Featured Writer on Wellness: Simon Williams

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on March 28, 2014 • views: 472

Collage[My biggest challenge is] probably avoiding a repetitive strain injury, although I try to minimize that as much as I can through exercises; not sitting still for too long.

Although when I’m completely wrapped up in a project, that can be difficult.

I go to the gym as often as I can, which in my case usually means three times a week, which I still feel isn’t enough, but it gets me out of the house and walking /running /lifting weights/etc. Has to be more healthy than sitting at my desk all the time.

Fresh Air is Always a Good Idea for a Writer

Fresh air is always a good idea as well. It takes me 20 minutes to walk briskly to the gym and then 20 minutes back, and even on days when I don’t go I try to go for a quick run.

Even if it’s just 20 minutes it’s better than nothing, and the activity sharpens the mind a little and makes me feel a little bit more alert.

In summary, stale air and sedate positions do not really help creativity!

Why Do People Ask Me Why I Write?

Having people ask me why I [write] at all has been a bit frustrating, but I’ve learned to listen to the inner voice rather than outer voices. I usually have several projects on the go so if I don’t feel inspired with one,  I work on another and come back to the other one later.

Funny, I found it more depressing and stressful when I had a “corporate” job (or a career as some people call it—I never really thought of it as such), partly because of the whole culture, but also because I just didn’t have time to devote to writing.

Because it’s always been the only thing I can actually do to any appreciable level of skill, I’ve never really lacked the motivation to keep going. The only thing I’ve lacked is time.

Money is neither here nor there. Luckily, I don’t need to invest anything much in order to market myself, which is just as well! And I never realistically get the whole “calling” of my work confused with making any serious money from it.

I don’t find it too difficult to keep going with it. Generally in life when things appear to be a struggle, I’ve found a way to keep going just by asking myself, “What else are you going to do?” As I mentioned above, if that’s pretty much all you can do, then the choice is a straightforward one.

Quitting Isn’t an Option

I’ve always had a deep desire to succeed, and although my success so far has been fairly modest (although those people who pick up my work generally seem to really like it so I must be doing something right), I do have that continuous calling, so “quitting” isn’t an option.

I wouldn’t want to be thought of as a quitter, and as the years have gone on, I think my willpower has become a little stronger.

Advice for a Young Writer: Don’t Even Think About Money

The hardest part is really that you have to abandon notions of it being a “career” with a chance to make a load of money.

Don’t even think about money—get a job to do that.

Think carefully and quietly to yourself: Is this something I would do even I made no money from it, even if only a few people read my work? Is it something I find myself just wanting to do anyway? Do I have stories wandering through my head that continually begging to be written?

The other difficulty is the almost inevitable rejection (often terse, unhelpful rejection) from “traditional” publishers and agents, who often won’t even consider looking at something unless it’s going to line their pockets—which is fair enough (they’re trying to run a business after all, not a charity).

Self-publishing can be quite rewarding. You just need the persistence and strength to keep plugging away and divide your time between marketing and writing. Social media can eat your life up if you let it—so don’t!

* * *

Simon Williams is a UK-based writer of dark fantasy and speculative fiction who has been writing novels and short stories since the 1990s. He has written three books in the Aona series so far, and the fourth is out this spring. He is also bringing out a children’s supernatural novel Summer’s Dark Waters shortly.

For more information on Simon and his work, please see his website, or connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


oblivions-forge-frontOblivion’s Forge: For thousands of years they have sought the world from which they were cast out.

Now, at last, Aona has been found.

The younger races of this world will all be swept up in a struggle for survival, as their ancient, malevolent masters, guardians of all Aona’s secrets, rise to do battle with their foes, remorseless destroyers of world after world throughout the known Existence.

Available at Amazon.

secret-roads-frontSecret Roads: A Gate has opened: the marandaal have reached out into Aona, and the great powers of the world awaken.

Caught between the destroying light of the marandaal and the malign influence of the choragh, ancient masters of Aona, are the men and women who will shape the destiny of this world: wielders of the Old Powers, and their protectors.

Secret Roads continues the chronicle of malevolent forces and violent upheaval that began with Oblivion’s Forge.

Available at Amazon.

endless-shore-frontThe Endless Shore: The marandaal spread throughout Aphenhast, and in the bitterly divided land of Harn a small group of men and women seek to bring the unity without which the entire world will perish. Nia, former spy and assassin for the Watchers, flees north, carrying with her a terrible secret about the Watchers themselves.

In Mirkwall, Ilumor presides over the kin and prepares to fight the marandaal. But some other power has been stirred within the Mirk; something not even his masters the choragh know about.

And in Luudhoq, Yui and her companions must avoid capture by the immortal Seven at all costs.

Available at Amazon.

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