Nicole J. Simms

Writers on Writing: Nicole J. Simms

Post date: 12th January 2016
Writers on writing

Being a writer is something that still surprises me. It’s not because I never thought about writing before, it’s because I never thought I would be able to do it, to actually write pieces and get them published. I see my name in a booklet, anthology, or magazine, and I can’t believe that the words that follow are in fact mine. It’s an amazing feeling, so amazing that at times I feel warm and fluffy inside when I just think about writing.

This writing journey is the best decision I have ever made, and to show you why I will be sharing a Q&A post that was originally on the Alfie Dog website that looks into my thoughts on writing and my writing process.

Q. Why are you a writer?

I used to enjoy writing plays, and poems when I was younger; however, with studying and aiming for a career as a Web Designer, I stopped writing. Once University finished and while looking for a job, I decided to do a creative writing exercise, which I found on the Open University OpenLearn section, and since then I haven’t stopped writing.

Writing is part of who I am now, so I don’t see how I could ever give it up. After years of saying writing isn’t practical, I have finally given myself permission to follow my dreams.

Q. What was your first writing success?

My first writing success was a short story called ‘Caught up in Murder’ being published in an anthology titled The Dark Bard. I had submitted this story for another anthology, but it wasn’t successful, so I had given up hope on it, but then I was emailed and asked if the story could be used for another anthology.

Q. Where do you write?

I write in my bedroom on my electronic typewriter. I like to open the window a little and listen to the birds tweeting, which I find soothing.

Q. How do you fit your writing round the rest of your life?

I only work part-time, so the rest of my time is dedicated to my writing. While my writing is important, I don’t punish myself if I have to put it to the side for something else. I aim to write every day, but that can be difficult to fit in, so I write as often as I can.

I’m currently editing my novel and working on my writing group’s WW2 anthology, so I don’t have much time for the other story ideas, which are buzzing around my head.

Q. Are you a planner or do you dive straight in?

I’m a bit of both. I need to plan a story before I can write it, so I can avoid the dreaded writer’s block, but once I have the basic idea, I do like to start writing. Too much planning can sometimes cause you to lose interest in the story. I find that not knowing everything that is going to happen can make the writing process, even more, exciting. I’ve surprised myself with how my stories have developed.

Q. What is the biggest compliment your writing has received?

I entered my story titled ‘Hunting for the Bogeyman’ into the Festival of Drabbles 2015 competition. I didn’t win, but a person commented on my Facebook page and told me that they thought my story was excellent and that they had voted for it. Just having one person like your work is enough to boost any writers’ confidence. I felt like a winner that day.

Q. What is your biggest writing dream?

To see someone pick up my novel from a bookstore, take it to the till and pay for it, and follow it with a great review. I want readers to feel the same way I do when I read the novels of my favourite authors.

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