It’s a Tuesday evening. I’m sat in my office, at my desk, eating granola and bio yogurt. It’s my day off work. I’ve been to the gym, did a little house work, dressed the minions, fed the cats and chatted to some friends. But the one thing I had planned on doing today, hasn’t happened. It’s like my creativity has bipolar. One minute, I’m high on the idea’s spiralling out of control in my brain, the next, I’m sat in a boat, in the middle of the ocean, and fishing for thoughts, with no bait.
Then I log onto Social Media, and low and behold, such and such has written another novel, in 3 days! Like seriously? How do you do that? How do you write an 80k+ novel in 3 days, and hit publish a week later?
I’m over here, twisted with envy, because I can’t seem to string a concise fictional sentence together. And then I think about it….
… is a book written in such a short period of time not worthy of a thorough editorial process, pre-production? Is that body of work not entitled to be given the best PR marketing prior to publication, because you know, book buzz creates some nice hype to reach a wider market?
I mean, kudos to everyone who is doing, and making a living from it, but for me, I’m no longer convinced. I’ve been around long enough to know what works, and what doesn’t. What may be this season’s big hit, won’t be next seasons. It’s like shoes, they go out of fashion very quickly.
The cogs of change are continuously turning, and success is never predictable. And I think that is where the problem lies, some writers are following trends to become bestsellers. I think that’s so sad, because as a writer, your first priority is you, the creator, and staying true to yourself. Why follow trends? Why keep up with Jones’s of the book world? Why not be different?
Which brings me to my own self-deprecation and the tantrums I throw. Like proper, 3-year-old tantrums in my office – slamming doors, throwing cushions, shouting expletives at my computer, and the cat looks at me like I’m batshit crazy. And I calm down, because it’s a process. The whole creative journey is a process.
Sometimes, I think I’m too hard on myself. I sit and pick myself apart, thinking I’m not good enough, but everyone does that – right? I am not alone in the isolated world of the creative individual, and I know this. I’ve spoken to enough writers in the past 7 years to have garnered enough insight into our habitual ways of living. And with that isolation, doubt is born, and no matter how much I tell myself that I am good enough, my evil twin likes to stick the knife in when I least expect it. But onward and upwards.
Yet, here I am, mouthful of granola, shaking my head, and feeling like a lost puppy in the rain.