There is a question all writers should confront at some point during their writing life:
What sort of writer do I want to be?
Because, of course, there are a number of different types of writer. Perhaps the question should be: “What do I want from my writing life?”
Believe it or not, this is something nearly all writers fail to ask themselves. I know, we all start off writing as a bit of a hobby. Most of the population can physically write, putting letters together to form words, and words together to form sentences. That’s a basic function many can handle.
But writing seriously? Learning how to write productively, and with a purpose and with an intention to gain an audience?
To align with this blog’s title, one of the choices fiction writers should make is: do we want to write genre or literary fiction?
I’m not a researcher. I’m not big on spending hours talking to people, interviewing them even, learning about them, their jobs, their private lives, the places they live and work. I do know authors who are researchers, and they love spending time learning stuff.
Nope. Not me.
But this week, I travelled about an hour away from home to look at a small village that I might use for a new series of cosy mysteries.
I want to talk about creativity. It concerns one of the most asked questions of authors – where do you get your ideas from? I know it sounds like a cliché, but so many non-authors want to know how we can ‘come up with’ such devious, exciting and intricate plots for our novels.
And I think we all have a slightly different answer. “I get my best ideas when I’m in the shower / out walking / drunk on a Saturday night”; “some of my most well-received novels have been based on dreams / nightmares / the result of imbibing vast quantities of psychedelic drugs”; or the asinine “I don’t know, really – they just come to me when I’m sitting in my garden writing studio listening to the sounds of nature”.
Some of these may be true, but it’s not my version of truth.
I’m working hard on writing my novels, but I’m also working on a new project – The Efficient Novelist program. More details on that in the near future. And apologies for those who feel offended by the spelling of programme.
But as I’m writing alongside the program, and making notes on what I do and what I could do better, I’m also wondering how I collate these notes to make sure they’re not lost, and how I can organise them into the sections of the program. Writing them down in a notebook, on pieces of paper or index cards means duplication of effort as they’ll need to be transferred into electronic format at some time in the future. Creating a MS Word document means lots of scrolling as I find the right section in which to place the notes.
No, it’s not an April Fool joke. This really is my 2nd novel in the Jerry Sanders Investigations series, and my 6th novel overall (4 written under my pseudonym Jack Warwick).
Please check it out. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
A partially decomposed body is discovered in a beach hut in the seaside town of Harcourt Bay. No one knows who he is, no one knows where he’s from.
As the police investigation stalls, follow ex-journalist Jerry Sanders and his friends as they delve into the dark memories of Harcourt Bay, and discover that, sometimes, history comes back to haunt us.
Every month, I try to entertain and inform. There will be some news about me, and my writing. Also there will be information for other writers, and information and commentary about the publishing industry.
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Long time readers will know that I don’t like RESOLUTIONS. There’s too much focus on one day in the year, and there’s too much looking back on a previous year with regret, with a false determination to DO BETTER next year. And it’s all too easy for the resolutions to fall flat. Like: “This year, I’m going to lose x weight”. It’s a focussed target, which might appear to be good, but it’s a digital target. You will either succeed, or you will do the ‘F’ word – FAIL. And failure is a destructive state of mind. We don’t like destructive things – we only like constructive things. So my resolutions are NOT resolutions – they’re aims, or goals. If I don’t reach those goals, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because as you will have seen if you’ve read my ‘looking back‘ post, there’s still a lot to celebrate. So let’s get started.
Yes, I know this year has been … different. That ancient philosopher who said “may you live in interesting times” needs to just shut up now. The ‘featured image’ sums up what a lot of people think about the year just gone.
But that doesn’t stop me from doing my annual roundup – a look back to last New Year at what I said I was going to try and do during 2020, and what I actually have done.