It's 2014. Time for a new year. Time to stop making excuses and time to just do it. You don't have to quit your day job to live your dream (though it could lead to that). Here's proof.
Peter Dudley is a CSR leader by day, but by night (and early mornings at Starbucks), he writes young adult novels, available on Amazon. Many people fantasize about being a published author. Peter has done it. So I asked Peter a few questions about how he balances a full-time job, parenting and writing, plus his top tips for breaking into the business. Bonus: Peter will mail a FREE, autographed copy of one of his books to the 10th person that tweets: .@dudleypj, I want a #free copy of your book.
Q: Peter, you’ve followed your passion to write in your spare time resulting in two books on Amazon; how did you get started, motivate yourself and find time?
A: I’ve loved to write since I was a little kid. My fifth grade teacher taught us how to make books, and I wrote about a dozen that year (blog post: http://cornerkick.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-start-in-self-publishing.html).
But I kind of dropped writing when I found myself with a job, a wife, a house, and two kids. Then, about 2002, I decided to pick it back up again, and in 2004 I discovered National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo.org. The idea is to complete a 50,000 word story in the month of November—just 30 days. I managed my 50,000 words, and a few months later I completed my first 68,000 word manuscript, which wasn’t half as bad as I expected. The next couple of years I did it again, completing four manuscripts—the last of which was actually pretty good.
Along the way, I wrote and published several short stories and won some small online fiction contests, essentially putting in my “ten thousand hours” becoming expert in my craft. In 2010, I set out to write Semper. It was hard finding time with all my other commitments, but I got up early and wrote three days a week before work, and sometimes late at night. It took about eight months to draft the manuscript and another four or so in revisions. It turned out pretty well, and now I get a lot of my motivation from the positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and from the supportive comments and emails I get from people I’ve never even met.
Q: What would you recommend to someone who wants to self-publish? What are the 3 things someone needs to know?