I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends – The Climb #215

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I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends – The Climb #215

Thursday 24th August 2017

Friends have been totally awesome today.

After yesterday’s stressfest, I’ve felt a little calmer today.

With time comes a little hindsight.  Yes, the day job caused the majority of my stress but there were other factors as well.  Mounting demands on my time to do the dues for swordfighting definitely added to my woes, and then there’s the simple fact that I completed the edits of the novel and given how the last draft of the early chapters were a complete failure, there’s a massive stress there.

And that’s how friends have been awesome today, really dealing with each of the areas of my stress and helping me alleviate them.  I’ve been genuinely touched.

Firstly whilst I knew this week would be tough, the fact so many things went wrong yesterday meant I posted a private FB post saying I might be a bit tetchy the next couple of days and was in need of beer and alcohol.  So what does one friend do?  He asks for my email address, which I give him thinking that he’s going to send me some virtual chocolate to give me a laugh.

But no, he paypals me a pound so I can go and buy myself some chococlate.  I cannot tell you what a nice thing that was.  I’m genuinely touched by this.  And whilst I probably shouldn’t be eating chocolate right now, I went and got myself a bar and treated myself because when someone does something that nice for you, you accept it with grace.  The chocolate tasted awesome as well.  And when I thanked him, he told me to pay it forward, which I intend to do.

Such an absolutely nice thing to do.

Then my swordfighting lot have mobilised to understand all the tasks I have to do with a view to carving them up to help me out.  I worried that perhaps I was making a fuss about nothing but I listed all the tasks I had  and it came to two pages so I don’t feel too bad now about making a fuss.

But I was genuinely happy how they mobilised to reduce pressure on me and find ways they could help out.  I’m grateful and really thankful for them taking the time to care.

And then there’s the novel.  My beta reader is having a shit year, and I feel bad for asking but I figure she knows me well enough to say no.  She sees I’ve had a stressful day and messages me to tell me how much she loves the novel and enjoys the replacement chapters.  I cannot tell you what a relief that is.  It’s one of those things that you only realise how much you stress about it when someone gives you some positive feedback and you breathe a massive sigh of relief.

I think that’s one of the things that happens as you progress as a writer.  With each stage the pressure increases.  What you stressed about last time and then proved you could do, pales into insignificance when the next challenge comes along.  It’s like a series of every increasing challenges that you know at some point you will fail.  At each stage you worry you’ve reached your plateau, that you’ve found how good you are and that’s your limit.

Everything I ever dreamed seems so close.  I feel I’m touching it with my fingertips but have yet to grip hold.  And at any stage, you could fall.  Oh to have come so far and still fall.  My gut tells me there’s something there but my gut also told me that the revised early chapters worked… and how wrong was I on that!

I’m lucky to have a beta reader who’ll be honest with me.  As she said, if it was shit she’d tell me (and she has).  But I always worry that perhaps I’m wrong.  Perhaps this novel is no good that I will have spent 2 years polishing it and the general public won’t love it like I do.

I know, even if everyone else hates it, I’ll love that novel.  There are parts that I’m amazingly proud of.  I also love the voice, which I read today is so important to novels.  But I so want it to do well.  I want to do this fulltime.

I always wondered what voice was, but I think I’ve found mine and I think (a blog post for another day) finding your voice as a writer is more important than people realise.

But the fact that my beta is loving this enough to want to read this book a 3rd time made me feel very grateful.  With the stress I have surrounding the novel, hearing that someone loves it means the world to me.  Because after this, it could get very stressful indeed.

So I’m grateful to friends today for being there and stepping in to help me destress.  It was appreciated more than you know.  I don’t tend to forget these things and I look forward to paying this back in the months and years to come.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-08-24T23:01:57+01:00August 25th, 2017|Swordfighting, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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