Hello fellow writers and congratulations to anyone who participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. I applaud you for your efforts as it’s certainly not something I could do – not at this stage of my life anyhow.
I bring you this post as I’ve been asked by Webucator to talk about my writing and answer a few questions to wrap up novel writing month. I hope that these answers help inform and inspire you as you make your own writing journeys.
1. What were your goals when you started writing?
I really didn’t have any distinct goals when I began writing as I started off purely for the joy of putting pen to paper and watching imaginary worlds and characters evolve. I’d always loved reading and writing as a child and through my teenage years but it wasn’t until I moved to Sydney when I first married that I had a go at penning my first book for kids (mind you this book will never see the light of day because it was so atrocious). But, once I’d finished that one I realised this was what I wanted to do, write books for kids, and the following year I began a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing. It all went from there with my first book for children being published in 2008.
2. What are your goals now?
I’ve since achieved more than I could have ever imagined possible, being published and receiving recognition for much of my work. I’ve now published three stand alone books for children, a fiction reader, a novel for adults and most exciting of all, my first book series. The first half of the Jake in Space series was published this year and the remaining three titles will come out early next year. I guess my goal now would be to keep on writing and publishing books for younger readers. I have a number of book ideas floating around in my head that I’d love to write and it would be great to publish a full-length book for kids, or young adults.
3. What pays the bills now?
Not my books unfortunately, not yet anyway. Let’s call it cinema ticket money for now. Right now, it’s the second-hand bookstore that I own paying the bills, combined with my husband’s income. But, I couldn’t think of any better income earner than a bookstore and I love the people I meet through Big B Books and the book conversations we have – not to mention the unlimited access to reading material.
4. Assuming writing doesn’t pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing?
That’s probably a correct assumption for most authors these days. I will always be motivated to write because it’s something I not only love to do, but need to do. It’s my form of expression and my creative release and really there’s nothing not to enjoy about it, except editing perhaps, but even that gives me great satisfaction as my work is given a shine and polish.
5. And, optionally, what advice would you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?
I’m not usually one to give advice, since everyone has their own way of going about things, but what I’ve learned is that writing is a process. By that I mean that as a writer you are constantly learning and your writing is always evolving. For me, that’s meant studying, going to workshops, classes and writing festivals, reading widely, and most of all spending the time writing, writing, writing! There are no short cuts when it comes to writing. Like anything, it takes hard work, determination and persistence – but it does pay off in the end and the rewards can’t be measured in dollars.