The early days of writing my first novel, The Very Real World of Emily Adams, were painful. Plagued by self-doubt, I knew my ideas were a bit unorthodox and wouldn’t speak to everyone. Would my work even go anywhere? Was it worth all the effort I put into it.
Then I read a story that Stephen King told in the introduction of his book, Skeleton Crew.
Once upon a time, Stephen King had the pukes. He laid in bed, alone, in a spare bedroom of his house in too much pain and misery to sleep. All he could do was stare at the ceiling.
Then a story came into his mind. As he watched and pondered this story, he finally calmed down, relaxed, and eventually drifted away into sleep.
Once he felt better, he wrote the story down and called it Word Processor Of The Gods and sold it to Playboy. It was featured in one of their magazines.
Later, a friend was over at Stephen King’s house and asked him why he even bothered to write that story. “You hardly made any money from that,” he said. “What’s the point of even doing it?”
This argument made King mad. When his friend asked if there was more beer, he lied and told him no so he would leave.
King wrote, “You don’t do it for the money; you do it because it saves you from feeling bad. A man or woman able to turn his or her back on that is just a monkey… The story paid me by letting me get back to sleep when I felt like I couldn’t. I paid the story back by getting it concrete, which it wanted to be. The rest is just side effects.”
This taught me such an important lesson at that critical time, a lesson that has carried me through every excruciating edit, every major roadblock and nearly every gut-wrenching moment of self-doubt. It’s not about whether or not you fly or fail. It really isn’t. It’s about whether or not what you’re doing matters to you. It’s about whether or not it has meaning and if it makes your heart sing with happiness.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Live from the heart. I know all too well that it’s easy to get wrapped up in stupid stuff—the stuff that has no lasting value. It’s so easy to judge a thing on a dumb, superficial scale… but the second you do that, the joy behind it disappears.
Stephen King also said, “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dated, getting laid or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
What we choose to do in life—whether it’s writing, making things, coding things, reading things, studying things, designing things, doing construction, digging in the dirt, whatever—we should do it because it makes us happy, because it saves us. Our time is as sand in an hour glass. At first it seems unending, but it isn’t long before we realize each grain is numbered. Fall in love with what you’re doing. To do that is to fall in love with life. To do that, is to find happiness.
Meet the writer:
Samantha Rose is a forever-student at Utah State University, who will one day have her Masters Degree in Psychology. She wrote her first novel in permanent marker on her sister’s vanity chair when she was three-years-old. It wasn’t well received.
She currently resides in the mountains, in a little house full of toys, where she’s enjoying her happily ever after with her Prince Charming and three adorable, little bears.
Her debut novel, The Very Real World of Emily Adams, releases June 9th.
You can find Samantha @ whererosewritesverytruestories.com .
How do you find time to write?
I seize time to write whenever my kids and husband will let me. I even take my laptop with me on trips—no matter how small the trip—just in case an opportunity presents itself. If we go shopping and my husband wants to go into a store that I have no interest in visiting, I have my laptop! I happily wait in the car and write away. Stuck waiting for an hour at the doctor’s office? I just got an hour of writing done! My goal is to write something every day, even if it’s just a sentence.
Do you have any special writing rituals or routines?
Sometimes, before I start writing, if I want to really immerse myself in the mood of a scene, I will listen to music that fills my mind with the emotions I’m trying to capture.
What is the strangest thing you researched for this book?
I actually did a decent amount of research on the Mothman. I watched a creepy documentary twice, and read a book called “Encounters with Flying Humanoids” by Ken Gerhard. The Mothman was one of the early inspirations for some of my characters. I thought, “What if the Mothman was a government experiment that got loose?” And then, “What if people on other planets were conducting similar experiments?” And it all spiraled from there.
Books by Samantha J. Rose
"Be a rebel. In a world of darkness, become light." Emily Adams has lost everything. Injured from a fight with her now officially-ex-boyfriend, she's fled to an unfamiliar city with nothing but the change in her pocket and a broken relationship with her father. As hope slips away, she seeks to put a permanent end to her pain... Until an enchanting encounter with a magic man in a dress changes everything. Given a new chance at life, Emily embarks on a journey with her new BFF, a mysterious clairvoyant, and a band of musicians to stop the monsters that threaten the world. And she may uncover something even more impossible-if she can let go of the past and believe in herself enough to embrace it.
★★★★★"The Very Real World of Emily Adams is a rich modern tale with dark suspense and redemptive love. It is the perfect balance of mysterious and inspiring and the kind of story that draws you in and won't let go until every last word is consumed." -Kaci Morgan, author of Queen Immortal