I am often glib about being on "suicide watch" in those early days but I have to wonder how close to the truth I am... But they didn't know me, didn't know that killing myself is something I could never do. I mean - think about it! How would I ever know how the story ends?
Instead I took it all out on my characters. Early works 'Scared' and 'Hide and Seek' ( both available in Olverston Grange ...and Other Stories) were almost autobiographical they followed my own experiences so closely.Then things changed...
With my mental state returning to the status quo I began to realise I really, really enjoyed writing. It was fun. I wanted to do more of it! So that is exactly what I did...
I began to get published and gain a (tiny) bit of recognition. The thrill of the acceptance letter has only been beaten by the loss of my virginity in the excitement stakes. I suppose your first piece in print is another memorable moment for a writer!
Slowly, things began to change. The joy of writing was taken over by the "business" of writing. I needed a website, I needed to use use Twitter and Facebook as promotional tools, I had to appear on other author's blogs and invite them the grace my own with their presence, I swapped reviews, I posted blogs on an (almost) daily basis.
In short, it stopped being fun and became for all intents and purposes, a job.
But what of the thing that brought me here? The actual writing? Output diminished as other demands ate into my writing time. As my words-per-day disappeared, the length and scope of what I wanted to write inversely grew. I found myself telling people I was an author, promoting as an author, lending my "expertise" as an author but not doing any of the troublesome writing that seems to be pre-requisite of the title of author.
The goal had been set, the target agreed on and the journey marked out on a map. If I am to be rich and famous then I need to post endlessly on Twitter, promote the hell out of my Facebook page and do just about anything possible to get my name "out there".
Except that was never my goal. I didn't start this to get rich or famous - I did it because it was fun!
With that in mind I am hitting the reset switch on the career plans (such as they were) and writing what I find fun. I will still attempt to get published and I will still promote myself but not obsessively.
Let me enjoy this, eh?