Why I write

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I have friends who just don’t get it. They don’t understand why I am prepared to sacrifice such a huge chunk of my life to writing.

‘You should come out more at the weekends and do stuff’ they say. ‘You need to expand your social circle and meet more people. It’s not healthy spending time cooped up indoors writing’.

For the record I think my social life is fine. I have plenty of friends and I generally dedicate one day of my weekend to seeing them or family and one day to writing. Truth be told, I could do with a few extra days in the week to fit everything in.

For those in any doubt, this is why I write.

Firstly, the boring reason. I write for added security.

I have a day job, but it’s one that pays barely enough to cover the bills. I live in a tiny one bedroom house and drive an eighteen year old car that keeps threatening to die on me. At the moment I have no future financial security. Until this year I couldn’t even afford to pay into a pension and I permanently live in my overdraft.

This was never the plan and it would be nice to look forward to a future where money wasn’t such a worry. No different to a million or so other people I expect.

Writing gives me a chance to have that added security. Okay, so I’m never going to make it on to the rich list alongside JK Rowling and James Patterson, but while my books are selling my income does receive a tiny boost and the more I write, hopefully, the bigger that boost will be.

The second reason I write is because I love it.

Telling stories is what I do. It’s what I have always wanted to do, it’s what I am good at, and no other job on the planet will ever give me the same buzz or satisfaction.

I love creating characters, fleshing them out into real people, building twisty tales around them, and trying to grab readers in those first few pages before dragging them on a rollercoaster adventure that climbs and climbs and climbs before an exhilarating drop back down to the finale.

I remember being in my early twenties and telling people I wanted to be an author. Most of them used to smirk, some politely humouring me. Writing was a career like singing or acting. It wasn’t a job that people in the real world got to do.

Well, guess what. I believed in my dream and I persevered, and eventually it came true. And if anyone thinks I am going to be complacent and assume the hard work is done, then you’re wrong, because now I have that dream in my grasp, I’m never going to let it go.

In fact, I’m just getting started.

 

 

Why indie writers make me smile

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There have been many highs since winning my publishing contract. Seeing my book in print for the first time, stumbling across someone intently reading it, getting it into the bookstore, almost breaking into the top 1,000 club on Amazon and the emails and reviews of praise are the most obvious ones, but another and more constant high, has been the friendships I have struck up with some of my fellow indie authors.

I don’t get all indie authors. Some seem so far up their own book’s ass, they have no time for anyone else, and their persistent pleas to ‘buy my book, buy my book’ get extremely irritating.

Then there are those authors who because they are now published, seem to think it’s their God given right to be nit-picky critical with every book they read. Again I don’t get this.

Anyone who has written a book knows exactly what goes into it; the blood, sweat and tears, the frustrating moments when you doubt yourself and don’t think you will get to the final chapter. Our books are personal, they are the thoughts and daydreams in our heads and we are exposing them, putting them down on paper for everyone to read and desperately hoping we don’t get ridiculed.

Any writer who says criticism doesn’t hurt is lying. It hurts like a bitch. And that is why I don’t get those writers who seem to enjoy digging the boot in, because they know this better than anyone. Leave the negative reviews to the critics and the non-writing readers. If I love a book I will review it and say so. If I don’t like a book, I will keep quiet. So many people say they are going to write a book and don’t get around to it. I figure anyone who actually goes through with it deserves my respect, and there are so many different genres and writing styles, just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not good and won’t have its fans.

Fortunately I have connected with a number of very lovely indie authors over the past few months; genuinely nice people who are happy to share their experiences and swap feedback. They are always there with a kind word or a joke when needed and so supportive, and I really love sharing the publishing journey with them.

I am hoping over the next few months they will all agree to be interviewed here on this blog. I have read a few of their books and love that they have taken me out of my comfort zone, away from my usual genres. I feel privileged to be connected with such talented writers and look forward to reading more indie books in the months to come. This publishing lark works so much better when we all pull together.

Fellow indie writers, I salute you.