Earlier this week I finally released a book that I have been tinkering with for over a decade (on-and-off).
Over. A. Decade.
Why has it taken so long?
Good question. Not so easy to answer but I’ll give it a shot…
I wrote it – or at least the bones of what it has become – for an MA in Creative Writing, back in 2004. It was an experiment. I wanted to see what I could do. I wanted to see what writing could be.
When I submitted it: dialogue was in columns, pages folded out… it sounds pretentious, but I think it was (and is) more playful than pretentious…
Without question, though, it is a weird book.
I tried a few agents and publishers. Some liked it, but it was too weird.
So I shelved it. Then I picked it back up because I’d always felt it missed a particular section. Then I shelved it. Then I played with it some more. And so on.
The thing is… I like it.
I like this little, weird book.
Around five years ago it became obvious to me that I really needed to publish it.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t – because by then I had become too afraid.
What if it wasn’t / isn’t any good?
What if no one likes it?
What if no one buys it?
And I had bought into this idea that it was/is just too weird.
And by default, so was I.
What a shame.
I am weird. No doubt about that. But, too weird to allow myself to publish? Nah…
Earlier this summer I hit a rough patch. And I decided that enough is enough.
Enough is enough
I decided that all of the creative things I’d been holding onto needed to have their day.
Boom – I made the first series for an audio drama podcast called Diary of a Space Archivist (and it is receiving positive feedback).
Boom – Intergalactic Fly-Fishing finally has its day.
Boom – more projects will follow… (I like saying ‘boom’).
But this project, this book, is special. It’s taken fourteen years to get here. So I’m going to pour myself a whisky and quietly toast the fact that it now exits outside of my hard drive.
If you decide to buy it – thank you – I hope that you enjoy it. It is a little bit of me.
If you, too, are holding back your creative projects – don’t.
Have a little faith in yourself. Give yourself the time, and the encouragement, that you give to others.
Have a go.
For heaven’s sake, don’t wait fourteen years!