After twenty days of compiling my latest fiction serial, it was suggested that I offer it for publication, as a novella. I went to bed last night thinking about that flattering idea.
Ever since I started blogging, in 2012, friends, family, and blog followers have often urged me to write a book. At first, they suggested I compile my Ambulance Stories into a collection, or perhaps expand the idea into a novel, based on over twenty years of attending emergency incidents. Later on, many people kindly offered their opinion that some of my short fictional stories would make an interesting book, and I should choose some of the most popular ones to put in it.
Way back at the start of this blog, I wrote a post about why I didn’t want to write a book. Here it is, for those of you who have never seen it.
It has been a long time since then, and I have met lots of people around the blogs. People who have published their own books, sold them on Amazon, or other sites, and have either done reasonably well, or sold none at all. I admire them all, for having the determination to get the books finished, and for going through the potentially arduous process of trying to get them published. I have gone so far as to introduce both a ‘Blogger’s Books’ and ‘Featured Blogger’ series, in the hope of helping them by promoting their work.
Good luck to them all.
I have also read a lot about how Amazon dominates the market, and traditional publishers are only interested in authors with a proven track record. The hard work of editing, proof-reading, getting Beta readers, and constantly trying to promote books on every social media platform available. There have never been so many books for sale. Even moderately successful authors have had to resort to giving away copies of new novels, in the hope of attracting readers to the sequels.
So we know that there is no money in it, for 99% of published writers. But I concede that isn’t the point. Getting the work out there, seeing our name on a book cover, and reading a blurb about YOU on the back. That must be a wonderful feeling, even if nobody ever buys a copy, or reads it for free. But I have been around long enough to imagine the sleepless nights associated with completing a novel. I have just written a serial of almost 27,000 words. That took me close to thirty hours, including some corrections. In a novel, that would translate to just sixty pages. 60. I have read chapters longer than that.
Even short novels these days, at least in Kindle editions, are usually around 275 pages. Let’s say I went for 300 pages. That would be five times the length of my serial, so would take me at least 100 days to write.
Hang on! That sounds easy enough.
Maybe I should do it?
But that’s the easy part. Writing it is just the start. Then comes the really hard work. And work is the operative word here.
I gave up work in 2012. I had worked pretty hard, mainly in stressful jobs, since my first job in 1969. When I turned my back on the day to day routine of employment, I promised myself I would never work again. I got a dog, started walking, and began taking photographs again. Not long after that, I started blogging. I enjoyed the process, and soon developed my blog into what it is now, an enjoyable hobby that takes up a large portion of my day.
No complaints there. I have met some wonderful people, and made real friends online too.
I also started writing again, for the first time since my teens. I enjoyed it, constantly trying to improve my fiction, taking on board various welcome criticisms, as well as being very happy with the praise that came for my work too. Later on, I managed to get articles published on film websites, and finally saw my name in print, when a short story was accepted for publication in a magazine.
For me, that was a considerable personal achievement.
But it still wasn’t ‘work’.
So I doubt I will be writing that book anytime soon. 🙂