A lot of non-writing people think that when you say you are a writer you have had books published and you are successful and have a lot of money or you are a social recluse.
They imagine that I sit for three hours a day or more just tapping away from beginning to end the same novel day in and day out until it is finished and then post it to the nearest publisher and within a week or two I get a phone call about how great the novel is and how I should expect to join some top celebrity at some award ceremony somewhere and become a millionaire within a year.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth unfortunately.
For me, writing is mostly planning, writing short snippets that doesn’t go anywhere and redoing work I have already done. I don’t follow a set pattern to my work as my brain (as well as most other writers I know) doesn’t have an organised brain like that. Also quite a lot of my time as a writer is spent imagining things freely without writing, because the thoughts sometimes come too fast that I simply cannot type or write fast enough!
I will think about my vampires one minute and do a paragraph there, then I am onto the mermaid story and do a few lines there, then my brain will give me an altogether different idea and I have to write three or four pages of the proposed plot down immediately before I forget it, then I have to edit the three chapters I finished last week as I felt in the mood for it. That is the life of a writer – me!
A majority of my work will never see the light of day because I worry about its content. Is it too violent? Are the sexual scenes too graphic? Is this touching a socially taboo area? But I don’t stop writing them because it is a part of who I am, but it does mean that the public will never get the full and raw me and I don’t think that society ever does get that from any author anyway.
People who don’t write don’t understand that there is much more to writing than that and for a lot of people who do write, it is never about the money and it is never about the fame. Take me for example; what spurs me on to write? Originally what spurred me onto writing was the fact I enjoyed it too much not to do it – the second reason was that I hoped my stories would become movies. I really do still hope for the latter. But it is not a realistic dream yet.
I don’t intend to be a scriptwriter, which makes it all the more difficult. I don’t like the idea of my privacy being invaded when I am out shopping as I can often suffer from anxieties in new places and having a famous face someday will just add to the stress for me. But despite this, I love people and making them happy. I wouldn’t be human if I said, I don’t want the money – but being rich from writing is also not realistic.
Which begs a question as to why I do it then?
I do it for the love of writing and the love of play. I am a very playful and imaginative person who constantly lives in hope that there is always something better than this. I believe if you don’t like to play and you find writing hard work and you want the money and the fame and you don’t believe there is something better than this then you are wasting your time.
I love entertaining people, I love being a hostess, I love sharing ideas with people, I am very much a people person by my very nature. I have often thought about becoming a life coach or a creativity coach as a lot of people who know me describe me as a very motivating bubbly and uplifting person. I don’t see why though. Because to me I am a very pragmatic and often sharp person with people, particularly those I find who are ignorant and arrogant or both.
Despite dreading fame for the having my face noticed in public and despite the fact that becoming famous through writing is probably a pipe dream, I do still fantasize about how happy I would be seeing how happy and excited strangers will be whenever they see me around. But it scares me witless too, what lengths would some people go to in order to be near me? It terrifies me. But I am more than happy to be polite and friendly to any who come near and by me, entertain them as much as I can but I would just want to get on with my life, do the shopping, and spend time with my family out and about without such concerns. I suppose I get the fear of the behaviour of fans from my mother, because my mother is the sort of fan who screams and charges at celebrities whenever she sees them – I couldn’t cope with that as I am a naturally jumpy person.
So instead of worrying about the good and the bad, I have decided to just let life happen to me. If the universe thinks I should have that kind of life, let it happen and hope it’s all good. Maybe I will somehow be protected from all that fuss – who knows? All I want to do is write, entertain and have my brain poured out onto the TV screen eventually as good movies. That’s all I really want. If I was rich enough I would probably produce movies instead of books, not that it would be any faster quite the contrary, but the notion of working with a large team of people playing with the same dream would be absolutely fantastic.
Besides, with the people I am related to, doing this is in my blood by all accounts and I should fine fitting in with playful, imaginative people in that setting like a glove. Let’s hope gran was right.