Thursday, 16 August 2012

Will the real Nicola Morgan please stand up?

Dear readers and new visitors,
Since I'm aware that many people are being sent over to this blog to see what I do - thanks to the upcoming Edinburgh World Writers' Conference - I may as well tell you something.


I'm not planning to be doing this aspect of my work for ever, or even much longer. I'm sorry.

It's been fun but I think I've had enough of giving advice to writers. I think I've said it all. Besides, it's all in my writers' books now, so it's not as though everyone can't access the advice. I want to get back to writing. I want to stop focusing on publishing, and delivery systems, and ebooks. I want to write. I want to write for children - younger children, not teenagers.

Some things have happened recently that have made me think clearly and carefully about who I am and what I want to be. And what I don't want to be. I spoke a bit about that here.

I'm a writer. And I'm a children's writer and very proud of it. I believe passionately in children's books, children's story-telling, creating and nurturing readers. I'm sick of the way some adult writers look down on children's writing. "When are you going to write an adult book?" I'm sick of the way some adults in government are indulging in the Dissolution of Libraries and the undermining of the crucial importance of children's librarians. I'm sick of the shoutiness in the silly war between self-publishing and publishing. I'm sick of hearing so much about quantity and sales and so little about quality and a true passion for writing. It's become far too much about process and not about heart.

I just want to write. And when all my events of August and September are over, that's what I'm going to do. Write, and then spend time talking to children in schools and festivals and libraries and wherever they come to read.

I can't decide if I'll stop the blog altogether - and if I do, I promise I'll leave it here! - but I probably will. Blog-readers, you've been unfailingly wonderful. Thank you very, very much. I've enjoyed our banter and your friendship and I'll never stop being grateful for the opportunities I've gained from it. I've enjoyed meeting some of you and becoming genuine friends. But I think I've created a monster, and lest people coming here for the first time think that this blog is all of me, I want to say: this is not all of me.

There is much more to come and I hope it will come in the form of children's books: exciting, exploring, imaginative, emotional and physical, between lovely covers, on thick, creamy paper.

There, a spontaneous announcement, based on some conversations over the last few days.

If you want to find out more about my other writing, then my website is here. What it doesn't say is that I've recently finished writing a novel for 8-10s, and have some ideas for connecting novels, if a publisher would like them. And I have my fingers so tightly crossed that they are losing their blood supply.

No more crabbit. Those of you who've met me know that I never really was crabbit. The real me is a children's writer, and I'd forgotten that.




40 comments:

Joanna said...

Well I love the way you have been so generous and informative and witty and helpful on this blog and I thank you so much for that. I don't blame you for wanting a change from giving advice. But for what it's worth I for one would love it if you just blogged about the joy of writing and the importance of children and literature and all those things that obviously make your heart sing - what you've written today is really inspiring and makes me so happy.

JeffO said...

You've been a tremendous resource through this blog (and your books, of course) and I'm sorry to see it go, but you have to do what's right for you, and you have to make yourself happy, first and foremost. Best of luck with the future and thanks for everything!

Nicola Morgan said...

Thank you, both. Mind you, I may find it impossible to stay away...

Effie said...

Nicola. Thank you. I have followed and learned and you have been instrumental in helping me - you are an inspiration to people like me. You have shared your lows and highs and shown your persistence which only inspires people like me. I applaud everything you have done for new/novice/wannabe writers. I've been to your workshops and events and I've enjoyed your company. You have helped me immensely.
It's right that you now go and do and be what you are - a wonderful writer with so much more to give.
From a staunch supporter with hearty admiration, it's not goodbye, but thank you.

Derek said...

All the very best, Nicola.

You've been consistent in your no-nonsense approach to advice and the world of writing, and you're ending the blog in the same vein. May your pen never run dry.

Elizabeth Dunn said...

Nooooo. Feels like I'm losing a security blanket. But do enjoy the new writing time.

Nicola Morgan said...

Effie, Derek and Elizabeth - thank you, too. Elizabeth - you don't need a security blanket!

Nicola Morgan said...

I've just had an email from one of my best writer friends, telling me I'm doing the right thing. So that's good!

