Sunday, 22 May 2016

Juggling my balls

Hi all.

Many of you reading this (as the only people who do read my blog posts are authors or fellow bloggers who understand...I have no friends outside that circle!) will appreciate how hard it is being an author.

Not that writing is hard, I find it both easy and enjoyable (both bonuses when you would like it to one day be a career), but the managing everything else around you and still making the time to write.

Actually, hard is probably the wrong word...challenging is perhaps better.

I work full time in Infection Prevention and Control, have two children (9 and 19 months), go to the gym five nights a week, occasionally cook tea, manage my wife and keep her all organised, spend some time with aforementioned spouse, write 5 nights a week (in the words of Shane Ward 'that's My Goal') and occasionally sleep (spot the lie out of those!!).

I find, aside from the odd day off, I have to write on an evening when the kids have gone to bed and after Kelly and I have spent some time together watching whatever series we are into at the moment, which is currently Blindspot.

One day, I do dream of being able to write full time, but to be honest I have gotten used to the routine I have. It is currently slightly more challenging as I am working on two novels simultaneously, both of which are due out towards the end of the year, one of which has an actually deadline! I have a deadline...which is kinda cool to be honest. I feel like a proper author!

Fortunately, I don't suffer from writers block (he says, just watch) as I always have a beat sheet with the entire story plotted out for that very reason. I couldn't imagine anything worse than having so much to do and not know where my story was going to go next.

Granted, on a weekend if I'm off work, I end up writing one handed with Liam on my knee which is quite a challenge, but I find that it makes the whole process fresh and new...and slower.

I have also discovered the most amazing tool for helping an author promote their work and that is Mark Dawson ( his assistance is the amazing tool, not Mark, he's fantastic). Mark has a workshop he holds called the Self Publishing Formula which, without stealing his thunder if you choose to look yourself, teaches you how to better market your books. Seek him out on Facebook, you won't be disappointed. The man is a genus and a chuffin' good author to boot. Check out his John Milton novels...calling him the British Jack Reacher is no exaggeration!!

I am only just learning that there is more to being an author than just the writing. It is pretty much a full time job being an indie author just promoting your work, though I do enjoying doing it and it has paid dividends already. I have been invited to the Crossing the Tees festival again this year, have a Skype interview on Author's Talk About It in June and have already been mentioned with Stephen Sayers in the Newcastle Chronicle regarding the book I am working on with him.

But all of the above is not a complaint, I see it all as a privilege. I dreamt of begin an author for most of my life and Murielle and everyone at BNBS and Gillie and Grahame at 6e allowed me the opportunity to succeed. I have always known I would need at least a five year plan and, already into the first year and a half, I have learnt more than I ever thought possible.

I just need to keep managing my balls.