Sunday, 28 June 2015

Before I started this self-publishing thing I used to....

  • Read the papers in bed on Sunday mornings and go to the pub.
  • Feel pleased when the phone rang, especially if it was a friend who would want a long chat.
  • Spend more time with my husband (eventually he gave up and got an Xbox).
  • Be thinner.
  • Have a cleaner house.
  • Spend proper time on Facebook, keeping up with friends far away, posting photos, playing Scrabble with virtual friends.
  • Cook proper food every evening.  Now I only get round to chopping vegetables about three evenings a week.  The rest of the time I dispel the hunger with diet coke and coffee, then, when I start to feel shaky, shove something in the microwave or make a toasted sandwich.
  • Go walking in the park most days (see 'be thinner' above).  Yes, yes, I know I still could, but I don't, because I want to get on with the nov, and by the time I need a break it'll be packed with kids coming out of school, and....
  • Not have a permanently tense neck and shoulders - I start out sitting properly but it never lasts!
  • Spend ages writing articles and other general funny stuff to amuse my friends.
  • Be able to watch a television drama without analysing the plot structure and characterisation.
  • Be able to read a book without picking the editing apart.
  • Keep up with a lot of my old friends by email.




I also used to....
  • Drink a bit too much, sometimes out of boredom; didn't matter if I felt a little fuzzy the next day.
  • Know nothing of the joys of Twitter ~ all those people I would never have virtually met!
  • Only read the books of my favourite few well known authors; when I hadn't got anyone new to read I'd just read all Douglas Kennedy/Elizabeth Jane Howard/Susan Howatch/Deborah Moggach all over again.
  • Feel permanently vaguely bored and frustrated all the time because I knew I had something in me that needed doing!
  • Feel bored sometimes, full stop.
  • Worry that I was frittering away the autumn of my life by doing nothing in particular.
  • Have a sister who did the weary commute every day instead of having her own successful proofreading business - it was me doing this that gave her the idea of starting up on her own.
  • Remember when I used to write all the time, (9 novels in the 1990s) and feel a bit pissed off with myself because I didn't do it anymore.  And wonder if I still could.... 
 




37 comments:

  1. Occasionally - on days when I struggle with about 100 words, I muse on what I might be doing if I weren't doing this. And the answer - I'd be so bored I'd soon get back to the writing!!

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    1. Yes, me too, Jo! I've told my husband that I would become a whizz at decorating, etc, if I didn't do it - but I doubt it!

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    2. I know what I did before all this writing, self-publishing and blogging - work in a Pharmaceutical company. As for what I would do now without all the writing etc. etc., yup, get bored. Oh and frustrated and worried about all those untold stories building up inside me.

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    3. That's it, Ian - it's a compulsion, isn't it?

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  2. But it's all worth it, right? Please say yes!

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    1. Oh yes - see the boredom and frustration bits in the second list!!!

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  3. you must be very beatiful women . let me to Drague you. I just I Mamus you r the buter of author terry

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    1. I normally delete spam, but I had to leave this on!!! I wanna be Dragued!!

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  4. I recognise so much of this - especially number two on your list. Now, I get my husband to check who it is first.

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    1. Oh we have that call identifier thing, but even then I sometimes don't answer... well, they didn't know I was in...!!

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  5. Gosh...yes.... except that I was working flat out as a teacher & trying to bring up a daughter....If I wasn't writing NOW ...I'd be reading books and wondering why I wasn't writing......(and I so agree about reading other people's work & editing as you go....tho I'm even worse...as I am mentally setting A level essays and working out how I'd teach them if they came up on the syllabus)

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    1. Ha ha ha - yes, I bet you are!!! Oh, I didn't think back to the working full time thing, which I did most of my life; I was just thinking about what I did with my spare time. I was never disciplined enough to write when I was working. Too busy going to the pub, I guess!

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  6. Totally agree with everything! I especially resonated with your 'permanently vaguely bored and frustrated all the time because I knew I had something in me that needed doing'. So glad I was able to kick my own butt and get started. Great post as always x

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    1. Thank you, Shelley! It's also noticeable that my virtually packing in drinking happened around the same time as I started doing this full time - not intentional, it just happened!

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    2. That's no bad thing, I gave up drinking eighteen months ago for health (and sanity) reasons. A clearer head certainly helps haha, although I don't have so many drunken stories to use anymore ;-)

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    3. Clearly you feel the way I do about it! I do still drink now and again on the rare occasions I got out, I don't see any need to become tee-total, but I just don't feel the need to do it the rest of the time - and I don't like the taste of it so much now.

