Shit-Cakes and Spartans

Can a realisation be so significant it creeps into your dreams? Or perhaps it was because I went to bed knowing how bad things had got that this alone was the reason why I dreamt all night about things that may very well have been a snapshot of my future, had I continued down this slippery slope. Thankfully, I woke up and my son still loves me and B is still my soul mate, but I think I have once and for all scared myself silly. I just knew this morning that unlike half hearted and somewhat measly attempts before, now is the time for a change.

And why not? My whole life – and Monkey’s and B’s along with it – is changing in lots of positive ways, so I need to get rid of this narky little demon too. 

Can’t say I’ve started out this week in a productive manner, but at least I got quite a bit of writing done yesterday so had a head start. I still need a part time income, and I’m between applying for something PA related for a couple of days a week and just going full throttle with the writing. Given past experience, I know that unless you strike it lucky, generating a steady income through writing takes a lot of effort. For every ten written pieces, maybe one gets published and for every ten published, you end up being paid for one. At least that’s what it was like before, and as a writer you don’t turn down a huge publication if they want to print your stuff without having to pay for it – quite the opposite, most of us would probably be prepared to pay THEM. Not that we could afford to – we’re writers. 

Let’s say I get Alice done in this three-month chunk of intensive writing bliss. By Christmas I should have an impressively large pile of rejection letters, but let’s say I manage to get it under the nose of the right person (OK, I’m lucky having a foot in the door, but that’s no guarantee, so let’s be a little pessimistic here, as unlike me as that it) and get offered a deal. Let’s be optimistic and even go as far as getting commissioned to write two or even five. Now, wouldn’t that be nice? 

So. In order to make any decent living out of being a published author, your book sales need to hit 50,000 copies a year. Currently, only 1,000 titles in the entire world achive those kind of sales. 

Screw that though, I’m not after fame or fortune, just want to do what I love and if I ever make a bit of money that’d just be a lovely bonus. And I think if money was my motivation, this would never have been my chosen path. It’s my calling in life, it’s something I love. Simple as that. In the meantime, I’ll just have to live like the Spartans with the occasional exception being a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Note: OCCASIONAL

It’s been a down day. But as I recently learned, this is just additional tapestry for Alice. Given my hangover (which I hold responsible for my bleurgh-ness – oh no, not ME, who caused it), I might make Linda an alcoholic. That might just be adding one layer too many, and my heart bleeds for poor Stephen – first wife goes missing and the second a drunk? No, that won’t work. Perhaps Alice’s stepsister Lucy, who’s already nice and evil, could be an addict of some kind, that might work even better and I can let her have alcohol fuelled outbursts and upsetting people around her even more than she is already. That could be delicious fun to write, actually, a nice little side story that needn’t take up too much room.

So there you go – using shit to make good stuff of. Kind of like Minnie’s cake in The Help, just not quite so gross. But yes, in the figurative sense, I’m going to let Alice & Co eat my shit. No, that doesn’t work. I thought I was being clever with words there, but that was rubbish. Sometimes I’m just plain stupid and naff. 

And why be so hard on myself all the time? Sure, it’s probably right that I feel guilty when I don’t write as much as I’ve intended on some days, but beating myself up probably just creates the feeling of “I should”, which has never filled me with anything other than dread. So maybe I should just accept that today my best was to do fuck-all and generally be rubbish, and set out to set the bar higher tomorrow. 


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