We all have a story to be told, a book lurking within our mind and many of us promise ourselves one day that we will write that story. Few of us do, even fewer of us publish the tale and many of us give up on the dream when faced with the inherent effort and problems and for a myriad of other reasons.
For me the journey began as a child though it wasn’t until relatively recently that the world of the writer and author became a reality. I have written many things in my life, all in the Aussie vernacular. Some pieces published in popular media and some published much to the distress of linguist and grammar natzies and international friends, who often were left bemused by my lingo. But this is who I am, an Aussie, and who I am most comfortable being.
Many of my writings will never see the light of day but when you have a story written that simply must be shared then … and only then you will see the birth of the writer. Once you have finished that story and once you go to all the effort involved in bringing it to readers, family and friends, then you become an author. Once you get over the shock of the reactions of others and how they interpret your work and you realise that this is truly a story others would enjoy to read, then you become a publisher and it is an all-mighty journey from mind to told-tale. It is a journey that can take a lifetime.
These last months I have been revisiting and revising some of my older works, setting them into a semblance of order. Mostly because my kids and family want my mess tidied, wether it be to read or because they don’t want to have to deal with it when I ‘kick the bucket’ has yet to be seen.
My very first full-length and published novel, one that is still available, has being revisited and revised in these past months. This particular work is a journey within itself, which began many years ago but which only saw publication in the last few years.
My relationship with my first publisher, a small affair in reality, was a nightmare and I have avoided publishers since because of this. Fortunately we live in a world of ‘Indie Publishing’ (Indie being independent) now and our choices as readers, as writers and as authors have never been wider.
You can download endless stories published by indie authors for free. ‘Original’ and ‘Public’ works, from a few cents to a few dollars, often less than the cost of a cuppa with a great deal that is offered for free. These include classics such as at the Gutenberg Project site. The world of the E-book and digital media is coming into its own slowly.
To the indie publisher and author what is important is the story be told, read and enjoyed. This is why I publish, indeed it is why I write. In those first years it wasn’t uncommon to have thousands of downloads on anything offered for free, even if only for a day or two… I dare say most of it never got read. Now readers are more discriminating and it is a good thing too. The industry has moved on and demands more of its publishers and authors now.
The face of independent (indie) publishing has changed too in the years I have travelled along this path. You need to be dedicated in your craft to survive, let alone make any kind of living from your hard work. Enjoying what you do is also important as it is extremely difficult to succeed in a craft where there is easy public access to a global talent pool (the internet) and you don’t have the resources of the mass commercial media, or large publishing houses at your fingertips.
The most difficult thing as a writer is the revising and revisiting of past works. Always there are improvements to be found and editing is a bugga’ and a necessary evil. My first novel was supposed to have been edited by a publisher at the time, prior to publication and I unfortunately trusted that they did this. Mistake! Skipping corners was something they did well and not meeting contracted agreements was another. It concerned me that my name and rep’ was on the line here. When I pointed these things out the publisher, concerned as I was for the end result, they cut out of the contract rather quickly.
When I revisited the work recently I was mortified as a reader at the problems the work still had, remnant from those early days. Needless to say this was not the only problem I had with this “professional” outfit but it is the one that most annoys me. I have since revised the work and it is a consolation for anyone who downloaded that first novel, in the times prior, that they can still download the edited version under their original licence at Amazon. Please do so guys… the first edition of that first book had a multitude of problems even though the story itself was, and remains popular.
For a few days only I have organized for this first novel to be offered to my readers for free. I would like to invite you to take advantage of the free download period which will only last a few days. I hope you will enjoy the story. It is a tale of an ancient lore, a lore followed since the Dreamtime. After much research and a great deal of study in anthropological works in an area which is of personal interest to me, this tale came to be as a means to show Aussie kids something of their own heritage.
It saddens me that so little is understood of the Australian Aboriginal Lore, its mysteries and the wonder of its legends. A lore that has so much richness in its telling, from a mystic origin where shape-shifting is a skill for extraordinary shaman. Where natures forces can be held within the hands of men and where one lives within the mystic world cradled by the Dreaming. Australian Aboriginal Lore, that drawn from hundreds of Nations united on one continent, is the most ancient collection of beliefs in the world and yet so little is known of this amazing world.
To some it’s fantasy, while others see these tales as paranormal. Many understand the moral, seeing the truth in the tales behind legends and fireside stories. Some, those who live close the land, are familiar with the strengths of the Karadji of this ancient lore. They have heard before tales and histories about the strengths of the Featherfoot or the ancient Lore of the Kadaitcha men and that of the serpents, but largely it’s a lore that is folding into the unknown as time passes.
My life today is touring this land Australia, and discovering so many of those legends and tenets of this ancient lore. Visiting the sacred places where the spirit creatures dwell and touching the lore, secreted by this ancient land.
Another of the best things about travelling as I do now, around Aus’ is that you have the time in your retirement to do all those things you promised yourself you would do. Writing, as well as revising and revisiting is disturbingly one of these things. But my consolation is the peace and time I find in our travels. The beautiful sunsets and sunrises that inspire you, the quiet cacophony of sounds in the Aussie bush and the wonderful discoveries, which so easily can engage you. These things are pure magic and never fail to inspire the mind.
The Journey one takes as an author is a fun journey but you must learn to savour the successes, they are few sometimes. Never let people destroy your dream as it is yours… not theirs. Enjoy the journey and yes… pen to paper or point to key. It is time to write that story that has lurked in your mind, if only for those that love and enjoy reading what you might have to write. Family and Friends are precious and writing is a great way to share your journey with them.