 authors in Southern Writers Magazine.  All have published at least one book, some have as many as 50 or more (I think those authors deserve to have a statue made of them).  If you add up all the books by all these authorsand of course, 600 is just the tip of the literary icebergwe're talking thousands of books by these excellent wordsmiths.

One question we often ask during interviews is, If you could change anything in your writing career, what would it be? And this is the answer we've received hundreds of times:

I wish I'd started writing sooner.

This regret is echoed by writers of all ages, not just the ones who followed their inner Dickens after retirement.  The thrill of having publishing dreams come true at 25 is no less exciting than at 75.  And the bottom line is, no matter when they do it, they regret not having started sooner.

What does this oft-repeated sentiment tell us?  That authors who have experienced the joys and the struggles of committing to their craft have discovered it to be a rewarding enough undertaking that they only wish they could have had more of it in their lives.

How much greater regret will be felt by the many would-be writers who always knew they had a book in them, but never made the time to write the first chapter?

When you're writing, you're 100% more productive than every other writer who isn't writing.  I don't know who said that first, but I'll give credit to Annie K., from whom I heard it first.  (I encourage you to visit Annie K.'s awesomely motivating blog post on the 50 Reasons You Should Be Writing Right Now.)

For any of us who feel the urge to write, it's an essential part of our nature and something that will never be satisfied until it's fulfilled.  Whether we put our everything into it now, or put it off for some distant future, the day will come when we say, "I wish I'd started writing sooner."

One thing's for certain. You will never say, "I wish I hadn't become a writer."

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