“I come to writing the same way I come to teaching, which is that my goal is always to create life-long readers.” – Rick Riordan
I wrote about one-time Middle School teacher writing Riordan’s success yesterday, particularly in creating his series for Young Adults and Tweens (also super enjoyable for adults, by the way). But even though he had that success, it didn’t happen overnight. His Percy Jackson series grew out of bedtime stories he told his kids, but that was only where he formulated the idea. After that it was a project 10 years in the making.
He said he realized that much more research on his idea of using mythology was needed before he could really “craft” the stories he wanted to tell. “I think the more you understand myths, the more you understand the roots of our culture and the more things will resonate,” he noted. “Do you have to know them? No, but certainly it is nice to recognize how deeply these things are embedded in our literature; our art.”
Now, many successful books (and series) later, he said he still doesn’t feel totally comfortable in his chosen craft. “You have to work hard to get to the top of your game,” he said. “I think every writer has doubts. I still do all the time.
“It's not easy. I got lots of rejections when I first started out. But, if you want to write, you have to believe in yourself and not give up. … Writing is like a sport, it’s like athletics. If you don’t practice you won’t get better.”
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