Thank you for visiting 100 First Drafts.
This is my baby. My first blog that I started in July 2012.
I have since gone on and started Personal Fitness Base Camp, Buffy and God - The Blog, published articles through my HubPages Profile, and created The Five Day Writer - a series of books and services to help writers go from nothing to published again and again.
To keep track of everything, I have The Buffy Group, the head quarters for finding all my websites and projects.
But it all started here.
So who am I?
I'm an Australian writer, raised in and around Melbourne. I spent almost a decade working my way up the ranks of university degrees first in Classics and Archaeology and then theology, specialising in Old Testament studies. I balanced my study with teaching and tutoring and loved it. I got to spend my time reading and writing, then helping others. However, at the peak of it all, when I was working on my Ph.D. thesis and was studying at Oxford in the UK, I first realised how much more fun it was just to make it all up, and then came face to face with the killer politics which control the big institutions.
While trying to study for my thesis, I ended up starting my first YA novel. It was theology as it should have been: practical, exciting, open to dialogue. It allowed me to write, to teach and to research, but without the politics. I finished the first draft in May 2012. I then started a blog, and soon found an amazingly supportive community of writers and Christians who were changing the world one story at a time. I found people who actually got joy out of reading my writing, which was a much better feeling than just getting a good mark. And I found peace knowing that all my experiences, all my struggles, had not been wasted or thrown away, but had prepared me perfectly to writ and write fast. I had spent a decade writing to a deadline, then having lecturers ripping it apart to improve it. Now I used that to try to get a first draft out in as little as two weeks.
Then came the different publishing options. When you are writing very quickly, the thought of taking another 3-5 years before your first book comes out is rather agonising. When publishing houses used to offer comprehensive editing and marketing, so writers were left free to write, there were more advantages. But now most publishers expect first time authors to have paid for their own editing before submission and then do the bulk of the marketing after. Therefore, self-publishing held a lot of appeal, not only could I publish at speed, but I also would gain valuable experience in marketing my own books.
However, I don't want to be egotistical at this stage and say that I can do it better than a publishing house. The ideal is to be a hybrid writer getting some books out fast, and getting some out far. At the moment a traditional publisher will have a further distribution reach than I do, but take so much longer and pay me a lot less. So that first ever novel is currently with a publisher for consideration, while I'm building up a name for myself by self-publishing other books.
Self-publishing is a steep learning curve; cover design, formatting, layout, conversion, uploading and promotion. But I love it. I love the challenge of all the different computer programs (I'm pretty pleased with what I've picked up in just a few months of using Photoshop), and testing out different theories on what type of promotion works best. But it was still a bit of a surprise when someone else came up and asked if I would do the same for them. But why not?
So I started offering self-publishing services. I have a great group of editors, some graphic and web designers, and knowledge of how to get electronic and print on demand books out into the world. It cuts into my writing, but is fun and interesting so I don't mind. But I prefer to teach other people so that they can eventually do it for themselves as well. Why give a man a fish?
Life keeps changing, but writing is my priority in it all.