Peter Steward's Web Site
Writing on the Internet
Over the years I have written a considerable number of short stories, unfinished novels, children's stories, poetry and other scraps.
By and large I have always been unhappy with what I have written and always lost interest after a period of time. I start with tremendous enthusiasm and a huge number of ideas, but when I get down to it I always feel dissatisfied with what I come up with.
Virtually without exception I give up at that point. Maybe it's the product of an over fertile brain or maybe I just do not like my writing style.
Perhaps most importantly I have been unable to face the idea of rejection - of producing something only to have it rejected time after time by some publisher. Indeed I have only muted one idea with publishers and that was a factual story about a Norfolk murder which I firmly believe would have sold
I sent outlines to numerous publishers and received rejections from all of them. With my fiction I just couldn't face going through that process time after time.
So most of my writing remained unpublished. A few poems made it to a number of anthologies produced by the local Methodist Church and that was about it.
Then along came the Internet. Suddenly I saw the possibilities. Armed with enough web space to house a virtual library, I suddenly saw the possibilities. Suddenly I had a vehicle to "publish" my own ramblings. If nobody read them what would I lose? And behind it all was the powerful thought that somebody, somewhere might read something I have written and enjoy it.
It also gave me the chance to put all my writing together and throw away the hundreds of scraps of paper amassed over the years. Okay it will be a slow process, but it is one I'm only too keen to pursue.
I see little difference between publishing on the Web and publishing in normal book format. The web is my library. My prose and poetry is on the shelves waiting for people to read it just like books are in a library. If nobody does the inside flap will just remain unstamped!
I wasn't quite aware of how much I had written over the years. Recently I started the lengthy job of ripping my study to pieces and cleaning it up. I continually came across scraps of stories, scraps of poems, half finished novels, quarter finished pieces of writing. Now I must finish these.
One particular piece I came across I do not remember writing. I know I did because it is in my handwriting. I read it just a few days ago and actually enjoyed it. The problem is it seemed to be the start of a mystery story and abruptly stopped after chapter three. I'm sure at the time I had a plot worked out, but this is long gone. So I must now set up a new storyline.
I also know of the existence of another psychological drama that is half finished. Somewhere in some nook or cranny I will find this.
So the web has given me a new lease of life. I feel like running into the streets and shouting. "Hey world I've got something for you. You may not want it but it will be there somewhere in hyper-space."
I used to be a frustrated author. Now I'm no longer frustrated. Whether I'm an author is for those of you who have made it to this page to decide. Now I want to take holidays in the country and write. I want to write travel pieces, I want to write comedy, I want to write poetry, I want to write children's stories, I want to write detective novels, I want to write psychological thrillers but above all when I get an idea I want to write it down and publish on the web.
I have already started this process and boy is it rewarding. I have received e-mails from all over the world from people who like what I'm doing. Talk about a humbling experience. Somebody in the USA told me a few weeks ago that an article I wrote about American singer-songwriter Harry Chapin had reduced them to tears.
I couldn't believe that something I had written out of the shear joy of writing had affected somebody thousand of miles away. It gives me a great feeling of joy and power and gives me the opportunity to share with others.
A friend asked me if I was doing the right thing.
"Don't you feel you are missing out by making all your stuff free. Isn't it possible that you could make some money out of it," he said.Of course if anybody wants to publish any of my ramblings in book form I would be equally delighted. It would give me the freedom to write full time and that can only at the moment be a dream.
So the web gives me a reason to write, a reason to follow my own dreams, a reason to share with all you wonderful people out there and as Tim Hardin once said a "Reason to Believe."
There are no constraints imposed on what I write. There is nobody to edit it. If I want to write about rock music I will do so, if I want to write about football I will do so. The only constraints are my own mind and my own inspiration and I can tell you both are working overtime at the moment.
I well remember when I was very young I used to love writing stories. These stories were usually about dragons, knights and the like. I remember firmly believing that it wasn't what I wrote but how much I wrote. Some stories went on and on and on and.......... They usually surrounded the destruction of the planet etc. One of my teachers told my parents that I had a fertile imagination and they were sure I would be an author some day.
Well that never happened. I did become a journalist, however, and it is claimed that most stories written by journalists are pure fiction. I make no comment.
What I'm trying to say is that teacher was right in a way and it has taken the web to unlock that passion. Of course today I leave the destruction of the planet to Dean Koontz and Steven King, although who knows maybe some day I will write something of that ilk. But now I'm repeating myself.
I have this idea of somehow tying in all the biographical stuff on my site with bits of stories and poetry etc. It's only an embryo idea at the moment, but you can be sure I will share it with you if it does develop. That is the beauty of the web, you can let ideas develop.
So my promise to you all is, if you enjoy reading my pieces bear with me as I will put more and more on. Do let me know what you feel and what you have enjoyed. I would love a page of feedback on the web as well. Please don't hesitate to criticise. I can take it, honest. After all I was the one who believed my writing to be no good at all. A few nice comments, however, and I may have to re-appraise that belief.
For all of you who have got this far. Many many thanks. What I do is
for you and that will always be so.