Several years ago I decided to self-publish my writing. The challenge I set myself was to put all my writing into novels and to do everything myself including the artwork for the covers. There is plenty of advice out there saying you shouldn’t do it yourself… but I ignored it. Some writers used to do their own artwork such as JRR Tolkien, Beatrix Potter, etc. You can proofread your own work and laugh at all the stupid mistakes you find such as using ‘taught’ instead of ‘taut’ – the spellchecker doesn’t know the difference.
I do prefer the feel of holding an actual paperback book in my hands. There is something satisfying about having a printed book and being able to turn its pages.
At the moment I’ve nearly completed by fourth novel. The fourth novel has been the hardest to complete. As I get older my mind is not as sharp as it used to be… I forget stuff easily… find it harder to think. Especially find it harder to concentrate on putting a book together. Which is why the fourth novel has taken me so long to do… much longer than the first three novels. It is a darker novel than the first three.
Basically I just wrote about stuff that caught my imagination which became stories and poems that ended up in my novels. When I first began to write the ideas just flooded into my mind, almost taking form by themselves. Though I had noticed that bursts of creativity often coincided with courses that I had been doing or other things happening in my life. But that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes doing courses did the opposite to my creativity.
The writing part was the fun bit. Putting the writing into book form, having decided to self publish and do everything myself including the artwork for the covers, soon became a chore instead. Especially with the proofreading part when no matter how many times I re-read my books I kept finding silly mistakes I had overlooked. For anyone who likes to criticize books for having mistakes in… I would recommend that they try to write without making mistakes in their work… it isn’t as easy as it seems!
Which made me look back nostalgically at how much fun it used to be at the beginning… when I just wrote for the fun of it because I enjoyed making up imaginative stories and poems. Similarly with my artwork, the fun part of that was the time spent drawing and painting, just for the love of doing it.
Maybe there is still some creative spark hidden deep down inside me still. Perhaps one day it will surface again. Creativity can come and go in bursts and I can never predict when it will surface again… I can just be grateful for the times when it does. If I don’t create something that has personal meaning to me, it would just be pointless.