Friday, 19 July 2013

Seeking Fame & Fortune or Simply a Storyteller

Well, it's another glorious day here in Cumbria. I'm sitting at my desk, having done some editing and now contemplating redrafting. The important point is, I'm working. On saying that I will admit to diverting my interests for a short spell this morning, whilst reading about haunted airfields. I just can't help it sometimes. But it's often difficult to stay on track and can become a battle. As my old schoolteacher would say, 'Pay attention, girl.'

I read something interesting earlier today from an online article written by a chap who is himself both an editor and an author. He reflects upon the many fiction submissions he's received over the years and states that writers fall into two categories. There are status seekers and storytellers. The status seekers are those who are simply desperate to be published, no matter what. They are not generally the best writers nor are they keen to take time to perfect the craft of writing, preferring to rush their manuscripts into the publishing world, only to be rejected time and time again by the main publishing houses.

So, that brought me back to something else I read a while ago. If you never published a book, even by choice, would you still write? Would you enjoy writing purely for yourself? My answer, after careful consideration, is yes. Any author will tell you not to pursue writing as a career if you are only interested in making money. My passion for historical fiction has led me to discover many hidden jewels and it's my lifetime objective to bring these to the forefront of literature. So, I'm sitting here working at my craft. Perfection is key and thus time is necessary. It can't be rushed. Yes, I'd love to make money and be financially independent as a writer but more importantly, I wish to be a good writer. I know my flaws, and by knowing this, I can be assured that I will have many more (writing flaws) that remain hidden to me. Hilary Mantel said in her autobiography that whilst in her twenties, having realised that her career was over due to illness, she decided to write. Writing well was something she knew she could do. Writing fiction was something she was unsure of. She said that she had to learn the craft and she spent many years in doing so. In fact, it was many years before her first novel was published and so I take comfort from that.

And so I will return to the ink spots upon the page - well actually, the computer but that doesn't sound as good - and I will achieve my daily writing goal of 1500 words. I find that setting goals is necessary as it helps me to focus and to achieve something otherwise I'm in danger of procrastinating. So, I'd best get on with it. Happy writing to all and have a lovely weekend.