I’m going to post some old blogs which I first wrote for the blog of my writer friend Barb. Barb and another local writer friend, Alyson, have been the driving force pushing me to start my own blog. Barb has a fantastic way of connecting with other aspiring writers, especially in the romance and fantasy genres. Check out her blog here:
and Alyson is a wonderful dark fantasy/paranormal storyteller. Check out her blog here:
To write or not to write?
Three years ago I was no writer – I was a reader, sure, and a mother, and an engineer. If you’d asked me the question then I would have shrugged my shoulders, uncaring. After a day of writing technical reports I had no wish to put fingers to keyboard at home as well.
What happened? It’s hard to say – frustration with work, perhaps, or with the direction of my life. Just another mid-life crisis. I took time off work and took an idea that had been kicking around in my head and wrote a novel. In the process I caught this disease, this addiction. You know what I mean.
There was a point when my direction hung in the balance – I returned to work and set the book aside – but the condition of the local economy saw me back at home. As you can imagine, I became the writing equivalent of the alcoholic at the bar or the gambler at the casino.
Three novels finished and another three started and I’m still reeling, trying to understand what on earth I think I’m doing. Somewhere along the way, there was no denying that in terms of the direction of my thoughts and how I was wanting to spend my time, I had become a writer. So in one sense the answer to the question seems obvious – the compulsion to keep writing is overwhelming.
BUT… Whether I should write is still a question I ask myself, because writing is, frankly, terrifying. Here I am plugging away for months on a manuscript which may never be read. One of the first things I learnt was that it is impossible to judge the merit of one’s own writing. Why else are there so many unsolicited manuscripts turning up on Agents’ desks? Few of us are the writers we believe ourselves to be, and fewer still the writers we would wish to be. The odds are against me getting any decent financial return for all the effort I’ve put into my books. To know this and to continue is the greatest leap of faith I have ever taken.
This is why I’m so grateful for the support of fellow authors, like Barb and Alison, who are in the same place and understand. Between us, we will get our books published, whether through traditional publishing or self-publishing – it gets to the stage where you just need your work to be out there, rather than sit and struggle with ‘what-if’s. Just as importantly, we can kick around ideas and hopes and fears that may be incomprehensible to people like the old me, the normal one, before I developed this wonderful and terrifying addiction.
We can do this.