What being a geologist taught me about writing

Following on from my post yesterday about how and why I self published my first novel in 2004, “post blog thoughts” have been working their way to the forefront of my head. I realised that in self publishing back in 2004, I was really serving some sort of apprenticeship and now, 9 years later, I can consider myself to have “graduated” or “passed” some great mythical qualification.

Let me explain. In my former life that I was still engrossed in back in 2003 and 4 I was a geologist in the construction industry and many of the big schemes I worked on, such as motorways and dams already had vast amounts of data that needed to be incorporated into a more specific and detailed study as part of the detailed design.

What may surprise many of you now is that back in those days, the only computers that were in the workplace were for specific specialist software, such as slope stability, finite element analysis and a host of other complex mathematical tasks. So, when we inherited the old files from a study or several studies that may have gone back 20 or 30 years, it was a vast amount of reports, drawings and data. It could and did fill a small office.

It was therefore very important to be able to catalogue, label and file all of this data. It required organisation and from that further more detailed studies and reports were written.

So, professional technical writing is something I have done for a long time, but the thing that took me a long time to learn was how to write fiction. It is a different beast and the adjustment from day time technical writing to night time fiction took me longer than I realised.

What I am basically saying is that the self publishing of my first novel changed the way I thought about the written word and now, having written 4 more novels, a fantasy faery story trilogy Fendrel’s Tale, and an adult crime thriller The Truth I “feel” like a writer, a novelist, rather than a geologist. When I was doing my training for field mapping as a geologist, one of my tutors said that you will never look at a hillside again without thinking of it from a geological perspective. Now, I can look at a hillside and marvel at its beauty and not whether the rock can be used to build a road or whatever.

It is as though two paths have gone their separate ways for a long time, only to find some commonality at a crossroads and from there a new path has been forged taking the relevant parts and melding them into a new form.

The journey of self publishing back in 2003/4 was therefore the foundation from which the geologist started to take a back seat and the writer came to the fore. Now I know I am a writer and not a geologist, but some of the training and skills I picked up on the way have served me well, particularly in the organisation of my work. It is using that background that led me to write my first non-fiction book, The Handbook Of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.



About purpleandrew

Andrew, recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome is a 54 year old former geologist always had short hair, suited & booted for work. That all changed when the credit crunch hit. Now a complimentary therapist, hospital radio presenter, and writer. Andrew writes crime thrillers, Young Adult, and fantasy books as well as blogging about writing and other stuff that he feels strongly about.
This entry was posted in fantasy faery story, Fendrels' Tale, managing your writing, publishing, The Handbook of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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