It’s not easy being a writer, but it’s better than all the alternatives. I guess I have always been a writer but it was only one day when realizing how unhappy I was in the regular working world, I made the decision to become a full-time writer. I can still remember the day, almost twenty years ago when I told my partner I was going to write for a living. She looked at me in that puzzled look, trying to figure out whether I was serious or not.
I was, but neither she nor I knew at that time how things would work out. It almost didn’t, work out. I had a goal but no plan and I had a lot of challenges but very few solutions. What I did have was the desire to be a writer and my partner’s support. Both were crucial to surviving the early and very lean years. But an amazing thing happened once I finally made that decision. I actually got a small piece published. In an obscure publication for $25.00.
For me it was a signal that the heavens would soon open and manna would be delivered in abundance. But that early success proved to be far from the norm. I bet in the next year I submitted a hundred pieces to publications, large and small, in Canada and throughout the world. About the only thing I was successful at was getting rejection letters. At the end of that first year my total income from writing made about $2,500.00. I knew I had a lot more work to do.
And from then on I figured out what most writers, except from the chosen few best-sellers, had discovered. You need another writing job in order to be a full-time writer. Finally, I discovered trade publications, the boon for writer’s bane. And for the next ten years my writing income started to rise until it was and is to the point where I can live and eat every week. Once I had established myself as a freelance writer, the next goal was to write a book. But how exactly do you do that?
What I have discovered is that in order to write a book you need inspiration and perspiration. The inspiration was easy. I saw a lighthouse in Grand Bank, Newfoundland and heard the story of a man who had gone missing and was found dead in the hills overlooking the town. The perspiration was tougher. But I followed the voices in my head who told me the story and also told me to keep going. So I did, until I finished and published The Walker on the Cape, the first book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series.
And those voices in my head kept talking to me so I have I have published the second book in this series, The Body on the T, and with the help of the writing gods, I will continue the Sgt Windflower Series into at least volumes three and four.
It’s not easy being a writer, but I wouldn’t want any other life.
Mike Martin is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery set in Newfoundland. The first book, The Walker on the Cape was released in 2012. The second, The Body on the T, came out in 2013 and was just released in e-book formats in September, 2013.
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