Over the years I’ve published a fair bit for someone doing it on the side; pretty much as much as I wanted to. Sailing magazines, a short story, a popular blog, and now a novel. I seem to know what I’m doing.
The reality is it isn’t all that hard, but there are some things that aren’t negotiable. The first thing is that you have to feel passionate about what you are writing about. If you feel strongly about something, look for a market where other people do as well, and write for it. As soon as I got my first boat I wanted to write an article about it, because I did so many ridiculous things rebuilding it and learning to sail, and felt I wanted to share. Nothing is more fun than sharing the times where I looked an idiot.
It’s been a crazy week: finishing off the detailed restoration of a Westy camper, sourcing obscure parts, selling used parts, ordering books, planning on a book launch, hassling book stores that don’t carry my book, trying to figure out how to create book buzz, juggling finances to make it all work, and trying to write another book. It’s enough to keep the cortisol scouring through my veins.
Nothing beats the rush of killer stress hormones.
It’s also anathema to art. It might not be the way of other writers, but I need to be grounded and deeply in contact with my internal world to produce, and the more crazy, stressful stuff going on outside, the more it interferes with my ability to write.
We’ve been living in town in Thunderbutt for almost 6 weeks now and life is settling in quite nicely. We have a spot off in the inner harbour, surrounded by a quasi-nomadic band of Alberta retirees in massive – truly gargantuan – coaches and RVs, in a sea of white tin. The rigs in here are so massive and so little space is afforded each snowbird, it really is like living in a fishbowl. I could spit out several windows and hit a neighbour.