Some people (like my wife) think writing is all fun. A nice relaxing hobby akin to playing the Xbox or going out to the pub with your friends. Well, it is enjoyable, of course it is, but it’s also really hard work. It’s NOTHING like playing video games or chilling out with your mates.
If you have a young family and a full-time job then it can really be tough to a) find the TIME to write a book and b) motivate yourself to DO it rather than just lying on the couch watching Game of Thrones after a ten-hour shift.
Today I downloaded a pedometer/step-counter app for my phone. It calculated that I walked 9 miles within ten hours during my working day. I was pounding the streets of Partick in Glasgow reading meters (I even checked Navid from Still Game‘s gas meter, he’s a nice guy!).
9 miles, in mostly pissing rain, and when it wasn’t raining it was warm but I still had on my waterproofs so was sweating like a pig. A couple of years ago I could make my target of 200 reads per day without too much trouble. It sounds a lot but it was possible in most areas, especially if you worked hard and put in the time/miles. But our bonus system became much harsher two years ago and now…well…I walked 9 miles yet only managed to read something like 75 meters. Not even close to my target of 200!
Don’t get me wrong – I like my job and I’m grateful to have it in this day and age when so many people are unemployed. But we all dream of doing something better with our lives, don’t we?
Well, I walked about for ten hours today, trying my best to read as many meters as possible but in my head I was planning my next two books; trying out plots, defining characters and ironing out problems. At the end of the shift my legs were killing me and I just wanted to get home to see my children. But I had some great ideas for my writing!
I like my job, but it’s hard work, just like yours I’m sure.
It’s hard getting up every morning and leaving your kids when they’re very young and are just turning into their own little people.
It’s hard walking for so many miles without even making bonus as a reward. It’s f**king exhausting.Trust me, I can hardly write this coherently, I’m so tired!
But…People really seem to enjoy my writing! Since I first published my debut novel, Wolf’s Head, people have been buying it, and the sequels, and telling me how much they enjoy them. I’m a meter reader from Glasgow, yet I’ve sold over 40,000 books in less than two years. I’ve had emails from foreign publishers enquiring about translations and a major Hollywood producer asking about film rights to my self-published books. I had a message today from a librarian in Utah, USA, telling me my books are a big hit there.
THAT is all what drives me to write! The fact that people are enjoying what I’m creating as much as I am.
YOU, dear readers, are what keep me going when my feet ache and some ignorant bastard tells me to f**k off when I ask to read their meter because all they see is some menial grunt they don’t need to respect.
THANK YOU to all my readers for buying, reading and reviewing my books. I hope you understand now why you mean so much to me!
Please – be nice to your meter reader 😉
My next book Rise of the Wolf, part 3 in The Forest Lord series, will be published in June/July 2015 so look out for it and spread the word with your friends.