What I didn’t learn in college

talking stud

I remember thinking back in college I wanted to be a writer, though I didn’t know the first thing about writing. Or much about reading, for that matter. For the best part of the next two decades I plied my trade as a newspaper reporter and sub-editor, but didn’t dare attempt to write fiction. I joined with my fellow hacks in sneering at writers and wannabe writers as arty-fatty egotistical types who weren’t actually doing anything useful. Not like us journos, er, filling the spaces between the adverts. For democracy. Or something.

But skip forward another decade and I find myself as an ex-journalist, teaching English for my bread and butter (or rice and seaweed, I live in Japan after all), and what do I discover? It wasn’t the ups and downs of politics, the chasing of ambulances or the cynical piss-taking of the subs desk that I miss (OK, I do miss the last one a bit).

It was the writing.

And here I am on a tempestuous (that means its raining a lot outside), muggy August afternoon in Abiko and I realise, I have become what I daydreamed about in college. Sure, I’m not earning anything like a full-time living from my writing – it’s not even a revenue stream… but it is a trickle. And I’m confident with work that will grow.

The latest revamp of this website is to focus visitors’ attention on my newsletter and my books. I intend to blog a little more frequently, aiming for once a week every Thursday, and get on with the next novel.

As I’ve finally learnt, overnight success takes a couple of decades of incremental improvements, so I’d better get on with it.