Guest blog by Lucinda E. Clarke
It’s a nightmare being a writer. Why? You’re out of step with the rest of the world. For example, you join friends for coffee and as the general chatter swirls around you, you suddenly dive into your bag, grab a notebook and pen and start making notes. You weren’t really listening to anyone, you were miles and years away thinking about your main character when a single word floated past and set your latest WIP off on a whole new track. You had to get it down on paper quickly or you’d never remember by the time you got back to the car.
Writers only live half their time in the real world. The other half is spent pounding the keys, wrestling with new pc programmes and marketing stats or working out the next twist in the tale. Somewhere in between they grab some sleep and hold down a full-time job and bring up a family.
I only started writing books after I retired (OK I was commissioned by the big 5 years ago but after the first two, I refused a contract, I was too busy scribbling for radio and TV. They paid faster).
Having written for broadcasting, the media, adverts, mayoral speeches, news, brochures – I wrote for anyone who paid me to write and it put food on the table for 2 children, a husband, the cats, St Bernard and the housekeeper and gardener plus families (in Africa, I’m not in the jet set) – I knew I could write, hey, almost 40 years of practice – easy right?
When my editor returned my first draft I couldn’t see the black for the red balloons, I was devastated. I was at kindergarten stage.
This was followed by my first 1 star review and the reviewer was quite rude about me too.
Whose shoulders did I cry on? None of my friends they just didn’t understand the agony, the depression, the hard work, long hours, outings missed as I laboured over the keyboard.
Social media saved me. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit I sniffed at those pathetic people telling the world what they had for breakfast and showing off the latest advert/friend/acquisition/achievement – goodness no my life is private.
No, it’s not. A year after first publishing I heard the word marketing. Oh! I had to do that too? How? I live in Spain and I write in English. Social media – you mean Facebook and Twitter, and Link ‘din, and Pinterest and Snap Chat and Quora and … and … and …
I dipped my toes in the water and met other writers and made friends and they understood!
I got chatting and swapped ideas, help, experiences. I had such a good time I almost forgot to market my books.
My husband says it’s sad I prefer time on social media than with the flesh and blood people in our town – but you see they are writers and they understand.
You can also find her FREE Reader magnet on Amazon.