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Monday, September 2, 2013

Writer's Life: If I had 3 wishes...? (and Giveaway)


AND THE WINNER OF THE AMAZON VOUCHER IS NORA SNOWDEN. CONGRATULATIONS, NORA!


Today I’m participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, hosted by author Juliet Madison! From 2nd to 6th September you’ll have the chance to win some awesome prizes at all the blogs participating in the blitz, including mine. All you have to do is follow my instructions below for winning the prize I have on offer, and then you can click over to Juliet’s blog to enter her prize draw, and see the list of all other blogs taking part and enter their giveaways as well. 

Why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz? Juliet’s new  romantic comedy release, I DREAM OF JOHNNY, is about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo that proves magic isn’t all it cracked up to be… and Ms.Stuart loves to support her fellow writers particularly those who write quirky (and time travelley stories).



In keeping with my regular theme of the Writer’s Life, here are my three “writing wishes”. 

Now if I recall the old “Genie in the Bottle” stories…generally wish making has a down side so let me see how I go with my three wishes.

1. THAT I COULD GIVE UP THE DAY JOB

The sub text to this wish is “That I could earn enough from writing that I could give up the day job”. The fact is that very few writers (and I am lucky enough to know some of them!) make a living wage from writing. A friend recently calculated that in order to make a minimum wage she would need to sell 30,000 ebooks. It’s almost enough to make one throw down the pen and vow to write no more…except the money is probably not why most of us write.


I actually have a confession to make…The “day job” is a very a manageable 40 hours a month which is about 2 days per week. Nearly 2 years ago I did give up the day job (or at least it gave me up) and for nearly 18 months it was just me and my stories, but you know something? I found I needed more than just me and my imaginary friends. I missed going to work, chatting with colleagues in the tea room, navigating the murky waters of corporate life and in short “ze leetle grey cells” felt like they were beginning to atrophy and (a consequence of the circumstances of losing my previous job) my self confidence was rock bottom. Going back into the workforce had a knock on effect of making my writing more productive and you know something else...? I actually rather like my "day job"!

2. THAT ONE OF THE “BIG 6” PUBLISHERS (OR IS THAT 4?) WOULD OFFER ME A SIX FIGURE, 3 BOOK CONTRACT

…And all my books would appear on the front stands of airport bookshops accompanied by a life size cardboard cut out of me…!

Now this really would be a case of “be careful what you wish for”. To start with the days of huge contract advances are long gone. The big publishers still seem happy to hand out multi-book contracts but for a fraction of what they were offering 5 years ago. I have seen my friends ecstatic at being given the multi-book contract begin to sink under the weight of responsibility. Those contracts contain strict, non negotiable deadlines which must be met at all costs. The writer is shackled to his or her computer with those golden handcuffs.

How often have you read the first book in a series, only to be disappointed by the second and third? Could this be because the writer spent years honing and perfecting that first book, the one that was picked up, only to find #2 and #3 had to be written within 6 months, or at best 12 months? Could it also be because the writer is now subject to an editor who wants everything they loved about that first book to now look like something else entirely?

At the moment I am a free spirit…I write what I want, when I want. I am only really subject to my own self imposed deadlines. OK, I don’t make a lot of money (or much at all!) but do I really want that big contract? Well…it would be nice to be offered one…then I could see!

3. THAT I COULD LEARN TO BE MORE DISCIPLINED ABOUT MY WRITING

It is all very well to be a writing free spirit but despite my best intentions, time fritters away beneath my fingers. Just glancing at the clock I realise it is nearly lunch time and I have been doing anything but writing this morning… I might just as well wish for more hours in the day...

Better time management is required. I keep downloading useful apps to my iPad which are GUARANTEED to assist me in time management. Now if only I had the time to set them up...

As per #1 above, oddly enough I find having the day job does make me more organised. When confronted with endless writing days stretching on into infinity, there is always something else to claim my attention!

And…all work and no play makes Jill (or Alison) a dull girl!

In honour of the Blog Blitz, I am offering a $15 Amazon voucher to a random commenter on my blog, but you have to answer this question.... If you are a writer: What is ONE writing wish? OR If you are a reader: What is your ONE reading wish? 

Once you’ve entered my giveaway, visit Juliet’s blog & enter her giveaway too, and visit any or all of the other participating blogs to enter more prize draws. You could potentially win a whole heap of prizes! Good luck! 

Visit the official Blog Blitz post here: http://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/3-wishes-blog-blitz-official-post/ 

13 comments:

  1. hmm, i've always said that i'd just like to make a living wage from my writing, but if i was to actually get a wish fulfilled, i'd like to win a pullitser, booker or giller prize. deep down i guess i crave validation for my writing. but since they don't hand those out for quirky romances, i'll settle for a living wage... ;)

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  2. You see there is a downside to wishes...if you won a Booker or a Pullitser it won't necessarily mean you make a living wage...I'm not sure "literachoor" pays very well at all!

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  3. As a reader, I wish there were more hours in the day for me to read.

    As an aspiring writer, I'd dearly love to stop trying to make it perfect before it actually gets down on the page. It never gets on the page that way.

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  4. Roz...you are so right. Since becoming a writer I find there is less and less time for reading! And yet it is so important that we do keep reading.

    Take heart...only writers like Virginia Woolf ever got it down word perfect on the first go.

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  5. OMG - Alison I am with you on giving up the day job to write, write, write (pity about that mortgage and the mouths to feed!!)

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  6. I'm with you, though I've given up the day job...it's the Big 5,4,3 (going down every minute) that I'd like to snaffle!

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  7. If I had but one writing wish, it would be that everyone in the world, now and forever, who would love my books if they only knew of their existence would find them. It would make both them and me very happy. ^.^

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  8. All the buzz is about self publishing, Tea, but personally I agree with you. A mainstream publishing contract would be wonderful :-)

    Oh, Deshipley, I hear you! How do we reach readers in this busy, busy world of books???

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  9. As a reader I wish I had an unlimited credit with Amazon so I could buy as many books as I like (when I want them) without my husband telling me to wait and save money by borrowing them from the library!

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  10. as a reader I'd like to be able to have every book I've ever dreamed of reading loaded into my kindle

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  11. As a reader, I really want time to stop temporarily when I'm at a crucial point of the book - no phone calls, no needing to sleep, eat or anything - just let me read!
    Thank you for offering a giveaway!

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  12. I'm going to be a wish thief & steal your 3 wishes. Now I wish I'd thought of them!

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  13. Hi Lee and SSR - Its wonderful to hear from some readers. More time and more books...if only!

    LOL, SEG... I suspect my 3 wishes are fairly universal to most writers! Just don't forget that wishes come with a downside!

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