Wednesday 10th January 2018
I went into the office today. For my day job I work from home a lot but I do sometimes go into the office.
I tend to keep my private life and work life very separate. I don’t really talk about the day job here, and I don’t talk much about the writing at work. But people know. They saw me nab my agent and then have watched as I’ve worked my way through rewrites.
2018 is proving a little stressful for me so far. The day job is crazy. I dream of one day being a full time writer but we all know how slow publishing is and it currently feels a frustrating million miles away. I’ve put on weight over Xmas and it seems slow to come off. And whilst I’m back at the swordfighting, I’m struggling to find the same passion as I had last year.
I know that my yearly plans never seem to really start until February. January always seems to be my month for getting everything ready and back into the swing of things. Therefore, I keep trying to remind myself that it’s OK that things are just ticking along at the moment.
I always say that I’m pretty good at setting myself an impossible goal and then achieving it, but I usually underestimate how long it will take. I think that’s where a lot of my frustration comes from. I’m still on the path to get where I want to go, but I’m not there yet.
Some friends joke whether they will ever see this book I’m supposedly writing. I joke back that perfection takes time. It doesn’t bother me. Despite my frustration I always get the feeling from them that they believe in me and it’s just a matter of time
But today I encountered a very negative work colleague who took a shot at that. I could tell by the way they spoke that they didn’t think anything I said would happen. There was something about their tone that gave me the impression that they thought I was just full of bullshit.
Now, understand, I don’t go around telling people I’m going to be the next Stephen King. I say I’ve got a good agent, that we’re working on the book, it seems good, there’s potential interest and there’s a good likelihood it’ll sell. But, I always add, it’s still possible no publisher will buy it. I’m very clear about that.
So I found the negative attitude a little disconcerting. I’ve never understood the need for some people to put other people down. Even if you did think I was talking bullshit, was there really any reason to take the piss?
I’ve always said that negative people never achieve anything. If they put the same effort they put into slagging something off into doing it, then they’d be successful. In the last couple of months, I’ve gone further and started to believe that you’re better off removing negative people from your friend circle.
The comments bothered me… and they didn’t. I feel I have a very realistic view of my writing career. Sure, I’m optimistic, but if I don’t believe in myself how can I expect others too. However, I’m not arrogant or complacent. Nothing is certain and certainly things could go south (and sometimes do in publishing). But I’ve told myself that if I can get to this stage once, I have it in me to get here again if it did all turn to shit.
Yet… there’s a weariness and frustration that the comments today spoke to. It’s that doubt that it’s ever going to happen, that is blind to the progress I’ve made to my craft (and the fact that I have book 2 nearly ready to go to beta readers).
But that’s how I dealt with it. I got home late tonight and dived into book 2 to do some more edits. It’s going well. It’s certainly not perfect but it doesn’t need to be at this stage. At this rate, I should have this draft done by the end of the month.
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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