Please welcome Danie Ware to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Ecko Rising will be published on June 11, 2013 in the US by Titan Books.
Why I stopped writing, and how I started again: a blog post for anyone who's ever thrown in the towel.
You know how it goes: -
Put bum on seat; put fingers on keyboard (variations in choice of tools may apply).
But there comes a day when you don't. When your life catches you up and your day job becomes your career. When your family runs you ragged and you end each day worn out, nose in a wine glass. Maybe you get bored, or lack feedback, or just run out of steam... maybe you lose your confidence. Be it a sudden spasm of choice or a gradual slide into apathy, the day comes when you realise you've quit... and it bites at you like the Black Dog himself.
I wrote fantasy from a teenager, reams and years - wonder and pretentiousness that filled a forest of pages. Stories, songs, lexicons, characters, you-name-it - dear Gods, some of them even had apostrophes in their names. I'm a Literature graduate, for my sins, and somewhere in my head, I thought I was going to craft the Ultimate Masterpiece, going to write something that people would be studying in English fifty years hence...
A dream of that magnitude is ludicrous, unsustainable - I ran out of energy, and time. My life caught me up. I had a job, and a mortgage, and a baby. My imagination was a lost thing, buried under work and money and an inability to sleep.
And I quit. All of that massive creative ambition, and I stopped. I didn't even mean to. I lost my confidence, had no idea how to string sentences together. Don't get me wrong - I wanted to write, the urge never went away, but for eight years my imagination was a silent thing, forgotten and unvoiced. If you've ever been there, you know what a grey place that is.
But this is one story with a happy ending.
Today, Twitter is the homeplace of the author - published or self-published, #amwriting abounds. In 2008, there were only a few of us - twitter was not yet a celebrity playground, and the bonds between friends were strong. And somewhere between that, and attending the first SF Con I'd been to in more than a decade, there lurked an epiphany - that writing was not about some uber-worlds-shattering masterpiece, not about some lofty text that would be held up to scrutiny by teenagers in forthcoming years...
...it was about a little bit of what I'd once loved, for my friends.
In a tangled fit of courage and terror, I put a couple of hesitant chapters of what is now 'Ecko Rising' live on googlepages, and asked what people thought. And I’ve no shame in admitting that the positive reaction reduced me to tears - as if that long-walled-away part of myself was slowly unfolding back to life. The rest, as they say, is history. A dream finally come true – long after I’d given up on it.
I guess it comes to this...
'Put bum on seat; put fingers on keyboard' means write for yourself, everything else will come. Don't write for other people. Don't write to reinvent the world in your image. Don't set goals too high to reach, or you'll fall every time. Instead, write because you love it, write because you have to, write because you can. Write whatever burns in your imagination. Write what comes naturally to you, however strange it may seem. Write in your own voice, your own imagery. Blow traditions, blow previous examples, genre boundaries if you want to - it's yours to do with whatever the heck you please.
And when you have written enough, and you've realised that you can, put it out there - and let people see it. Let them help you.
Ecko is all about doing what's impossible.
Go for it.
About Ecko Rising
Titan, Books June 11, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
In a futuristic London where technological body modification is the norm, Ecko stands alone as a testament to the extreme capabilities of his society. Driven half mad by the systems running his body, Ecko is a criminal for hire. No job is too dangerous or insane.
When a mission goes wrong and Ecko finds himself catapulted across dimensions into a peaceful and unadvanced society living in fear of 'magic', he must confront his own percepions of reality and his place within it.
A thrilling debut, Ecko Rising explores the massive range of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and the possible implications of pitting them against one another. Author Danie Ware creates an immersive and richly imagined world that readers will be eager to explore in the first book in this exciting new trilogy.
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