Time flies when you’re having fun! I only realised this morning that today is the fifth anniversary of the date I published my first book, The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes.
I’ve done publiversary posts before, which you can find by searching for ‘publiversary’, but I felt that I probably ought to mark a half-decade of doing this. I should post on here more often, but there’s just so much to do!
So here we are: a mixture of things I’ve learned and things that have happened in the last 5 years.
- There is no right way – or certainly not a way that works for everyone. Some people plot, some sit down in front of a blank page and go for it. Some write longhand in notebooks, some type on laptops. I’ve moved, much to my surprise, to writing a fairly detailed outline and then dictating onto my phone while walking. Literally, your mileage may vary.
- I’ve lost count now of how many books I’ve written in total, or how many thousands of words. I think I’ve written or co-written about 30 books of varying lengths (novelette to novel), plus short stories.
- I still have to deal with comments from non-writers or slower writers about ‘churning books out’. I’ve stopped feeling slighted by that. The Goodreads average rating for my books is 4.26 out of 5, or 85%, so I don’t think that producing books quickly necessarily affects their quality.
- I still haven’t had writer’s block, and I don’t think I ever will.
- That first book? The one I self-published because word was that no publisher would look at a novella-sized book of short stories? I was approached by a publisher who took on that book and the linked series. Not everything you hear is true.
- The writing community is, by and large, amazingly supportive, generous and helpful. I’ve learnt so much, particularly from online groups.
- Sometimes it’s good to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. I never thought I’d write a paranormal-ish cozy series, but here we are.
- Finishing your first draft is just the beginning. Editing, publishing, promoting…there’s always something more you could be doing.
- Sometimes, when people ask, I say that I’m independently published. Mostly, though, I say that I publish my own books or that I’m self-published. And yes, some people still look down on self-published books, and probably always will. If they choose not to try a book based just on how it got to the market, that’s their problem, and they’ll miss out on some brilliant reads (I don’t mean mine!).
- After 5 years, I’m very much still learning, and I’m excited and curious about what I’ll write in the next 5 years.
There you go – 10 thoughts on 5 years! And if you want to ask me anything, go ahead.