Lorilyn Roberts joins us at Creative Worlds to discuss the sacrifices a writer makes to create fiction worth reading. I admire both Lorilyn for writing this inspiring post and the beautiful pictures she provided for us to enjoy. Thank you!
Stars Aren’t Born – They Are Made
Guest Post by Young Adult Fantasy Author Lorilyn Roberts
As an author who provides sports captioning for television, sometimes my passions merge, giving me an unorthodox way of thinking about writing.
For many years, I wasn’t on a writing team. I’d write when I felt like it, and then would set it aside for long periods of time—until I published Children of Dreams – An Adoption Memoir, and joined the indie-publishing team.
For those who aren’t sports fanatics, most stars take years to make. Almost all of those giants who are household names are not only incredibly gifted but also had a lot of help along the way—i.e., avoided injury-ending careers, had astute coaches, supportive parents, and—most of all—opportunity. The stars also worked very hard, in season and out of season, and a wee bit of luck thrown in never hurts.
A star in the making doesn’t know he or she will be a star until it happens. Isn’t that what motivates all of us? The possibility, no matter how small, that someone somewhere will see us as a diamond in the rough and take a chance on us?
Maybe we need scouts in the writing world like we have in sports. Maybe we need minor leagues and major leagues like in baseball. We already have the fans—how many readers would love to discover the next C. S. Lewis?
What I like most about sports is the passion of the competitors to win. The best-of-the-best train all the time, when they feel like it and when they don’t. They never give up and often travel to the ends of the earth to hone their skills and compete in leagues and competitions no one has ever heard of.
Am I willing to do that? Am I willing to sacrifice my life to achieve my goal to become a full-time, self-supporting author?
The call of being a mother, taking care of my family, serving in my church, and helping others takes up much of my time. Little time is left after working a full-time job as a broadcast captioner. I have to set my priorities and accept my limitations.
But that doesn’t mean that magic can’t happen or God can’t make my dreams come true. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. While I can’t give writing a hundred percent of my time, I can give my writing a hundred percent of me when I am writing—which often requires me to cut out other things I’d like to do but can’t.
Despite the sacrifice, the indie team works well for me. Until I am able to write for a living, I appreciate the freedom it gives me to write—even all night sometimes. I never limit my dreams—maybe one of my books will become a New York Times best-seller. I would compare that to hitting it out of the ballpark. If we don’t have big dreams, we will settle for mediocrity, and that is a waste when we see the stuff of which our dreams are made.
In the meantime, I’m content to learn from others further down the road and hone my skills. Most important of all, I want to enjoy the journey. As I finish my second book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The King – A Young Adult Fantasy, I am reminded of a saying I recently heard while captioning. “Stars aren’t born, they are made.”
When you look up at the night sky, look for the high-energy dust particles that form colorful nebulae. In the same way that the Creator’s gifts lie in wait to form a star, the raw talent hidden in an author is glorious when it makes its way onto the pages of a great novel.
Passion is the key. I’m finishing The King – A Young Adult Fantasy. Hopes of hitting it out of the park keep me going. In the meantime, I’m glad to make it to first base and create a little spark. Who knows, perhaps someday my little spark will become a shining star.
Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in 1991. Her studies included spending two weeks in Israel at the start of the Gulf War and touring England, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Europe. She later attended the Institute of Children’s Literature and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.
Lorilyn has two daughters whom she adopted from Nepal and Vietnam as a single mother. She homeschooled both of them, the older one through high school, and believes that the hope of the United States may rest on the conservative values homeschooling families instill in their offspring.
“If we fail to teach our children how to live out their Christian faith practically, we will have lost an opportunity to impact the world for good. It only takes one generation to forget the past. As JRR Tolkien said, ‘There is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.'”