I’m coming out… as a writer
Updated: Jul 27
I’m just going to put it out there... I’m writing a book. There, I said it. Why does it feel like an embarrassing secret? When I was ten, and writing books about my cats as superheroes (contact me for copies), I wasn’t embarrassed, although I perhaps should have been. I loved my stories. When I was in my early teens, a fantastic English teacher of mine told me I should be a writer. Although I glowed inside, externally I scoffed. A writer? That’s not a career. That’s a hobby.
After university, I put down my metaphorical pen and didn’t write a word for a good five years, resolutely committing myself to A Normal Job. Sure, I started a novel every now and then, only for it to fizzle out circa seven thousand words, and buried inside the depths of a folder called “Archive”. I didn’t tell a soul each time I started a new story; that way I didn’t have to admit when I had inevitably given up. Of course, if someone asked me what my hopes and ambitions were, I would say with a dreamy look on my face how I longed to be a published author. But was I working towards my goal? The simple answer is no. There was too much to do… I had a full time job, a house to keep clean, friends and family to see. When could I possibly find the time?
Fast forward to my 30th year on this fine (ish) planet. I had spent the previous two years planning the wedding of all weddings for me and my fiancée Laura. Of course I had no time to write, thank you very much. Do you know how much time it takes to plan a wedding? But when we got back from our honeymoon, I suddenly had all this time on my hands. No confetti punching, no sign painting… just one severe case of post-wedding blues. I spotted my opportunity, and I picked up that laptop once more… and I just started. I hired a cleaner. I stopped seeing my friends. I shouted from the rooftops of Facebook that I was writing a novel. I joined the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. I told anyone who would listen about my book. And do you know what? People are genuinely interested. They actually want to read my book. This astounded me. So I kept going. I shared chapters with anyone who was vaguely interested along the way. And I finished the damn thing.
So it turns out, telling other people that I was writing a book was the best thing I could have done. I stopped hiding it like a dirty little secret. I set finally my characters free, I revealed my ideas and I put it out into the world.
If you’re writing, don’t hide it. I’d put money on the fact that there are tonnes of people out there who want to read your words.