Hello friends! Hello, hello? Have you forgotten me? It’s true I haven’t written my blog since last November so if you have forgotten me it’s not surprising.
‘Last November?’ I hear you say. ‘What on earth have you been doing all that time?’
You might well ask! When I think about it I really don’t know. Just ‘life’ really.
At first, it was Christmas; you all know what that’s like and with a big family of six ‘children’ (I use the term loosely as they are all adults), and their partners, various, seven grandchildren and a gorgeous wee great-granddaughter, there is a lot of shopping, wrapping presents and food to think about, not to mention the many cards to write and send off – yes, I still do that, although my list is getting shorter as various elderly relatives have passed on. It is a sobering thought that my husband and I are the oldest generation in our family, now that my mum has gone. That was our first Christmas without her.
The New Year brought a sense of urgency as I became aware that my close friend, David McCalden, was dying and I really wanted him to see a small book of poems and short stories that I had compiled from my posting on his Facebook page ‘Teddy Story Lines’ which was to be dedicated to him. It is called ‘Mostly About Bears’. Sadly, I never managed it; hampered as I was by my inability to draw and I was waiting for a member of my family to do them as she is a talented artist. However, although talented, she is also super-unorganised and unreliable and in the end I published the book without the final picture that I’d wanted. David never saw it, which made me very sad. I like to think that he’s still watching what I’m up to from wherever he is now.
At the same time, I was formatting my book, ‘Bronwen’s Revenge’, which is the second book in my Castell Glas Trilogy and then I had to wait for my proof-reader whose little son was having health problems. ‘Bronwen’s Revenge’ slipped into being published fairly quietly in April. Both books are still waiting to be ‘discovered’ by readers, although I would recommend that any prospective readers should read Book 1, ‘The Hiraeth’ before they go on to find out what Bronwen got up to next.
I help my eldest daughter out by having her little one once a week so she can work; on other days he is looked after by his other grandparents and his father. I find looking after him quite tiring – I often wonder how I managed to bring up six children!
Upon retrospect, I have the same problem that many writers do, especially female writers who have so many other roles to play; we are the mothers, the carers of the sick and the elderly, the baby-sitters, the shoppers, the housewives and so on. How on earth do we fit in writing as well? And then there is the BIG problem that all self-published writers face – that of the publicising, the constant, grinding use of the ‘soshial media’ (as my good friend, successful author, Seumas Gallacher refers to it) which we mostly hate and don’t want to do. But we know we have to if we’re ever going to get noticed by anyone.
I want to know, do other authors rebel over having to do all the media-advertising thing, the ‘twitter-facing’ and so on? Do you ever think ‘to hell with it, I’m just going to write’? I know one writer friend who has done just that; he’s taken himself off Facebook and so on in order to concentrate on writing his book. Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to do that but I’m afraid to let go of all the strings – not to mention nosey because I like to know what all my friends are up to!
How do other authors feel about all this stuff we have to do and do we make time to have a quality life other than to just grind away at the proverbial typewriter all the time? Please let me know what you think – am I being paranoid about the social media; I didn’t have to publish my books, did I? But if I hadn’t, what would be the point of writing them? Perhaps I should just give it all up and let myself slip quietly into old age and senility…?