8 Things That Happen To You When You Become An Author…

Writer blogpost

I have been writing novels for nearly 2 years now. I never studied it or had any interest in it AT ALL when I was a child. I never even considered going to University, thinking I would never need it if I wanted to run my own pub or hotel. One day I kind of fell into writing and I finally found what I was gifted at, completely by accident! Now when I talk to fellow writers and tell them I spit out books for fun they tend to be baffled that I had zero interest in it before. However over the last year or so I have noticed myself slowly change as a person. This is my take on what happens once you become a writer. Hopefully some of you fellow writers can relate to some of these…

1: You forget how to have a normal conversation…

There could be many reasons for this, the most likely one is because you spend your time in solitude writing all day. You are used to typing away and thinking instead of talking out loud. Because of this you get used to slowing your thought process down because you can’t type as quickly as your mind darts off coming up with new ideas to write, then you’ve forgotten the perfect wording you were going to use to describe the sentence once you catch up. Soon you can’t think as quickly as you used to and you are awkwardly staring at someone looking for some kind of inspiration to say something clever back, but you are too busy trying to absorb what that person said to you and trying to think of the right wording. By the time you have the moment’s gone…

2: And when you do, you sound like a pretentious dick…

Or you’re nailing the conversation just like old times, or so you think; I used to be a bar manager back in England so I spent the majority of my time talking to the average person and having a full command of the English language. Now I tend to talk how I write, and use words that most people don’t use in everyday conversation. I don’t mean to, i just throw a few words into the conversation which immediately kills the vibe, and then try and remember what it was like to have a conversation with someone that flowed nice and easily… (although I could attribute this to living in a non-English speaking country for so long…)

3: Sometimes you even talk AT someone for ages…

There have been times where I’d go to the tourist area of Chiang Mai and let off some steam after suffering from writer’s block. Whether it was to play some pool, cycle around the city or meet some old friends, whatever I had to do to clear my head before writing again. Sometimes you meet someone who’s travelling through and you get so excited to see another human being. If the conversation is flowing and you are not feeling anxious in any way about throwing out an obscure word, you start freestyling like Busta Rhymes because you are so happy to be communicating with someone, only they are looking at you in complete panic, wishing they never asked you about your life story…

4: When someone asks about your book(s) you start to freak out…

The question, “What is your book about?” used to be my favourite thing to hear. I would passionately and proudly talk about my book like it was my own child. I could feel the energy in the room as people began to get interested to read my work. One year later you get bored of repeating yourself; so you either sound disinterested whilst describing your own book or you begin to stutter because you are running out of ways to describe the book in a way that can keep your interest as well as the person who asked the question’s…

5: You are hyper aware that you may be self-promoting yourself completely unprovoked…

This may be a ‘me’ thing, but I hate to self-promote myself. I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ who talks about his books every other sentence until people don’t want to hang out with him anymore. I imagine it being the other way around and I know that I would roll my eyes if anyone tried to self-promote their product in front of me, even if it was something really good. So as soon as I say the words, “I’m an author…” I immediately feel anxious to change the conversation since I feel like I’m trying to do a sales pitch, and that is absolutely not me. It’s a good job I don’t work in sales and marketing…

6: You can never explain what your books are about…

This is your brainchild. But not just any brainchild; this particular piece of work usually takes months, sometimes years to complete. Because of this it would be fair to say that most books are incredibly deep and complex. They may have a simple plot to follow, but it’s not as if you can say, “4 hours later it all worked itself out. THE END!!”. Everything has to connect, and it has to make sense when it connects otherwise the reader will get frustrated and lose interest pretty quickly. So when someone asks about the book you feel compelled to explain certain things in unnecessary detail because you worry it won’t make sense if you don’t, overwhelming the person who asked the question in the process.

