Archive for the writer’s dream

GUEST-BLOG:Willie Meikle

Posted in Guest-blog with tags , , , on January 5, 2011 by simonmarshalljones

Willie has visited these virtual shores before, but he sent me this little item on the writer’s dream vs the unvarnished reality of things yesterday – but, despite that, no matter how far away that dream appears to be, a writer will always carry on doing the one thing they know best, regardless, and just for the sheer love of it. I think it’s an attitude many should look at and adopt….

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Musings of an old fart
I’ve been doing some serious thinking recently about my writing. Again.

Up front, let me say I have few pretensions. I’m not a literary writer. I don’t spend days musing over “le mot juste”. I just get on and tell the story to the best of my ability. That has led to me being called a hack, but if a hack is someone who values storytelling above literary merit, then I suppose that’s what I am.

I know I’m capable of producing readable fiction, quickly. I’ve written fifteen novels in the last eleven years, and had eleven (so far) published in the small press. And there lies one of the things I’ve been thinking about.

I’m unsure about my eye for the market. I write what I want to write, producing books that I would want to read. But I’m a fifty-something man steeped in pulp fiction from an early age. I want the big deal, to see my books on shelves in shops all over the world. That’s always been the dream, but my obsessions just don’t cut it in the marketplace.

I’m not dissing my small press publishers. I’m eternally grateful to them, and they make me warm and fuzzy happy. In 2011 another part of the dream gets fulfilled when I’ll have a hardcover edition of one of my stories in my hands in a professional anthology. That will be more than great. I’ll be happier than a whole bunch of sandboys.

But there’s still that big dream to keep pursuing. Over the last couple of years I tried to write in different genres, different styles, but I was never comfortable. Once I realised that it wasn’t working, and went back to The Midnight Eye, it felt like meeting an old friend. But Derek Adams doesn’t bring the big dream any closer to reality.

So I have this dichotomy in my brain… writing The Midnight Eye makes me happy. Having the big dream depresses me.

I still have the gap between them to fill. And I’m still unsure if there’s a way to close it.

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Willie Meikle is a Scottish genre writer, living in Newfoundland, Canada. Lucky bastard.