I didn’t do nearly as much writing this year as I would have liked. For those of you who have been following the ‘Grant Show’ are fully aware of my journey from this time last year to now and I am mad keen to see where I will be this time next year. Stay tuned!
So! This line of thinking has me pumped to jump right on into 2022 naked and screaming like the day I was born. Well? Maybe not screaming. Possibly not naked either, but you get the idea. My metaphors are broken for lack of want to try. But now you’re thinking of me in the nude, ya pervs. 😅
In the last week, I have had two people on separate occasions tell me that I am a powerful writer. Normally? I would start that announcement with, ‘Look? You know me, I am not one to brag, but.’ However, on hearing this compliment I was humbled and greatly so. Sure, it is very brag worthy. Yet, I can’t cheapen the compliments by bragging about it. For there is a time and a place for everything and bragging isn’t it. It’s heartening to me because it lets me know I am nearly there as a writer.
Matter of fact, stemming back to August this year when I appeared on ‘Words & Nerds Podcast’ with Holden Sheppard (Invisible Boys, 2019), and then again in November where I was interviewed by author, Ben Hobson (Snake Island, 2019). My writing journey started to take a different path for me because thanks to both appearances on Dani Vee’s podcast people were starting to notice me, in a good and most humbling way. I had such great feedback from those who listened to both and it then cemented in me even further that I had been on a wrong path to publishing entirely.
2022 marks nine years since I started out on my writing journey and five years since I completed my Masters degree in Creative Writing. As of this time next year, marking the 10th year, I hope to be telling you I am a published author.
My attitude toward writing had got far too serious for me. I had fallen in love with the idea of trying to win ‘Literary Awards’ and be seen as a serious writer with something to say and so on, so much so, that I lost focus on my writing, or more importantly, who I AM as a writer and to who.
I had to admit to myself I am not the ‘Literary’ type. I could if I wanted to be, but not any more. I want to write fun stories that will be widely read and enjoyed by all walks of life. I am not saying Literary books aren’t enjoyable, however. I just got tired of trying to be deep and serious when for the life of me it simply wasn’t working for me. There’s nothing wrong with deep and serious books, either. But I was boring myself trying to write one.
So? A few months ago I simply sat back and watched the room, so to speak, and stopped writing. Until now, that is. Since back in August I started to focus on who my audience are, and who my readers will be. I started taking note of what tweets hit with the people who follow me, and what didn’t. The same as my blogs on here, too. I started to sit up and take notice of what people had said to me in terms of my writing. I started using Twitter, and this blog to practice my voice and hone it more so than I ever had before.
As we all know? Voice is important. It has to flow naturally on the page like words out of your mouth.
Admittedly, I do have six years of university education in creative writing under my belt and the degrees nailed to my wall with great pride to prove it. I have the tools and the skill sets that have made me into the “powerful” writer I am, I just needed to find what writer I am meant to be and what books I should be writing, and I think I have found him. At bloody last, I have to say.
I guess too, that it comes back to my ADHD and autism which had halted and faltered me on my writing journey in these last nine years. But since being medicated for ADHD in the last year, with regular exercise, cutting way, way back on my drinking and feeling sorry for myself, and ongoing appointments with my psychiatrist who is helping me with cognitive behaviours, I have far more focus and a change in thinking, for the better. Not one to brag, but it’s starting to show in my writing and life in general of late.
What I found had also boosted my writer self was four months ago when I put out the first invite to have a regular writer’s monthly catchup because I desperately craved stimulating conversations about writing. I needed it for fuel. January 8th 2022 will be the 5th month and as each month passes by I eagerly await the next catchup.
You can learn a lot about yourself talking with other writers, and I have. The other flip of the coin is other writers get to know you personally, to learn about you, what excites you, what makes you tick. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but from everything I now know about what it takes to be a writer? Being out there is key. Being genuine and vulnerable is key. And not to moan about my writing, either. Not to moan as best as possible about anything, too. People generally don’t gravitate toward someone who is an Upsetti Spaghetti all the time. They won’t buy your books either.
Even though I am as yet to be published, this blog has allowed me to share examples of my writing, my voice, and also my thoughts on certain matters to an audience. My dear friend and author, Amanda O’Callaghan (This Taste for Silence, 2020) said to me only recently that, ‘No one will ever see your writing if it is sitting at home on a hard drive.’
And that my friends is very true.
So! Back to me being naked and screaming into 2022 and beyond this is my plan: I have a literary agent interested in one manuscript which I need to finish. On top of that, and alongside it, I will finish the other three I am working on. This way if the manuscript ends up not impressing the agent? Then I have another three in my writing holster.
The new one I started on a few nights ago I am actually quite excited about. It’s an ‘Anti-Hero’ fiction piece. Think, ‘Loki & Thor’. Not them obviously, but it is about superhero siblings and their squabbling and a whole cast of hopefully fresh heroes and villains for you to enjoy. The working title for now is, ‘Boss Fight’.
Then there’s, ‘Last Stop: The Mustang Ranch’ a fictional comedy buddy road trip based on my own ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas’ in pre-9/11 America.
You all know what, ‘Until I Jump’ is about. 10 year old boy obsessed with Evel Knievel who gets caught up in an outlaw motorcycle gang war.
And finally, a crime drama set in a men’s prison once again based off my own real life experience inside prison.
Alright, friends! Thank you for reading and tagging along.