From Employed to Self-Employed to Self-Fulfilled
Have you ever thought of writing a book?
I know many people who have asked themselves that question. Most seem to get half way through then run out of steam. They’re not sure how the story ends or lose interest in the rigour of writing every day.
Others went on to complete their masterpiece but did not go to the trouble or expense of having it edited. Trouble or expense? Or was it trying to avoid critical comment? As I found out, having your work edited is like being flayed with wet leather. You’ve got to take the pain.
For me, the question of editing became – will it make the book better? By the time it gets to editing, the book is completed and has taken on a life of its own. I’m just the lucky person who gets to write it down. The story, the characters, the action scenes, the implications, the stories between the lines….they’re all real. So editing is just part of the polishing process along with proof reading, copy editing, cover design, etc. It’s not personal, it’s just publishing, so no pain no gain.
Some people go on to printing a few copies which they lovingly hand out as Christmas presents from boxes in the garage. This can be very rewarding but can you make a living out of it? Is the book good enough to sell?
As I move towards my 3rd Age that is the question I am asking myself.
After graduation from Leeds University, my first age began in human resource management working for large companies in the North of England. It was great to start with but I became disillusioned in my late 30’s. Could I run my own company? Could I make a living out of recruitment? After much soul-searching I decided the only way to find out was to take the leap of faith. My second age had begun.
Thankfully it all worked out – and being the boss meant I could see more of the world. We visited many countries in Europe, USA, Middle East, South Africa, Australia and finally New Zealand. Almost as soon as I stepped off the plane I fell in love with New Zealand. My mind was made up. I wanted to become a Kiwi.
It has taken ten years to get established here. We set up another recruitment company in Auckland and fought our way through a deep recession in a country where we had few contacts and little understanding of its business culture. Again I thoroughly enjoyed my second age with the dramatic changes it brought to my life.
So I have been employed. I have been self-employed. But now it is time to begin my 3rd and final age. I will be self-fulfilled. It will be the most challenging yet rewarding part of my life.
I love crime fiction. John le Carre, Dan Brown, Jo Nesbo, the list goes on. Action packed, thought provoking, page turning thrillers that grab you by the scruff of the neck on the very first page and won’t let you go.
Yes but could I write one? A whole book? Create the storyline, the characters – my characters – and entertain the readers?
After many years of excuses and procrastinations, I finally took another leap of faith. A six month sabbatical. Full time writing, 2000 words per day, all my own research and a field trip to Europe. The challenge seemed enormous. The excitement was palpable. I’d never felt so motivated.
A book came to life. The C Clef was edited twice, proof read and professionally produced. I found an agent. It was rejected by countless publishers all over the world. I had a backer who believed in me. He gave me some advice. Success lies in persistence and determination. Never give up, just keep trying, he said.
Undaunted I set up a publishing company, Faithful Hound Media Ltd. It published The C Clef. The journey into the 3rd Age had begun.
I extended the sabbatical. A second book was born. A Litany of Good Intentions was crafted by a team of editors, proof readers and designers. Two PR companies have been engaged in the UK and USA. It is early days. The book is gaining traction.
For me the journey continues. What will the future hold? I have started my third book and feel just as excited today as when I started the first book.
Last Christmas we moved to Hawke’s Bay where some of the action in The C Clef takes place. It was another field trip that opened my eyes to the sheer beauty of this country. I live here now with the love of my life and the world’s best dog who stars as Trigger in the books.
So have you ever thought of writing a book? If you have – and you give it the attention it deserves – you could find yourself living a new and better life.
But you won’t know until you try.