A thought for this week

Thanks to the fantastic Kindle Daily Deal e-mails, I recently picked up the e-book version of Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of Freakonomics and it gave me a lot to think about. There is a passage in their original book that made me seriously consider quitting writing altogether. They said that the publishing industry was rigged and that New York editors and agents controlled nearly all of what was published. Even if you played by all the traditional rules, the odds of succeeding were still stacked against you. But I did not quit and let that paragraph spur me on to pursue my dream. I’m so glad I didn’t quit!

As you know, I love collecting quotes and I found a few treasures in this book.

The first is a quote from George Bernard Shaw:

“Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”

I loved that quote! So many times we’re tempted to let others do our thinking for us based on media reports or social media posts. Writing books takes a lot of thinking and I absolutely love the creative process and thinking up a new story.

Here’s another great quote from the book:

“Raw talent is overrated: people who achieve excellence—whether at golf or surgery or piano-playing—were often not the most talented at a young age, but became expert by endlessly practicing their skills. Is it possible to endlessly practice something you don’t enjoy?”

There it is again, the power of persistence, the power of doing what you love.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog posting called “A Manifesto on Virtue” where I described what and why I write. Months after writing it, I was offered a book deal with Amazon Publishing and the rest, as they say, is history. So here’s my little addendum to the Manifesto. This idea struck my powerfully this last week and so I wrote it down on an index card to remind myself. This quote is from me:

I love telling stories that change people. Change the way they look at themselves. Change their thinking about an issue. That pushes them to consider a truth that perhaps they hadn’t considered before. Stories have magic. The right kind of stories change us from the inside. I want to tell those kind!

I’ve had several people ask me already what I’m writing next. I’m not ready to make an announcement yet, but don’t worry, I’m hard at work on another series which will launch next year. My publisher thinks it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. It’s an ambitious story that has stretched me past my comfort zone many times. Stay tuned and listen for the distant sound of waterfalls.

My new series is coming in the spring.

Jeff Wheeler

Jeff Wheeler

Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty epic fantasy novels.

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