Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Writing full time... pros and cons

Becoming a full time writer is pie in the sky for me, and probably for most people who are just starting their writing journey. I was thinking today about what it would actually be like. On the surface I can't imagine anything better, but realistically,the following points which could be a problem for me:

  • I would have to motivate myself. Or I'd need a really mean agent to give me harsh deadlines. I don't work well without deadlines because...well let's face it, there's always a new book to read or a rubbish but entertaining TV programme to watch
  • It must be quite a solitary life. Unless you're a very cool writer living in a hip urban apartment in a fashionable area of London (I'm so unfashionable that I don't which areas are cool) and manage to go out for coffee and cocktails on a regular basis with other mediaaah friends
  • I would miss the kids I currently work with. But I suppose if I ever manage to be a proper published children's author I'd do things like writing workshops for kids (ooooh that sounds like loads of fun!) and school book tours.
But the advantages...

  • Working in your own home
  • Drinking A LOT of tea
  • thinking a lot and loads of re-drafting (I really love doing that)
  • creating your own characters full time
  • Drinking A LOT of tea
  • Being able to work in bed/on the sofa/in the garden etc
Can you think of any more?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

What is a 'proper writer'?

I have had a few articles published in various magazines (mostly things about music and/or education) but I don't feel like 'a writer'.

Is it because it isn't my day job (I'm a secondary school music teacher, passionate about teaching)? Is it because I consider my writing in trade magazines a bit amateur? Or perhaps because I don't have a published book under my belt?

Possibly all of these to some extent - but I think that my lifelong love of reading fiction has coloured my writing ambitions - simply: I love stories; I want to write successful stories that other people love. And until recently, with every book and every writer I discovered and enjoyed, the aim of writing a work of fiction became more and more intimidating.

I bet he considers himself a proper writer
Soon I'll be ready to send my first picture book text, Stripy Mike, off to agents. Personally, I think that the moment I get my first rejection I will be a good way towards being able to call myself a 'proper writer'.

Are you a writer? At what point will you consider/did you start considering yourself a 'proper writer'?

The start of the journey...

So I've started a blog. And I've started writing stories for children. The two are linked; one day I am going to have published work out there for children (even if it takes me 10 years) and I thought it would be interesting to document the journey. Perhaps I will be the only reader of my blog (no- I'll force my husband to at least pretend to read it too), but to keep for posterity the experience of becoming a proper writer might be useful to someone else, at some point.

So far I have written a picture book text for 3+ (currently at Smartquill editorial services with Philippa Donovan for some advice), and I am well into the process of planning and writing a YA novel - something I never thought I'd do.

This blog will be a diary of my reading and writing experiences along the way. Rejections, successes (hopefully), periods of writer's block and periods of mad obsessed writing will all no doubt feature here.

If you're interested in writing, reading or children's literature, please follow my blog and comment whenever you can.