Tuesday, 14 July 2015

"Lower your expectations. The happiest authors are the ones that don't expect much."

The title of this, my first ever blog entry, is a quote from Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker. 

I love it. It's fitting for this blog, for the journey I am undertaking, and for the little I have experienced of the literary world so far. And, boy, did it make me laugh when I first discovered it. (I'll tell you why another time).

I have just finished the first draft of The Fallen, the second book of The Darkest Hand trilogy, The Damned being the first, and I am exhausted, shot, broken, shattered. (add a few more in here, if you feel so inclined). 

I've given it my all for nine long months; early starts, late nights, pre-dawn writing sessions, all night sessions, sessions in coffee shops, sessions on trains, in an art gallery, in a caravan, on a cliff top.

I've written sober, half starved, drunk, very drunk, tripping on caffeine, exhausted and wired. I've written with utter silence and a house full of noise, to classical music and black metal raging. I've written until my knuckles have shrieked and my eyes have burned in my skull. I've written 300,000 words distilled down to 100,000 and gone through over a 1000 sheets of paper and three cartridges of black ink.

I've written as I've eaten and I've eaten as I've read. I've left my wife and kids alone for days too many to count, whilst I've tried to tell a story which has, at times too many, been as elusive as I've been in my own household .

Has it been worth it? I suppose time, my agent, my publisher and eventually the general public will let me know. I know I've written the very best story I'm capable of in this moment and time. It's not perfect, but I hope we'll polish it well enough over the coming months to get it somewhere approaching that. What I do know is it's something I've written because I've felt feel impelled to - and that I really want people to love it, as much as *most* people to date have loved The Damned. 

But, as Seth says, you need to lower your expectations to be a happy author. And perhaps I should lower mine. But, for the moment, I feel immense pride and mostly relief to have reached this far!

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