Seven years ago, my first book was published. (Happy birthday, book!)
This post was going to be one about what’s changed, for me about writing, in those seven years but now I come to think about it the answer is: mot much. It’s still fun and it’s still hard. Very hard. If anything writing now, with three books behind me and a bunch of short stories out there, is harder than it was before. There’s more pressure for one and, as (luckily!) people have mostly liked the things I’ve done there are things to live up to.
One thing I have noticed over the past couple of years – and I think this is because I mostly write magic realism, is that it’s quite easy to write something that can easily be read as a parody of a Nik Perring story, and that’s a very dangerous thing. Stories need to feel fresh. They need to feel new. They need to read as though they’re saying something that either hasn’t been said before, or haven’t been said that way before. And I think that the more you write the more difficult being fresh becomes. There’s no point in repeating yourself.
And I think, as well, that my own standards are higher, which is no bad thing, although it does make my output less prolific.
Not that I’m unhappy with my output. I’ve been writing a lot (I don’t really tend to stop for too often) and I’ve got a whole bunch of stories I’m really pleased with which, as I mentioned in a post a little while ago, I’m starting to send out to places again (after becoming a little lazy with submissions).
So there you have it. With writing, in my experience, nothing really changes, other than the stories.
And as it’s a book’s birthday how’s about a little competition. Leave a comment (here or on facebook) and I’ll drop you into a hat. The winner receives a signed copy of one of my books. (I’ll make the draw at the end of the week.)