Writing is one of my favourite things in the world. Writing and reading, reading and writing… anything book related gets me giddy and there’s nothing better than seeing my blood, sweat and tears in print. Sadly, not all authors are able to actually make a living out of their work and sometimes a writer needs to make a decision. The decision is usually something along the lines of: Keep writing and starve to death or better your situation and write in your spare time.
When I quit school in 2008 to become a writer, I was a newbie through and through. I had a story I wanted to tell and that story is one of my biggest accomplishments to date. I don’t regret quitting school one bit, but I’m an awfully complicated person and I do enjoy other things too. In 2010 I went back to university to continue bettering myself as an author and I registered at the University of South Africa for a B.A. Languages: Creative Writing degree, minoring in Ancient History and Religion. The fun thing about my current study situation is that I can study from home and when I have the money for it… However, what makes it incredibly difficult to study this way is that I am always hard-up for cash and I always think I can scrape by with a new story.
For the past couple of months I’ve been doing so many things book-wise that I’ve forgotten why I wanted to become a writer in the first place. The industry is sadly not what I expected. I expected authors trying to shake the world with their work, trying to break the boundaries and create a new – and better – world for readers. Instead, I came to the conclusion that although creativity and imagination is not frowned upon by publishers, there are limits to how much you can move and shake. This does not sit well with me, especially seeing as I have a rather big problem with authority. The other problem that I recognize is that there is a big problem with professional jealousy in the business. Frankly, I can’t understand it. I’m no saint, but when one of my author friends get their books picked up by huge publishers, I pop the champagne and join in with their celebrations!
So, why have I started to see all the bad things about writing? I figure that it’s because I don’t like playing it safe. I don’t want to write stories from a recipe that publishers approve as being fool-proof. I don’t want to be defined as being ONLY an author. I want to be more for me AND my readers. This is why I’ve decided that I’m going to let writing take a backseat from 2014 until I’ve completed my studies (I’m planning on getting my Creative Writing degree and then switching over to major in Ancient History and Religion for my postgraduate and graduate degrees). I’M NOT QUITTING. However, I do have other dreams that I want to make a reality and completing my bachelor’s degree in creative writing is the first step to achieving my other goals. Besides, being a writer is a soul-sucking job – ask any writer – and people in general are an unappreciative bunch.
So, I’ve put together a five year plan for myself and hopefully things will start falling into place. 2014 will see the release of Charming Incantations: Sanguine, and maybe a few short stories. I’ll continue writing on some of my other works in progress in my spare time, but it may take a little longer to complete them (after all, studies come first). But I think it’s time to take a break from being a full-time writer and start the slow integration back into society…