Let’s imagine you worked 5 days a week, 8 hours a day on your novel, for 12 months. That’s a very generous estimate – as any writer will tell you it can take years for a book to reach fruition. And you worked all the Bank Holidays too, (my word, aren’t you dedicated?!) – There are 52 weeks in a year and 5 working days in each which comes to 260.
260 days x 8 hours = 2,080 hours writing. Assuming the above total cost (it could be higher or lower!), *Cue annoying clown voice* – “Congratulations! You were paid 0.54p per hour!“
**Disclaimer: If my maths is incorrect at this point, please don’t bother to correct me. I’m not a mathmetician or statestician, I’m a writer and have no skill with numbers.
Let’s compare that to some ‘regular’ jobs. What do others make per hour, average?
Plumbers – £13.50
Nurses – £18
Teachers – £15.73
Train Drivers – £26.49
Bricklayer – £19
Solicitors – £23.08
Shop Assistant – £9.46
MacDonalds Server – £7.25
So, if you want to make money, go get a job as a train driver!
P.S: You can feel warm and fuzzy if you support my writing at
That’s basically my reaction to marketing. Any kind of marketing. But especially the stuff I do am supposed to do to sell my writing.
I have been reading about branding. What is this shit? I am not a tin of peas! Branding is when you take a product there are billions of similars of and stick some sort of ‘identity’ on top. A label.
The thing is, creativity IS the thing. It shouldn’t need a label, or an author a brand. Writing is what it is. There are already genres enough to confine and constrict – yes, they can and do. People struggle to hashtag their novels or find suitable keywords to fit if their novel crosses genres. Agents reject submissions on the grounds that your sci-fi/horror/comedy/etc isn’t close enough to the last sci-fi/horror/comedy/etc success they were involved with. What’s the ‘typical’ word count for the genre you write? Go ahead and look it up – I’ll wait…
And you wrote under or over it didn’t you? You worry that you now have to chop it up or tack on something else. I’m betting you looked around a few sites till you found one that fit closer to your word count. Who the f*ck decided this? Who got to decide how short or long your book should be?
And more importantly.
Why are we listening to them?!
I have a proposition – writers of the world unite and throw away all the rules (not grammar rules, that would be wrong, and very silly). Ignore what the publishers, agents, talking heads and ‘experts’ (I feel like Doctor Evil with so many ‘air quotes’) tell you!
Write from your heart. Write whatever you want. Write any and every genre and confuse the fuck out of your current agent, if you have one.
Be free! Don’t let anyone tell you how many words you should write. Or where you should promote yourself. Or how many times a day you should post on social media.
To misquote some bloke who drank a lot – Rage, rage against the pressures of the publishing industry!
Hello again, yes, it’s been a while, but hey, pandemic, etc.
Double exciting news! I did a thing – well, two things.
First, I was interviewed by Vince Stephenson about my book, Beneath the Skin. Vince runs a YouTube channel called Boomers on Books, in which he interviews authors from around the world. Vince is primarily interested in first-time and up-and-coming authors. I was put in contact with Vince via a member of the #WritingCommunity on Twitter.
It was went live this morning, Tuesday 27th July, and remains there for all to see and pick apart my daft answers.
So, how did it go? Okay – I think. I was rather nervous, and the 9:00 start saw me a bit bleary eyed and fuzzy. When I watched it back I realised that I hadn’t really said much about my book – I did not mention that the protagonist has an inborn ability. She is a Nagi. I did not mention that she has excellent fighting skills based on the Kerala martial art, Kalaripayattu. I did not mention that her friend and first mate is a Princess!
Why not? I don’t know, nerves? I tend to blether a lot when I am nervous, and later realise that I didn’t get to the point. I could have said so much more, but I am, unfortunately, not eloquent when it comes to the spoken word.
My second big news is that I have published my latest book. Hurrah!
