“Through fiction you can talk about your observations in life in a way that resonates with other people,” said Peter Wells in yesterday’s talk on publishing success to the members of the Surbiton Writers Group.
Although he has always been passionate about literature and writing, Peter’s publishing success started one morning in 2011 when he had an inspiration for a new story.
The inspiration itself was not unusual: since the early days when he took a degree in English Literature at Manchester University his imagination was full, but this story was different – it made him start a blog.
His blog Counting Ducks was born from a desire to write in a way that others can find and read.
Reading ‘Ghost Of A Love Affair’ and ‘A New Bard Strides Forth’ from Counting Ducks prompted some to sit back and shut their eyes to fully enjoy his prose and from both pieces Peter’s signature style was clear.
Whether bitter-sweet, he prefers the word ‘melancholy’, or laugh-out-loud funny, his writing style is wordsmithery and imagination mixed with universal truths.
Peter divides up his writing into 2 types; humorous and not-humorous, but his advice about writing both is clear: “always be real, tell the truth, read, read, read, write every day and be serious about your writing.”
“People want to read things that are real because it connects them to your writing,” he advised.
The work and objective of writing a blog was not to be underestimated to the world of publishing.
Garnering over 5000 followers in the years since that first post in 2011, it was this following coupled with the quality of his writing that attracted the attention of his publisher.
Now writing his 3rd book, he’s learned a lot along the way. He says he is “fanatically interested” in developing characters and for him it is one of the most important aspects of getting his writing right.
But writing is a business and without a following and a market, a term called ‘audience’, publishers may think twice about investing in your work no matter how original and good it is.
“How do you build your audience?” asked one SWG member.
“Get to know people who read your writing,” he said, “look at your website stats, your blog will tell you what is working.”
“Be polite, treat social media as you would if you were saying ‘hello’ in real life and like and comment on other writers blogs,” he added.
His final words come down to attitude and polish.
“For every finished piece of writing there are hours of editing and honing it until it’s complete,” he said. “Never ever ever publish something until it’s perfect,” he added.
He tells himself: “nobody is interested, you have to get them interested.”
Success has come quickly for Peter and is well deserved. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter and like Counting Ducks here.
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© Carrie Henderson 2015