I love writing and sharing the thoughts in my head with the occasional reader. If you, dear reader, complete the book feeling that you haven’t wasted your time, then that is enough for me. If you, very dear reader, then post a five-star review, that becomes even more than enough and I should probably come around to your house and thank you personally, kissing your baby and maybe doing a bit of dusting for you.
Why do people write? If you ask most authors, the answer will be ‘to make a living’. To do this, they need agents, book deals, publishers and a host of other support services. I don’t like to be told what to write; there are already too many people already telling too many others what to do, and this causes so many problems in the world, on many scales. I am an ‘independent author’, meaning ‘unrecognised’, or ‘poverty stricken’ or occasionally ‘hungry’, but that is part of the 'seedy garret' charm of being an artist.
Alas, the lion’s share of any income goes to the Amazon behemoth, but the trade-off is the great flexibility and control I have in producing the books. For example, if you find an error or are offended by any of my work, please contact me, I can have it rectified in days. Contrast that with a conventional publisher who has a stock of perhaps hundreds of pre-printed books, which would have to be destroyed, or in extreme cases eaten by large cows. In that respect, I am an ‘Environmentally Friendly Author’.
How did I get here? I worked in businesses, large and small for many years, but was always restless, and never settled in one organisation for long. A series of personal tragedies in 2009/2010 made me review my life and I realised that I was wasting precious time. I left my job, moved house and settled in isolation to get down some of the stories that have been in my head since forever. I’m not a talented artist or poet or photographer, or even a writer, but once I have the story written, I then, as a wordsmith, craft the content into something I would be pleased to read myself, and can be read out loud to unsuspecting vagabonds. Then I sit back and have about ten minutes’ smugness before I get the urge to write something else.
I hope you will enjoy any or all of the books I have written, and please do tell me if you do. It is the greatest achievement to write and finish a story, but even better if it can be shared with and appreciated by others.
If you are a writer yourself, I run the Inca Project, a free set of resources and help for you to get your own stories published. See incaproject.co.uk. My own site along with more details on my work is at cantbearsd.co.uk.
In 1993, David Viscott (psychiatrist and author, 1938-1996) wrote:
The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
That is my philosophy too.
PS: this is sometimes attributed to Shakespeare (1564-1616), but if he did say it, he never wrote it down.
Robert Wingfield – August 2017