The picture is one I’ve just been sent via Twitter. It made me laugh, although I’m not sure if it was being ironic or not, but it was perfect timing for this week’s blog post.
In the introduction to this series, I talked about leading a double life and I did this because I made the decision not to tell anyone (except for my wife) that I was writing a book.
It was exactly because I didn’t want people to do what the t-shirt says and ask me about it.
Now that we’re fast approaching publication date, it seems a dim and distant memory but there was a time when literally only the two of us knew. I’d set out each day and flit between my normal job and being a writer.
My mother-in-law couldn’t understand why I worked such long hours. At first she just thought I was a workaholic but eventually we had to set her straight and let her into the ‘circle of trust.’
Other times, it was just a matter of luck; for instance when someone comes up behind you in the coffee shop and sees the words Chapter 45 at the top of your laptop screen. But you just make up a lie that you’re reading a book you’ve downloaded and the best part is, they instantly believe you because it’s much easier to accept than if you said you were writing one yourself
So, minor white lies aside, no one else was any the wiser for a long time. I only told close friends and family once it was at a stage where I was fairly sure it was going to be published.
I didn’t have anything to hide but for me the thing I really didn’t want was people asking about it and me having nothing to tell them. So it was simply a case of protecting myself until the odds were more in my favour.
Imagine this. You tell everyone about the book when you begin writing it. For the purpose of making my point I’ll just transcribe the conversations I would have had with my Mom.
Her (week 1): ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: I’ve only done a couple of chapters but it’s OK.
Her (week 2): ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: ‘I rewrote those two chapters as they turned out to be rubbish’
Her (week 3): ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: I did two thousand words so far this week. And then deleted them.
And so on until.…
Her (week 48: ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: I finished it!
Her: When will it be in Waterstones?
Me: That’s just the first draft
And so on until…..
Her (week 106): ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: I decided to rewrite the ending to make it more exciting?
Her (week 117): ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: I think it’s as good as it could be
Her (week 118): When will it be in Waterstones?
Me: The publisher said it could be a lot better
Her (week 129) ‘How’s the book coming along?’
Me: I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea
Her (week 133): ‘How’s the book coming along?
Me: I’ve finished the tenth draft
Her: Is that it now?
Me: I don’t know. I’ve sent it back to the publisher to check
Her: So when will it be in Waterstones’
Me: [begins sobbing]
Multiple that by all the people you tell.
Next Time….Week Six: How’s The Book Coming Along? – Part 2