Friday, 8 June 2012

The Story So Far...

What a terrifying thing it is to want to be a writer. When I say "want to be" obviously I mean a published writer. Of course, when I talk about published, I'm talking about "Traditional publishing" that's in print, in a book made of paper and ink, that can be found on a shelf in a shop (or purchased from the Internet). A book that I didn't have to pay for and if I'm really lucky, gets me paid.

Why terrifying? I hear you gasp. Let me break it down for you. Cue the music! What, no music - Okay hum along with me (the "Knight Rider" theme will do... No, the original one. Jesus, you crazy kids).

Almost three years ago I climbed Mt Fuji, a few months after that I started writing. Maybe two years ago I started writing what came to be known as "my novel". A couple of months and 25,000 words later I decided it was pond-scum and scrapped the entire project. Give or take a further month or two sulking over the waste of so much time and energy. So, I sit down and regroup, rethink and actually attempt some forward planning. I start this blog, I start again... Whoa! Hold on, false start. I do some additional planning (maybe the "A-Team" theme would have been better?). I spend four hours working over a very rough draft of "my novel" while sitting on the floor of our hotel room's bathroom. Trying to figure out how to fix the holes, in the plot, the start and the middle... I liked the end.

That was the turning point, a toilet floor in Turkey, September 2010. I then tipped and tapped away on an almost nightly quest for 500 words that wouldn't make me ill. Yes, there was some writer's blocks and the odd occasion around the birth of my son where I didn't write for what felt like months (are you still humming, you should probably stop now. Unless you've started humming the theme to "Hillstreet Blues"? In which case please continue). February 2012, I was first draft complete. I did some editing. March, more editing. Then I enrolled the help of some very supportive friends. Not supportive because they didn't tell me 'it' sucked-monkey-balls, but because they had held my hand through the entire process. Even though I think they must have been bored shit-less of the entire project, not to mention my constant self doubt, sobbing and self-flagellation. April brought some new fears, an evil known as beta readers (no, not my mother... how dare you!), they in turn brought more revisions.

Sorry, I've gone a little off topic. So why is it terrifying? I have no more excuses, this is it. The time to send my work out into the world. A world where millions of people want what I want, have worked through the same things I have. My next door neighbour alone (I kid you not) has written two or three Crime novels, he has nothing but horror stories about the publishing industry. And I want to be a part of this? To have "my novel", the end result of my months of toil, sitting in a slush-pile. Is it good enough? Will it shine bright enough? So in those one or two minutes that someone will glance over the cover letter, the blurb, or the synopsis, they decide to read the rest.

Should I spare myself the pain and just self-publish?

No, if I wanted it to be easy I wouldn't want to be a writer. So why take the easy route to publishing now. Let me suffer for my art! (Yes, I know... a little pretentious, sorry.)

One last thing, if any of you have friends in your life, that are anything like - Toby Edmonds, Rebecca Ross or Jennifer Burt. You should count yourselves extremely lucky, I could not have made it this far without them.
A big sexy THANK YOU to each of them.

And to all of you, for still following this blog!

As they said in "Hillstreet Blues" - "You be careful out there!"

Until next time...

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