A week or so ago I had a wonderful Christmas Lunch with some author friends. My first ever Christmas Lunch with friends. It was really, really wonderful. I really enjoyed it, especially after a week of feeling incredibly lonely.
During one of the conversations one of my friends mentioned something that has stuck with me – I cannot remember who (sorry guys!) but it was really profound.
It was about how lucky we are to be given the chance to put our work out into the world without curators breathing down our necks. How amazing it is that we can go to conventions, put up our booths, and sell our work – and it struck me – wow – yeah – it is really incredible!
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this since our lunch.
In a world today that is so focused on offence, oppression, shaming each other, and ‘correct thinking’, being an independent author who manages to get by on your own steam is really, really something special.
Don’t get me wrong – I get a lot of help from my parents, who are super, super supportive, and I have THE BEST editor in the world, and a brilliant cover artist, and it’s been amazing the last two years, forming a network of people I can call friends. Having a support network in a community like independent publishing is reassuring, and, it’s also a lot of fun.
I even have wonderful, brilliant readers I can talk to on Facebook and at conventions – and this – this is worth everything! Thanks guys!
But I think a lot of writers and independent authors will understand what I mean by the hours spent alone, the work you do alone, the things you just can’t share. Those days of stressing about getting an order on time, or if you’ve typeset a novel correctly – realising you’ve left out a WHOLE PAGE in an order of a 100 books.
Right now I am…er…stressed. I have so much art to do, not much time to do it in, and I have no idea where I’ll get finances from to do all the things I want to do in the coming year.
But that stress is also excitement. This weird, bubbling ball of excitement that tells me that it’s going to be a fantastic, amazing, brilliant year – no matter what happens. For the first time in a long time I am excited for a new year.
I have NO idea how I am going to do anything.
And suddenly – that is the most thrilling thing that has ever happened to me.
A massive shout out to Katie, Matt, Karen, David and Alex.
Thanks for the friendship.
Merry Christmas everyone!