This blog post will not be written with any kind of skill or coherence. Just getting that out there before you actually decide to commit five minutes of your life to reading it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So, a few things, in no particular order.
First, I SUBMITTED MY THIRD BOOK TO MY PUBLISHER. This is a pretty major event for me, because I’ve really been struggling to write for the past seven months. And, indeed, was struggling as recently as last week. But last weekend, I was given the gift of just over 24 hours without children – the first night I’ve spent alone in more than 4 years – and managed to lock up the inner critic for long enough to get the book finished. I’m still more than 50% sure my editor will come back to me and say what the heck is this load of old rubbish, but to be honest, completing the thing at all feels like a huge achievement.
Second, my second book is out in paperback in a week’s time. I’ve arranged precisely nothing in the way of promotion. However, I will be doing a book signing in Waterstones Milton Keynes on 13 August, if you happen to be in the area.
Third, I’ll be spending far less time on social media for a while. I will update my Facebook author page occasionally if I have anything relevant to share, but my Twitter will remain on hiatus and my Facebook account will remain deactivated. (To be honest, I don’t think anyone’s actually noticed the deactivation of my Facebook account, so that shows how much of an impact I was having on people’s lives. Ha.)
In brief, the retreat from social media is for my own mental health. The internet can be great for showing people they’re not alone. It can also be the loneliest place in the world. And when you’re already feeling like a talentless loser, there’s so much on Twitter and Facebook just waiting to confirm that for you. It gets to the point where everything, no matter how small, feeds into your own insecurity and self-doubt. It’s so easy to compare yourself negatively to other people. To take things personally that weren’t meant personally. And when you add that to all the anger and hate and political arguments that devolve into insults … I guess it can be overwhelming. Certainly I was finding it a drain on my energy. I’ve only been gone a week, and I already feel a lot better just from detaching for a bit.
So, yeah. That’s me. Since I won’t be sharing this on Twitter or Facebook, other than my author page, I don’t suppose anyone will actually read it. But, you know, just in case ;-)
I’ve written and rewritten this multiple times. I’ve written it angry. I’ve written it calm. I’ve written it crying. I’ve written it laughing at the sheer stupidity of the thing. I’ve thought about the hatred that gets thrown at people online whenever they raise their heads above the parapet, and considered not writing it at all.
But then the Orlando massacre happened, and silence was no longer an option.
The end of the year is upon us, and so it's time for the obligatory navel-gazing. This time, it comes with something of an announcement.
Darkhaven came out at the beginning of July. It’s now the beginning of October. In publishing terms, that means it’s no longer a ‘new release’ but an established book – so this is the perfect time to take stock. Here are just a few of the many things I’ve learned about being a writer.