Monday, 23 December 2013
Writing for fun
I have been writing professionally since 1970, when I joined North-West London Press as an advertising feature writer, producing blurb about holidays and restaurants, interviews with local businessmen and more or less anything that didn't come under the heading of news.
From there, I moved to a rock music magazine and after ten glorious years of lunching with the likes of Marc Bolan, producing fanzines for The Police and the Bay City Rollers and going into the studio with bands like Yes and Deep Purple, I moved to romantic fiction and as well as editing a love story magazine, I started writing and selling first short stories, then romantic novels, mainly for teenagers (Pan Heartlines, Point Romance).
For decades, I have worked to deadlines. I gained a reputation as someone who could write well under extreme pressure. My first novel was written in just five weeks - all 80,000 words of it - to fit in with the publisher's schedule and this time last year, I was battling against the clock to write 90,000 words of Perfect Lives in seven weeks. Being 30 years older than I was when I wrote that first book, I found the pressure almost killing. I got RSI in my arm and was so stressed I couldn't sleep, yet so exhausted, I could do nothing but write, write some more, then flop in front of the telly.
Two days ago, it struck me that I have never written a book just because I wanted to. Never written just for fun, with no deadline and no publisher breathing down my neck. So yesterday I started one and have so far written nearly 4,000 words. It is a black comedy in journal form, loosely based on my present predicament as an older woman living in a love-hate relationship in the house of very eccentric man. I don't know if I'll ever finish it but I tell you what, it's excellent therapy!
I may publish the odd bit of it here from time to time, as soon as I have gained some confidence in it. I have never tried writing humour before - apart from a funny article for a men's magazine about typing errors, e.g. 'she squashed her large beasts into a size 38F bra, then pulled on her black lace French knockers.' I enjoyed writing that.
If I have written 6000 words by Christmas Day, I shall crack open the bubbly. In the meantime, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year. May all your dearest dreams be achieved and may you be loved and appreciated. You deserve it!