3 March 2010
I'm trying to write a book at the moment. It's a maelstrom of emotions I'm going through.
I've never written one before. I don't know if I can. I am not sure what the normal procedure is. I need to learn and work out what markets and targets are. I worry about my lack of university education. And, of course, I'm faced with the likelihood of its publication being nil without me shelling out a fortune to a self-publication company. I have days where it looks fantastic and then other days where I feel like pressing the delete button on the whole folder and going to the pub for, well, the rest of my life. The few authors I know, really gifted people, have offered generous advice and encouragement and that, at times, has kept me going.
It's a non-fiction project. I've had the idea for a while and have decided to give myself the time, in 2010, to see if the idea is actually any good. Heaven forfend that you may think I'm a novelist in waiting. I'm writing about something I know about, as opposed to something I have yet to know about. It strikes me as the natural thing to do, and also as an easier thing to do.
I'll never forget the anecdote told by a writer who claims that people in any job will, upon learning of her profession as an author, will casually pipe up that they will also write a book one day. It's writing, you see. It's easy, innit? You just pick up a quill or switch on your PC and off you go.
I've seen and heard people say the same kind of thing about radio, which is something I really can do. They say you just switch on the microphone and off you go. Talking for a living. It's easy, innit? Then I have laughed at them, inwardly of course, when they have seen the red light go on and you could almost hear the moisture vanish from their mouths and touch the numb silence that greeted the audience.
This writer, by the way, once got the standard reply regarding her profession from a brain surgeon. She retorted: "Yes, and one day I'll do some brain surgery." I expect he got the message.
So I'm out of my comfort zone. I can arse about on this blog, nattering about all sorts but now I'm trying to write something that will take me to the next stage. I'm 37 this year and I have to give it a try. I love writing, but have always been afraid to believe I actually can write. Time will tell but, for the moment at least, it's fun, of a sort, trying.