A word in your ear: other writers are basically the enemy, don’t you know … And whatever you do and however much you struggle to make a success of your writing, everyone you know will always do a lot better than you. So be prepared!
Only this week, I’ve had to bear the existential anguish of a writing friend getting a publishing deal with a decent middle-range publisher, and had to show great joy and rapture at their success. When actually I just felt like weeping and running down the street screaming when they told me. I mean I’ve been typing ever more hopelessly away for over 20 years with only a veritable handful of sold books to show for it. Indeed, in order to keep my own mental health in some kind of stable zone, I’ve made the decision to stick to self-publishing quietly on the kindle from now on, and to begin to remove my other books from the small presses where they are currently languishing pretty much unnoticed. I might even be heading gently but inexorably towards not writing at all, as it hasn’t been a pleasant process for the last couple of years or so anyway. We’ll have to see. The acknowledgement of failure might even be a relief.
And then today, to add insult to injury, an online writing friend announces their incredible success in getting a three book deal with a major publisher, and not only that but it was via the same agent who couldn’t sell any of my books (written in the same genre as said online friend) for love nor money until we parted company some years back. As you can imagine, I am sick with bitterness and envy, and feel like crying once more. Because frankly, I don’t want to hear about anyone’s writing success as it just knocks me right back into depression again – and I really can’t afford to be there.
As a result, I have unfriended this happy writer and blocked them from contacting me again – and yes, I know this makes me a truly horrible and deeply twisted person (no surprises there then …), but hey it makes me feel a damn sight better so what the hell!
Hey ho. And to cap it all, another friend just emailed me to thank me for something I’d done for them and mentioned in passing how much they’d enjoyed the posting I’d put on another of my blogs. Sadly, this particular blog post wasn’t even my own ruddy writing they had enjoyed so much as it was a reposting from someone else! Arrgghhh!!! Really I hate the ruddy writing life, and think the whole damn thing is basically c**p. Fecking hell, eh – I’m definitely opening a beer or two tonight, I can tell you.
The Vanishing Writer