one thousand words {day sixteen}

We’re doing something a little different tonight, partially because I’m on an author high, and partially because I think it’s good to recognize the people you admire.  I’m not talking about pedestal people, I’m talking about real, flawed individuals that drive you to betterness.  For me, Brandon Sanderson is one of those people.

Have you ever read something that is so transcendent you have to sit down and breathe?  That’s how I felt when I first read Warbreaker.  It was the summer of 2009 and we were in the slow summer months at the University of San Diego.  I was working, but there was literally no work to do.  I was googling “free ebooks” and somehow I ended up on Brandon’s site, looking at the first chapter of Warbreaker.  From there it was like an addiction. 

But it wasn’t until I finished the Mistborn Trilogy that books were changed forever.  I’ve read a lot of fantasy.  What I love about Brandon’s books is he takes traditional epic fantasy tropes and turns them on their head.  This, combined with his emotional manipulation and character growth in the unfolding, makes his novels a delight and a surprise.  I have yet to walk away from his novels feeling dissatisfied.

As a Catholic, I respect that he keeps sex out of his books.  This might be an unpopular opinion, but I have always found it distasteful to read books in the fantasy genre fraught with sex.  I’m in it for the story, for the magic, for the characters.  Gratuitous and often plot halting sex scenes are usually skipped, or it’s enough for me to put down the book permanently.  I have struggled in reading and watching the Game of Thrones series because there is  It rarely adds to the story, and even when it is plot driven, it’s so over the top.  My husband and I spend the majority of those episodes with our eyes closed, and if it wasn’t for incredible characters we wouldn’t be watching at all.  I never finished the Mists of Avalon and I skipped sections of Stephen King books to avoid graphic sexual scenes.  With Brandon, I don’t have to worry about choosing between good literature and what makes me comfortable.  He writes excellent literature and proves that a sexually driven plot isn’t necessary.

This is probably sounding like a puff piece at this point.  But it’s not.  Brandon makes me want to be a better writer.  He makes me believe I can be.  I’ve been listening to his podcast for several years now, and it reminds me that I can do this.  Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.  He wrote somewhere around twelve novels before Elantris was picked up.  He has worked hard in his career and his calling and inspires others to do that as well.  Heck, he even let me skip the line at his reading tonight so I could make it home to be with Anthony and because I’ve been especially nauseous today with Eccles #2.  And you know what?  He signed my books for my kids, one for Anthony and one for each of the baby names we have picked out.  That is awesome. 

Being a writer is hard.  I have a lot of days where I’m editing my work and all I see is piles of crap.  I have a lot of days where I wonder why I’m wasting my time getting my masters, or why I’m taking away time from Anthony to click clack away on my keyboard, or why I even bother when it feels like I’m on a road to nowhere.  But I’m not.  With each word I’m getting closer to publication.  With each typo or grammar mistake I’m learning more about my method and what works for me.  With every minute that I spend writing I’m improving myself, so that someday I’ll be at Mysterious Galaxy for my book release.  And maybe I’ll be changing lives and literature the way Brandon has changed mine.  Maybe people will hate it and I’ll go home and cry by myself in the shower.  But I will have done it.

 We don’t know all that we are capable of.  God has given us special gifts, special talents.  Sometimes we get it and can tap into those things.  Sometimes we don’t and it hurts and it’s hard and we get discouraged.  That’s okay.  Remember Gethsemane?  Jesus had His moments too.  And yet here we are.  We have the opportunity to read and to write and to maybe fangirl over authors that have influenced us in big and little ways.  And if you’re reading this, if you’re writing with me, if you’re waiting for someone to tell you to take that leap- this is it.  It’s okay to be afraid.  I am too. 

But don’t give up.  Don’t lose faith.  And certainly, don’t stop. 

That’s what I learned tonight, friends.  Being a writer is who I am, not what I do.  We are so wonderfully made.

Also, for whatever reason, it's not letting me edit in HTML mode.  Link in the comments if you have them :)


  1. Dude you have me crying. In a good way.

  2. seems a few of us needed to read those words Megan. Thank you! <3

  3. I did mine a day late and so I'm posting my link here. Hopefully, it won't happen again.

  4. I agree with out about the 'sex' part of most stories. It is mostly gratuitous and not necessary for the plot at all.

  5. It's good to know others feel this way too. I read an awesome blog one time where the writer said she had another writer friend she would get encouragement from when she was down and the words wouldn't come. She wrote that it felt like "a warm hand in the dark". This was one of those warm hands. Thanks, Megan.