Writing – Now – Writing into the future as the horse slowly walks off round the bend into the sunset.
I worked for thirty six years teaching and I loved it. The kids were brilliant. I couldn’t have wished for a more fulfilling career. The classroom was my university. All things were possible, minds were stretched, exchanged and throttled up, awe and wonder was revealed. I learnt as much from them as they did from me. I’d come out glowing and buzzing. But all the time I was nurturing a need. I still was a writer in my head. I had written some forty books.
I promised myself that when I retired I would write, read and travel to my heart’s content.
That’s what I’m doing. This is the writing bit.
I have been retired for seven years now. My project was five fold:
Firstly I was going to write the books that were still cluttering up the attic space in my cerebrum
I was going to rewrite, edit and hone my books into a publishable standard
I was going to self-publish on CreateSpace and Kindle
I was going to market and promote my work
And lastly I was going to attempt to secure a Literary Agent or publisher to further edit and properly publish my books.
It is going to plan -ish.
Stage 1 and 2 are going nicely. I have written and rewritten to my fill. I now have around sixty books written in one form or another. I have rewritten and published about fifty.
Step 3 was great. I found it pleasurable to download my files, use my photos and art as covers and be able to hold a book in my hand; a book that has come out of an electrical blizzard in my head; a book that looked real, felt real and read well. I loved the covers I had designed and I was happy with what I had produced.
Step 4 is still to come. The blog is the only thing I’ve done in the way of marketing. I seem to spend more time writing on the blog than I do on my books – which was not the intention. But I’m enjoying it. The trouble is that I am still writing new books and still have twenty of my old ones to type up. I don’t know when I will get on to the promotion side. I find the idea daunting and a turn-off. I cannot be bothered thinking about tailoring things for a selected audience. My stuff is real. It’s the inside of my head with all the flaws and imperfections. I know I can be offensive and come over as opinionated and arrogant. I don’t think I’m arrogant. I know I’m opinionated. I like to think of myself as obsessive and passionate. I should perhaps be more professional and temper my stream of thoughts.
Writing is fun. Promoting is work.
My books are selling slowly. I get some great reviews and comments. Maybe I should move on to Step 5 and find a professional who will handle all the bits I hate doing?
I just want to write.
But I would like an audience and a small income would make a difference.
But I just like to write.
Writing – What do I need?
There are a lot of things that I need right now.
Let me count the ways:
I need the time and energy to complete my writing projects
I need a Literary Agent to appear on a great stallion with contract in hand – which says ‘Have no fear. I will take on all the rotten parts and make the stink of proof-reading, editing, marketing, selling and business all melt away’ – Sign here.
I need a publisher to arrive unbidden on a spaceship with a contract in hand which says – ‘Sign here in blood. I am desperate for sixty novels from a strange quirky man who refuses to do things the normal way, who writes about whatever comes into his head in any genre, style he likes but is authentic.’
I need clever souls who will want to read my books, proofread and edit to make them perfect.
I need hundreds of people to write brilliant reviews on Amazon.
I need thousands of people to buy my books and provide me with the audience I crave.
I need to hold my sixty precious babies, feel great about them, proud and happy, and know they are being properly cared for in new homes all over the world
I need to feel that I have contributed to a positive zeitgeist and helped change the world for the better.
That’s all. Not much to ask. Is it?