Friday, 19 August 2011

Reading and writing?

Get a job, get a career, stick at it. Advice we all give the youngsters, stability equals happiness, steady income, slow growth, get there in the end. Where did I go wrong?
I think I only ever had one job in my life, for about 3 years. The rest of the time I spent working for myself, ducking, diving, diving even further. Whenever I would find my feet in one section, so I would want to expand the horizon, change my focus, reach forward only to see unfinished things piling up behind me, and eventually falling over.
Most writers tend to stick to one genre and many of those one subject. Read it, write it. Again a simple formula.
 So how did I get here again, writing 3 books, reading 4, editing two, all at once, all different. I didn’t set out to write children’s fiction, it evolved after hearing some advice from someone. I found myself half into a series without really knowing my market. If it’s good enough, “they” will pigeonhole it for me. And edit it, for that matter. They didn’t. “We” can’t sell that stuff, they said. “I am not listening” I said. Then, series complete, I moved from the 9-11 year girls market, to 8-11 boys. “They don’t read that stuff” they said.
And so I find myself looking to move on again. Forget children, the majority of them don’t read anymore, or cant? Go adult.
Sex or money, my friend says, of preferably sex and money, with some crime thrown in, that’s what he reads. Sure, in my chequered past, there are a host of stories I could bring to life that would fit into that mould. But that isn’t what I read. I don’t read or watch what I term as ‘trash’. I don’t read newspapers, especially not the ones that peddle that stuff. And to write it, I would have to.
Vampires, warlocks, werewolves, fantasy, that’s what kids want. Again, let someone else write it then, because I don’t do them either, never have.
So, with ten (good) books under my belt and an improved writing style, it is time to take time-out and look at what the market wants. I have an idea what I can write but, as before, I have to consider whether a) I can write it well enough and b) it will sell and c) most importantly, will I enjoy writing it.
Or do I just believe in myself, say fuck-it and write it anyway?
Yup, that's what I think too! Watch this space...

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