Writing for publication can be stressful, time-consuming and heartbreaking when the rejection letters come in. The answer to this – don’t write for publication, just enjoy writing and don’t have that pressure, although it would be nice to get something published one day, there is no obligation to have your work published and if you can write prolifically for the sheer enjoyment of it then you will have a collection of work that sometime in the future you can collate, edit and if you want to – then you can send it to a few relevant publishers to get their views on what you have produced. Sometimes you don’t even have to do that – I’ve had quite a number of little things published because the publisher has asked if they could include them in a book and sometimes they will come back and ask you if you could produce more along the same lines. So I’m hardly a successful well-known author but I do have a fair bit of published work.
The reason I write is because I enjoy it. I always thought that I’d like to be a writer, but never felt good enough or perhaps I just wasn’t confident enough to give up my day job to take a chance on it. I read hundreds of books about how to start writing – that was a heavy investment. I bought course after course on how to become a writer – another heavy investment, but one day I came to realise that all this book and course buying was simply prevarication and that I would probably never become a “real writer”.
Then one day someone upset me by misrepresenting something I’d put on social media. I was furious and I found myself in front of my computer; anger flowing through my veins like lava from an enormous volcanic eruption, the flames of destruction vomiting from my very brain cells and it all got channeled onto the page in front of me; it was terrific, it really was “terrible and horrific”. This was my first bit of exciting dramatic fiction and it flowed for a day and a half. This wasn’t me writing about me, this was me writing about the pent up frustration with authority that had been building; not just throughout my lifetime but for centuries. The bile and frustration spewed onto the page almost incinerating the computer with its sheer passion and truth.
I’d found something special about writing that I wish I had found about fifty years earlier – writing is good for the soul and a fantastic way of dealing with stress and frustration. You can do things in a fictional world that you could never do in reality, at least not without being locked up pretty quickly.
From then on I’ve been writing on a regular basis, not every day but damn near every day. I find myself becoming more and more creative. I can sit in a public place and without knowing who people are, can turn them into fictional characters with their own intriguing story just waiting to be told. On other days I may write a poem, it might not start out as one but it may end up as one. I might write a prayer, a limerick or a short story, but the point is I will just write. I’ll write whatever comes into my head at the time and when that doesn’t work and there seems to be nothing there, then I’ll go back to one of my stories that are developing over time. I have at least three different storylines on the go at any time. When one isn’t working one of the others will be and if none of them are working for me then it’s time for something new.