Source: Calling other writers of A Certain Age
Thanks. Enjoyed this thought-provoking piece. Maybe we could set up a little support group?
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Great. I’d like to do that. We must discuss this further.
What a comfort to know there are others wrestling with the same everyday dilemmas – but, I suspect, each of us has our own way to deal with these.
My writing, too, had to wait until retirement (I’m now 70). When that day finally came, too much was edging in, trying to claim the time freed from paid work. It took a couple of years to fight back. Husband, in particular, was slow to accept that I wasn’t now a full-time aide to his volunteer activities.
First one, then a second novel went through drafting and editing before I realised that looking for an agent is a full-time job so I set that aside for now. Instead I’ll write while there are books in me to be written and consider the self-publishing route when I’m written out. I’m sure Amazon will be there for me.
As for everything else in life I’ve taken to paring down. I’ll not agree to do anything or to go anywhere unless I want to – and, since most of time, I simply want to write I have but few social engagements not about books or writing. My children and grandchildren live abroad so I can’t spend time with them. Long ago I decided not to get stressed about housework. Whichever of us has a lower tolerance threshold for dust will take the vacuum for a walk. It is good to run out of provisions from time to time – that way you dig round in the cupboards and use up the stuff that otherwise would be forgotten. I save up ironing for when there’s something I want to see on the TV and never switch it on simply to see if there’s something worth watching.
I read as much as I can, 2-3 books in a good week, and try to focus on debut crime fiction since that’s what I write.
No doubt I’ve become a selfish bore but that can’t be helped. I’ve never felt such contentment and so much control over my life. I accept I can’t have it all and this is my choice. I’ve been there for others, now is my turn.
I love your approach, Raili. Very much my own until I decided to publish my first novel – which immediately created this awful sense of obligation: You must publicise it, let people know it’s there, you must not waste the money you invested in professional editing and a professional cover design. So frustrating. Which is why I started this blog. There must be an answer….Like you, ll I really want to do is work on my current novel.
After a couple of workshops on marketing and promotion (still not sure of the difference) I’ve decided it is an enjoyable challenge and am keen to get going. But then I’m a natural extrovert.
One mustn’t be easily hurt. When I was telling a friend how friends can help wiith this enterprise she said, ‘Well, don’t expect any help from me. I don’t care for self-advertising.’
Oh dear! That’s the sort of response that makes me feel apologetic about self-publishing, a curiously self-defeating reaction, of course. Well done you for seeing it all as an enjoyable challenge. I shall TRY to emulate your excellent example.
I don’t know if I’d call Barbara’s “friend” a friend, it sounds a most peculiar remark. Besides, if she helps Barbara she’s not self-advertising. Sounds like she’s harbouring some envy for Barbara’s enterprising spirit.
What is it about artistic endeavour that makes us so bashful? If invented a new gadget, say, for determining when an avocado is ripe and marketed my invention nobody would think it as self-promoting or odd in any way – it’s just business. If I write a book about a woman who makes a fortune by inventing a new gadget why do I feel somebody else must take on the promotion?
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