It’s OK to fear failure

Luke Gratton figured it out long before many of us what he was meant to do with his life. This is his story. Enjoy!
I come from Merseyside, Wirral. It’s a very low-key area, not many people know about it. My name is Luke and I am currently taking my GCSE Examinations. They end in June. After my exams I will be studying English Language and Literature for A Level and hopefully I will go on to study more English in University. I am still young but most of the time I find myself writing. I could write all day if I could but right now I find it difficult to find the right time to sit and write for a long period of time. When I’m not writing I am either thinking about writing or being inspired by reading or, of course, revising for exams!

What are you currently working on?
I have two current projects I work on at different times, depending on what wakes me up in the morning.
My first is a fantasy novel, set on a different world. It is similar to that of Harry Potter but also very different. To me it has more of a medieval feel about it. I have planned the fantasy series for around two years now. It is set in six parts, a different adventure in each part.
My second project is a non-fictional story called “The Last Wish” about a man desperate for forgiveness from his son, who he lost contact with 10 years previously. The protagonist, Charlie discovers he has terminal cancer and goes on an emotional journey to gain forgiveness. He finds more than he bargains for when he finds out he has a Grandson named Tommy. The story is a race against time. As Charlie gets weaker his chances of gaining forgiveness become slimmer but he is a fighter.
Is writing a novel easier or more difficult than you thought?
Difficult, in my opinion, but if you have the drive and determination to complete it, it feels easy. You’ve got to make your writing up to your standards. You have to believe in what you write. If you don’t, who will?
What keeps you going when you are feeling down?
Determination, mainly. Its my dream to be a writer so the more I do the better I can become at it.
How do you deal with writers block?
If I can’t write I will go back to planning and make things more visual for me, it sometimes takes away the block I suffer from.
Do you ever surprise yourself when you write?
Only recently. I never realized how much my writing had improved in the past. It’s quite surprising. Practice makes perfect.

What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
I know that when I feel down or upset, I can turn to my writing. Entering the story’s world as I write takes away the emotion I feel when I’m having trouble with other people or at home.
Are you a Pantser or planner?

I plan a lot. I don’t think you can write a story without a thorough plan nearby. Making things up on the spot can be good but I always write them down. Sometimes you forget what you have written and contradict yourself. If you have notes you can’t possibly flaw your writing.
What is it like to know that a draft is finally done?
I feel relief but at the same time it’s like the end of an era, especially if the story doesn’t continue in another part or story.
What strengths do you have that make you the next great author?
I don’t know about great author but my willingness to writing and my love for it could make me the author I’ve always wanted to be. The more I work the better I become and one day, just one day in the future I may see my book on bookstore shelves. That would be amazing.
What weaknesses do have that make you human?
My weakness I think is self confidence. When people ask about my writing I shy away and say very briefly what I write about. Although I love writing I sometimes wonder what my friends or family think when I say I want to be a writer. Recently, it hasn’t fazed me and I become more confident within myself. More people know what I want to do and they smile when I tell them. My heart jumps when people think its something I’d suit.
What is one piece of advice that you have received that you thought was good?
It’s OK to fear failure. If you fear it too much you’ll never know what you can achieve because you get scared you’ll be thrown back. Face failure and avoid the possibility of being turned down. You’ll never know the verdict if you don’t show people what talents you have.
What advice do you have for others that are considering joining you on this rocky path?
Write about what you believe in. Believe in yourself and always carry a pocket-sized dictionary, thesaurus and notebook… and a pen, of course.
Where do you see yourself in one year?
Studying A Level English.
How about 5?
Hopefully well in to studying for a degree in English and underway writing my first novel.


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