Good question. I’m not really sure…
Although I’ve always been an avid reader, I have never had a burning ambition to be a writer. I do write quite a lot in my regular work, but it is, in the main, highly technical stuff. Every statement backed up by a citation and a reference. No humour and not much style. Pretty boring, really. It’s not the kind of writing I think anyone enjoys, but it has to be done so I do it. I’m pretty good at it, too.
I’ve often heard or read about authors who claim they love writing. I respect and admire that, but it is not the case for me, most of the time. That said, the way I ended up writing Respite made it much more interesting and fun than it would have been otherwise. But most of the time, for me at least, writing is drudgery.
A few years before I started writing Respite, I started a blog. It had a miniscule audience, consisting mainly of my Facebook friends. But it was during this period that I discovered the inspirational power of cannabis. That, more than anything else, inspired me to write the book. It just seemed to me that now I had something to say. That I could write a novel that would be original and new and not like anything else out there. And it seemed to me that if I could do it, I should do it.
So I set a goal for myself to write a novel. Just one. I had and still have no ambition to pursue a career as an author. I just wanted to complete one book.
So I did. It wasn’t easy. It took about three years, albeit certainly not working on it anywhere close to full time. After all, I still had to make a living doing my real job. But I found that if you keep plugging away, writing just a little bit every day, it slowly comes together. And then, suddenly one day, it is finished, and you wonder, what now?
I am under no illusions that this book will be a best-seller and make me famous. It is likely that it will be read by very few. After all, not even my Facebook friends will know that I have written it, so even my former audience is out of reach. But I hope that some will. In the end it is just something I thought I could do, a goal fulfilled. I am satisfied with that. If a few people read and even enjoy it, that will just be icing on the cake for me.