Are you wondering how to write a light novel or a novel? Here is my story of how I published a novel
My story is not the average run of the mill one. It’s not a rag to riches, Cinderella one. It is almost a story that never happened, or at least one that happened but didn’t have an ending, never mind a happy one. From as early as I can remember, The Job of My Dream is only to be a writer. It was the only thing I knew I was good at, and certainly, the only thing that I loved that I could ever see myself doing as a full-time job – I had already realized I would never be a professional footballer.
I went through school, doing well enough to get to a fairly decent university, where I did well enough to get a fairly decent degree. All the time though while my friends and colleagues were searching around for their first graduate job, asking what I was going to be, I always simply replied I was going to be a writer.
The problem was, by this stage I was hardly writing. I had a couple of novels on the go, but the mainly manual jobs I was doing to pay my rent coupled with my desire for a social life meant I had precious little time to write anything that someone would pay money for. Life went on, I gave up everything and travelled Europe (predominantly to write a book but once again other stuff got in the way), had some crazy experiences that would find there way into several stories and books later in life, then decided to move to London. To start again.
I fell into a job in sales, and over the years got successively better jobs, bigger clients, better money and moved into sales and marketing. I was living in the best city in the world, with my best friends, with money in my pocket. I met my wife, eventually bought a house. Life was very good. There was only one thing, I was hating what I was doing 9 to 5, or 8 to 6 or whatever it was that particular day. Suddenly I was 40 years old. It was looking incredibly unlikely I would ever do the only thing that I had ever wanted to do for a living.
I was earning way too good money to give it up and start something new, and though I was loving my life in general, I felt trapped in my day job, and could see no way out. Then two things happened. I got a new job, moving to a role, company and industry where I hoped my creativity would be better utilised. Unfortunately, the company I moved to – a new venture – folded. I had been there three months. Two weeks later, a job that had been on the table at my wife’s company, one that she would never have entertained a couple of weeks earlier suddenly looked like an option. The problem was it was in Singapore. At the time I don’t think either of us could have pointed to Singapore on a map.
With the phrase, what have we got to lose as our mantra, and a thirst for new experiences, we decided to move to Asia. I would be able to get a job out there we thought. My CV was good, and I had bags of experience in London. To cut a long story slightly shorter, I soon realised, getting a job in Singapore is not like getting one in the UK. After a couple of months, I realised it wasn’t going to happen. Left with no other option, I decided to fall back on my one true love, the one thing I am good at. I started writing.
Six months later, I had my first novel The Drowners published. I began copywriting as a freelancer. Gradually I began building up my reputation. I had a growing list of clients. I set up my own company Mightier than the Sword. Suddenly, almost by accident, I was doing exactly what I had always wanted to do for a living, and I was actually making money doing it. I was loving every minute of my working day, something that would have seemed ludicrous a few short months earlier.
We moved back to London in the summer of 2019 after five amazing years in Asia. Mightier than the Sword continues to go from strength to strength. We combine creativity with a business mentality, helping start-ups and small businesses to become successful by showcasing them to the world in the best possible way, allowing them to get on with what they do best. In 2021, I am going to launch a publishing arm of Mightier than the Sword, that will be focussed purely on helping unpublished authors.
I’m not even sure what the moral of my story is. Never give up on your dreams perhaps? Take a risk, jump into the unknown? All three? One thing I do know, and I think it is something that all of us know deep down, is if you can do as a job something that you absolutely love, and would do as a hobby, then you have found real success. I am I here to tell you that it is also very possible.
Ian Galloway, Creative Director and owner of Mightier than the Sword. Education: Usual collection of GCSE’s and A levels, along with a BSC (Hons) Business Studies degree. One book published under my own name, a handful as a ghost writer. I have won awards for my writing and had it acted on stage and am very excited about my next big project which will be to start Mightier than the Sword Publishing to help unpublished authors on that first step up. Crucially it will cost them nothing.
Read more advice on how to write a light novel from other writers here