Lisa Shambrook said...

A simple thank you for everything you've given us via this Blog...a wealth of advice and common sense, greatly appreciated!

Squidge said...

Am applauding your decision. Not because I don't value 'Crabbit', 'cos I do, very much.
But because you will be concentrating on writing stories for children that come from the heart - good stories that children will want to read.
And that inspires me to keep writing for the same reason - thank you.

Marsha said...

Nicola, I remember when I first stumbled across you, about a month after you'd started the blog. I remember the relief that someone out there -- someone who knew what they were talking about -- was taking the time to give forthright advice.

I'm proud to be one of your blog babies and I can't thank you enough for all the time you've feely put into helping other writers.

I know we'll all miss the Crabbit (but really non-Crabbit) One here, but I'm sure we'll see you lots of other places!

Marsha said...

Oops - FREELY! :) Sorry!

Nicola Morgan said...

MArsha - "feely" - oo-er, what are you suggesting?!

Lisa - thank you.

And Squidge - thank you and looking forward to meeting you next month!

JO said...

We'll miss you - but you know that. And we'll cheer your writing from a bigger distance - and I hope you know that too. There can be few things more important than good books for children.

Dan Holloway said...

Huge hugs Nicola. I sympathise and empathise with so much of this (I made a similar declaration at the start of the year and don't regret it at all) - "I'm sick of hearing so much about quantity and sales and so little about quality and a true passion for writing." - that's one of the things that's almost completely disillusioned me with the way people talk about culture online. People would be forgiven for thinking literature is just a business - and at a time when reading is under threat, when people take a look at what it's all about and that is what confronts them, it's a terrible terrible shame. Far better to make sure there are truly amazing things out there for people to find - long may you contribute those.

Helen said...

Thank you Nicola for the time and generosity you've put into this blog. Thank you for choosing me as a competition winner and a recipient of Dear Crabbit's wise advice. Most of all, thank you for making new writers feel that, with a sprinkling of crabbit common sense, maybe we could do this writing thing too. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will never be the same!

Nicola Morgan said...

Jo - i will hold onto the fact that many people agree with your last sentence. Thank you.

Dan - massive thanks. You are a writer I have enormous respect for. I often have to work hard to make sure I completely understand you - ! - but that's because your thoughts and words are deep and complex, and that's a good thing. What you say in that comment is what I'm thinking. I can't even be bothered to roll my eyes at the pettiness any more. I just want to write as well as I can and mess around inside my readers' heads.




sheilamcperry said...

Thanks for all the great blog posts, Nicola, and I can well understand your wish to get back to the writing.

Vee said...

Nicola, you've provided a fantastic resource for people and have been wonderfully generous with your knowledge and understanding, and I'm immensely grateful for being a competition winner of your latest e-book (I'd have bought it anyway), but I can so totally understand the decision you've made. Wishing you much success with your latest book and your continued writing.

Johanna Nield said...

I'm quite teary-eyed at the thought of 'No More Crabbit'

Your advice and insight have been invaluable, and your books are my bibles, but I've never believed that line about you being an old crabbit no matter how hard you've tried to perpetuate the myth :p

I echo Joanna's sentiments: I'm thankful for all that you've shared so far, but I'd love to hear about the next stage too, and I wish you the best of luck with your new series of novels



Katherine Langrish said...

I'll look forward to those books, Nicola...

Charlie Rice said...

I've always known you weren't a crabbit, although you seemed proud to play the role. :)

Best of luck to you Nicola!

Cameron Lawton said...

I just don't understand how you've found the time and patience for so long. As a blog baby of yours I am deeply grateful but I can see how you might be fed up to the back teeth of us all demanding, little beaks open, silly questions time and again.

Thank you Nicola - thank you so much - now get on with being a writer.

J.T said...

Thank you Nicola for everything. You have inspired and helped a lot of new writers such as myself.
I'd like to wish you lots of sucess on the next stage of your journey and hope you continued to share your news at Crabbit at home.
Just wondered if we'll see you more on the cloud?

Best wishes J.T

Pat Wood said...

