|Going with the flow can be a bumpy ride. And a soggy one.|
I thought it was time for a new post. And this time, the post is mainly made up of gripes I have heard in conversation with other writers.
Are you sitting uncomfortably?
Here we go then, in no particular order (well, other than the one I've arranged them in), and with my helpful commentary in blue.
1. Hardly anyone ever visits my website / blog / poetry shrine, or if they do they never leave a comment. (Whereas...)
2. They (insert famous person here) never Liked me back or followed me on Twitter. (Because that could make all the difference.)
3. I really thought this agent / editor was the one. (The previous ones were just trial runs.)
4. Writing is so damned hard sometimes. (Yeah, why isn't it easy like all the other creative arts - sculpture, painting, textiles, drama, ceramics and music?)
5. I'm skint. I really expected to be making proper money from this by now. (And your accountant and creditors did too.)
6. It's all right for 'x' because they have 'y'. (Ah, that wondrous equation known as 'if only'.)
7. Of course, if I lived in London, this would all be different. (Yes, you'd have an underground rail network at your disposal, for one thing.)
8. A full edit? Really? Again? (You mean the 'three draft rule' doesn't still apply?)
9. No, I don't want to attend a bloody masterclass where desperation hangs in the air like days' old cabbage. (That's not desperation, that's ambition with a hint of bitterness.)
10. Hey, if we all promote one another, we can all be hugely successful - it worked for Tracey Emin. (Well, maybe with a little help from Charles Saatchi.)
11. Talent will out. (Tell that to Vincent Van Gogh - if you have a time machine handy.)
12. I just don't know what publishers are looking for. (Probably books that will sell in sufficient quantities to make the project financially viable.)
13. How many bloody books does it take? (Answer: as many as it takes to get the contract.)
If there is a lesson to be had here, other than sarcasm being a lifestyle choice, it is this:
THERE IS NO MAP.
That's right, contrary to popular belief (hope), it's a blank page and all the better for it.
You may get lucky with your very first novel - I'm fortunate to know people who have achieved contracts and published books with theirs. You might make oodles of money - that too is possible. However, I can tell you empirically and emphatically that if you don't put pen to paper, all you'll have to show for it is a blank page. And believe me, that is a hard sell.
Now, in the interests of promotion, can I interest you in my own blog and in a nifty online writing project themed around the 12 signs of the zodiac.