Writing – The early days – writing through the seventies.
Over the ensuing years the pattern continued. I felt the urge, had brainstorms of ideas and out would pop another novel. I would send it off and garnish the rejection slips.
I got used to it. At regular intervals I would start another project. My mind would fill like the memory cache of a computer, and it would splurge out of my one finger (I am a one-finger typist) until there was a great wadge of typed sheets with one that simply said – ‘The End’.
I started taking them in and using a machine at school to punch holes in the sheets. I purchased some spines and designed my own cardboard covers and made them into my own A4 books. They were rough and ready but I had a collection of my own work. I could see the end product of my hours of work.
I worked out that each one, with rewrites, notes and associated effort, took about a thousand hours of work. I’ve got a lot quicker since then.
My wife and friends stopped seeing me as a potential author. It was accepted that this was now a hobby and I would never achieve my aim of publishing and having a living off my creativity.
But for me the ideas refused to stop coming and I was still as enthusiastic about every venture. It was an obsession.
Sleep became my enemy and tiredness my limitation. I could happily work through the night. When the ideas were flowing it carried me along on a torrent and I could not stop. I did not get tired. But I had to limit myself. I made a deadline of three o clock. At that time I would stop and get some sleep. I knew that I would not function in the classroom without at least four hours sleep. If I had not been at work I would happily have continued writing until I dropped from exhaustion. I found it exhilarating.
The books piled up and the rejection slips sat in a file.