The whole process of writing is such a self-indulgent one, in many people’s eyes, it seems. If I say I am a writer then people ask me what I have written. So I tell them, three novels, two novellas, one third of a textbook, and about a million words in pay per word copy. None of these makes me a ‘legitimate’ writer, although being the third author on a midwifery textbook does help a little. So it seems to me that what I am doing, when I write, and try to get published, is basically spending my time playing with myself. Pleasing myself. And never truly satisfying myself. Because every actor needs an audience, and every author needs readers. So what’s the point of all of this I never get anyone to actually READ what I have written?
I am coming at this from having spent six years and a shed load of money on a PhD in Creative Writing, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but which hasn’t really got me much closer to publication. Instead of paying my way through the PhD, maybe I should have spent that time writing blogs, building an author website, revising the work that I have done and trying to get published. But I had six years of support, six years to spend researching and focusing on one piece of work, and six years of excellent editorial and academic guidance. I have blogged before about the need to totally rewrite the novel that was the result of all that work, but I feel now as if there is a point to that, if only to say that I have tried all routes. Ultimately, however, I feel as if I am rewriting it for the publisher and potential readers now, instead of writing it for myself as I was before.
At the same time, I am considering publishing via Amazon print on demand – at least for my ‘back catalogue’ – the things I wrote before the PhD.
So my question for all of you out there in the blogosphere is – what do you want?
Here are the options:
A post-apocalyptic speculative fiction novella, written in the first person by a teenager living in a post-apocalyptic Welsh rural village, whose mother was seriously injured in a war which she refused to fight in. It is, essentially, a story of love, but it’s not a love story.
A supernatural fiction novel about a devoutly pagan woman who becomes involved in a coven of Welsh witches with a sinister purpose.
A lesbian romance moving forward and backward in time, uncovering the challenges of life in the 90s for gay women.
An erotic novella detailing the journey of sexual discovery of a woman who enters the BDSM scene to research a novel, and becomes deeply embroiled in its multiple entanglements.
Do any of these appeal? Or have I just been wasting my time?