Filled with new year resolution, I approached a well known crime writer and asked them if they would read my novel, The Art of Survival – http://goo.gl/MfMBUj – to provide me with a publicity quote. Of course she said no, no time. At least she was polite and encouraging about it.
I knew she would refuse. Still I was disappointed. As I reflected on this disappointment, I realised I had fallen prey, once again, to some old scripts.
#Old script 1
If I try hard, I will succeed, ergo, if I don’t succeed, I’m not trying hard enough.
#Old script 2
It’s not about trying harder, it’s about being smarter, ergo, I am not smart.
#Old script 3
If you know what achievement looks like, you will succeed. I know what achievement looks like for me: being traditionally published by a publisher which cares; earning my living through my writing (with some teaching/workshops thrown in); having a novel in the bestseller list; having a novel adapted for TV. Not a lot to ask huh! But I am certain this success is not for me.
There is a myth, coming from #old script 1 & 2 above, that success is there for the taking for everyone. If this were true, then writers who have succeeded (in my terms) would not appear on TV/radio chat shows. They would not be a rarity, an oddity, newsworthy. The ledge of success is narrow and everyone who gets there has needed a leg-up and luck.
I have spent the day working on my third novel, The Art of Breathing, which I intend to indie publish later this year if I don’t find a traditional publisher for it. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to be writing; shaping the characters, teasing out the plot, creating the world which I want to share with readers. I know this is where I get the most satisfaction and (ergo) where I should focus. And I will, once I’ve booted out those old, unhelpful scripts.
As a writer, what’s the most unhelpful script you are holding onto and what would you like to replace it with?