Why I'm here
I left School in 1977, although I was considered “bright,” I didn't have the opportunity to further my education, so I've always worked with my hands and not my head. Originally I trained as a butcher, and twelve years later I started again and trained for a job in construction, I'm still in the same industry today, twenty three years later. I've always been quite a single-minded, determined sort of man if I set out to do something I'd rather die trying than fail.
So, that's how this all came about. Standing in the pub on a Friday night, chatting about the old days, with friends. Everyone knows each others stories, but, like people the world over it never stopped us telling them. Someone happened to say, “they should write a book about us lot.”
Anyway, I think I said “who's they? There's no they. I think that I could write a book though.”
Well, if there hadn't been quite so much laughter at that point I think the moment might have passed.
I found myself saying, “it can't be that hard, I think I could knock one out in a year.”
Oh no, why couldn't I keep my mouth shut?
“OK then, you've got a year from now, You'd better get home and start writing,” came the mocking reply.
So the challenge had been set. In truth, no one expected I would take the challenge seriously, but as I said earlier, no one tells me I can't do something.
My first problem was a simple one, What was I supposed to write a book about? So the only story that I know from start to... I was going to say from start to finish, but that would entail me dropping dead right now. So the only story that I know well, is my own. So that's it then, I'm going to write my autobiography.
Now, all I had to do was get a computer, learn to type, stick it all down, find a publisher, and walk back in the pub with a book under my arm. Sounds quite simple when I put it like that.
Although I had loads of stories that I knew how to tell verbally, getting them on paper was very quickly proving to be a lot harder than I could ever have imagined. I was struggling with the mechanics of the laptop while typing with one finger, and what came out the other end, while it seemed to make sense in my head, by the time it was on the screen in front of me it had mysteriously morphed into a load of gibberish.
After a month or so of struggle I suddenly realised that I could type, it had just kind of crept up on me. I'd spent so many hours at this keyboard trying to get the words that were in my mind, onto the screen that the actual mechanics of it all seemed to take care of themselves.
After the initial flurry of activity, the novelty of it all was wearing a bit thin; also something that I was fast learning was that what sits quite firmly on a writer's shoulders is a massive concrete block weighing you down with self doubt. Every night after a long day at work and then an even longer session at the book face, I'd read over the words and think. Well that's a load of rubbish, I think I've bitten off more than I can chew with this.
I needed a bit of support, a little bit of encouragement. I wasn't ready to show anybody that I knew any of this rubbish just yet, but I did need some input from somewhere.
On the 2-3-2012. I Googled “writing sites” and amongst all the different things that appeared was a site called Writing. Com. That'll do, I thought.
I signed up, and five minutes later I was furiously trying to get my first little piece posted. So I'd done it. I think I got an email saying “Congratulations you're a published author.” How good was that?
A couple of days had passed, and nothing, then on the 5-3-2012 I received another email, and to my amazement somebody had actually bothered to read a piece of my work called "The Crispy Bacon Incident" and she said--
This piece has great potential. I love the language because it tells the reader that this takes place in the UK, which is where I am going to assume this is where you are from. However, while the content is excellent, the punctuation is atrocious! The grammar is terrible as well. I am an American, but am highly educated on American and British English, although I am a History Professor. This may be a fluke in the webpage and your keyboard as well too. Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of this, to my work email as an attachment? I would LOVE to help you edit this. That is if you wouldn't mind.
Dr. Marie Docker
So she liked it, I wasn't too bothered about my “atrocious punctuation” at the time because she said that she loved the language and that she wanted to help me with my “terrible grammar.” It most certainly wasn't a fluke of the web page I'd just forgotten most of what I had learned at school.
Anyway, I was hooked. I decided that If I was going to improve I'd better start reading other people's work, just to see how it should be done. I started reading, and quickly realized that the stuff that I was putting out there wasn't that bad after all. The place is most certainly jam packed with excellent writers, but it's also full of writers with varying degrees of ability. Everyone Is encouraged, no one's looked down on.
As I've also got an opinion on just about everything, I couldn't help writing some reviews of my own. I joined "WDC Power Reviewers Group" and in the process made some new friends, I never believed that would be possible while sitting in a room on my own, just me and my laptop.
So from coming to WDC I've gained the confidence to continue and the belief that the goal that I set out to achieve is actually achievable.
Everything that is in my portfolio is part of the same story, me! Yes I know I'm a one trick pony. Some chapters can be easily read as stand alone pieces, so I've listed these as "short stories" as opposed to "chapters"
I believe that I've almost got a first draft. However, editing and rewrites seem to be taking forever. While I'm under no illusions that anyone would be interested in publishing it, that doesn't matter now. “Do it yourself” publishing is the way I'll go. After all, I only need ten copies for the sceptics in the pub.