When most of your interaction is with writers – I mean online interaction, blogs, tweets, facebook, etc etc etc – you inevitably meet messages such as “Congrats to X, her debut book is out today” “Just got a call from an agent” “Just got partial request” “Just got request for full ms” “Just got offered contract with multi-million advance and Cameron Diaz is booked to play me in my biopic”. Ok, maybe not the last one.
You have two options. Well, three, but burying your head in the sand doesn’t help and the sand is murder to get out of your ears.
You can 1) get cheered on by everyone’s success, feeling energised and motivated by the fact that publishers are buying books, the public are buying books (otherwise the publishers wouldn’t be), there’s room for rookies in the market, hard work generally pays off in the end. You harness this positivity and steam on with your own work just knowing that it’ll all come right in the end.
Or, you can 2) sink into gloom seeing that everyone has success but you because they’ve got the talent and determination to get words down, polished, edited, submitted while you’re sitting here tweeting or blogging or drowning in ironing and collapsing exhausted on the sofa at the end of the day; publishers and the public ARE buying books but obviously they won’t want yours because it’s a pile of poo that doesn’t say anything or have any deep and meaningful relevance to young people today.
Hmm. No prizes for guessing which camp I’m in right at this very minute. Now, I know I answered my own question – I’m not sitting down getting the words written; or I am; but only about 750 words at a time. To be honest, tweeting is quicker, easier and requires less energy which is one thing I’m a bit short of at the minute. I am very proud of the progress I’ve made on A Perfect Mess so far, and of the few reactions I’ve had to the start of it, but right now the end seems a long way off. I don’t think it’s a pile of poo, but it will be if I keep sitting on it. I need to stop this analogy now, the pictures are getting a bit disturbing. I’m just at that point where I’m doubting myself and I’m too far involved with the story to let it go and move onto something else but there’s an awful lot still to write.
Anyway, now I’ve let that off my chest, I actually feel a bit better. Maybe I can go harvesting some positive energy from my Twitter friends’ streams…