How do you become an author? I realised, while recording this interview, that for me it had two elements. There was an Outer Me, who didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, and an Inner Me who did. If only they could talk to each other, but they didn’t, and that was the problem.
Outer Me went to school, took advice about careers, wondered how on earth I’d earn a living. Inner Me spoke only in Yes and No, like an oracle. No, you don’t want to do marketing or accountancy or any of those graduate careers.
So what should I do? said Outer Me.
When you find the right thing, said Inner Me, I’ll let you know.
One day, after being fired from a job to which I was very unsuited, I saw an advert for a temporary proofreader at a local publisher. I arrived there, a place devoted to the making of books. Yes, said Inner Me. This will do nicely.
That’s one of the subjects we’re talking about on this podcast, Write-Hearted, hosted by book coach and author Stuart Wakefield. It was fun!
We also talked about –
Ghostwriting versus writing the books of your art and soul (BTW, I have a professional course for ghostwriters)
What I learned from working with the strictest editors in the business
How to solve plot holes and keep writing when the muse is AWOL
How to manage your writing and editing so you can make measurable and consistent progress, even if the book is taking you years (like mine do)
The rewards of mentoring
How to live with another writer (and not kill each other).
If you’re looking for detailed writing advice, my Nail Your Novel books are full of tips. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s been going on on at my own writing desk, here’s my latest newsletter. You can subscribe to future updates here.