How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Having a novel accepted by a large publisher was one of my proudest moments. The acceptance was a validation that every late night I’d spent poring over my typewriter had been worth the effort. It was an acknowledgement that I had been right to have faith in my abilities to tell a story.
This latter point was quite huge for me. Some people are driven by a powerful self-belief but a lot of us can’t help but be troubled by doubts. We write in isolation. We send a manuscript to a publisher. And, when it bounces back with a curt rejection slip, we figure it’s been returned because we’re not particularly good.
So, receiving an acceptance, contract and payment confirmed my opinion that I could tell a story and produce writing that was worthy of recompense. This changed my way of working considerably.
Having had my ambition validated, I spent more time writing. I made sure that parts of my day were allocated to the process of writing. I also made sure I had the correct equipment. I upgraded from a typewriter to a computer. I took over a corner of the living room and I approached my writing with a much more professional attitude.
It wasn’t a novel that changed the world. But it was a novel that changed my world.