I was interviewed by a Whale!

Ron Shaw The WhaleIn November 2015 I had the great good fortune to be interviewed on the American Artists First Network by Ron Shaw, affectionately known as “The Whale”. Ron usually gives his hour slot to two or three artists, writers, composers or musicians. He asked me to do the hour on my own, which was rather daunting. However, Ron’s warm, generous and engaging personality made the interview a pleasure. It was well received and is a memory in my writer’s life that I cherish.

Click on the link below to listen to the interview. Enjoy!

http://www.artistfirst2.com/ArtistFirst_Ron_Shaw_2015-11-02.mp3 …

 

The Joys of Editing. Not!

The joys of editing not

21 January 2018

I love writing. Love love love it! It’s my happy space. But let me be clear about something – to me, writing is the process of putting down a story, building worlds, creating and caring for characters both good and bad, and ensuring that the stream-of-consciousness writing of the first draft is not tampered with.

Then there is editing.

Editing is different from writing. Yes it is. The story is already there, the characters complete, the best ideas safely deposited in the first draft. The first draft is always a joy. The second draft is the beginning of the actual work phase for me. And it goes like this.

Second draft – read through to proof errors and make changes to plot threads left hanging, characters who need completing, check for doubling up and ensure the story energy reads consistently. Make sure the chapters are linked and there is plenty happening on each page. Check word count and page count aren’t too little or too much for one novel. If it needs adding to or culling, this draft is where that is done.

Third draft – edit the story paragraph by paragraph, now paying attention to grammar, word placement, adjectives and adverbs, dialogue and narrative. Be picky. Be cold. Be critical. It hurts sometimes, but it has to be done.

Fourth draft – now read through sentence by sentence, ensuring they have correct spelling and grammar. Then do a computerised spellcheck and grammar check to see if it comes up with anything I missed.

Fifth draft – the book now goes to an external editor with my brief of what I want, which is usually “don’t touch the story, just proof and note anything that doesn’t add up or jars when you read it.” When it comes back to me, I make any changes required and I’M DONE!

Next, I format it for Kindle and Paperback on Kindle Direct Publishing. The book covers are ready. And finally I publish the blighter, which by now I am usually glad to see the back of.

Then I start the marketing and promotion which, incidentally, I find harder than all of the above. That’s just plain hard work and I know that most Indie Authors feel the same, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do it diligently, I do it reasonably well (past sales attest to that), and I have complete control over it. Which is the best part.

And I get to sleep again.

Sleep. That precious, underrated gift that eludes so many writers during the whole process, but for me, especially during the editing process. The typical sleeping pattern of this writer in the editing process is:

  • 9.30pm go to bed, asleep within half an hour;
  • 1.30am wake up with ideas buzzing in my head about what needs to be added/deleted/changed;
  • 3.00am still staring at the ceiling because the brain won’t shut down, but too tired to get up and write;
  • 3.30am going crazy, so get up, turn on Netflix and watch a couple of episodes of Grace and Frankie;
  • 4.30am back to bed and sleep finally;
  • 7.00am wake up exhausted.
  • Back at my writing desk by 9.00am. Do as much as my tired self can do, then repeat the whole process again the next night. Sigh….

The joys of Editing. Not!

 

PPM: Post Publishing Malaise

31 March 2018

PPM

31 March 2018

There is PMT or PMS, depending on which country you live in, and involves normally nice girls and women turning into monsters a few days before their periods. There is PTSD and we all know how serious that is, no matter what has caused it. There is IABOS, Independent Author Burn Out Syndrome, when an Indie Author has worked themselves into the ground and must rest or perish. And then there is PPM, Post Publishing Malaise, also mostly applicable to Indie Authors. It’s that strange state we fall into after hitting the Publish button on KDP and all the work that preceded that simple action is behind us.

And that is where I am at right now. So here is how it goes. Two years of solid research into my first historical fiction novel, SARAH ANN ELLIOTT Book 1, then another year of writing it, during which I realise it will be a series of books rather than a one off. I let the story have its wicked way and by the time I have it ready for the editor, it is 400 pages. How did that happen? I do another edit myself and am reassured that it needs to stay exactly as it is. It goes off to the professional editor and I begin the process of updating all my sites – Facebook, Twitter, my website, etc etc etc. That takes a day of non-creative slog. Then I decide on the cover and it’s done at my end.  I have given the editor my brief and a timeframe of a month and I know she will have the manuscript back to me by the deadline.

