This is my speech and presentation for the WomenLead Association to the students of Nazarbayev University.
What is the foremost dream of each librarian?To become an author.
What is the second dream? To become a published author.
After writing and publishing two books you probably think now that I have fulfilled all my dreams. If Only!When they asked Paul MacCartney, how he feels about his achievement, he answered “not good enough, there is always someone else better than you’’. I’m afraid to say, this is the truth about the human nature. Both my books look at the intercultural relationships The idea to write the first book didn’t come all of a sudden. It was hovering on my head for long time. There were unsolved issues In my inner world. As the connoisseurs say, you can write about anything you like but there must be a connection between you and your material. It is true that I had spent almost all my life in a semi situation. Born in Athens, Greece and educated and worked in Anglo-Saxon environment for long time,I felt that I was standing in two boats at the same time. And because of that, I thought that I knew very well the species of Anglosaxons. When I moved to England for good with my British spouse, I was quite confident about my familiarity with this lot. What a chimaera! Very soon, I worked out that the foreigners when they come to your country they try to adapt and mimic you somehow. You don’t know really what is happening about until you enter their own house. Not too long, I was quite sure that I had just entered into a new brave world called England. I don’t want to describe it as a shock into my system, but let’s say this experience made me to sit down and start writing the book that I had inside me. The well known quote “everyone has a book in himself/herself”. This book I had inside me took me two days to write it!
The whole endeavor was 2,000 words. Not near to 60,000 words that a famous author and friend of mine had mentioned to me about writing and publishing novel. 60,000 words novel can be achieved only by copying and pasting my first 2,000 words by 30 times. This was my fist desperate thought. Easy peasy things. Slowly, I started to expand those 2,000 words. I created characters with flesh and bones and I started adding more details into this story. Soon, I realized that I have helper in this endeavor. My subconscious was doing the whole job most of the time. Another great helper was a notebook next to my bed. All the ideas were coming before going to bed and I had to write them down at that moment, because they were disappearing like a magic from the hardware of my brain. After one year of discipline writing around 1000 words per day everyday and uncountable editing, I decided to put a full stop and say : I had finished my story. The book was ready. I had managed to write 60,000 words, to create real characters interacting with each other and the most important the whole story had a flow, a rhythm. Still, I was half away through the whole endeavor. I needed an accreditation. I needed my work to be accepted by the others. I needed to publish it. At that point I was opening a new chapter of the project. Publishing needs a whole different skills from that of writing. Be able to promote and market the product. You need to change your character from being introverted to extroverted. First thing first, I created a blog about the book and start attracting audience. The same time I found a literary agent. I had quite a few rejections as it always happens in life, you need one acceptance, and then the door opens for you. I found a publisher and soon my books was on the shelves of the bookstores. Not too long, approximately after 4 months, the book was on the top 10 best seller list in Greece And 6 years now it appears on the top ten during Christmas and summer. The second book of the series “Penelope Online” had bee published and I’m on the third at the moment. Writing slowly funny stories about Middle East. I don’t know what is the recipe for a best seller and nobody really knows, but what I know in my situation, was that I felt every word that I had written. I think the secret of how I succeeded starting and carrying on with the whole project of writing and publishing is laying on Steve Jobs advice to the students at the commencement at Stanford University 2005.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important,have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
My Prezi presentation: ” A mission to the planet of Writers” http://prezi.com/ol31g4fvggbu/a-mission-to-the-planet-of-writers/ Writing Tips : http://prezi.com/bitfd2ieuzcj/writing-tips/