Afghani writer Khaled Hosseini brought us The Kite Runner in 2003, a complex story of friendship and redemption that follows two Afghan boys – one rich, one poor – through three decades. The book and the film are outstanding and worthy of your attention.
I recently read a quote by Mr. Hosseini about writing that every writer should heed.
“There is a romantic notion to writing a novel, especially when you are starting it. You are embarking on this incredibly exciting journey, and you’re going to write your first novel, you’re going to write a book. Until you’re about 50 pages into it, and that romance wears off, and then you’re left with a very stark reality of having to write the rest of this thing […] A lot of 50-page unfinished novels are sitting in a lot of drawers across this country. Well, what it takes at that point is discipline […] You have to be more stubborn than the manuscript, and you have to punch in and punch out every day, regardless of whether it’s going well, regardless of whether it’s going badly […] It’s largely an act of perseverance […] The story really wants to defeat you, and you just have to be more mulish than the story.”
Having just completed my seventh novel, The Faith of Job, I strongly relate to Mr. Hosseini’s statement. I fought through four years of writer’s block and resistance – as Steven Pressfield is known to call it – before I sucked it up, got serious again and wrote steadily for two years to produce The Faith of Job.
As Mr. Hosseini suggests, I have many ’50-page unfinished novels’ waiting in storage files to be completed. The task is daunting and suggests a lifetime of diligent work.
Many subscribers and readers of this website have thoughts – some overt, most covert – of writing a novel. If you are one of them, I recommend you take Mr. Hosseini’s advice. It is indeed an act of perseverance.