Saturday, August 25, 2012
How not to write a book
A week today for the Book Launch. It still amazes me that we're at this point. I started writing about Celtic again in a small apartment in The Bronx in December 2010. To think that hundreds of people are coming to a launches for books I have written is very humbling. The thing is, the way I write books is very unconventional, not in terms of the style, but in terms of the actually sitting down and writing. I've never had a computer chair, only recently got a desk (which I used whilst sitting on the side of a bed and the springs are fucked because of it) and I've always, always, always got something going on in the background, almost always kids running riot.
I watch the film As Good As It Gets and dream of a huge apartment with my own desk, chair and huge computer set up with, the most important thing, peace. Kevin Smith, he of Clerks fame, will often go to Las Vegas and lock himself in a hotel room to finish a script. It's rumoured that Tarantino likes the company of several members of the opposite sex whilst writing and Hunter Thompson wrote Fear and Loathing on The Campaign Trail in 52 hours, with five grams of Cocaine and 12 tins of Pineapple chunks.
My books will be written in the backdrop of demanding kids, I Carly and detailed lists of what shopping is needed.
I've taken steps to try and address this, no I've not disposed of the family, such as I have bought a laptop table (£4.99 from Discount UK) which allows me write from the couch, in actual comfort.
See, one thing I've noticed is that writing is totally mood dependent. I was writing a piece for my forthcoming book about Easter Road in May 2009, the horrific 0-0 draw, and about an incident that still makes me mad now. When I was writing it, I was getting a lot of grief indoors and poured it all onto the page. I'm still not sure if that's a good idea or not but then my rationale is that I'd rather not write anything than write stuff that wasn't real.
A lot of folk think you make fortune from selling books. This is only true if you're someone like Irvine Welsh or Dan Brown. Leaving aside any donations folk make from sales, you don't make much. Take Albert, Dougie and Wim as an example. It costs £15.99. It's not a price I'm comfortable with, although it was only mentioned to me for the first time yesterday, these journos eh, so I made it a limited edition, one month only thing. Now, I'm sure folk look at that and think I must be making about £12 a copy from that. It's actually around £4 a book. Because it's a huge book with over 500 pages, that's where most of the cost goes.
I'm not complaining though, I love writing and whilst there are pitfalls of putting your head above the parapet, the joys far outweigh them.
Just get yourself a good chair.