The Floating Church is a novella set in the early 17th century. It follows thirteen-year-old Susanna Assheby in the time leading up to and just after the May Day celebrations. Thirty days on the cusp of womanhood. The isolated village of Hope Ghyll sits on the border of England and Scotland, hovering between Pagan beliefs and Christianity. A new minister brings news of the death of Queen Elizabeth, and staunch ideas on how his flock should behave.
The book is historical fiction, with hints of magical realism.
If the rest of the summer continues in the same vein, then I should have completed another short story or two, and maybe another novella!
Many thanks for reading, I hope you and yours are safe and well, and, if you’re a writer, artist, musician, then I wish you a productive summer.
And finally, many thanks to Vince for having me on his channel. He was a lovely interviewer and kind to let me rant and ramble.
Hello! Happy New Year. And welcome to the first post of 2021.
It’s been a while, I know, but some of you will already be familiar with my haphazard, impetuous and remissful style of blogging. *shrug*
It’s been a tough year for many people, some of us have lost family and/or friends, some have been in a negative place emotionally – but I’m not here to talk about the gloom, let’s look forward and think positive.
At the turning of the year, many like to think about how we might improve ourselves; resolutions and so forth – I spent a lot of the lockdown period thinking this over already, and decided that I was extremely lucky, for tonnes of reasons which I am not going to recount here, instead, I want to think about the successes and future endeavours.
Last year saw me (finally) publishing my novel – Beneath the Skin. A Steampunk duology about an Indian-Irish airship courier who unwittingly becomes embroiled in the politics of a secret society within the British East India Company. Plus, I won our writing group annual in-house short story competition! Which came with a cup (still needs to be engraved).
Beaneath the Skin covers for Parts One & Two
I don’t make New Years resolutions, or all-encompassing lists of things -to-do, but I am determined to begin this year as I mean to go on, both personally and workwise. I will continue to watch my diet (lost almost 2 stone between Nov 2019 and Dec 2020), I intend to get more exercise (continue to do 40 sit-ups a night) and be more joyful and thankful for the simple things.
On the writing front: on 24th December I put in 2 submissions; one for flash fiction competition. On the 31st December, I submitted my novella to a publishing company, and on the 1st January, I submitted a sci-fi short story and a poem to two separate competitions.
I’m one of those writers who don’t seem to have one specific/favourite genre. And that’s okay. Where does it say that you should write just Romance, or Fantasy? I have a LOT of stories piling up in notebooks and stuffing my brain, and I don’t see why any of them shouldn’t be written – how well they are written is a different matter!
I read on social media, that some writers get stuck with their writing, they’ve finished a first draft, then sort of… dry up. Or think they do. I have only one piece of advice, that you’ve probably heard a million times before – keep writing – but I’d say specifically, WRITE SOMETHING ELSE. Unless you are contracted to create something within a certain timeline, you’re pretty much free to write whatever you so choose. If you find the juices drying up on a novel, pack it away and go and write a piece of flash fiction or a short for a competition. This is the key bit – FOR A COMPETITION. You will be pressured into writing in a different style or format than you’re used to, and have a limited time to get it done. A change is as good as a rest.
Looking ahead, I hope to get my current fantasy WIP completed and also the YA sci-fi novel completed. I’ve never done a book promo or anything like that, once I put something out there, it’s on its own. But I see that I’ve been rather negligent, so perhaps some of that will be going on too.
I have also decided to be less critical of other people (and myself). I converse with another writer on Twitter, we pointed out the fact that writers (and other creatives) put work before the public for more reasons than money (hell, if money was the aim, I wouldn’t write!) and sometimes that piece of work isn’t as good, when one looks back on it, as one originally thought. This is the nature of creativity, it’s always (or should be) going to improve as one progresses. Unfortunately, that means that people reading your ‘older’ stuff might find it full of faults.
Hey ho, that’s life, is all I can say.
In the meantime, keep writing, painting, filming, dancing, playing, singing, doing whatever it is you do, and have fun doing it. I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful year ahead.