Probably like everyone, I am doing my best to avoid contemplating That Which Shall Not Be Named at the moment, so am distracting myself with bread-making, big ol’ cliché that I am. So far, I am sensing subtle improvements in my technique, which translates as “not having so much dough on the light fittings”. I’ll take a win where I can find it.
So, the book has been out for a few months now, and I thought I’d write a little about where I’m up to with it, my thoughts on it, and what I think happens next. Firstly, I do feel a little like I’ve been pushed out into the middle of a boating lake in a rowboat with no oars, though with someone on the shore shouting encouraging instructions through a megaphone. It’s because there is no frame of reference, and there is no frame of reference because, I think, every single book and every single writer’s experience is individual, and, in the main, you have to find your own way.
I have a strange relationship with the book – it feels a little bit like I handed in my homework months ago, but am only getting my teacher’s notes dripfed to me months later. I am proud of it, and I am delighted that people have read it, and enjoyed it, but the actual physical act of writing seemed to have been the easy part. This is the part of the process I’m comfortable with – putting words down. It’s the “what’s next?” aspect that I am struggling with.
I am frozen with uncertainty about what I need to do to get it in front of new eyes, worried that anything I spend to promote the book will just vanish like coppers in a penny arcade. It’s not a reticence to see the book spread its wings, but more that I’ll just let myself think that sky-writing is a good idea.
Of course, there are other concerns that are causing distraction, again related to That Which Shall Not Be Named. I’m finding it hard to maintain my routine, and whilst I’m still writing, it’s certainly not at the pace that I was writing before. And this pause has caused me to be less instinctive with what I have written, which just slows me down as I weigh the words I’ve written carefully, rather than following the method that enabled me to get NO SAFE PLACE written.
But, despite all that angst, I am very grateful that you’ve read my book, and similarly, that you have read the above. It really does me the power of good to know that you’ve spared me some of your time. If anything could encourage me to do more, it’s knowing that someone is taking an interest. Thank you.
The photo is from my daily walk, which, if I was the sort of hack who resorts to puns and laboured metaphor would say it was to illustrate me not “being able to see the wood from the trees” or being “lost in a forest”. Hold on. That’s exactly the sort of hack that I am…!