Good morning, fright fans!
Today – if you didn’t already know – is 04 December 2018 and this is my first entry on this spanking new blog, despite having owned the damned thing since 13 April 2018.
Coindcidentally (or not) it also marks the occasion of my 29th birthday.
I’ll leave space for a moment’s embarrassed silence…
Now, there is a point to all this (beyond the shameless fishing for birthday wishes).
As I enter the last year of my twenties, it’s as good a time as any to take stock of my life, in order to set things in motion for the big event next year. For the most part, I can’t really complain. I have a job as a junior copywriter that pays well; I have a roof over my head and food in my kitchen; I have some great friends and a loving family. Yeah, I’m a lucky guy.
However, this blog was set up to chart the trajectory of my writing career, and this is what I really want to address.
You see, I’ve decided that the one thing I really want to be, above all others, is a full-time, professional, published writer. I love my copywriting job, don’t get me wrong. It’s interesting work, it pays my bills, and it forces me to hone my writing skills each and every day. But that’s not the dream.
Fiction is the dream.
I started writing on 13 April 2018, penning a short 100-word piece called ‘Alone in the Forest’. In the almost eight months since then, I have written another eleven pieces. All of them are short, not one is over 101 words, and they are all pretty dark and grim. You can find details of them here, here, and here. Don’t worry if you don’t check those pages – there will be no test.
Of those twelve stories, all but one have been accepted for publication, four have appeared online, four have appeared in print anthologies, and a further three are awaiting publication in another anthology. I have two books on my bookshelf that contain my own stories, with a third due to come. I’ve got a Goodreads author page, an Amazon author page, and a profile on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. For three of those stories, I was paid a professional rate of $0.05 per word, technically making me a professional, published author.
For a completely unknown writer, that’s not so shabby.
However – another way of looking at it is this: in a little under eight months I have written just over 1000 words of finished material. Read in that light, it’s not so good. I mean, it’s not like I’ve been simultaneously working on a novel, or even a series of short stories in the interim.
So, what happens next. If I carry on at this rate, even if I live to the ripe old age of eighty, I’ll have only penned a further 80000 words or so (seriously: I’ve done the maths and it works out), which equates to a single novel. That’s hardly the literary career I had in mind.
The answer, as ever, is a simple one. I need to write. I need to put aside these fun, if futile, pieces of nanofiction and move onto something with a bit more meat to its bones. I need to set aside time to write every day, if only for an hour.
In short, I need to write.
A shocking revelation, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
So there you have it. Thank you for joining me on my birthday. Help yourself to a slice of cake and a goodie bag on your way out. I’m going to meet some friends for a birthday lunch and get slowly sozzled on as many combinations of rum as I can manage, it being my tipple of choice.
Then tomorrow… the words.