Something momentous happened to me this week – I came into facebook contact with Seumas Gallacher, author of the Jack Calder crime novels. What an amazing character he is! Meeting Seumas was rather like standing on the seashore and suddenly being caught up in an enormous wave. His humour and enthusiasm for his work is infectious and he has left me dithering at the crossroads, undecided about whether I am able to be so single minded about writing, publishing and relentlessly trying to sell my work or to go the other way, holding up my hands in surrender to leave it to people like him and all those other single-minded authors out there.
Fact is, I never intended to make my writing a career; I was shortly going to retire and it was ‘something nice I could do to keep my brain going’ once I no longer had my job to help me do that. However, having been finally convinced to publish my books, I now find that I do want to sell them and perhaps I haven’t done myself justice in not trying harder to ‘get noticed’ by writing for women’s magazines or something. I found I didn’t really want to do that either; I didn’t want to get to the stage where there might be pressure upon me to provide by a certain time. The beauty of self-publishing is you can set your own deadlines.
However, the obvious drawback to self-publishing is that you have to go out there and sell yourself – and that really isn’t in my nature. I love to give gifts and a book that I’ve written is somewhat personal, like giving part of myself to a friend. But I feel bad about asking my friends to buy my books. For that reason I wonder, am I really ‘cut out’ to be a ‘proper’ author? Perhaps I should just write my books and use them as gifts. Seumas has made me stop and question what I’m doing; after all, I have a lot in my life already – like many retired people I wonder how I ever had time to work!
So, the question is, am I going to let that big wave sweep me away to bigger and better things in writing or am I going to grab the line that will pull me back to the shore to no more take the risk of being swept off my feet again? The trouble is, I just can’t stop writing…