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Conclusion of Interview with Peter J West
How does the author balance his time between family, friends, and writing? What advice does he have for those who are striving to be published?
How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
It's difficult. I have a day job which pays the bills but requires a lot of time and a lot of commuting.
I barely see friends these days. The few hours I get spare quickly gets taken up spending time with my wife, writing, and sorting out day to day bits and pieces. If you take your writing seriously, then other things are going to slide. It can be pretty difficult. You need to be sure about what your priorities are.
If you could spend one hour with just one person, dead or alive, whom would you choose? Why?
Probably Professor Stephen Hawking. He has achieved so much in life despite suffering from a terrible debilitating disease for most of his life. I admire how he stretches his mind and works so hard to achieve great things in physics, despite all of the things holding him back. He doesn't use his life as an excuse for underachieving. He never gave up because things were hard or unfair.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
I would say question yourself about why you want to be published and be honest in your answers.
Decide whether you are writing because:
(a) You want to be famous
(b) You want to be wealthy
(c) You want to be popular
(d) You want to be respected by other authors
(e) You want to be respected by readers (the general public)
(f) You want to be respected by critics
(g) You want to win awards
(h) You want to write good stories.
(i) You want to write entertaining novels
(j) You want to write good literature
(k) You want to create
(l) You want to lose yourself in something
(m) You want to prove something to yourself
(n) You want to prove something to someone else
(o) You are unhappy with some other part of your life
These are all different things, and require different steps to reach that goal. Don't confuse one for the other. Be honest with yourself. If you are looking to make money, you will get a better hourly rate at your local supermarket.
To be published by traditional publishers or by the self-publishing route takes an immense amount of work, not only on the writing itself, but in learning how to market and distribute your own books, and a whole host of skills required to create digital formats, work with social media, and setup blogs, Goodreads accounts, and manage any advertising plans you might have.
Make sure that you understand the shear quantity of hard work it will require, and also understand that to build a platform will take years, not weeks. Shortcuts are a fool's hope. Expect to make no money. Expect to work long hours. Expect the writing you worked your heart out to create, to be criticised and pulled apart by people who you will never meet. Be ready to accept all criticism and learn from it. Put your pride aside and say, yes I can take that on board and improve my skills and make my writing better. That should be your aim. Make sure that every year your writing is better than it was before, not just in your own eyes or the eyes of your friends and family. Get feedback from people who have never met you and have no reason to be polite. Ask real readers what they think. That's the only way to improve.
Remember that writers write. Unless you are physically writing every day, you are not advancing towards your goal. You should read widely also and learn from the styles and techniques of others. Success doesn't come without hard work. In writing this is more true than ever.
Thank you, Peter West, for such an amazing interview. I look forward to the release of your next book.
If you would like a copy of Information Cloud, I have provided an Amazon link for you below.
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