Outlasting The Written Flood by Jami Gray

Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Jami Gray as she shares with us “Outlasting The Written Flood.” Enjoy!


Every format of story telling—written, sung, painted, sculpted, photographed, inked, digitally enhanced—shares a sprinkle of an illusive elixir, a potion which will enable the viewer or reader to step into the magical world crafted from the artist’s mind. It is combination of words, note arrangement, brush strokes, use of lines, lighting, or shading that snag the listener’s imagination and set their hooks in so deep they believe, for a heartbeat or a collection of moments, that the artist’s fantastical world is real.

This is the essence of story telling, something every artist strives to find. So much so, we’ll keep at it, creating and recreating, again and again, chasing the illusive beauty. Unfortunately, you can’t make deals with the evil sea witch at the bottom of the ocean or sign away your forevers with a wily man with a deceptive smile to get your hands on this ingredient.  Nope, you have to do the hard way, devoting hours of endless practice, and crafting thousands upon thousands of words until you think there’s nothing left. It’s not always fun and there are times when you are left drained and disheartened, your creative spark dimmed. But when you step back after typing “THE END” or put the final touch of blue on your canvas or the last, sweet note slowly fades, there is an incandescent joy that outshines all the difficult moments leading up to this final culmination.

So when someone comes up to me and says, “You write? Wow, that’s great. You know, I’ve always wanted to write a book.”  I’ve heroically managed not to shake them until their teeth fall out of their heads.  Not because I’m angry, but because I want them to grasp the enormity of what they’re pondering.

Writing a book is not a matter of stringing 80,000 plus words together, seasoned with the correct punctuation to keep all those words in line. It’s not a matter of following a set formula—one female plus one male, multiplied by danger to the third power, divided by a dead body, minus a loveable dog that saves the day equals best-selling novel that rakes in millions. It isn’t even a matter of finding the magical marketing strategy that launches you across the world (although that would be awesome if such a strategy existed).

Writing isn’t easy and I dare anyone to say it is.

Writing means incorporating what you, the writer, have learned thanks to life’s lessons, teaching those lessons to your characters, putting them in an unforgettable world, dragging them through an emotional journey that will last longer than 250 plus pages, and leaving your readers changed. That’s story telling.

In this current market, there are books of all calibers available, and it can be difficult to raise your voice above the rest. It’s discourage to be drowned out in the tidal wave of new releases, but have faith, don’t give up, keep going.  If you want to survive in today’s publishing, keep challenging yourself and your writing. Try a new point of view, take a chance on that unique character, twist that world into something a bit skewed. Find your writer voice. Yes, every story that’s ever been told has already been told, but don’t let that stop you. You are the only you around, and the way you view your world is unique to you. Share that with your reader. Don’t be afraid to step out of the accepted lines. That it the beauty of art—it doesn’t always need to follow the rules.

As a reader and writer, I can appreciate the work that goes into a book. I have no problems taking a chance with new writers (how else do you find your next read?), but I can also distinguish between those who will still be there when the publishing floodwaters begin to recede and those who’ll be dragged back out into the wild. Those who survive the flood will do so because they kept swimming, kept reaching for that illusive magic no matter how far out of reach the shore seemed. Those sucked back out to sea are going to be those who give up when it seems like the shore drifts further and further away.

You want to write a book? Great, then keep swimming.



Jami GrayJami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.

If you want to hunt her down, she can be found lurking around the following cyber locations:

Website:     www.JamiGray.com


Twitter:   https://twitter.com/JamiGrayAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JamiGray

Google+:  https://google.com/+JamiGray

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI

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  • Jami Gray says:

    Happy end of May all! Much thanks to the Writers Fun Zone for allowing me to continuously crash in with my humble opinions!

  • Beth Barany says:

    You’re so welcome, Jami! Sorry for my delay in replying! We love having you here!

  • Jamie, Your article inspired me. Now, I better stop reading e-mail and get back to writing my next book. Carolyn Rae Author – facebook.

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