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  7. Writers gotta write, right? :)

    Great list Terry, made me smile... and nod... though I'm not a published Author, I can relate to lots on your list. I'm more likely to fine comb a book to learn the grammar than I am to pick it apart though... am improving, slowly :)

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Kimmie - and we are all learning all the time, are we not? x

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  8. LOL
    I read more books and watched too much TV. I also weighed about 25 pounds more than I do now.

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    1. It certainly makes you forget about eating! Lack of exercise for me, though.

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  9. I used to be able to spend weekend afternoon's reading and read 2/3 books in a week ... before I started book blogging Terry :) Much needed escape from the pressure of the day job! I'm slowing down on the blog but still managed to spend the weekend working on the book blog, checking out html stuff though and changing some things.

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    1. Ah, but book blogging is a natural progression from reading....!!! I can't imagine reading a book without reviewing it now - it would be like going somewhere wonderful and not taking any pictures! :)

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  10. Yes but I miss reading. An hour a day is rubbish :(

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    1. I know what you mean. It's why I'm going to have another month read-in when I've finished the current novel. It was lovely last time, really made me remember how much I used to love it.

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  11. All of that rings true for me.
    I fit my reading in with an early morning cuppa before I get up properly. About 40 a day, minutes more at the weekend. Then there's the airport and the beach ...
    I used to get to the gym more often and be quite nicely shaped.
    Ah well!

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    1. I tend to read in big splurges, Gill - I think, right, I'll have a reading weekend! Ah well, indeed - thanks for reading and commenting :)

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  12. I used to do all those things too! (Well, most of them ;) ) Especially be thinner! Being permanently grafted to a chair is not good for your bottom. x

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    1. You're not wrong - I've always had fab legs but can now grab a handful of flesh on my inner thigh, and as for my stomach - it was always my worst point, and now it's loose tops only, alas!

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  13. I loved this post, Terry - I recognise so much of it. I enjoyed the comments too - it's good to know writers are all the same! But I wouldn't change the way things are. I'd be bored and frustrated if I didn't write.

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    1. Absolutely, Susanna - I think we do indeed share many traits! Many thanks for reading and commenting x

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  14. Dull women have clean houses, thin figures, and husbands without X-boxes. (Well, there might be X-boxes because really... they're married to dull women!)

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    1. I am sure that the X-box has saved many a dull marriage!

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  15. Excellent post Terry, with lots of pertinent and very helpful points. I agree with you about many things; I never get bored now, as I always have a project in front of me, the structure of always having something to write, balanced with everyday life, makes me feel very serene.

    Another thing has come up which may seem incongruous, but has been on my mind for a while. It's funny, but once I started writing with more regularity, and editing, it led me to think how in everyday life it would be great to edit out waiting times at the supermarket queue, at the doctor's surgery...wishful thinking, but it does bring a smile to the face at the possibility!

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    1. Ha ha! Yes, if only one could do track changes in real life!!! I'm so glad that writing is such a positive thing for you - it is for me, too. I don't know what I'd do without it, though that's a bit of a worry in itself :D

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  16. Just saw this and it has struck a cord... I keeping mulling of late wondering if this writing lark is worth it. I know I write (not saying it is any good), but the question recently is do I want to? I am sat here now "working" and wonder what it is all for. I wonder if anyone else has been plagued with "insecurity"? Time flies by, no new books are released, I cling to the ones I have done, and wonder if any new book will ever be good enough! I have just sent off my new book to about 10 readers and am expecting the worst! Oh well. I think I need to pay other people to do the jobs I try to do if I am going to take publishing seriously. Otherwise, as my husband wisely says, its just a hobby! :)

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  17. I think it depends on how you look at it, V. I can't imagine not doing it, I'd be struck by that emptiness and boredom I was before, I think; it's just WHAT I DO! But I've only ever done it because I love it, and I publish because I can and because I want other people to read and like what I do. I'd be disappointed with myself if I wasn't working through my 'to be written' list!

    Maybe now is not the right time for you to be doing it, and you need a break? I am sure everyone is plagues with insecurity, btw! I didn't write for years at a stretch at one time, but then came back to it. I do know what you mean, after a few months of promoting my latest book I start not to be able to stand the site of it; part of the reason I work so hard at writing as often as I can, so that I can publish two books a year. I don't bother to promote the older ones; if people buy them that's great, but I only ever tweet about them if they're on Kindle Countdown.

    It might be that you need a year off, or even just a few months, to think, right, I'll start again in September, or whatever. Most of all, don't give yourself a hard time over it! x

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