The Real Writing Life

Posted on May 3, 2020 by Kilmo

So how many drafts do you do?
I’ve read stuff that tells you three drafts is what you need. Maybe they’re right. If you are a great writer then perhaps three drafts really is all you need, but I’m a normal mortal. I need around twenty drafts; I long ago gave up on thinking three is enough. There’s a moment when all the words on the page start to make sense…like each word has another meaning…almost like you’re telling two stories at once. No, it’s not finished when that happens, but you’re close. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Because, although it all makes sense to you it won’t to someone else. Go the extra mile, sort that prose out.
If you’ve got to fifty drafts and it’s still meaningless gobbledygook without a real plot it’s time to self publish and be damned. Maybe someone will like you’re mutant offspring.

Posted on April 29, 2020 by Kilmo

Ever tried getting back into the groove of being a professional writer?
Don’t stop in the first place.
If you stop you forget all the multitude of platforms and things you’re trying to stay on top of. I would say this though: life gets in the way. If you have to stop writing and submitting make a plan. Write out what it is you were doing so you can get back on it easily when you pick it up again. It’s not very Hunter S Thompson but great man though he was even he said he was living up to a caricature. Right time right place for some, probably not the best idea for you attempt to copy the man.
(Not that I’m saying don’t experiment, but that’s for another post and another part of your life.)
Posted on April 29, 2020 by Kilmo

No one sits there and spanks red wine while their writing, at least not if you’re like me, and not if you’re not suicidal. I have been known to sit at my computer and have a drink though. You will spill booze everywhere when you do this and waking up in your chair with red wine pouring out of your key board has got to be one of the worst ways to wake up…ever. Plus there is the horrible, terrifying realisation of what you might have done whilst you were drunk. I can’t remember most of what I do when pissed….by about the second bottle memory becomes obsolete. So when recalling my sessions the imagination kicks in –
Did you try to be funny with that editor? You did didn’t you? As for Twitter? Oh dear, oh dear.
I quickly realised (clever lad) that having a glass or two whilst tapping away wasn’t going to work. I’m sure there are responsible adults who can drink and work professionally. I don’t know them. I don’t think I even really live on the same planet as them.
Posted on April 29, 2020 by Kilmo

Oh brilliant, I’ve just managed to piss off loads of editors. For those of us like me who’ve been called by a nickname for decades – DON’T STOP USING IT WHEN YOU TALK TO THEM. For complicated reasons relating to identity and location I always used to sign my emails ‘Kilmo’. It’s no secret what my real name is but I felt more comfortable using my nickname. After all I’m not a professional writer, at least not then, and I felt a lot more connected to the underground scene I’d been a part of for many years. I was a total novice when I first started at this….I think I’m somewhere midway now.
Since around the first quarter of last year though I haven’t been submitting short stories. After a very complicated move I just started working through my old submissions and wondered what had happened to them. Hence thinking – ‘Well….I suppose I’m am lot more professional now, maybe I should use J.Kilmister.’ In all truthfulness the first few mails I didn’t even think about it. I just did it.
But people like to know who you are and names are funny things. Stick with what you started to call yourself first is my advice otherwise you annoy a whole load of people. Imagine how many forms you’re down for using that name, and you get moody letters from horrible looking editors pretending to be hippies. Trust me it’s not nice.

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