I am restless. Relaxation seems futile – no ridiculous. I’m ready, you see. Ready to be a published author, ready to be read. Ready to be seen.
Now, after years of waiting, I’m ready to start being noticed. I want my book to be out there in the world, a real thing. A real book that someone I have never met will pick up, read and be taken away from their life for a few hours. A book that will feed imaginations, lurk at the back of people’s thoughts as they walk through London – or any thriving city, a book that might inspire.
I think back to when I started this blog. I was terrified of all of it. It literally took months to publish my first post. Then I was gloriously Havi’d (yes, that should be a verb). Then I found Diana and Graham, then later Twitching Grey and of course, Paperback Jack. And so many others.
So many people on my journey. I’ve questioned this insane heroic quest, I’ve railed at the success of my friends and told you about the mad conversations that happen in my head – and sometimes on my desk in front of me. And you’re still here. Bless you.
Being a writer – a published-and-being-read-by-other-people writer isn’t something I have been able to stumble into – and you know, I’m glad. Because I think being one of those successful writers I crave to be is something one has to train for. It requires stamina and endurance, because if I got a contract, it wouldn’t be the end of this quest.
It would be the beginning. It would be the part of the adventure where I reach the port, and find the ship waiting to board for new lands and new challenges. There will be demons in those lands because I will take them with me. I will always suffer dark times of fear, and there will always be triumphs. My challengers will no longer be gatekeeper agents and publishers, they will be critics and those who don’t like what I write or what I do.
But I am ready to go there. My father says that confidence is like a muscle; you have to keep doing things to strengthen it, everyday, and it will get stronger.
I think writing is the same. It has to be exercised, again and again. The page is like a gym. Some days I’m dying to get there and work it all out, pour anger, frustration, bile out of myself. Other days I know I should go but it’s comfortable where I am and I am sluggish, reluctant, even though I know it’s not good for me. But oh, how good it feels to go there and work hard and to feel spent afterwards. To feel that sparkling virtuosity of the writer who went to the page and worked hard, even though they didn’t feel like it.
I’ve never been fitter. I’m ready to travel to those new lands. But there is no ship to take me there yet. Who knows, I may have to make my own raft and sail myself there. But I will get there.
And what shall we do in the mean time, you and I, whilst we stride towards that port? Well, we can light a fire and sing songs of contests, and how this was voted as one of the best 25 writing blogs announced in the feasting halls of Editor Unleashed. I may get drunk and tell you how Post-Apocalyptic Publishing got the most votes in the fiction writing blog category, and expound upon the generosity of the readers that supported me. But I’ll probably stick with tea and English habit of not blowing ones trumpet.
Or we could go to the little town of Chinese Whisperings, and you could keep me company whilst I wait impatiently for my turn to write. I’m dreadfully impatient you see. Forgive me.
And what better to lay beneath our feet but stories, yes! Stories to pave the way to the port. It’s Short Story Club time, my friends, time to give me your ideas, your opening lines, your questions. Tie them to the feet of birds and throw them into the digital sky. Let them land here and give this fire something to consume. Let me write for you.