Ginger Nuts of Horror
Please welcome Colin F. Barnes to Ginger Nuts of Horror. Colin has kindly agreed to do a guest post about the ten things he has since becoming a writer.
First of all, I just wanted to say thanks to Jim for hosting this guest post on his excellent blog. Jim does a great job in supporting new writers, and his passion for the genre is a boon to us all. Now, with that said, let’s crack on. I’m going to start the post with the good things I’ve learned, and end on some not so good things for balance.
10 Things I didn’t know about being a writer that I do now
1. Writing fulltime is very rewarding. Because I track everything I do from hours to words I have a direct source of feedback about my performance. At the end of the day, week, or month, I can see just how much my efforts have achieved. It is like living one’s own RPG game.
2. The encouragement of others helps a great deal. These days, many of us share a great deal of ourselves on the various social media, meaning there’s a great deal of support out there. If I’m having a tough day, there’s a bunch of people to encourage me on, writers and non-writers.
3. Reader feedback is great for the soul and confidence. At my previous day jobs, I received almost no positive rewards or feedback for my efforts. I know that’s the case for many people. No matter how much work you do, or who much effort you put in, it’s not recognised. If a reader likes one of my books that can tell me, and the direct connection is a huge boost.
4. Receiving a printed copy of one’s story is amazingly rewarding. I do print editions of all my books, and both sending and receiving the print copies is a big thrill. Seeing them on my bookshelf is a nice physical reminder of the hard work. That I can send them to people too and have them share in my joy is a wonderful thing. I recently received limited edition hardbacks of my novella Dead Five’s Pass from my publisher DarkFuse. It was like being a child at Christmas opening that box.
5. I get to tell people I write for a living. That’s pretty cool. It’s also a good icebreaker. People are instantly intrigued and what to know more.
6. Anxiety. It permeates my mind almost all the time. I question constantly whether my writing is good or not. I question if I’m wasting my time writing a particular book. I worry that I’ll release a title and no one will buy it. (I’ve experienced that through my small press a number of times).
7. The constant push to improve can be exhausting. The moment you think you’re a good writer is the day you stop improving and start believing your own hype. You have to constantly look for ways to improve. Writing a book is never ‘easy’ and perhaps shouldn’t ever be so.
8. Negative reviews seem to wield more power than positive ones. Although they often number in the single digits compared to the hundreds of positive reviews, they never stop stinging. On the upside, you do get used to them, and they don’t hurt for as long, but they still hurt.
9. It’s hard to avoid envying another writer’s success. Although I know it’s madness and that comparisons always end up with negative emotions, sometimes you just can’t help wonder how this or that writer manages to get that huge deal or sell so many of their books. Book selling is a fickle art.
10. The addiction to create is often damaging to one’s health and mental stability. I feel constantly driven to keep writing, spending more and more time at this malarky. I pull 12-15hrs almost every day in the desire to be productive and create something memorable. I find it at times impossible to switch off and be a normal human being. If I’m not writing, I’m often plotting the next story or researching new ideas for a future book. My mind is never quiet. I have story ideas floating around in there that are decades old just waiting for an opportunity to come out. I suspect it will always be thus.
Although I’ve outlined five negatives to the positives, I have to say that being a full-time writer is still way more positive than any other career I’ve had. I wouldn’t go back to a day job now. I couldn’t function in that world anymore. Writing has broken me in that sense.
One way or another, I shall remain on this road and follow it wherever it may take me. Thanks again to Jim for hosting me today. He is also one of the positives of being a writer. The bloggers and reviewers who support us do us a great service, and I for one will always be grateful.
If you want to check out my books or contact me, here’s some handy links:
Amazon Page: amazon.com/author/colinfbarnes
When a new cave is discovered in the Rocky Mountains, no one considered the terrible consequences that would follow.
A volunteer mountain rescuer dealing with the loss of a child, the break-up of a relationship and the grief of a rescue gone wrong, Carise Culey isn't sure she's the right person for the job when she receives an emergency call. A climber is missing, presumed dead, and his girlfriend is found bloodied, beaten and catatonic with fear.
Carise soon realizes the discovery of the cave is worse than anyone could have imagined and learns of another group of teenagers already on their way there. With the onset of harsh winter weather, and the threat of an unknown evil, she reaches out to her ex-boyfriend and fellow rescue volunteer, Marcel, for help.
The two must travel to the cave to save the kids, themselves, and perhaps all of humanity…
Dead Five's Pass is a tense, frightening tale of ancient secrets, high stakes, and dark, dangerous places.
Colin F. Barnes is a publisher and full-time writer of suspense and techno thrillers and a member of both the British Fantasy Society and the British Science Fiction Association. He honed his craft with the London School of Journalism and the Open University (BA, English).
Colin has run a number of tech-based businesses, worked in rat-infested workshops, and scoured the back streets of London looking for characters and stories--which he found in abundance. He currently has two novels out in his Techxorcist series of cyberpunk technothrillers:
For more information, Colin can be found on:
His Website: http://www.colinfbarnes.com
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