It’s Tuesday, so that means Guest post time. This week’s poster is the lovely Isla Dennes, Author of Sex, Spoons & Salsa. Enjoy!
“When I am a rich man (writer)”
by Isla Dennes
Fiddler on the Roof has a lot to answer to! As a ten-year-old sitting in the school hall listening to my brother’s debut musical performance as Tevye, I had no illusions of grandeur, no grand plans for world domination. Life was simple.
Now a writer, note the omission of “rich”, my ambitions have matured along with my age. I have finally succeeded in securing my second publishing contract.
Yes, I am thrilled, delighted, my fragile ego and struggling self-esteem has finally been publicly acknowledged, that yes I am a bonafide author and not just a wannabe scribbler!
BUT the struggle continues. I wonder if it will ever end. Will I ever get to the stage that I sit back, smile and think, I made it!
I look back over the years, from the rush of those first ideas, those first few paragraphs, and the struggle of creating 100,000 words that made up that first humble manuscript. Repeat five or six times.
Would I have persisted had I known back then that it would be such a long, difficult and frustrating road? Maybe? For anyone who has written a book of any length, I take my hat off to you. It is, without doubt, a major achievement.
The elation of writing “the end”, quickly followed by the shattering, back to reality feeling of re-reading your precious shiny new manuscript and then having to rewrite it, again and again until it slowly comes to resemble a polished original creation.
No one but a fellow author knows the silent struggle, the loneliness of a solitary writer’s life, the crippling fear when you first put your precious creation out there for all to read, criticise, ignore and reject.
It really is akin to opening up your mind and inviting everyone inside to have a look at your innermost corners, dust, cobwebs and all, and then cast their judgements upon your psyche.
Next the struggle of publishing. The endless submissions. The endless rejections (if they acknowledge your submission at all). Those few seconds of hope when a letter arrives with the magical letterhead.
Hope that is swiftly dashed with the opening words, “Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately…” This is the part of the writer’s learning journey where you really learn humility.
You learn to develop a thick skin. You learn NOT to take it personally, as hard as that is to accept. Rejection is brutal, but certainly character building, or so I am told. But this is only a precursor for what is to come when you receive your first reviews.
When a positive 3-4 star review sends you in a cave of depression for days. And a not so positive review is enough to send you retreating to a padded room (figuratively speaking) with a bottle of wine.
This is when those lessons in humility really come into their own, as to survive in any creative field requires the mental strength to accept that the opinions of others are NOT a rejection of you as a person and do not define you as a writer.
Then comes the day of pure elation, the day you’ve been waiting for but never really prepared for. The rush of reading through your first publishing contract and that moment when you feel acknowledged as a writer. Que, champagne and celebrations!
Now, as I write this, the next phase in the struggle that is the writer’s life is ahead of me. The stage of “getting it out there”.
Like they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Well, you can create, write and publish a great novel, but you can’t make people read it! But I am grateful for where I am.
Grateful that I still love to write. Grateful for the wonderful people behind the scenes who support, encourage, and have faith in my writing. And ultimately, grateful that I write for the love of it, for the craft, and NOT FOR THE MONEY!
I may not be a Rich Writer, BUT I can finally declare that I have succeeded.
I am a writer!
Sex, Spoons & Salsa
Thrown into salsa lessons by her therapist, Fiona stumbles her way from depression to happiness and, numerous disasters later finally finds her rhythm again.
As if it wasn’t bad enough to be living back home with her parents after leaving the Two-timing Lying Bastard, Fiona also finds herself socially ostracized after a drunken dancefloor disaster at the Returned Servicemen’s League disco, resulting in her father practically frog-marching her off to a psychologist. Sounds very Hollywood, right?
Except, when your parents are Scottish, it goes without saying that any therapist is of the budget variety.
As part of her plunge into the surreal world of therapy, Fiona’s instructed to have dance lessons to raise her self-esteem, in the process emptying her father’s wallet and threatening the sanctity of his prized spoon collection to foot the bill. And that’s despite Fiona’s three left feet, all of which are rhythm challenged.
Salsa lessons, secrets and lies, a riotous bachelorette night and a disastrous wedding see Fiona’s life spiralling as wildly out of control as her salsa. With her therapist’s help, she should be able to see the truth lurking just below the surface and finally take back control once and for all—that is unless her so-called friends have anything to do with it.
Connect with Isla
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Big thanks to Isla for being this week’s guest poster. Hope you all enjoyed her article. Do make sure you check out her links and if you have any comments or questions for Isla, please drop them in this blog 🙂
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