Like the look of a gentle, golden quill adorning your user-lookup? Yearn to
have your prose published and read by possible millions? Don't know where to
Ah, yes, for many aspiring writers in search of ample recognition, the path
to success begins and ends with The Neopian Times. But what if you don't make
it into the next issue? This article follows one such up-and-coming author,
during a weekend of stresses, tears and ultimate creativity.
Saturday, 8am: The author in question, Layla, wakes fresh and eager to get
started. She has a great idea for a new story - she is going to write about
the all important steps needed to catch The Neopian Times' attention and get
published! Looking desperately for a catchy opening to her article, she takes
a peek at the current issue of the Times' for inspiration. To Layla's grave
disbelief, it seems someone has already written an entry on exactly that topic.
The lesson here readers, is be original. We have all read plenty of stories
on making Neopoints and transforming your pets into godlike fighting machines.
Put an amusing twist on your story if you cannot think of anything new - a personal
account of your perfect pet "accidentally" changing from a robot Kacheek into
a red Meerca through a freak magical plushie incident, only to contract Neowarts
an hour later, will spice things up dramatically.
Anyhow, back to Layla...
Saturday, 4pm: After a short break restocking her pet's shop full of delicious
treats and an ill-fated accident with a magical plushie (ironic, isn't it?!?),
Layla starts furiously tapping away at her keyboard. Even as a trusted friend
and observer, an answer to my all important question, "What are you writing
about?", cannot be pried from this conscientious overachiever. Quiet chuckles
of satisfaction seep uncontrollably from her determined face - that's right,
she looks like a girl possessed!
From this dear readers, we can extract the importance of perseverance. There
is no need to get all freaky looking, like our subject here, and there is definitely
no need to erect a tent-like/shield contraption over your writing implements,
whether it be paper or our friend Mr. Computer (Layla seems to be taking her
attempt for utter privacy a little too seriously - she is underneath all her
"camping gear"), but the message is clear: do whatever works for you and keep
Sunday 12pm: Layla genuinely believes she is writing a classic. With much
effort, this reporter has discovered the subject of her thesis - "Brain Tree,
Mumbo Pango and Jhudora: Forbidden Love Quest". Sounds intriguing, does it not?
Sunday, 12.36pm: Tears. Plenty of tears. It seems Layla left her computer
turned on last night and never once attempted to save her masterpiece. Two paragraphs
from completion and all that hard work is gone due to a technical malfunction.
Sunday, 12.37pm: Hair is being pulled, bewilderment is rife.
Sunday, 1.16pm: I arrive back from the pharmacy with a box of tissues. They
are gladly received.
Sunday, 3.45pm: Thanks to a random event whilst visiting Faerieland (in an
attempt to console herself), Layla is back in great spirits after receiving
a Normal Golden Nerkmid. Once again she starts to write. The writing continues
late into the evening, the whole time a smile evident on Layla's face.
So what does this reporter have to say about all those struggling authors
out there in Neopia? It is simple. As great as that golden Neopian Times quill
might look in your profile, it should not be the driving force behind getting
published. It is frustrating not to get rewarded for your efforts, but try and
let your reward be the fact you are creating something yourself. Write because
you enjoy writing. If you get annoyed, go play Pyramids until it passes.
The last time I neomailed Layla, she was working on her fourth story. She
hasn't attempted to publish them just yet, but do keep an eye out for "The Forbidden
Love Quest, Attempt Number Two", won't you?
Oh, and as a reporter, a point of interest for all aspiring authors - it pays
to have a catchy heading!
Until next time...