While I wait for the editor to do her stuff, I begin outlining Book 2 in the SARAH ANN ELLIOTT SERIES and am excited by the story I still have to tell. I also turn my attention to the next book I will publish, OLD FARTS ON A BUS, and I have a lot of fun with that. It flows because the creative energy is still there. Then the editor is finished, I make the changes needed, upload Book 1 on KDP and hit the Publish button. And there is nothing more to do.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I should be tackling the marketing and promoting campaign, but something is happening that I can’t seem to control. It isn’t IABOS. I am familiar with the total wipeout that causes, the fatigue, depression, anxiety, feelings of low self worth etc etbloodycetera. I recognise IABOS now and deal with it accordingly. This is more a surreal, dreamy state in which I know I have worked hard, a lot has happened inside my head to get this book finished, my writing brain knows the creative stuff is finished (until I start Book 2) but the business end of being an Indie Author is awaiting my attention, and I must step into that space and focus. But my brain will not obey. I start doing other things in short bursts – water the pots, empty the ironing basket, hem my black trousers, order ten lipsticks online because they are on sale, ring my sister for a two hour chat about nothing in particular, go out to lunch with my husband because I can’t be bothered making a tuna sandwich, and snacking. Lots of snacking.

Now, when you snack, you need somewhere comfortable to sit. That’s usually my recliner in front of my TV. Hubby and I have separate TV rooms and we firmly believe it is the secret to a happy marriage. He watches Fox Sport, reality shows about police and prisons and current affairs programs. Being a writer with my toes in the screenwriting world (had my first short film FLAMES screened last year) who writes mostly for women, I watch well produced, well written dramas, comedies and sagas aimed at the female demographic. No soaps or reality shows. Never that. So while I’m snacking, I decide to catch up on the good stuff I’ve missed out on because I’ve been in my study writing so much. And I realise that there are 7 seasons of Game of Thrones, but I have only seen 3. Oh boy, a distraction! A major distraction! Better than a squirrel!

So I snack and binge watch all 7 seasons back to back and it is glorious! It is so good that it clears my mind completely of the book I have just finished and it feels like someone has gone into the attic and dusted, vacuumed, cleaned and polished my brain. Hosed it out, blow dried it and made it habitable again. Seriously. That is what it feels like. Cobwebs all gone. And I wonder at the state I had fallen into, to be able to sit in a chair and watch TV for a couple of weeks without a break. Oh well, I did go to bed for a few hours at night, and I did eat when Hubby cooked, and I did shower and change clothes. But I didn’t go out for a walk or do my regular morning exercises or watch my diet. I just let it all go. Not like me at all. I didn’t feel depressed or anxious or particularly tired. I just didn’t want to be bothered for awhile. With anything.

I’ve always said that writing is like surfing. You wait for that creative wave to come along and you grab it and surf it with all your heart. When it has passed, you paddle until the next wave comes along. I had been surfing the writing wave without a break for so long, now I just needed to paddle in shallow water for awhile. And it worked.

The malaise is passing and I can feel the mental and creative energy returning. I’m writing this, aren’t I? I love writing and it distresses me if I lose that passion. How would I fill the void if I couldn’t write? While IABOS (see my previous blog about that) is devastating and can leave you wiped out for long periods of time, PPM is more like a coffee break that you need to take with fresh choc chip muffins, soft music and a beautiful view to stare at for an uninterrupted length of time. A coffee break that can last for a few days or a few weeks. You can still function, you still feel well and sane, you just don’t wanna write!

Stay out of the study. Don’t turn your computer on. If you do, you’ll just sit and stare at it and wonder why you turned it on in the first place. If you are like me and don’t read other books while you are writing your own (outgoing conflicts with incoming, something about the voices of the characters in your head), well now is the moment to pick up another author’s work and wallow in it. Or binge watch your favourite TV shows. Or catch up with friends who thought you had moved because they hadn’t heard from you for so long.

