Thursday, 17 January 2013

Is that the time? *




I've been meaning to post something, but I've been busy...thinking...

I have a confession to make: I'm doing okay as a writer.

There, I've said it - I feel better. 

That's not classic British underplay and it's based upon my expectations of being a writer (i.e not based upon money or any other external factor that I can't directly control). I'm coming up with new ideas, I'm writing and I'm editing. Most importantly, I'm enjoying the ride for its own sake. I meet other writers, swap experiences and pick up tips. It's all pretty ticketty-boo.

I have ebooks that are finding new readers, I have a self-published paperback that has been well received so far, and most of my writing jobs are about things I actually want to write about. The agents and publishers that I've submitted material to were carefully chosen. The edit of my fourth novel, Scars & Stripes, is progressing steadily.

I used to view the writing arena as a series of league tables (much like the ones you used to get with Shoot magazine). And I saw myself in one of the lower leagues - not quite a Sunday team, but definitely an aspiring amateur side. A few things happened last year to render that view obsolete.

I learned how straightforward it can be to self-publish a novel as both an ebook (I used Kindle Select) and a paperback (I used Lightning Source). Pretty much anyone can do it.

I got a regular feature-writing slot, largely through my portfolio and track record.

I got paid £200 for a short story.

I know: yay me.

My point is that sometimes you realise the struggle is either inside your own head, or not really a struggle at all - because you have no leverage or influence over it. You need to know what to focus on, and I find a useful criterion is whether it's something I can personally change. As my mum used to say, "Eat what you can and what you can't eat, leave."

Or, as I'd frame it:

"Let go of your construct of yourself and find out who you really are."

*It is if you have our cooker's clock.

6 comments:

  1. It's time for a new clock!

    Glad you're enjoying the ride you're on. As James Taylor sings, "The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time."

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right, Keith - the guy should be coming tomorrow. Not sure what time though :o)
    I love James Taylor!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think by any other writers' expectations of being a writer you're doing OK! It's only non-writers who think that success as a writer is mutli-million selling trilogies and selling the right to Hollywood. That's like saying you're only a success in business if you're a billionaire oil tycoon. I am jealous of how successful you are! (Although I know it was hard work, rather than luck, so I should just work harder!) Getting paid proper money for a short story is still something I have to achieve. I think you're ace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chloe, I think you've got an exciting year ahead of you. We can all inspire one another, not merely by our outer successes, but also by our attitudes and approach. And that's despite the weather!

      Delete
  4. I can relate. A small press published my debut a year ago and they'll publish my second in the series the first week in February. Thus far, I've spent way more than I've made on the first book, but yet I'm determined to keep plugging along and singing a song. Now, back to working on the third in the series.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The point is that you've written the books and they are now out there for an audience to find. That already puts you further down the road than many, many writers. Wishing you every success for this year.

    ReplyDelete