Blog 28: Whatever you do, don’t be a writer …

Hey ho. Still waiting for publishers to stir themselves and send me the inevitable rejection letters for The Gangster’s Wife and The Taming of the Hawk. The Hawk possible publisher promised me a quick response to my resubmission over two months ago now, you may recall, so evidently their understanding of ‘quick’ isn’t mine. There’s a surprise, eh. I’m way too scared to send another reminder though, as they’ll just say they don’t want it and I don’t think I can take another writing fail moment just now.

Talking of which, it has seriously annoyed me this morning when I was reading my “How to be Confident” book that it suggested you should make a list of your dreams and then plan to do them as this would make you happier and more confident. All well and good, but the very first example they used was the mythical case of ‘Jim’ who’d always wanted to be a novelist but had never had the courage to go for it. If only Jim could take steps to fulfil his dream and start writing now, they say, then he’d be a more confident and rounded human being, they say. Huh! As if, eh! I snorted and threw the pesky book across the room. In all honesty, I was a lot happier, more confident and fully rounded (in a good way) human being before I took the steps to try to be a writer. Over the last twenty years, it’s actually made me a whole lot more fragile, easily depressed (in a medical sense), less confident and hugely frustrated as books come and go, get torn apart by some, read by the blessed few (for which thank you) and largely ignored by anyone and everyone else.

So my advice to Jim is: if you want to be confident and happy, put the pesky pen down, keep your dream as a dream, turn your back on the spiky and difficult world of writing and go and do something else more joyful instead. Anything else … If you don’t, you’re in for a huge amount of disappointment, jealousy, rage and despair, and I’m not sure, if you’re being used as an example in a book about How to be Confident, that you can actually cope with that. I certainly can’t.

Sigh. Anyway, in other news, I’ve now written 10,000 words of The Old Bags’ Sex Club – so that’s 10,000 words of a book no publisher will so much as glance at and probably only about 3 or 4 people will ever read. Run, Jim, run for the hills …

Writerly Confidence Rating: 1.5

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