7: Sometimes you stutter because you don’t want to give any plot twists…

There’s nothing I love more than to talk about my books, 2 months ago one of friends read my sixth book ‘The Pornstar’ and you have NO IDEA how amazing it felt to talk about certain scenes with passion, and what my thought process was while I was writing it. These books have been my life for nearly two years now so when I can talk about them I light up and feel a kind of confidence and energy I haven’t felt in a long time. Unfortunately when you are talking to someone who is either halfway through the book or hasn’t read it, you keep stopping half way through the sentence because you wonder whether you are going to spoil the experience for the reader or not. As a consequence you tend to talk about the book as vaguely as possible, killing any interest the person had in reading your work…

8: You forget what happens in your books, even though you wrote the bloody thing!

Writing a book is hard, fucking hard! On top of that it is mentally draining. So at first you don’t have a problem talking about characters and scenes, but after a while (especially when you write more than 1 book) the characters names, traits and what they do get intertwined, and you forget what happens, or who is supposed to say or do what. This has also expanded into my everyday life. I used to have an incredible memory, a barman’s memory if you will, now I can barely remember what someone said to me ten minutes ago, and I have to attribute that to pushing my brain too hard and I think it is nature’s way of saying I need a rest from writing.

Overall I would definitely say I am a lot less confident socially than I was before I began writing, this is probably because I spend the majority of my time typing silently instead of talking like a normal person. However I wouldn’t change it for the world, and although I know my brain needs to rest up some more before I begin my seventh book, I can’t wait to get started!

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7 thoughts on “8 Things That Happen To You When You Become An Author…

  1. Hi Lewis,
    Good to read your thoughts and how writing effects you. I can relate to 6&8 even though my book is still unpublished!
    I still haven’t got around to reading The Butterfly Killings. Sorry about that, life stuff seems to have taken over recently but rest assured, it’s high on my list to read. Maybe I’m a little bit lazy too, one of the reasons my book is still needing some editing. I blame it on retirement though, because you get into that mindset that there’s always tomorrow. You also arrive at this retirement thing, being told how you will be bored with nothing to do, so you become interested in so many things to fill your days, that you end up with lots of projects and little time for them all.
    Anyway, good to see you are planning your next book. I will leave a review when I finally get back to reading.
    Good luck
    Thelma x

    • When I was doing the second edit of my books, i normally didn’t want to do it because it seemed so daunting but one day I would perk up and think to myself “Right; today’s the day…” before doing 6-10 hours of editing so I could then pass it on to my editor to do a third edit. Also when you do you’ll remember how fun it was to write the first draft, and most likely add some things now you’ve taken some time off and gained some perspective… Also don’t worry about it not being ready, i know i thought that a few times, but no book is ever ‘ready’. I even look back at some of my previous books and think ‘I should have said this, or added that.’ If you keep putting it off it’ll never be ready.

      I Hope you enjoy The Butterfly Killings, I’m actually hoping to publish one more book in a couple of weeks. It’ll be $1.99 for the first 24 hours if you fancy adding that to your library as well. I thought I’d give you a heads up since you’re a frequent buyer so to speak… 🙂

  2. Thanks Lewis, I shall certainly look out for the new book and put it in my library.
    My book really just needs a last look at punctuation etc, I don’t plan to change or add anything. So in theory, it shouldn’t really take long. Maybe I’m just a bit apprehensive of finally pressing the ‘send’ button if I’m honest.
    x

    • I understand that, we’ve all been there. When I send my books out for edit that’s all they are changing anyway, because most editors won’t want to disrupt the natural flow of your writing. And you can read something 100 times if you are editing it by yourself, but you will subconsciously read it how it’s supposed to be read, that’s why it’s vital to have another pair of eyes look at it…

      Are you going to self-publish then?

      • I have been through it a couple of times but yes, you are right, glaring errors missed. Then I started editing again with my daughters help as she is an English teacher (in Pai)
        That has helped a lot but she became bogged down with work and it all came to a halt. We will get on it again soon I’m sure.
        Yes, plan to self publish. I’m not expecting a block buster, just seems right to get it published after all the hard work. Kind of self satisfaction, something for me, after all those years looking after a family, work etc. me time 🙂
        x

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