It's been a funny week. By which, I mean, it's been an unfunny week. Which, paradoxically, is still quite funny to me.
The new book, The Caretaker, is mapped out and the characters are taking their own sweet time to get where I want them to be. To be fair to my imaginary friends, I've been neglecting them in favour of a self-pubbed novel full of other imaginary friends, Covenant. You can read about my adventures with the Kindle Select giveaway over here.
The unfunny / funny parts?
Four book rejections this week. Four. And one of those was for a non-fiction comedy writing book I'd proposed. When your book is rejected before it's even written, that's a caution to you!
It has to be said, though, that one of my rejections was as positive a rejection as can be:
'While there was a lot I enjoyed about your submission, ultimately, I did not feel convinced I could find a publisher for it and therefore I don't feel able to offer you representation for this project.'
That's great, right? Sure, it is. Except, if this agent isn't convinced they could find a publisher - and they're a top-flight agency - what hope is there for the others?
Add to that the scumbags who still email me in the name of my deceased brother, eight years on, because one of his online betting account providers (whose account I changed to my email in order to close it) passed the email address on.
And it would be easy to sit and await the orange bird of despondency (second cousin, once removed, to the bluebird of happiness). Only, even without the horrors of the news and the loss now of both Iain Banks and Seamus Heaney, let's face it, if those are my biggest issues, life must be pretty good. In fact, it is.
If my past selves (interpret as you wish, but I mean the me I was at various times in my life) could see all the writing and the stories to be written he'd be totally stoked. He'd be thrilled that I chose to become a writer and remind me that he's in a far worse place, even if he does have a full head of hair and fewer battle scars.
In a sense, we are always indebted to our own past - to the courageous choices we made and, from a different angle, those times we flew a flag of convenience. Our futures and our stories are dependent upon the people we are today and what we do with the opportunities we have at hand (or actively create).
If you've recently had a submission rejected, or your characters aren't playing ball, or life just sucks like a lemon taster working overtime, you have my empathy. If the muse doesn't answer your calls and the world can't see how great your work or your potential are, that can really sting.
So, what are you going to do about it?
Me, I'm going to write. Why would I do otherwise?
Here's Howard Jones to play us out: