Another step forward in a writing life…

I recently published a post on the Coverstory books website that started like this:

As a Writer there’s nothing quite like seeing your words coalesce, watching characters develop and take on a life of their own, or weaving meaning and narrative into a poem.

As an Editor and publisher there’s nothing like that frisson of excitement you get when someone submits a piece for a collection or asks you to read something. Until you open the document you have no idea what you are going to find…

From a personal perspective, however, there’s much more to these statements and this post than appreciation for some of the writers I have met – both in person and virtually. Underpinning them are all the emotions consequent from the journey on which I am embarked; the journey from 9-to-5 slave to the demands of others’ businesses and demands, to a life where I am dedicated to what I want to achieve – to my writing, and to others’ writing.

It feels like a crusade of sorts…

I have written about this journey before – Dreams and Brave New World – but with 2022 comes a renewed commitment to the cause, to Coverstory books, to take myself (and my ambition) seriously.

In a way, such an endeavour has to be approached a little like work, with all the associated disciplines – to Coverstory books, to Social Media, to my fellow writers, to my writing. Not only does that require focus, the striking of the right kind of balance, but belief too. If I am cutting the cord to what might be termed a conventional life, then I have to believe I can make my vision a success.

Yet how do you measure that? It’s all well and good feeling that you are doing the right thing, that you are being rewarded emotionally, but where are the tangible outcomes to demonstrate you are moving in the right direction? As a publisher that’s an easy question to answer: the production of an ongoing stream of good quality writing in good quality books – and recognition of the effort spent in bringing those books to market through good reviews, sales, the appreciation of the authors themselves.

But as a writer? Isn’t it largely the same scenario: good reviews, sales, the appreciation of readers? Making the jump from being employed to not certainly increase the importance of sales – and I would always welcome more! Yet it is also about respect – not only from others, but self-respect too. In four weeks I will be in the middle of a writers’ retreat at which I am the ‘guest mentor’, offering others an insight into my journey, experience, expertise, and writing. That feels like a major way-point on my journey, and I am looking forward to it enormously…

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