Friday, 2 October 2015

My Writing Life... Elizabeth Ducie

Today I'm delighted to welcome a new face to the blog. Please show your appreciation for the thoroughly fabulous Elizabeth Ducie who is here to tell us all about her writing life!

My Writing Life

I gave up my day job in 2012 in order to concentrate on writing. It wasn’t that I couldn’t find the time to write while I had a ‘proper job’, so much as my interest in technical consultancy and the production of detailed audit reports was being eclipsed by my desire to make things up! So I am in the lucky position of being a full-time writer.

I live in a rural setting, on the edge of a small town. I write in the garden room, across the lawn from my front door. My daily commute is easy - except when it is raining; but the beauty of a laptop is you can work anywhere, so I just settle down in the house instead.

And does all this mean I produce thousands of words of elegant prose each month? Of course it doesn’t! By the time I’ve factored in the writing group/networking meetings (of which there are six this month alone), plus the time I spend marketing my books, plus the exercise classes I go to in an effort to maintain a healthy body despite hours hunched over a keyboard, plus the non-writerly activities I get involved with in town, there’s not a huge amount of time left for the actual writing!

My solution is to keep reminding myself this is my job. A wonderful job, full of limitless possibilities for taking my imagination in whatever direction it wants to go - but a job nevertheless. And like any job, there are rules:

I write every day. On a bad day, or a very busy day, or a weekend day, it might only be 5 minutes free writing when I first get up. But it’s new words of some kind.

On proper writing days, I plan in advance how much time I will spend - and I book it into my diary, make an appointment with myself. The ideal is 4 hours, but if that’s unrealistic, I set the goal lower.

But the third rule is that I don’t beat myself up about it if I miss my target. This is the job I’ve chosen to do, and while I’m never going to make my fortune this way, I am my own boss and have total control. But what’s the point of that if I don’t enjoy it?

I write a mixture of fiction, both novels and short stories, and non-fiction. The former is where my main interest lies, and where I have the most fun. But I have run my own business for the past 20+ years and spend some time writing about business skills for authors.

I have been self-publishing since 2011 and have nine books already ‘out there’ in a combination of ebooks and paperbacks. My debut novel, Gorgito’s Ice Rink, was Runner Up in Writing Magazine’s 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards. I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing and marketing in the past four years and intend to carry on as an indie author, as this fascinating industry continues to evolve.

I am currently writing the first of a trilogy of thrillers based in the pharmaceutical industry with three strong female protagonists; think Patterson’s Murder Club series, but set in different locations around the world. The first is due to be published some time in 2016 and I hope to have the whole series out within 3-4 years.

Apart from that, I continue to write short stories for competitions and am trying to work out how to persuade someone to turn Gorgito’s Ice Rink into a film, although I haven’t worked out how to do that yet.

Author Bio...

Elizabeth Ducie had been working in the international pharmaceutical industry for more than thirty years when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living. She lives in Devon with her husband and spends far too much time doing things other than writing. But she’s having a blast!





Gorgito’s Ice Rink:

The Business of Writing:

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