Writing on, and about, an island

Posts Tagged ‘non fiction’

Live Like a Pauper. Write Like a King

In Career, Crime & Mystery Writer, Island Life, Minimalism, Tasmania, Writing on February 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Living frugally is perhaps the most liberating thing any writer can do. I have come to realise that my success as a writer (by success I mean the amount and quality of personal writing I do) is directly related to how simple I make my life. To how many distractions I remove.

Not so long ago, extreme frugality was forced on me. However, now that it’s no longer a necessity, I can’t let frugality go. The more I live like a pauper, the more my writing flourishes.

Why?

In the short-term…

  • I socialise less – freeing up time for talking, thinking, discovering and creating
  • I cook mostly homemade meals –  see above
  • I buy less alcohol – self-explanatory!
  • I walk and run – not paying for exercise leaves me with valuable thinking time, and essential ‘running writing’
  • I catch the bus – no car equals more time for writing and reading
  • I clear more clutter – whittling down my wardrobe by half means I’m spending far less time managing it

In the long-term…

I’m not having to fund things I don’t need, so I don’t have to work so hard to make ever-more money. Not being consumed by distracting/draining money-making projects has massively freed up my time and energy for personal writing…

It’s a wake-up call when you realise one new pair of shoes is worth about half a day’s work. That’s half a day I can reclaim in writing – if I choose not to buy the shoes.

So, it’s a choice.

In 12 years in Sydney – when I was childless, free of major responsibilities and had plenty of disposable income – I made a few halfhearted attempts at writing the novel I’d always wanted to write.

Since moving to Tasmania and simplifying my life, I’ve written a full-length novel (in 3 months), entered a short story in a national crime-writing competition (and won an award), and am well on the way to publishing several non-fiction guides (funded by the money I’m saving by not spending).

If you want to be a writer, choose minimalism, simplicity and frugality – and you’ll find the focus, discipline and freedom you need to be successful.

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Why I Won’t Publish on Amazon

In Books, Career, Crime & Mystery Writer, Writing on February 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

If you are considering epublishing, I suggest you read this very thought-provoking article on the phenomena that is self-epublishing…

Considering that I plan to self-publish my crime novel, and produce some non-fiction e-guides later this year, does the article worry me?

No, for 3 reasons:

  1. I was never going to publish on Amazon – I’m retaining control of every stage, thanks very much
  2. I believe in my persistence
  3. I believe in my ability to be prolific

I have not mentioned talent. That’s because persistence and ‘prolificness’ are more important than talent.

And that’s something I quickly learned when I worked in-house as a book editor, and sat in the Monday morning ‘slush-pile’ meetings, where all the publishers would put forward their cases for which authors the publishing house should offer a book deal to next.

I was startled – perhaps I shouldn’t have been – that those authors who could argue a case for several follow-up books and that they’d be able to stay the distance (through publicity tours and changing trends) easily trumped those who could ‘merely’ write incredibly beautifully.

Of course, having talent, persistence and the ability to be prolific is the best combination.

In that instance, Amazon can go to hell.

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