You know that woman in the supermarket who sits behind the till smiling? She always remembers your name and knows what you buy every week?
I’m always happy and look like I really enjoy my job and on those three days a year where I don’t have to serve a single idiot all day, I actually do.
Now, I know you’re expecting me to say. “But I always dreamed of being an author.”
Well, that’s not correct. I didn’t dream of being an author. But I did have ideas, lots and lots of them, I just didn’t think about writing them down until last year.
I remember it clearly. I was lying in bed with my husband; he was talking about… something. I can’t remember what. He tends to drone on so I just zone out after a while. But at some point I said, “I have all these people playing out stories in my head,” and he said, “Wow, you’re a writer!”
Alright, maybe he didn’t actually say that, it might have been something along the lines of. “I think you should get to the doctors, love, you sound like you’re schizophrenic.” But as I said, he waffles, so I choose to interpret his rambling any way I see fit. So I decided to write a story.
First let me make it clear I have no qualifications in writing. I left school at sixteen with my GCSE’s, never went to college, never took A levels. So, to say, I was going into this blind, is an understatement.
I was going in blind…. led by a blind dog… in the dark!
But I didn’t care. I had an idea and I was going to write it down. Five months later I’d written my first novel… and it was rubbish.
Oh, the plot was good, and I fully intend to rewrite the manuscript at some point, but the actual writing was awful. I sent it off for second opinions and was already seven chapters into my second book “Ethereal Lives” before I found out just how bad it was.
I had a lot to learn
So, I began researching anything, and everything, I could find about writing, and I started a blog to share what I’d learnt. I even considered taking some courses but as of yet haven’t got around to it. Everything I learnt I applied to my new novel. Well, most things. I attempted some things and had to give up on them. For example, outlining. Despite what well known authors say. I can’t do it. I find the best thing for me to do is just sit and write. I don’t plan, I simply make things up as I go along. When ideas come to me (usually at 2am) I store them in my phone and try to fit them into my book.
By the time I’d finished Ethereal Lives, I actually had a work that wasn’t too bad. It was by no means great but it was okay. It was then I really began considering publishing it.
As I waited for beta readers to return it and worked on my third book, I thought through my options. My first thought was to self-publish, but then I decided to try the traditional route.
Let’s just say, I discovered I have the patience of a two year old. After submitting to three publishers I gave up. It wasn’t the rejection that bothered me, but the waiting. I once again looked at self-publishing. I read somewhere that if you feel the need for someone to verify that your writing is good enough, then use the traditional route. If not, self-publish.
Well, I began saving and shopped around for good services at cheap prices. After all, I’m only a lowly shop assistant.
It took a lot of hard work but I found an editor, a proof-reader, and a publisher, to format my book, all within my price range and now I am finally an author.
Is my book good? I hope so
Will it be a bestseller? Probably not.
But you know what? Even though I never dreamed of being an author I’m damn proud of the title, and I’m determined to keep it. Writing has become my addiction. My mind and desktop are full of ideas and stories, and I intend to share every one of them with you.
If you want to know more, you can find me at: