What Changed Everything For Me As An Author

A guest blog post from author Benjamin Mester
Every writer starts their first book with stars in their eyes.  I'm actually going to become a published author!!  That high will drive you for awhile.  But then comes the work.  When I first started writing, I gobbled up every book I could find on writing as a craft.  And I came across something by the poet, Mary Oliver.  In teaching poetry workshops, she noted that for every ten students attending her courses, nine of them were in love with the idea of being published and only one out of ten was actually in love with writing.
That hit me like a ton of bricks.  I realized for the first time that I was more in love with the idea of being published than I was with actual writing.  I knew if I didn't develop a love for writing I'd never make it as an author in such a competitive market.  So I took a step back.  I put my dreams of being published aside and I just wrote.  I wrote backstories for my world, little snippets of witty dialog, character sketches, emotional scenes and outlines galore.  I kept the ten percent I liked and started over with the rest, honing my story into a work I could genuinely be proud of.  I wrote and rewrote until something amazing happened.  I started to fall in love with the world I was building and actually began to care about what would happen to the characters.
To me, writing seems a lot like wedding planning.  I had a friend who started planning her wedding at five years old – the scenes, the people, the magic of it all.  That's just how it is for an author when they first get their big idea for a book.  But when the wedding day approaches and the work begins, the magic can quickly fade.  That's how writing is.  We all dream the big dream.  But the dream of finishing a book and being a published author isn't enough to motivate you during the real work.  You need to fall in love with your story and the beauty of writing as a craft.  Then the magic really happens, the marriage of a skillful writer with something genuine to share.  That sort of marriage can change the world.


The Banished Lands

A kingdom in danger. A prophecy that will change everything. But will they understand it in time? The old world is gone, and barely even histories remain. But something from that time is returning. The closing lines of a farewell poem, written centuries ago by the last great king of the age to his slain wife, might be more than just a poem: The world and all its light shall fade, I'll stay with her beneath the shade And wait until the world's remade...

Join us in this epic fantasy adventure as three friends plunge into the great mystery of their age, twelve centuries in the making. A mysterious fog blankets the forest just outside the sleepy town of Suriya. A dark plot unfolds as Durian and his friends discover ties between a strange wanderer and the warlike barbarian kingdom far to the north. Are the mysterious things happening in the forest a prelude to invasion? What happens next will propel Durian and his curious friends into the middle of the oldest riddle in the history of their kingdom, a dozen centuries old.


The Banished Lands was recently reviewed on Storyteller Alley. Our critic rated it a "Good Read." Read the full review here.


About the Author

Benjamin Mester is native of San Diego but can often be found wandering the woods of northern Minnesota. He fell in love with language at an early age – the eloquence of poetry or the grandeur of an epic story. Fantasy is his favorite genre, crafting new and magical places of heroism and adventure. When he isn't writing, he's often taking long walks through nature or wondering about his place in the wide world.

Benjamin is the author of The Banished Lands series.

You can connect with Benjamin on Goodreads.

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