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A writer's life - not for the fainthearted!
Robert Bullock, Features Writer
The O'Plods from Noah Ramsbottom and the Great Gold Robbery
It always amuses me that the general opinion on what writers do on a daily basis couldn't be more different to reality.

To the public, we're lounging about all day in our dressing gowns and slippers drinking copious amounts of coffee whilst dunking digestive biscuits, dictating our latest prospective best seller to our glamorous personal assistant, which is totally perfect as soon as it's spoken, only breaking off to collect generous royalty cheques from our doormats, before going out for free lunches, accompanied by bottles of Champagne, which stretch far into afternoon!

This is not the writers life! Well it's not mine! Mine is altogether more mundane, working many more hours a week than the national average, including evenings, weekends and public holidays.

Even getting a book to the stage where it ready to be considered for publishing is a long and complicated process.

First When we write a chapter of our book it's been carefully planned, researched and drafted and this takes a long time (for my next book, Jacob's War, I started the research in the spring of 2010 and it took almost a year!). It's often been written and rewritten half a dozen times or more. And the hardest chapter to write is the first in the book!

Second No one, especially us writers, takes criticism well (just ask my poor wife!) and when a manuscript comes back from an editor, even if that editor has become a good friend, it's hard to accept that your work needs so many amendments!

Third Doing the amendments is endless and often leads to you totally losing interest in the story and faith in your own ability to write! Thank goodness for loud Rock music! It's the only thing that will get you through the rewrites! I really like listening to the band Muse at the moment!

Fourth When your book has been accepted and you've signed a contract, it drives you crazy when your publisher asks you to go through the manuscript AGAIN! You've been through it over a dozen times and it's been edited by someone with a much better eye for detail than you!

Five Your book is going through the publishing process and it's with the person who does the layout of it and, guess what? You have to go through it at least another three times!

Six Success! The print proof of your masterpiece lands on your doormat and your book looks amazing!

My latest book Sam Marsh and the Battle of the Cloudships was finished in April 2011 but it took over a year for it to be released.

Writing is not for the fainthearted or the impatient!


A writer's life - not for the fainthearted!, 17th July 2012, 10:00 AM