This is a new blog about my experience as a writer. It’s a personal point of view, so feel free to disagree, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Each blog will be short, so I’m not going to take up too much of your time, and more importantly, what I write will be honest.
I’ve blogged before, but it didn’t last long and I know why. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the blog, it didn’t inspire me and had no focus. All of which is very unlike this blog, where I know what I want to talk about and why – real life writing experiences because I’ve felt alone in my writing for too long, so I’m hoping this helps other writers know they aren’t as alone as the usually solo activity of writing can leave you feeling.
So here’s the deal, I got made redundant earlier this year, I’m working again now, but when I was ‘between roles’ I made a decision, I am going to leave work at the office and go after my life-long ambition of becoming a published author.
I’ve been on the route of agent submissions for the last twenty years and have a file full of rejections to prove it. That’s still something I keep in mind and I make submissions when I think there might be some value in it, but I’m also considering, and sometimes acting on, other routes.
For Christmas this year, my husband has brought me a subscription to Writing Magazine and the first issue, Jan 2013, arrived yesterday. In the letters page, the star letter really hit home to me. The letter sender talks about problems with self published books on e-readers, and how they never seem to have had enough editing and / or proof reading.
Why did this hit with me? Simple, one of the “other routes” I’ve chosen is self-publishing for e-readers. The worst thing is, I know a number of people who have brought the book, and now I know how much better it could have been. Mind, it’s not that bad, I have had two 4 star reviews from people who have been good enough to shell out their hard earned money to buy my book and read it. The book, by the way, is Foreshadows and while I know it could have been better, I’m still really proud that it’s out there. It’s worth a read if you like British crime fiction.
I’ve got three other novels written, but not yet ready for publication, two crime fiction and one romance, though even that has a criminal element. As you might have figured out by now, I work mostly in crime fiction, I’m just more comfortable there than other genres.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to pitch to an agent, it went okay, the agent did say I can write, but that I was telling rather than showing, so while I didn’t get signed, I got some really useful feedback, most of it much more specific than show don’t tell. This is something I’m working on, both in re-writes of my novels and in my short stories.
At the moment I am concentrating more on short stories, practicing showing. I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve been producing, not all publishable, but fun to write. I’ve also decided to start entering more writing competitions. Forcing myself to the chore of meeting the criteria for one competition, after much hair pulling, I was inspired to create two new characters. These are characters I feel surprisingly comfortable with, like they’ve been in my head for years rather than a couple of weeks, and what’s more, they’ve inspired me with a number of new story lines.
Well, that’s it for now, I’ll blog again soon, and hope you enjoy.