I thought it might be fun to think back over the past six or seven years of my writing career and think about the mistakes I made, especially at the beginning. No one is perfect.
Everyone screws up in one way or another.
I’m no different.
When it comes to writing itself, my biggest mistake, in the beginning, was trying to be a non-autistic author. And by that I mean, I read lots of advice in blogs, books, and online. All of it was geared towards neurotypicals (as is most self-help.)
Much of that advice is great–unless you’re autistic or neurodivergent.
And the mistake I made was trying to make myself fit into that mold. A mold I was never going to be able to fit into. Setting goals and tasks for myself that I was never going to be able to complete.
It led to burn out. Disappointment. And put me into a bad place mentally for a while.
I had to fight my way back to enjoying writing.
The biggest lesson I learned was finding what works for me.
Finding it and accepting that what works for a non-autistic author will likely not work for me. And that’s okay. It’s okay to need a little extra help from my publisher. It’s okay to not be able to do ‘all the must do things to be a successful author.’
Writing in a pandemic. Being creative during ‘interesting and traumatic’ times is difficult at best. Difficult feels like such an understatement for what writing in the past two years has been like.
Burn out. (See above) A combination of the pandemic and personal life stuff hit me really hard right about the time I began writing Crown Court Killer. It made the entire process a lot harder than usual.
A complex murder plot involving a lot more moving parts than I usually deal with.
Uncooperative characters who further complicated a complex plot. My characters often run amuck (amuck is such a good word.) But they definitely had mind of their own in Crown Court Killer.
Another story calling my name. I won’t lie; I spent a lot of the time thinking about Purloined Poinsettia, Motts’s next adventure. It’s hard to work on one mystery when another is loudly screaming at your muse.
We meet Wayne Dankworth in book one of the London Podcast series. He’s the solicitor friend of Osian and Dannel who happens to have a crush on Dannel’s younger brother. He pops up in book two as well. But in book three, he is front and centre.
So here are a few things about him.
He’s a solicitor.
A snappy dresser.
Completely and totally in love with Roland.
Sings karaoke very badly.
Lives to argue.
Loves throwing parties.
Forever giving his friends rides because none of them own a vehicle.