Musings: 7 Years Ago Today. And a Free Book Too

Seven years ago, my first book was published. (Happy birthday, book!)

This post was going to be one about what’s changed, for me about writing, in those seven years but now I come to think about it the answer is: mot much. It’s still fun and it’s still hard. Very hard. If anything writing now, with three books behind me and a bunch of short stories out there, is harder than it was before. There’s more pressure for one and, as (luckily!) people have mostly liked the things I’ve done there are things to live up to.

One thing I have noticed over the past couple of years – and I think this is because I mostly write magic realism, is that it’s quite easy to write something that can easily be read as a parody of a Nik Perring story, and that’s a very dangerous thing. Stories need to feel fresh. They need to feel new. They need to read as though they’re saying something that either hasn’t been said before, or haven’t been said that way before. And I think that the more you write the more difficult being fresh becomes. There’s no point in repeating yourself.

And I think, as well, that my own standards are higher, which is no bad thing, although it does make my output less prolific.

Not that I’m unhappy with my output. I’ve been writing a lot (I don’t really tend to stop for too often) and I’ve got a whole bunch of stories I’m really pleased with which, as I mentioned in a post a little while ago, I’m starting to send out to places again (after becoming a little lazy with submissions).

So there you have it. With writing, in my experience, nothing really changes, other than the stories.


And as it’s a book’s birthday how’s about a little competition. Leave a comment (here or on facebook) and I’ll drop you into a hat. The winner receives a signed copy of one of my books. (I’ll make the draw at the end of the week.)

23 Comments on “Musings: 7 Years Ago Today. And a Free Book Too

  1.  by  Sherri

    I know what you mean about repeating oneself. I have on several occasions started a story and thought ‘I’ve already written this’. That’s when I know I need a break and a dose of non-writing real life to refresh and re-inspire me.

    Congratulations on your bookiversary – and many happy returns (or should that be reprints?)

  2.  by  Dolly Garland

    Congratulations! It’s good to keep your standards high, and you know that as long as you keep writing you are – hopefully – always getting better than your past self.

  3.  by  Lesley Jackson

    I think that’s an important thing to remember, about being fresh. Writing prose, prose poems and poetry keeps my writing fairly diverse but hadn’t thought about it like that before – the idea of avoiding parodies of your stuff.

    •  by  nikperring

      Lesley, you’re absolutely right – writing lots will definitely be of benefit (and I’d say that regardless of writing in different styles and lengths). The parody thing’s an interesting one and something I’ve only noticed relatively recently probably because, after writing for (err) ten or so years (I think) I’ve said an awful lot of what I wanted to say already which means I have to think differently about what I’m saying now. Either that or I’m over-analysing myself!

  4.  by  Stella

    Congratulations on 7 years. Keep on teaching, writing and submitting. I really enjoyed your online flash fiction course.

  5.  by  racheljfenton

    Seven year itch, Nik – gotta get another book out! It’s good that the writing’s getting harder – that shows growth, that you’re pushing yourself as a writer. All good.

  6.  by  tishylou

    Congrats on 7 years Nik! I really like what you said about stories needing to feel fresh. The film industry, I feel, has become very stale recently so it’s nice to hope that books will keep feeling fresh and new.
    Here’s to many more years of successful writing for you! x

    •  by  nikperring

      Thanks Tishylou. To be honest, I don’t watch as many films as I probably should so can’t really comment on that, BUT there have been some wonderful independent ones I’ve watched recently. Ruby Sparks, for instance, I watched again last night and loved it all over again!

  7.  by  Philippa

    Congratulations on your book-aversary Nik! If it were getting easier, it would mean you weren’t pushing yourself, think of it that way 🙂 keep enjoying the journey as well as the destination x

  8.  by  bryonypearce

    7 years? It seems like only yesterday your first book came out. Maisie is definitely old enough to enjoy it now (she wasn’t then!). I’d love to have her name dropped into the hat.

  9.  by  Tina K Burton

    Hi Nik, doesn’t the time fly – I’ve been a member of WW for over eight years now, can hardly believe it!
    Yes I think our standards do get higher – but doesn’t that coincide with the fact that we get better? As with everything, the more you practise, the better you get. And I think writers have their own writing style – which I like.
    Good luck with those submissions and I’d love to be dropped into the hat 🙂

  10.  by  nikperring

    And the winner is…

    TISHYLOU! Congrats to you. Let me know your address and which one you’d like and I’ll pop it in the post when I’m next at the post office.

    Thanks to all for entering and thanks, too, for all the good wishes and support over the years; it all means a lot.

  11.  by  nikperring

    PS Probs best to let me know your address on FB – or email me via the Editing And Short Story page on this very site.

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