Just as I find you, you go and disappear. Never mind. Your books are very good.
But little snippets every now and then would be good, if you could manage them.
Just to keep us on the straight and narrow?

Laura Mary said...

Thank you for every minute you spent helping us Nicola! Not just the time you spent on the blog posts, but for the individual help you offered too.
It is a bit like losing a security blanket! Perhaps we are all ready to fly the coop now (I hope!)

I hope you really enjoy whatever comes next :-)

Captain Black said...

There should be an Olympic discipline for paying it forward to other writers. You would undoubtedly win a gold medal.

Good luck (not that I think you'll need it) with your writing.

Tamlyn said...

Nicola, I've always loved your blog, as much for the warmth and welcome as for the actual advice. I've never doubted you were a writer, not a crabbit, but if it's time to move on, it's time :)

Nicola Morgan said...

JT - re the Cloud, I confess I don't go there at all unless I get a message saying someone has asked me a question! I find forums incredibly draining on time and mental energy (good though the Word Cloud is) and, while my blog has been instead of that, if I stopped blogging and spent more time on forums I'd defeat the object of stopping blogging! However, I never say never, and I'm certainly not stopping all online activity. I couldn't - I'm addicted!

Everyone else - thanks again for all your comments and support. So grateful. Captain Black - thanks for the offer of a medal :)

Deborah Jay said...

Nicloa, thank you so much for your generous advice and also for the time you've given up to this blog. I feel very lucky to have discovered it in the nick of time (about 6 months ago) so I've been able to see it in action and benefit from it.
I'm so pleased you'll be leaving it here as a fantastic resource (which it is), and all the best with your writing - I know the feeling! Having dipped my toe into social media, blogging, epubbing etc just that 6 months ago, I recently found I had to take time out to finish writing my latest novel. Time management and prioritising writing are important, if difficult.
Looking forward to saying hello in person at York,
Cheers,
Debby

Neil Ansell said...

You have helped a lot of people with lots of sage advice, but it's certainly true that an awful lot of online discussion between writers seems to be fixated on the process of publication rather than on the craft of writing, or the joy of writing. So good for you, for going back to your roots, and the best of luck with it.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

The writing world is richer for your generosity and wisdom. Happy, happy writing!

Nicola Morgan said...

And, by the way, the fact that I'm not going to be giving regular, formal advice doesn't mean I'm not going to carry on helping writers if I can!

Anonymous said...

I'll miss your blog a lot, but my son, who adored Wasted, will benefit, I expect!
I agree with Joanna - if you ever have time to blog about writing and children and literature ... not full time but maybe you'll turn up elsewhere? Awfully Big Blog Adventure or some of the other fabulous sites for children's writers perhaps?
Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your time with us all.

Alison Morton said...

Thank you for having been a source of common sense and forthright, spot-on advice for all your readers and followers.

You gave me a Crabbit kick in the pants when I was only 12 months into my writing and the impact has been with me ever since.

Yours is the first blog I read in the morning and I shall miss that. But what treats lie ahead for your current and potential readers!

So, (not really) goodbye and happy writing.

Jane Smith said...

Morgan, you are such a slacker.

Ha!

Nicola Morgan said...

Memo to Jane: pfffthp.

Nicola Morgan said...

Anonymous - I already write for the Awfully Big Blog Adventure :) And will continues to do so. But actually, I have every intention of coming back with a new blog - but it will be different, more general, more about being a writer and being me. Not decided what to call it yet!

And thank you for telling me that your son loved Wasted!

Alison - what, you mean there's still the imprint of my pointy boot on your posterior? That must have been some kick. :)

Catriona said...

I've been on holiday recently so have just read this blog post. I just want to say thanks for everything you've done for us aspiring writers out there and, as a reader, I look forward to what you will create now you are leaving the blog behind.

womagwriter said...

I've been on holiday too, got back to you saying 'this is the last post' and have trawled back to find your reasons.

Thank you so much for all your generous advice, and all the work to put it into books. (Which reminds me, must buy the one about covering letters, which hadn't come out when I went away...)

We'll miss you. Keep writing. Good luck.