A little while ago I attended a lecture/seminar given by a really nice guy. I was attending as an English teacher. The aim of his lecture/seminar was to help us become better teachers. He rounded off by getting a bit motivational. We forgave him this because he was nice. He told us that he was of Austrian-German descent – the same as Arnold Schwarzenegger. He told us that he had been told that he sounded just like Arnold. And he did. If you closed your eyes it was like being told how to be a better teacher by The Terminator. And it was obviously not just me who felt like this because when I looked around the auditorium there were a lot of people lying back with their eyes closed.
Anyway, in his Power-point presentation he put up a slide – a little like the one above – letting us know that success comes in cans, not can’ts. He followed this slide with another that said, ‘Be a can. Don’t be a can’t.’ And he read it out for us in his sonorous , serious Arnie voice. Now, try to imagine drifting in and out of sleep – it was a good lunch – and hearing The Terminator addressing you and a couple of hundred other teachers and saying in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s unmistakable Austro-Prussian drawl, ‘Don’t be a can’t’. What would you do? I shot awake and was half way through drawing breath for a big guffaw when, looking about me for others to share the joke with – unintended I’m sure – I was greeted with stony stares. It was about then that I realised that I had to get out of teaching.
I want to be an author who 1) people read and 2) makes money from what he writes. These are my two aims as a writer. This blog is intended to become my record of how it all goes. I would be really pleased to receive comments from anyone who takes an interest in what I’m doing. (That doesn’t include my ex-wives’ legal teams. You won’t get another penny out of me.)
Some people might say, ‘If you want to be a writer, don’t waste time blogging.’ Others might say, ‘I’ve read some of your stuff; you’ve got more chance of winning the lottery.’ Thanks for that by the way, mum.
In response to the first imagined comment I would say: the reason that I’m blogging about it now is because the books that I’m pinning my hopes on are already written – five of them. Hence the title of this blog, ‘Stage 1 – Complete(ish). I have written three police detective novels in a series and two ‘thriller’ novels in another. Although they are all in various stages of completion, I think that I’ve now got enough in the locker, so to speak, to make a start on Stage 2. I just wish that I could be sure of what Stage 2 entailed exactly. Maybe I could make Stage 2 this blog? Incidentally, I do sincerely hope that in the fullness of time this blog might be something that people who have read my stuff seek out to provide me with their comments, corrections (looks like I’ll be doing my own proof-reading) and suggestions. You know, things like don’t give up the day job.
In response to my mum I’d say, don’t forget my ticket for the Roll-Over.
Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that neither of my two aims stated above mentions getting published. That’s a deliberate omission. Actually, it’s not in doubt because after much soul-searching I’m going to self-publish through Kindle. I’ll post more on that another time.
But for today and for my maiden voyage into the world of blogging I want to leave it at that because I’ve got something to celebrate. Stage 1 was getting the three books in the series that I’m going to go with first in pursuit of my dream on paper to some degree of satisfaction. Today I wrote the last chapter of book three. Actually, it’s still in the computer, but as an old boss I used to work for once said to me, ‘Near enough is good enough.’