An Unexpected Writer’s Journey
All writers start out with one or more objectives in mind, whether it’s simply to complete a story or to become an author of a best-selling series. For me, writing goals are like destinations. They’re out there in the distance, waiting to be arrived at, and all the work and ups and downs required to reach them are the writer’s journey. Sometimes we mark out our expected path and other times we set off with simply the end point in mind. But even in the latter case we usually have some expectation of how we will get to our destination, of how we will make our writing dreams come true.
When those expectations don’t become reality, when the path to our goals takes an unexpected twist or hits an unexpected obstacle, it’s easy to become discouraged, to feel like you’ll never get to the place you hope to reach. What I’ve discovered over the years, however, is that our journeys often won’t unfold as we imagined, at least not exactly as we imagined, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
When I first decided that I wanted a career as a writer, I was focused on writing television scripts. In time, I switched to writing mostly novels, but at that point my genres of choice were science fiction and urban fantasy. My goal changed from becoming a television writer to becoming a published sci-fi and fantasy novelist.
What I didn’t foresee at that time was that my path would take another turn. I’m a life-long lover of mysteries and wanted to write one of my own for a long time before I finally decided to go ahead and give it a shot. What I discovered in the process of writing my first cozy mystery is that a mystery writer is what I’m truly meant to be. That’s not to say that I won’t ever write other genres (I still do) but having mysteries, specifically cozy mysteries, as my main focus is the right fit for me. And although I imagined something quite different for myself in the beginning, I’m in an even better place now. With an awesome agent and my debut novel now published, I’m pretty much in writer heaven.
Of course there were ups and downs along the way, obstacles and bumps in the road that at times made my goals seem unachievable. But even though my path didn’t follow the route I expected, and even though my destination changed along the way, things have still turned out well.
My journey is still in progress, of course, and I hope it will be for a long time, but I’m thoroughly enjoying where I am at the moment. And from the experience of getting to the point where I am now, I’ve learned a valuable lesson — even if your writing path takes you in an unexpected direction, even if it seems at times like you’re completely off course, with perseverance you’ll end up in a good place. It may not always be the exact place that you imagined, but it could be just as good. Or maybe even better.
Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Her debut cozy mystery, Dead Ringer, was released in early June 2015 by HarperCollins. The first in the Music Lover’s Mystery Series, Dead Ringer features Midori Bishop, a professional violinist with a penchant for sleuthing.