This is why I should not hang around with people I went to school with, the notable exception being my illustrating editor Vikkie. I get very sad, because we’re all old now and gainning weight/losing hair, and I drink too much and wake up headachy and weird in a brand new year.
The good news is, it has helped to put things in perspective. Yes, I am unemployed (possibly unemployable, if you believe everyone who has interviewed me so far) but I am not without purpose. I don’t need to think back to how great it was being at school, because 1. It wasn’t, I loathed it, and 2. I am now a much better writer than I was at 14, hammering out my first ‘novel’ on a Windows 98 PC.
A lot has happened since then, and I wouldn’t care to live through it all again, but, I can say with great certainty that all of it has helped to get me here. And ‘here’ is ‘2/3 of my way through novel number 5, and having a grand old time of it’.
At 14, the world of self publishing looked very different to how it is today. For starters, you needed money up front for ISBNs, hard copies and shipping. You’d end up with boxes and boxes of books to shift. When I realised back then that I didn’t have the money, and that if I did, I wouldn’t spend it on such a thing, I was destroyed. I cried for hours, watched some Kim Possible, and tried to come to terms with it.
Now of course, the world is a little bit nicer to authors who are having a hard time getting on up the bookcase. It costs nothing to self publish on amazon, a good thing too given the economic downturn and almost extortionate price of new books. I’m very interested in where things are heading, and hope that soon all uni students will get at least one lecture in ‘making it alone’.
But of course, I’m not alone, and, at the start of this new year, I’d like to thank everyone who has bought my books, told people about them, and reviewed them online. Without your help, I would still be sobbing on my sofa.