A bookshop in Bristol, the name of which I will not mention, has returned “House of Shadows”. Much sadness and gnashing of teeth occurred followed by a slide into misery and despair.
Not an unusual state for a writer, but for once I eschewed the TLC and made myself have a good long think about the why this sort of situation provokes such an extreme reaction.
In every other form of business no one expects to succeed every time , or indeed to sell every item on offer, why then did the non-sale of a book make me feel so bad?
Theobvious answer was that books are somehow part of you and rejecting your creation is being rejected yourself and it hurts. Of course that isn’t true; it’s the book itself that isn’t wanted; the shop might not have had space on its shelves; its subject might not have appealed to the owner, etc. etc. Whatever the reasons, and I will never know, it was not that someone took a look at me and decided that I was somehow unsatisfactory, yet once again the negativity demons were unleashed.
So, in my effort to cage the creatures I decided to make a huge effort to look on the bright side of things. Instead of focussing on the projects that haven’t, or weren’t working; the stories that hadn’t made the anthologies; the workshops that hadn’t been commissioned, I would make a list of positive things that have happened so far this year.
Once I’d started I was surprised how much had been achieved. “Clear Gold” published. Good reviews of “House of Shadows” and some more sales. Stories accepted for anthologies, more written, much editing done on the new novel “Slipping Through the Net” and another editing project completed. Also I’ve been involved in setting up another story telling café at the Gladstone Pottery Museum for Halloween and achieved a long held ambition to have “House of Shadows” on sale at Kings Weston House, the house which inspired the book so many years ago.
There is more and even typing this amended list makes feel good. Whatever stage you are in your writing life, this is an exercise to be recommended. If you need more ideas on how to cheer yourself up, or to get a better perspective on what is going on in your life, then I find “The Positivity Blog” a helpful reminder.
It’s wet here, grey and drizzling, but writing and posting this has made a difference to my day and now for a celebratory glass of wine.