Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Just do it

I was a bossy child. And I can be quite bossy now. My favourite job in journalism is news-editing, a job that legitimately allows you to boss around loads of people, including men and women far more talented and experienced than yourself. Oh, the joy of it. Four hundred words now, you lazy old hack, and if they are good enough I might put them in the paper.
According to my husband I am  'the world's softest parent', but my children know that if I say something loud and angrily, six or seven times, then I must be obeyed or something horrible will happen  - cricket practice will be cancelled say, or Heat magazine confiscated.
Mostly I try and curb my bossy side when writing this blog. I believe in the subtle soft sell, rather than yelling 'Buy my books! Review them on Amazon! Tell all your friends!' at my lovely readers. But it's half term, I have a book to write, children at home, a load of washing and ironing to do before heading for the Hay Festival (I'm speaking on Saturday along with Peter Cocks, tickets anyone going to be there? Not sure if I'm more nervous about a full auditorium or an empty one).
So, the mask has slipped. Today I'm being bossy and horrible and telling you what to do. Disobey me won't be watching Britain's Got Talent. I'll tell the guy who manages the cricket team that you are not allowed to try out as wicket keeper.More importantly, you may never achieve your dreams.
Right, here are your instructions. If you're someone who thinks that maybe, someday, sooner or later you want to write a book and get it  published, then buy Write to be Published by Nicola Morgan. Do it now. Click on this link  and place your order.
Done it? Why not? Do it now.  If you're looking for a present for someone who's an aspiring author, then buy it for them. And even if you've got no interest in being published (0.01% of the populations, as far as I can work out) then you may wish to buy it anyway, because it's an excellent read and you'll be able to throw it at anyone who tells you they're about to self-publish and become the next J K Rowling.
I can hear you muttering rebelliously (and that's quite enough of that cheeky behaviour). Why? Why should I buy this book just because you say so?  It's written by one of your mates, isn't it?
Well now. Write to be Published is written with wit, wisdom and immense authority. Nicola was herself an aspiring writer for  21 years, and since her first book came out in 1996 she has had 90 books published. She was Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland. She has a writing consultancy, a well-read blog with a fanatical following, she has spoken at many workshops and festivals, she knows editors and agents and writers. She is the expert's expert. She knows her stuff.
But why do I have to buy her book, you whine. Why can't I get it all for free on her blog? I mean...I hardly pay for anything any more...
The blog is great. Follow it now. But the book is a different experience. You've got everything in one place, ordered, easy to find, up-dated and clear. Plus, actually buying the book, investing just over £7 (or just over £10 to get a signed copy from Nicola herself)  is a way of thanking Nicola for her generosity in sharing all this knowledge with you. There's a lot of  misleading old rubbish out there on the internet, and Nicola's pure gold.  She didn't have to give out good advice, she could have stamped on your dreams by telling you to write to agents in rhyme or send them toffees. She wants you to succeed. It's only fair enough to reciprocate.And you'd be daft to miss out.
Nicola cultivates a persona on her blog of beng a crabbit old bat -  a nasty, bossy, haranguing sort of person, who will shout at silly people who make mistakes until they see where they are going wrong. A Miss Jean Brodie kind of blog (Nicola is one of those sensible English people who has chosen to live in Scotland). In real life she's not bossy and horrible at all. She's lovely. Unlike me. What are you waiting for? It's for your own good.


  1. Now, now! You are both lovely. Not exactly twins, but, lovely. And not too bad at writing, all things considered.

  2. What a great post. You made me giggle as I really dont think you are bossy at all :D
    I am wondering if this book would be useful for the writers club we have at school?

  3. The instant that I finished writing this blog, a child appeared at my side demanding a lift...I was dressed and out the door in two minutes, while husband shrugged his shoulders, rollwed his eyes and said 'definitely the world's softest parent!'
    @Emma Yes I think so, loads of writing hints as well as useful information about the world of publishing.

  4. Most amusing post, had me giggling. I can also report that I am 'the good kid of the class' and my signed copy arrived last week. Good luck at the festival, I'm sure you'll be great. X

  5. And it comes with a very high rating from my father who, at 88, still likes to behave like the teacher of English he once was. He says he wishes it had been around when he was teaching.

  6. A few facts about me: 1. I have been an aspiring writer for about 30 years, if not more. 2. I have a blog so very little time left to write books. 3. I have a shelf full of books about how write a book and get published (mostly useful if you still live in 1990). 4. I have to stop buying the manuals, courses, etc.. and just write a book. 5. I am going to follow Nicola's blog now - and maybe buy the book when I have a book to publish. That's all, thank you Bossy Bottom.

  7. I really need to get "When I Was Joe." I still haven't read it.

  8. OMG Brightenedboy - jump into a taxi and catch everyone up!