I’d go for something sparkling to celebrate, but as it’s 11.08 in the morning it’ll have to be water. This venture is, for me, a big change in direction.
What ‘change in direction’, I hear you ask? (well I hope someone might be asking) I’ve been writing music (and lyrics) since I was a teenager and have had a relatively successful career as a composer. There have been wonderful highs and of course, dispiriting lows. What has kept me going is an innate love of music and a belief in my own ability. Of late though, I’ve felt a new passion emerging—for writing. I say, of late… I mean 7 years’ ago.
It began with a desire to commit my own personal journey to paper in the form of a Young Adult fictional novel. I thought it would be easy—think of a story and just get it down—right? Wrong. I didn’t have the training, the tools, the appreciation of structure, show-not-tell (the bane of most writer’s lives!), and proper character development. I made many (I now realise) classic errors, but, being used to rejection and persistently reworking ideas (TV directors can be capricious beasts), I sought help from various mentors and literary consultancies. Slowly I have come to appreciate and hopefully utilise, the craft of writing.
I have had epiphanies, and ideas pop into my head all the time. I love the moment when you are just writing and the character you have come to know so well does something unexpected, and your story moves into uncharted waters. It’s the most wonderful feeling. I’ve now written three novels. I abandoned the first, autobiographical effort, as it became too self-conscious. A dream (honestly) led me to my second novel about a driverless car that imprisons its occupant. Brexit inspired my most recent work, ‘The Will of the People’ which I am self-publishing. That is unless an agent, on some suitable 4-legged charger, bursts into my life and tells me not to worry, that they will help me to glory. Mmm. Actually, I don’t want glory. All I want is to create well-written books with compelling stories that find an appreciative audience.
So, things are looking positive. Currently, my second novel is being presented to film producers as the basis of a potential movie. I’m not holding my breath, but the frisson of possibilities and its warming effect is a pleasant spur to continued literary activity. I have about 3 avenues for a new book, but can’t decide which one to pursue. Covid-19 seems to have muddied the waters and created a demand for stories with happy endings. Not really my thing to be honest.
Meanwhile, I’m writing short stories which I submit to writing competitions. These can be useful vehicles towards greater recognition, although some of them, I’m convinced, are just a way of getting money out of aspiring writers. I’m not cynical, honest. Oh, and I’m swimming a lot. Exercise is an essential element in my life and keeps me grounded. Stress, self-doubt and anxiety are my constant companions and need to be kept at bay—can be kept at bay. I wish you well, and thanks for reading.