About Eddie de Jong:
I have been fortunate in that I’ve always loved my work in IT. It was only when I ran my own company specializing in training people on how to use computers, that I realized that doing what you’re passionate about is a heck of a lot more fulfilling than merely loving your job.
As a result of this, I decided to qualify as a Life Coach. When I was retrenched from my corporate job in June 2013 at the age of 55, I saw it as an opportunity to only do the things that I’m passionate about. I now write, tutor, coach and blog.
Every day is an exiting journey and I don’t miss my previous life for a second.
What inspires you to write?
For the past 20 years or so, my personal mission statement has been “to help people grow to become the best they can be.”
I did this through training and coaching. From there it’s a logical jump to becoming a nonfiction author of personal development books.
Through my books, I can help more people change their lives, than what I could ever do on a one-on-one basis.
For me, there’s nothing as fulfilling as getting feedback that tells me how I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
Tell us about your writing process.
I never outline. The subject and contents of my books form in my subconscious brain. At first, it often jumps out as random pieces that I type up without even fully understanding what the book is ultimately going to look like. I might have a rough idea of the direction I’m going, and then I read extensively on the subject.
This process, as well as wring articles for my blog, feeds my thought processes. I ultimately get to the stage where there is so much in my head (apart from the pieces on paper already), that I actually start writing the new book. Even at that stage, I don’t try and get an outline on paper.
Once all the pieces are out there, I can easily move them around and build them into a structure that makes sense. It’s almost like building a jigsaw puzzle.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, definitely! Fictional characters get a life and will of their own, and often do and say things you never expected. I always allow my character to do their own thing. It’s much more fun than trying to steer them on a fixed course.
This does however mean that they can land you into trouble with your storyline and continuity, but I like those type of challenges!
What advice would you give other writers?
Believe in yourself. Don’t let the naysayers or your own fears rob you of your dreams.
Having said that, you also need to be realistic. Becoming a successful author is damn hard work, even if it is your passion. As with any other job, only the best succeed. To become the best, or at least good enough to stand above the crowd, you’ll have to put in mega hours to hone and practice your craft.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Once I wrote my first book, I read extensively on how to publish. Not knowing how good my work was, and hearing about all the good authors that were turned down by traditional publishers, I decided not to go that route. I have always self-published.
Having a technical background made it both easy and interesting for me. For me, readers deciding whether they like my books or not is a much better measure of how good I am, rather than being at the whim and mercy of a publisher that might have other agendas.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Indie publishing is the way to go. I’m not convinced that traditional publishers will exist for much longer. Quite frankly, I don’t really care one way or the other.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print