Thursday, March 9, 2006

The things they don't tell you about being a writer - Pt 1

So, you want to be a writer. It's your dream. You imagine yourself in front of your keyboard/ancient typewriter, living on coffee and creating intricate scenarios of people falling in love; sometimes in glamorous locations, sometimes just with the guy next door. You will pluck these award winning stories from the air, write thousands of words a day and your editor will ring you daily to say how wonderful you are. You will spend your spare time on sunny holidays with guys from aftershave commercials serving you drinks and flirting outrageously. All the little pieces of your life will fall into place... And you'll live happily ever after..

Can you tell I write fiction?

The Internet and using things you would never have to use in everyday life would be my first shock to the system. 'Oh you have to have a website' they say. 'Okay' I say. Then you go and try to see what sites you love from other authors. They *all* look terrific. 'Ooh I want one' I think. Thats what glamorous writers have. They have a website. Now how much are they... they're how much?? Jeepers. Do you have any idea the number of books I'll have to sell to make that? I can't afford that for a few years. And my great great great great grandfather was Scottish (hung for sheep stealing but thats a whole nother blog...) So it pains me to part with money. Unless its for clothes (again a whole nother blog). So, I do what any sane new writer does - I moan about it to other new writers. And low and behold one of them knows how to make one. Woo-Hoo. 'It's easy' she says. 'It would need to be' say I.
IT'S NOT. My friend did a gorgeous job of setting it up for me. All I had to do at the start was buy an address and a place to put it. I could do that. That involved spending money. Now that I can do. And it's tax deductable. Yippee.

But then came the time when I had to look after it myself. My friend was amazing. (And its tough to hate someone for being so very clever and talented when they're doing it on your behalf...) She gave me step by step instructions. Then she gave me step by step instructions I understood. It wasn't her fault I managed to delete half the site first time out...

So, here I am, a year and a half later. I spend more time on the internet and updating things each day than I do writing. Or at least thats what it feels like...
The internet provider kicks me off at least five times a day, I still regularly delete pages of things all over the place and updating my website on a regular basis is a bigger challenge than losing the extra pounds I've put on being sat at the computer (see next edition of Things they dont tell you...) It's all part and parcel of being a modern day writer. And I accept that, even enjoy it immensely when I get it right. But I could have done with being told... So that I could have stocked up on valium...
So if you want to be a writer... beware... and remember this...

If at first you don't succeed... remove all evidence that you were ever trying...

4 comments:

Donna Alward said...

*snort*

I know who to call when I need to set mine up then. :-) Won't she be happy? LOL

allyblake said...

My shoulder's hurting right now, why didn't they tell me that would happen?

Set the truth free, Trish!

Michelle Styles said...

Trish -- you need broadband and then you don't get kicked off...files upload much quicker, but there again, there is more temptation...

Trish said...

Michelle - the temptation I currently have is indeed broadband based... tho, in fairness where I live, a cow could have eaten it, a ferret could have mated with it and varying donkeys could be tethered to it. Either way. It kicks me out. Just ask Ally and Natasha and Donna. They *know*...

Donna, ask her at your own peril... I'm making no more referrals in case she gets on a plane to come kick me...

Ally - I always was a big X-Files fan. I like to think I'm continuing Mulder's work and now the truth is *way* out there...