This blog post will not be written with any kind of skill or coherence. Just getting that out there before you actually decide to commit five minutes of your life to reading it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So, a few things, in no particular order.
First, I SUBMITTED MY THIRD BOOK TO MY PUBLISHER. This is a pretty major event for me, because I’ve really been struggling to write for the past seven months. And, indeed, was struggling as recently as last week. But last weekend, I was given the gift of just over 24 hours without children – the first night I’ve spent alone in more than 4 years – and managed to lock up the inner critic for long enough to get the book finished. I’m still more than 50% sure my editor will come back to me and say what the heck is this load of old rubbish, but to be honest, completing the thing at all feels like a huge achievement.
Second, my second book is out in paperback in a week’s time. I’ve arranged precisely nothing in the way of promotion. However, I will be doing a book signing in Waterstones Milton Keynes on 13 August, if you happen to be in the area.
Third, I’ll be spending far less time on social media for a while. I will update my Facebook author page occasionally if I have anything relevant to share, but my Twitter will remain on hiatus and my Facebook account will remain deactivated. (To be honest, I don’t think anyone’s actually noticed the deactivation of my Facebook account, so that shows how much of an impact I was having on people’s lives. Ha.)
In brief, the retreat from social media is for my own mental health. The internet can be great for showing people they’re not alone. It can also be the loneliest place in the world. And when you’re already feeling like a talentless loser, there’s so much on Twitter and Facebook just waiting to confirm that for you. It gets to the point where everything, no matter how small, feeds into your own insecurity and self-doubt. It’s so easy to compare yourself negatively to other people. To take things personally that weren’t meant personally. And when you add that to all the anger and hate and political arguments that devolve into insults … I guess it can be overwhelming. Certainly I was finding it a drain on my energy. I’ve only been gone a week, and I already feel a lot better just from detaching for a bit.
So, yeah. That’s me. Since I won’t be sharing this on Twitter or Facebook, other than my author page, I don’t suppose anyone will actually read it. But, you know, just in case ;-)
20/7/2016 11:53:17 pm
<<HUGS>> I noticed the deactivation and was worried for you, but have been a bit down and didn't have any positive motivation for you. So glad to hear you managed to get the novel finished and in! Even if you aren't thrilled with it CELEBRATE! You muscled your way through. You really do rock, even if you can't see it right now.
21/7/2016 06:18:50 am
I read this!! Congratulations on getting book number 3 finished, even if you end up revising parts, its a great achievement. Sorry I cant be there for your book signing, I'm in Africa in August, but I hope you have fun!
21/7/2016 06:40:10 am
congrats - both on a well-deserved break and handing in the third book! Take the time & space you need and look after yourself. Everything you do affects somebody positively.
21/7/2016 09:19:30 am
Now is the time to step back, reflect on your HUGE achievements and take the pressure off. Remember you've written three books, had two babies and a house move in the time I've known you, plus if memory serves a new job too. That's enormous, for anyone .
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