Multi-millionaire

Many books, many editions, all by me!

On August 31, I will launch my 22nd book, Lighthouse Bay, under the name Kimberley Freeman. I have done the maths, and calculated that the release of this book will see me pass two million words of fiction in print. From the age of 4 (if not before), I knew I wanted to be a writer, though I never imagined I’d have two million words in print one day, especially as I’m not yet (I hope) halfway through life. That means there’s every chance that I might make it to five million before I pop my clogs.

Still. Something about the passing of this milestone has given me a new feeling of knowing everything. Okay, technically I can’t know everything. But I feel like I do anyway. Like, if you asked me any question at all about writing fiction, I would answer you immediately, thoroughly, informatively, and be 100% confident I was right. After all, I am the two-million-word girl.

So here is my best advice for fiction writing distilled. (There are swears. I grew up swearing a lot in the outer suburbs and I used to be embarrassed about that, but now I’m rocking my outer-suburbs upbringing because I’m a fucking expert now and nobody can say welfare class girls can’t do it.)

Write, you muthafucka! Write the fucking fiction! Don’t write blogs and marketing plans and twitter yourself in front of everyone in hopes of building a platform. Write the fucking fiction FIRST. The rest is just white noise until you have a good finished product. And it must be good. We live in an instant gratification society. You can post some nonsense while sitting on the toilet on Facebook and seventeen people can “like” it before you’ve wiped your arse. That’s not going to cut it in the world of writing fiction. You need to shape, craft, edit, prune, elaborate, make the writing BEAUTIFUL. Then, and only then, can you hold your head high in a public forum and say, “I am a writer. I write beautifully. You will know my name.”

Extreme love or go home. Don’t write to impress your father/your teacher/the literati/the fickle marketplace. Write something that comes from deep, deep down. Haul it wriggling its slimy tentacles into the light, and pin it on the page with passion and precision and care and EXTREME LOVE. It’s really hard to write a book. Why the fuck would you write one you didn’t love EXTREMELY? It’d be more fun to pull your own eyeballs out on corn skewers. And you know what the world doesn’t need more of: careless art tossed off cynically. Don’t you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool, by making the world a little colder? Or so the Beatles said.

Never compare yourself to other people. Never. It is futile, exhausting, and poisons you to the point where you don’t know what you extreme-love anymore. So somebody in your writers’ group got published ahead of you? SO FUCKING WHAT? Are you dead? Then quit complaining. If you think that somebody else’s success makes you small, then you are telling yourself your stories don’t matter. They do. Write your stories, from your heart; and if you have followed steps one and two, they will be precious and meaningful and belong in the world, even if the only audience they ever meet is a small one.

And all this is true, I know, because I am a fucking expert and I am always right.

25 responses to “Multi-millionaire

  1. I fkn love this! Your advice was perfect timing (it came the same time as a rejection email) and was a great kick up the ass of my self indulgent sads. As a girl raised in the murkey North Queensland back water I swear like a trooper and I salute you!

  2. And I so needed to hear that today as well. I am going to print this out and stick it on my wall of inspirational/motivational things. Thankyou, Dr Kim Wilkins aka KimberleyFreeman. You rock my world. You really do.

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    • By which I mean, great post, and fantastic achievement. “Extreme love or go home” makes such sense. While I’ve enjoyed nothing like your level of success, I’ll stop writing when I stop breathing. You’re an inspiration with the way you keep trying different things, and it’s great to see your success ramping up again and again. Congratulations on the milestone.

  4. Kim, you know I’m not a girl for swears (I believe you called me Pollyanna at one stage :P) but I loved this post. So full of truth and wisdom. Huge congrats on your latest novel. And for what it’s worth, after doing Year of the Edit and Year of the Novel, I think you do indeed have all the answers :)

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  6. Fabulous post, Kim. And yes, there is nothing wrong with fucking swearing – it’s good for the soul :) I’ve been taking your advice the past couple of weeks. I still blog but I am fucking writing and I’m writing deep, deep down about something that makes me so fucking excited I can’t wait to get up in the morning and WRITE. When I miss a day – I get very agro. I’m about to blog about my progress LOL – but that’s cool, I can blog if I fucking want to but I will write too and I will write and write and write so one day I can write a blog as fucking as awesome as this because I too will be a multi-millionaire!

    Huge congrats – you rock!

  7. ‘And all this is true, I know, because I am a fucking expert and I am always right.’

    You are also fucking awesome. You know that, right? Just remember it’s two million AND COUNTING.

    I thought of you fondly and often at the Tea Party concert I saw on Tuesday night. Until someone even more awesome than you (if that’s possible) invents time travel and sends me back to 1972, it’s as close as I’ll get to Zeppelin, albeit with a Jim Morrison baritone.

  8. Darling Kim, I agree with every single word (even the swear words & you know I’m a mealy-mouthed middle class product of suburbia). You go girl – I’m so proud of you and I love every one of those 2 million-odd words you’ve written. Can’t wait for the new book! I’ll be knocking back a bottle of Veuve on your behalf xxx

  9. Thanks for this aweseome post, Kim. Boy, did I need this too. I was on the brink yesterday of chucking in a story that I’ve been planning for months but now I’m just gunna write the ‘you know what’.

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