Writing Challenges – What Drives Us?

A big hello to my blog followers out there, and thank you for your continued support. Well, it’s highly likely you are aware that November is National Novel Writing Month, AKA NaNoWriMo. (Okay, so I haven’t officially registered for NaNo as I am busy compiling the Beta read feedback on my novel. I do however have a plan to do an unofficial NaNoWriMo with another writer friend in December, so I thought maybe that would count for something). What you will not be aware of is that Bob Clary at Webucator has asked me to write a post in honour of NaNoWriMo. Now I’m no expert on the topic, so to aid me in this task, Bob has provided some questions for me to answer. Here are my responses:-

  • What were your goals when you started writing?

Honestly, I didn’t have a goal. I remember when Harry Potter was released and took the world by storm. I read the first book and (ignorantly) thought, I could do that, how hard can it be! (Oh how naïve was I). But, it was a fleeting thought and I forgot about it and carried on with my life. Some years later, I found myself in a high pressure job. I would come home and jump on my computer to unwind; I’d play games or chat to friends online. One particular night I didn’t feel like gaming, nobody was online and for some reason I remembered the gauntlet (you know, the one I stupidly slapped the face of J.K. Rowling with before throwing it at my feet). So, thinking I should at least make an effort to redeem my honour, I opened word and started writing. I’d always enjoyed creative writing at high school, and when I started writing that night, I realized just how much I enjoyed it. After getting through several scenes, I set my first goal – to ‘really’ write a book. I have come a long way since that night and to cut a long story short, I ended up with a novel. I closed word feeling a sense of achievement and forgot about it.

  • What are your goals now?

The funny thing about goals is that when you set one, you find you set many more, and sometimes they change. Amongst my many current goals are:

  1. Continue learning the craft of writing,
  2. Continue to build my online presence and a following via my blog,
  3. Write a prelude,
  4. Write a sequel,
  5. Continue to build the foundations for my writing career – ie. get my ABN, get my EIN, etc…
  6. Publish (starting with the prelude).
  • What pays the bills now?

Currently, it is my full time job, leading a team of people for an Australian company.

  • Assuming writing doesn’t pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing?

My motivation to keep writing is really the enjoyment I get from it. I am the sort of person that needs to be doing something all the time, I get bored if I do nothing. Writing a novel is so much more than I perceived it to be. There are techniques and rules, research and writing, editing and more editing. There is a business aspect with marketing and publishing, etc… There is even – contrary to popular belief – a social side to writing, if you are brave enough to join a writers’ group. For me, all this keeps my mind active. I am continuously learning new things, continually improving and enjoying the challenges as much as the artistic creation that results from all my hard effort.

  • And optionally, what advice would you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?

My advice:

  1. Read – read novels, read books on writing, read books on creating characters, read about publishing and marketing, let your brain soak it all up and learn.
  2. Join a writers’ group – Not just to learn or for the social aspect, but also because the contacts you make within a writers’ group are priceless. You will build a network of friends with a wealth of knowledge and experience that will support you, help you and encourage you.
  3. Believe in yourself and never give up!
  4. Amid all this, don’t forget to write.

Why? Because it works for me.

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