Cast your mind back. You had just got back to school after the summer holidays and you were set a task by an unimaginative school teacher, of whom there were a lot – to write about what you did on your holidays, an exercise which often had to be repeated not only in English but in whatever foreign language you happened to be studying.
Not that we thought about it in those terms at the time, but it was a very socially divisive exercise. For those whose parents were wealthy or imaginative, the terms were often mutually exclusive, there was often an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. However, for others, there was a pretty short essay to write – not much.
My mind wandered in this direction shortly after I had been asked what I had been doing in my months of retirement. Regrettably, because of a serious illness to a family member TOWT and I have been shuttling back and forth to a hospital, initially, and then a care home, leaving little time to do anything else other than maintaining the bare essentials of our own life. So not much is a pretty accurate if rather sad statement of fact.
One of things I have been thinking about is how to monetise – awful word – this blog. I find I am at my most productive in the first couple of hours of the day and I spend them thinking, researching and writing or, as TOWT puts it, locked away in my office. A thought was to open up the blog to advertising but I for one get irritated by on-line ads. There seems something slightly desperate about the way on-line advertising works. I made an innocent enquiry as to the value of a rather splendid Paddington Bear which we won in a raffle. Since then I have been pursued relentlessly by ads offering me bears at knock-down prices and I can’t shake them off.
No, I want the blog experience to be as advert-free as possible and, anyway, I can’t imagine the amount of traffic I get would be of the slightest interest to advertisers, desperate or otherwise, and certainly wouldn’t translate into oodles of money. And then the idea came to me. I would think about putting a book together from the contents of some of the posts on my blog.
I settled on the theme, selected the entries, edited them into a more cohesive whole and sent the opus to a couple of publishers. Both were encouraging, one more so than the other, and so I selected them. Contracts were signed, monies paid and the manuscript together with a completed writer’s questionnaire sent off. The manuscript is now going through a proof reading and editing process – just as well as I am the world’s worst Prof Reeedor – and a cover is being designed for me.
I’m really quite excited and can’t quite wait to receive the edited copy for my approval and to see the cover design. I gave them a couple of ideas and will be interested to see what they make of them. Fifty Clever Bastards, for that is the working title, will be available in both a Kindle and paperback format and should be available soon. I will keep you posted.