I’ve never been a very good waiter, not that the person who delivers food with a smile, though I was pretty good at that. When I first got published it felt like every five seconds I was checking my phone and my email. It was worse before I was published. I sent this little manuscript out into the big bad world, I knew that I would hear a response from it but it’s like being on teether hooks. Do they like it and if they don’t how badly are they going to tell me that I suck.
Thankfully the email was a good one and it had one hell of a compliment in it. Though at the time I didn’t know that, I’d only heard of the writer that they compared me to but I hadn’t read any of her stories. Now two years down the line and it’s gotten worse. I work as a copywriter. There isn’t much money in it but it helps to develop skills that I find invaluable. It involves a lot of waiting, take the article I’m waiting on at the moment. The deadline was the 17th. I got it in on time. I’m not overly confident about it, it isn’t my best work because it was on a subject I know zilch about. That’s the thing about being a copywriter, half the stuff I have to research before I even start writing it. Anyway it’s been two days and it slowly turning into day three. The longer they leave me waiting the more certain I am that they’re going to reject it. It’s happened two times before. It doesn’t seem to matter to me much that at least twenty articles before that have been accepted. I’ve made a habit of dwelling on the negative.
It’s a horrible habit but one I’ve never been able to break.
It’s the same with stories, it’s like I’m searching for validation. Which is silly, I’m a good writer, I know how to tell a story but those days when writer’s block has me firmly in it’s grip? Damn I get depressed, I say thinks like ‘I’ll never write again’. I say things like that because it is easier to just get the negative out, then let it gather dust in my mind. My head is pretty crowded I don’t have space for doubt.
My darling son is halfway through his terrible twos. To be honest I thought that it would be worse. Okay, we’ve had the occassional screaming, kicking of doors and everything that he touches or me and his touches is his by default. He never really wants to go into his buggy, he wants to run…a lot. I’m guessing this is actually good, a lot of kids prefer to be pushed around. My son on the other hand is intensely curious about everything. If he isn’t running, he’s pointing out snails, birds or flowers. He can count up to two, can vaguely string a sentence together but everything he says does make some kind of twisted sense. He just gets some of the words in the wrong order. He is amazing to watch and being a mum is brilliant. I read to him every night, his favourite story is The Gruffalo but I’ve been introducing different stories…usually about dragons and monsters.
I can’t wait until he goes to nursery and then school. Not because I will see less of him but I thing going to school is something that we can bond over when he gets older. I’m going to be the parent who sits down at the table with her son and helps him with his homework because that’s how I roll. 🙂
I think that as a writer you’re always trying to find your niche. A lot of writers refuse to be pigeonholed, this is why some of them use pennames. They don’t want to alienate their loyal readers when they try a different genre.
At the moment I’m reading D D Barant’s The Bloodhound Files, every time I find a writer that I love, and this is fastly becoming an unmissable series for me, I go into research mode. I search online for more books by that particular writer because if I love one I’m sure that I’m going to love all of them.
For some reason I assumed that he was female, because most of the fantasy stories that I read are written by female writers, also he used intitals so I wonder if that was an intentional move on his part. I don’t think it would have made much differences to me. I didn’t pick up the book because of the writer or the cover, I picked it up because of the title. Death Blows, a brilliant play on words and a brilliant story. I picked up the next one in the series before I even finished Death Blows.
Back to my point. To my knowledge he has three pennames and writes three different genres. A lot of great writers have used pennames, Stephen King being one of the most recognizable.
So what’s the importance of a penname? Would you write under one?