Writing – Addiction or Pleasure?

I often wonder about the above question but haven’t really got an answer. If I was to interview myself I suppose I would first need to establish:

Why do you write? = I write because I enjoy it. Simple enough really but I suspect there is more to it than that. I enjoy the process; I enjoy the fact that the characters dictate where they want to go and sometimes I have no idea where that will be. Even if I plan a story, it rarely follows the plan as the plot changes when the actors get involved with it. It’s human nature isn’t it; to be unpredictable?

Are you driven to write a best seller? = I suppose the simple answer here is YES, even though I know it’s a million to one chance that will happen. I liken it to buying a lottery ticket; you have to be in it to win it. I understand that all the hard work and time I put into a story may mean it will probably never even see the light of day, let alone the bookshelves of Waterstones and therefore is wasted. But I can’t see it like that; as I said before I enjoy the writing process.

Are you supported by your family? = Well my wife is my sounding board and I find it useful to read each story aloud so I can feel the flow. She tells me what bits make sense to her and whether or not she can see the picture I’m trying to paint. I know she is a little biased but she has helped me enormously with my writing and she gives me great encouragement. The dogs listen too but don’t really comment.

How do you feel when you can’t write? = I feel like I’m missing a part of me. I’m sure there are ideas to be explored but I can’t explore them without following the written text. I find it difficult to plan without writing/typing something first. I’m also very conscious of the little time I have to spend with my wife and it’s not a great pleasure for her watching me tap out the words on my laptop.  I try my best to involve her but writing is a solitary business for me.

How often do you actually write? = I make sure I write something every date. I stopped writing a while ago and for several years other things took priority but it was still there in the back of my mind; like the bicycle in the garage that I plan to ride again this year. It nagged at me until I started again. I found that for a time I looked for reasons not to write now I look for reasons to write. I used to sit up all night writing and felt I couldn’t sleep because I might lose an idea but I came to realise that often what I wrote during those times was rubbish. So I don’t do that now (Mind you it’s probably still rubbish but I’m not as tired)

What are you currently working on?  = I’m two-thirds of the way through the first draft of a novel that involves the Costa Concordia shipwreck and someone who was left aboard after everyone else was rescued. Then I have a novel started and fully planned (as it can be) about a detective who captured a killer, who was jailed but escaped so has to recapture him again. Then I have a novel planned which centres around the IRA bombing of Manchester City Centre. I also keep short stories flowing as they are where I get my inspiration from. Short stories often lead into novels for me. Plus I work full-time although that could be short-lived.

What would you like to write about but haven’t yet? = I’ve tried most things but I would really like to write comedy. I have realised, however, there is a world of difference between thinking something is funny and it making others laugh.

Do you read much? = Yes I’ve always read, as long as I can remember I have always been around books. I was always a member of the library and read anything and everything. I now buy the majority of my books from charity shops and then take them back when I’ve read them. My house isn’t full of paperbacks and the charity gets it back to resell. I rarely read books a second time as there are so many good novels I would need three life times to get through them all and I’m quite a way through this first one already.

Well thank you for sparing me the time from your busy schedule.

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