I often get asked to write about ‘this & that’ for someone else. I get a “can you just…” and such like.
Often I agree, on the premise I have the time to ‘spare from my own work’.
Occasionally this statement is met by an incredulous look.
After all, I am just a writer, aren’t I?
Being a writer means I simply sit about scribbling the odd word onto a sheet of paper, or tap out some nonsense on a keyboard. Clearly, I have time.
After all, I am not doing anything else, am I?
I wonder how many non-writers can conceive what it is to write for a living, especially as an independent author?
Firstly, you must get a basic notion of a story. You must formulate a start point, a middle and have some idea how it will end. Woven between this comes the conflicts and challenges, the misdirection, the twists. Known in laymen’s terms as the plot.
The characters are not real; as often as not, neither are the universes, the worlds, cities, towns or streets which they inhabit. It all must come from within our own minds. Even when we choose to use a ‘real’ location, we mould and meld it to suit.
This must be done, to a greater of lesser extent, for each story, big or small, a short flash-fiction or a massive masterpiece. All before a single word is typed out. But that is okay.
After all, that’s what I do, isn’t it?
Without delving into each and every detail, we then write the first draft, read it and start over. This time we take a while to do the necessary research, before making a second first draft. Then comes the edits, the re-write and those few alterations which become another re-write, before we start editing and so on. This is not mentioning proofreading, formatting, book covers, illustrations…..oh well, you know.
Once we have our book, our baby ‘out there’ on the virtual bookshelves of the world, if not the physical ones too, we must market it, promote it, with little if any funds. Many hours on social media, trying to find a niche, a new way to push our book, to get it in front of ‘the right’ audience, the people who will buy a copy. But who are they, where are they? We should know.
After all, we are writers, aren’t we?
I would love to be able to simply sit and write. I have a thousand and one ideas bursting within. I have plenty of time to get them onto paper, should I not have to do all the other stuff mentioned. Because it is that other stuff which really takes up all my time. Time I should be using to write.
So, when you ask me to ‘JUST’ do this, or if I can help you with ‘THAT’, please don’t look at me as if I have two heads when I say, “I shall…if I can find the time.” Because it is time which is at a premium.
After all, I am a writer, you see.
All that said and done I do take on far more than I should. Along with being an author, I design book covers. I also run two online magazines, one is Conservation RedList, dedicated to raising awareness of endangered species.
The other is CQ International Magazine, CQ promotes all forms of artistic talent, writers, poets, painters, singers, musicians, sculptors, illustrators, model makers, artists & artisans and so on, to a global audience. At the time of writing this CQ Magazine is read in 78 countries.
If you are a writer or any type of artist, feel free to mosey around the CQ Magazine blog.
At this moment, I am proud and happy, because I have just released a book which is the culmination of four years’ work. LIFE in the WAR ZONE is a collection of stories, based on the real lives of those caught in the conflicts, in the various war zones around the world.
You can find out more about me, my books, my works in progress and all the other stuff I am get up to by visiting my website.