Recharge and renew. PPM can actually be thoroughly enjoyable when you understand what it is. Oh, and when you check your sales report on KDP and nothing much is happening, don’t be too concerned. Indie Authors must realise they are in it for the long haul. Your published work will outlive you. Bet you hadn’t thought about that. It’s out there and it’s going to stay out there. You have plenty of time to get onto that marketing and promoting campaign. You have plenty of time to connect with your readers and watch those sales figures gradually increase. Sure, your books will peak and subside, that is true for all books, but you’ll have moved on to your next book and, hopefully, will be focused on what really matters. And that is telling stories. Good stories. And PPM will happen again, and again. Learn to expect it and and cater to it.

It’s a writer’s life. That’s all it is. And a writer’s life can be pretty bloody good. Enjoy it!

 

SARAH ANN ELLIOTT: a Conundrum!

 

old victorian lady29 November 2017

Just when I thought SARAH ANN ELLIOTT could not surprise me any more…she has!

Last week, I thought a bit of recreational family history research on British Newspaper Archives was in order. It’s a truly wonderful site which I have a full subscription to and which has given me more insight into various members of my British ancestry than many other documents. Trove is the Australian equivalent and has also proven invaluable. But if an ancestor makes it into the newspapers, it’s usually for the wrong reasons and can be quite upsetting at times. I discovered a great grandfather who “accidentally” murdered a young returned serviceman in Adelaide in 1918. A great-great grandfather who was arrested in London in 1884 for drunkenness and consorting with prostitutes while his poor wife and young children waited at home for him. Two great-great grandfathers who were hauled up before the courts for beating their wives, one in England, the other in Australia. Ahh yes, every family has them, these less than perfect and sometimes downright dirty ancestors. But I wasn’t prepared for what I discovered last week about little ol’ Granny Sarah Ann.

I idly entered “Sarah Ann Hocking” into the British Newspaper Archives search area (Hocking was her common-law married name to my 3xgreat grandfather William Hocking) and hit “enter”, not really expecting anything, and instantly found an article in three Sheffield, Yorkshire newspapers in August 1907. She was 84 when this article appeared. Here is the transcription:

“Sheffield, England, August 1907

AN OLD WOMAN’S HOARD

OBTAINED RELIEF BUT HAD PACKETS OF GOLD

The discovery of a packet of sovereigns in the bedroom of a small house in Ellison Street, occupied by a woman who for years has been in receipt of outdoor relief, led to an unusual application being made…at the City Police Court yesterday.

The woman (Sarah Ann Hocking) first obtained out-relief in 1900. She declared then that she was destitute, and to all appearances she was indeed in very poor circumstances. A sympathetic board granted her a certain sum per week, and this she has been in receipt of ever since. Altogether the Guardians have paid her £65 of which her sons have contributed £28.

Yet, all unknown to her relatives or to the relieving officer, she has possessed quite a hoard of gold. The discovery took place in this way. A little while ago she was making her weekly visit to the Union offices, when she was taken ill suddenly in the street, and upon the advice of the Medical Officer, she was removed to the Royal Hospital. While she was there, a relieving officer, accompanied by one of her sons, visited the house in Ellison Street, and upon opening several packets which they discovered in the bedroom, to their surprise they found half-sovereigns and sovereigns – £174 in all.

Yesterday, therefore, an application was made to the magistrates for an order permitting the Guardians to retain £38 of the money – the amount the ratepayers are out of pocket through the woman having needlessly obtained relief. The application was granted.”

Goodness!! She was 84, an old pauper of no particular note, but was still fit and active enough to walk to the Union Office every week. Not bad for a mill girl from Stockport, Cheshire (now a suburb of Manchester) whose parents and siblings had mostly died in their 40s and 50s from the diseases that plagued the Industrial Revolution towns of northern England in the 19th century. She lived in a small three roomed house (1901 census information) in Ellison Street, Sheffield in humble circumstances. Until 1900, she had been living with her youngest son, Albert, but he dropped dead suddenly from natural causes at age 36 whilst working at his labouring job, and at the age of 78 she found herself living alone. Albert was the eighth of her thirteen children she’d had to bury in her lifetime. Unimaginable to today’s parents. She could have gone to live with one of her five surviving children who were scattered around the country – Phoebe or Henry in Portsmouth, Hampshire; William in Vange, Essex; Selina in Hereford, Herefordshire; George in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire – and indeed that was the custom back then, the alternative being the workhouse, but it appears she either chose to stay where she was, or they didn’t want her. My research has indicated she was a particularly spirited and independent woman, so I wouldn’t be surprised she chose to live alone.

