First, an apology. It was my turn to post on Saturday but I was under the weather.
I’m now behind in producing the bonus material for The Christmas Promise so I’m going to make this a pretty brief post (so that’s an apology second as well as first!) and my theme is that, despite needing a lot of motivation and teeth-gritting persistence, I can think of no better job than to be an author. Here’s why:
- As a child I would read and read. I read my books, my brothers’ books and, before too long my parents’ books (with a little censorship – ‘Lolita? Not that one, darling’), school library books, public library books and my friends’ books. Then I’d read my books again. I spent my pocket money on books. I longed to be a person who could create stories for other people to disappear into. I still can’t believe my luck that I’ve managed it. Authors were, and are, my rockstars.
- I make my living from making things up. I realise I’m not unique. Creative industry arises from what people can conjure up in their heads and make into a product – music, games, films, TV, art, radio, advertising, design, illustration and a whole spectrum of other things that begin as an idea – but sometimes I just stop and think about how amazing that is. It begins with an idea, something that I possess for free. OK, ideas don’t come along to order … but they do come along.
- In cahoots with my agent and publisher, I can exercise my business brain by steering my own career.
- I work hard but to my own schedule. I may work 50 or 60 hours a week but they’re the hours I choose and I can arrange them around Zumba classes and a cuppa with my mates.
- I’m invited to stand up and speak. People not only listen – sometimes they clap!
My writing has led to leading workshops and courses and some of them are in fab places like Italy, France and America. A ‘classroom’ in the shape of a sunny Italian terrace fills me with joy.
- Lovely readers contact me on social media with nice messages. It was a highlight of my writing life when a lady approached me at a book signing to tell me she’d been seriously ill and reading All That Mullarkey was making her enforced rest bearable. She bought almost all the rest of my books before she left.
- Little pieces of excitement crop up week after week. This book’s sold overseas, here’s the new jacket for that book, The Christmas Promise is up for preorder, would I like to guest on a blog (generally ‘Yes please!’), could I run my eye over the plans for my media campaign (get me! I have a media campaign!), am I available to go on local radio, here are your royalties (whoop!), it’s time for the London Book Fair/someone’s book launch/a conference/a party.
- I number a lot of authors amongst my friends.
- I number a lot of book bloggers amongst my friends.
- I can visit amazing places and do fabulous things in the name of research. Like … let’s see – Strasbourg? Or up in a helicopter?
I find a lot of hard work involved in my job and my fair share of disappointments and rejections. But it’s really truly worth it and I wouldn’t change my profession for any other.