In 1990 I was working as a technical training and overseas sales manager for a company that made agricultural machinery. I was lucky enough to travel to Africa and help train the operators of their machinery on its safe use. I went to South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya and utterly fell in love with the continent and its people.
At the same time as this I was undergoing training in short story writing and freelance journalism. Although my travel-bug was being fed by my job, I really wanted to be a writer. I was in a heavy metal band playing the drums at the time and although we all spoke about what we were going to do when the band ‘made it’, I also wanted a back up career, and writing was where I was placing my energy.
I gave up on journalism when the course teacher said, “If you are lucky enough to be the first at the scene of an accident, don’t call the police. Get your camera and take photos first.” It was at that point I realised I wasn’t built to be a journalist, but a career as an author still appealed.
I left my executive job with its expense account and company car and got a job as a milkman. I told myself that if I got up really early in the morning (3am) and finished my round by 9am I would have the rest of the day to write. The trouble with this thinking was that the manager, seeing I had a sales background, put me on the wholesale round, dealing with shops and other establishments. I started work at 3am and finished at 5pm… My plan was not going to work. I asked my previous boss if I could have my old job back and he was kind enough to take me back on a part-time basis and this would give me time to write, as well as earn a living. But customers didn’t like dealing with a manager who was only in the office every other day. It didn’t work, so I returned full time, and with that move I gave up on my writing aspirations.
Life continued. Changes, redirections, opportunities arrived and I took them. I moved away from the corporate world. My spiritual path opened up before me and with it I rediscovered my love of writing and playing music. Over the last 10 years, and particularly since 2006, I have been blessed to live a full life doing all of the things I love to do. But since the release of my last album, the idea of writing has re-entered my awareness. I’ve suddenly realised that if I’ve had the time to write and record 6 albums, I probably now have the time to write that book.
I’m out of practice. I need to get my story-writing mojo working. I need to brush up on my grammar, but I have to say that I’m getting quite excited about the prospect of trying something new.
My music is still my priority, but I think if life has changed to give me this time, I should take it.
I will be writing a book of short stories, each with a spiritual/supernatural/Otherworldy theme. I already tell stories with my songs. These tales will expand this way of storytelling, and allow me to engage another aspect of the Bardic Craft.
Research and plot outlines begin….now!
I’ll keep you posted!