The saying ‘time waits for no one’ is so true. It is also true that if you want something to happen, sometimes you have to give it a helping hand. It up to you, to put in the hours and effort to make your dreams come true.
Eight years ago, after taking redundancy I finished working full-time.The chances were high that I would have lost my job anyway as the business I was in moved its work to India. The redundancy money I received cleared my outstanding mortgage so my lovely husband gave me the opportunity to focus on my writing.
Since finishing full-time work, I’ve managed have a story published every year, sometimes two or three. Okay so I haven’t received any large sums of money yet, but hopefully some day soon.
Writing doesn’t always bring financial rewards easily. Too many times the media only reports on the higher earning writers and authors when most writers or authors earns much, much less.
Writing for me was more of a personal challenge. My start point was about overcoming many difficulties. To start with I didn’t have a good education. The most I understood about writing was a sentence started with a capital letter and finished with a full spot. I still get pretty confused by whether my use of grammar is correct or not. I’ve always loved books even before I could read. My grandmother would read me a bedtime story. And at a young age my first experience of a library was when my mother( who had learning difficulties) snatched the books from my hands and placed them back on the shelf because she was unable to fill in a form needed to take the books I had carefully selected out of the library.
Books to me then became the unattainable, so as I grew older they became something to be treasure. As for writing a book, only a highly educated person who had been to an university could write one, so I thought and believed.
One day while I was sitting at work, in an electronic factory with a milestone birthday on the horizon, I set myself a challenge. The first thing I reached for was a book.
I was in a charity shop when I came across a book called ‘To Writers With Love’ on Writing Romantic Novels by Mary Wibberley. Published in 1985.
Not that I want to write romances, but I bought it to read up on how to go about writing a novel. I got hooked. My poor husband was ordered to buy me ‘How to Write’ books from EBay. During my lunch and tea breaks at work, I studied everything from understanding grammar ( a complete foreign language to me) to how to get a book published.
The first thing I learnt was I needed to build a writing CV. Most ‘how to’ books stated that publishers wanted to know you had a career in you. That you were more than just a ‘one book wonder’. If they were going to invest time and money in you, they need to get a good return.
Yes, it is all about the money.
So I started by writing short stories, entering competitions and building a writer’s CV. I studied the market and learned all about every aspects of the publishing world. It’s very easy to dream of fame and fortune and sign on the dotted line, without realising you’ve just signed all your hard work away for nothing in return.
There are many companies out there who will offer you your dream of seeing your book in print, but it comes at a cost. So you need to keep your feet on the ground and study the market. Read the small print!
Today I’m still working on editing my novel. Nope, it’s my third one, but the one if I get it right will be my signature. The first two were my practice run. You have to serve an apprenticeship if you want to be the best. You need to understand you’re one in thousands of writers all after the same dream. Your bestselling novel only has a short shelf life, before the reader moves on to the next big selling novel.
Don’t ever think ‘I don’t care what I write as longer as I get published.’ Write what you enjoy writing, because once you’re published in a certain genre and you have a market your publisher will expect you to continue to writing those types of books. Of course, self-publishing gives you freedom, but will your readers accept a change of genre.
And then there’s marketing, a whole new ballgame….
Right, I’m off to do some more editing.
Have a great day writing or editing. ❤️