"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Monday, 30 May 2016

WRITER'S DREAM; Spinning Straw into Gold

Once upon a time...
When I was initially published, some past acquaintances used to say that I had 'the Midas touch' - meaning that although everything I touched seemed to turn to gold, there were no long term prospects in it and it would all come to no good end eventually - like a flash in the pan.

Of course, I didn't and still don't have the Midas touch and I have had plenty of false starts and disappointments along the way to publication, but once I was offered an initial contract with a publishing house things did start to happen very quickly for me and I was kept very busy with one project or another. 

To those on the outside it probably looked a lot like the Midas touch, as one book led to another, to another...then the magazines came calling; then a pagan recording label; then I was offered a column...and so it goes on.  Was there magic afoot? Absolutely and I have made no secret of the fact that I tend to Cast for book contracts and publishing opportunities to come my way. 

I also happened to be in the right place at the right time, in that I was offering Wiccan proposals right when the witch-craze of the Mind, Body and Spirit genre was starting to take off, so I was fortunate enough to get to drive one of its brand new band-wagons.  Of course by the time the aspiring writer realizes that there is such a publishing band-wagon and tries desperately to scramble aboard, it is always too late - the band-wagon already has a driver and the publishing industry is busy building the next wagon and a whole new trend!  This is why it pays for an author to have more than one publisher and several outlets for their work.

Personally I think that being is writer is more like Rumpelstiltskin than King Midas, in that writers are effectively spinning straw into gold.  We take something as mundane as a moment in time when the spark of an idea flashes through the mind, as flimsy as a piece of straw...and then we spin it out into a theme, a concept, a synopsis.  We keep spinning and spinning, everyday, hour after hour, until the straw turns into the gold of poetry, song lyrics, a book, a column or whatever the author can dream into being.

Spin well enough and eventually the gold starts to come back in the form of publishing advances, freelance fees and royalties - that is when the straw really does turn into gold!  It's the kind of gold you can live off too, for this is no fairytale and bills must be paid.

Spinning words is like an act of alchemy - you can take anything that has had an effect on you, good or bad, and spin it into your work as an author.  This means that if you have a fantastic date, or a ticking off from the boss, a romantic let-down, a spat with a frenemy, an tender encounter...you can use the event as the fuel of inspiration and spin it into the gold of your writing. In this sense, every moment is precious straw for your imagination to rework in the spinning and inspiration is all around you, every single day. It's all raw material. Just add talent. 

Eventually what you spin will come back as the gold of money which effectively means that the row you had with your friend or neighbour last week could well pay for your next holiday!  
Not a bad job, is it? 
Happy Spinning...

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