Archive for February, 2018

Smell You Later

Posted: February 23, 2018 in Life, Writing

It’s ten years since I left my full time job as a web developer and took what seemed at the time the world’s only part time job in web design, in order to dedicate a chunk of time to writing stories. It’s been amazing to fulfill my longest held ambition of writing books, and I feel very pleased and privileged that I was able to do that.

I’ve published two novels, Darklands and Kikimora. I won SFX magazine’s short zombie story competition with The Big Guy. I’ve given talks to schools and – gasp! – paying audiences. I’ve done book signings and given interviews on air, web, and in print. I’ve learned a lot, and pushed myself to do things way beyond my comfort zone. I’ve been thrilled with the reception I’ve had to my stories, and that people have taken them to heart.

Darklands at Scarthin Books

Darklands, the first edition, on the shelf at Scarthin books, in Cromford

But I haven’t made my fortune. Not by a long shot. And while I know that I’m learning and improving and getting more confident in my writing all the time, the reality is that times are hard, and I can no longer afford the luxury of working only part time.

Reader, I’ve got a new job.

It’s full time, and it’s going to be pretty full on. I’m going to be travelling a lot, and learning lots of new things. I’m not going to have much time for writing in the near future.

My work in progress, Slinter Wood, is nowhere near completion of even the first draft. Unfortunately, it will just have to go on ice for now. Thank you so much to all the people who contributed great anecdotes and reminiscences for it. I truly hope to get back to it some time and use those ideas.

I’m hopeful that I’ll still manage to keep my hand in with short stories, maybe even a novella. But writing is going to have to take a back seat for a little while, as I get up to speed with my exciting but demanding new job.

Strangely, I don’t feel sad about this. I’ve given it ten years, and that’s a good amount of time. I love writing stories, and I’m sure I always will. But I also love succeeding at things, and the truth is I haven’t felt like I’m succeeding in a long time – either at work or in fiction. So I’m going to sink my teeth into my new job, and I’m going to ace it.

A few years from now, when I’m more experienced in my new role and earning more money, maybe I can go back to working part time and writing novels – with way more experience and confidence under my belt to help me along.

So this isn’t goodbye; but it is perhaps ‘Smell you later.’

Thank you so much to all my readers and supporters who have bought books, written reviews, told their friends, or otherwise encouraged me. It means the world. And thanks also to Ian, for all his encouragement and support – both practical and emotional.