A very, very belated Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I last posted here. I love keeping this blog. I love the responses I’ve had to my posts and the people I’ve met in the five years since I first started blogging. But I’ve reluctantly decided I will have to cut down on my blogging time. One of my resolutions this year has been to try and increase my income from writing so I can actually make a living from it. Like the vast majority of authors I don’t make a living wage from my books. I supplement my earnings by writing freelance articles for various websites, and I’ve also started taking on a lot more fiction editing work, as well as manuscript appraisals and critique. My plan over the next few months is to revamp this site so that writers looking for an editor will be able to find my services here. I enjoy editing as much as writing (almost!) and so I look forward to officially setting up my site as an editor/author. (Watch this space!)
And of course I also want to concentrate on my own fiction and getting my next novel written. That’s the most important thing of all. And this brings me on neatly to this month’s Round Robin topic.
Everybody wants to write a book, but most do not. Writing is hard work. What got you started, and what helps you get through a complete story?
A lot of different little strands led me to want to write. First and foremost was my love of reading. I used to immerse
myself in books as a child, and eventually I started to wonder about the people who actually wrote these amazing stories, and wish I could be like them. How brilliant it would be to create a story that took people away into a different world! As a child I never considered that that person could be me. Writing seemed to be yet another one of those things that other people could do, and I couldn’t.
It wasn’t until years later that I actually considered writing a book myself. I remember getting home from yet another terrible day in my dead-end job and moaning about it to my long-suffering husband. He asked me “What do you really want to do with your life?” I gave the dream I’d cherished since I was a child. “I’d love to be a writer.” So his next question was, “What do you need to do to get there?” Well, the answer was obvious. I needed to sit down and write a book.
So that was the nutshell of how it started. Of course from saying I needed to sit down and write a book, to actually writing that book, was a million miles, but I felt with that conversation I had the first thing I needed, which was confidence. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, which meant I had to submit a manuscript for appraisal by a certain time. This gave me another thing I needed – a deadline. I just had to sit down and write. If I missed the deadline, I would have wasted hard-earned money as well as the chance to get my manuscript critiqued. I used to write in whatever spare time I had. At that time they didn’t accept emailed manuscripts and you had to physically post the manuscript in a postbox. I still remember the feeling of total euphoria that I’d actually written a whole book! And posted it! On time!
Well, my critique came back and this was another thing that gave me confidence. Although a lot of my manuscript needed reworking, my reader treated my whole story and my characters as though they were REAL PEOPLE! It made me feel as though I’d succeeded already – I’d written a story that, although flawed, had come alive in my reader’s mind. It was just what I’d dreamed of doing as a child.
And so that’s how I came to write. And having had a few books published now, writing this post has reminded me of that joy I felt at finishing my first book, and at having a stranger read it and believe in it.
If you have dreams of being a writer, don’t put them off for as long as I did. Life is short. Sit down and write!
Thanks so much to author Robin Courtright for organising this Round Robin, and for suggesting the topic. Writing this post has renewed my joy in creating stories.
Do you dream of being a writer? If so, have you made a start on writing anything? Are you already a published author? And if so, what made you sit down and write an entire novel? If you have any comments at all, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Heather Haven http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-SK
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com