At work today I was reviewing some CVs for a role I am likely to need to fill in my team. As I was doing so, I wondered what my own CV – in a writing context – would look like…
Wrote my first story – about a boy’s adventures in space – including illustrations, aged 5.
Most Christmases thereafter either longing for or getting a new typewriter. Didn’t stop writing, always intoxicated by the potential of those two little words: “CHAPTER ONE”.
Early teens, had a poem published in the local paper, and then another poem framed and hung on the wall of the local city museum.
Not really knowing why, I decided I wanted to study English at ‘A’ level. Fell in love all over again.
University was a profoundly productive period. Lynchpin of the department’s Writing Group, I was also one of the founders of a new University magazine, “The Definite Article”. Wrote a tremendous amount of poetry, most of it mildly average and/or hopelessly romantic, the odd piece better than that. Performed at one or two public readings; had the odd thing published.
After University – and a difficult period teaching in West Africa – wrote my first play and my first novel. Both cringingly atrocious and long since lost. Thankfully!
Although work and ‘life’ started to get in the way, had sporadic bursts of creativity; whenever I finished something, I tried to get it published. The feedback from agents (when they bothered to respond) was never very complimentary…
Twenty-four years ago, wrote the first book I felt reasonably happy with: “The Big Frog Theory”. Failed to find a publisher (though I’m not sure how hard I tried).
Then, responding to an ad in an industry magazine, I found myself with a contract to write a book – with a real publisher! – on IT Strategy and Management, thereby combining twenty years of industry experience with over thirty-five of writing. Four years later and I had written and published – two through an arm of Bertelsmann, no less! – three such books. University libraries in Europe started stocking them; in Sheffield, one made it onto a course reading list..!
Kept plugging away at prose and poetry, and then, around 2012, discovered Kindle Direct Publishing. Dusted off “The Big Frog Theory” and pulled together collections of poetry going back years.
I was suddenly liberated!
Since then – and having swapped KDP for Ingram Spark for my print editions – I simply haven’t stopped. Ten books in three years: novels, collections of short stories, volumes of poetry.
I feel like I’m making up for lost time, racing toward a brick wall with no intention of putting my foot on the brake.
I try not to think about all the years when I wasn’t writing enough. Try not to imagine all those wonderful lines of poetry I might have written, or that missing lucid, fluent, insightful prose.
I try not to, but sometimes you can’t help it.
Maybe it’s not much of a CV, I don’t know; but I do know that it isn’t finished. I know that there are still unwritten ‘chapters’ to come. I hope that more people will read my work because that’s the ultimate validation. Not pecuniary; I just want people to read something I’ve written and say “that was really good”.