With Albert’s sudden death and her financial support gone, she applied to the Board of Guardians for poor relief. Out-relief was the equivalent of today’s social security payments which allowed a pauper to remain in their home rather than enter the abysmally overcrowded workhouses. Her family contributed towards her support by sending money to the Guardians who supplemented it with money obtained from local ratepayers and then administered an agreed amount to Sarah Ann each week. Life went on for her, until she collapsed in the street seven years later and was taken to the hospital. Her family would have been notified of her illness and one of her sons had accompanied a Guardian to her home, as much to collect things she may have needed in hospital as to check on her home situation. Another article in one of the other newspapers says the gold sovereigns they found were kept neatly in a packet, an envelope and a tin box, but they were not hidden away. And yet none of her family knew about it. Did none of them visit her or ever go into her bedroom? She had grown grandchildren living close by. Nobody locked their houses in those days, yet thieves had not attempted to break in and take her gold. She had maintained the facade of a worthless old pauper to perfection. It wasn’t just her family who didn’t know about the gold sovereigns. Nobody knew! £174 was a vast sum for an old lady to have lying around the house in 1907 – today’s equivalent £20,000. That’s $35,000AUD or $27,000US.

So many questions here! The obvious one is – where the hell did she get all that money? In gold sovereigns no less? Well, it appears it wasn’t stolen because the Police Courts did not accuse her of theft, no charges were laid against her, and they did not demand she hand all of it over. Only the portion of out-relief the Guardians had paid her was asked for, which, by the way, was minuscule compared to social security payments today. £65 over seven years works out to about 3 shillings and sixpence a week, barely enough to pay her rent, buy coal and a little food. But her family had paid £28 towards that £65, so they were contributing to her care, they hadn’t abandoned her and perhaps they were helping out in other ways, otherwise how on earth did she manage? The Sheffield ratepayers covered the extra £38. So even after the Guardians had got their £38 back, she still had £136 in gold left.

Had she been in possession of that gold when she applied for out-relief in 1900? Was she guilty of social security fraud? They imprisoned people for defrauding the Guardians back then. They did not imprison Sarah Ann.

There is another logical explanation. Her son, Albert, had been involved in a serious theft a few years before he died and had served six months hard labour. Albert was described at his trial as being 5’1″ tall, severely short sighted with very thick glasses, and sporting a large mole on his left cheek. The magistrate described him as being a bit simple and of falling under the influence of his accomplice who got two years hard labour. He is not recorded as having committed any crimes after leaving prison, but perhaps he had and gotten away with it. Did he hide some of his ill gotten gains in the house on Ellison Street which Sarah Ann discovered after she’d already applied for out-relief and was too ashamed to declare?

Or was my Sarah Ann a wicked, cunning old lady who acquired £174 in gold sovereigns through some unlawful means and was arrogantly careless about how she kept it? Hmmm, I think not, because she didn’t appear to ever spend any of it.

Or was she just plain batty? Did the gold sovereigns fall into her possession quite innocently and she thought, “I’ll just put them here on the chest of drawers while I go to collect my 3 shillings and sixpence from the Union office,” and then completely forgot about them?

Anyhoooooo, so many questions and so many possibilities about this fascinating ancestor. And to think I was worried about how I would keep the last part of her story interesting! These articles have been a gift for me, the storyteller, and I will spend the early part of next year hiring researchers in Sheffield to find out what they can from whatever records they can find. It is pure Dickensian, this old lady’s story. I could not have thought it up myself, as wild as my imagination is. Where did that money come from and why was she, a pauper, sitting on it instead of improving her life and the lives of her family with it?

Sarah Ann Elliott was a conundrum.

IABOS: Independent Author Burn Out Syndrome

IABOS21 March 2016

IABOS: Independent Author Burn Out Syndrome. I invented the phrase. I invented the acronym (patent pending). I diagnosed it myself (ex nurse so I can do that). I expect there are many Indie Authors who have been at it for as many years as I have who will recognise what I’m about to describe.

First, a brief history of my writing career. Well, maybe not so brief. Definitely more than 25 words.

I have been writing stories since I was six. I had no encouragement from family, friends or teachers – with one mistimed exception. The day I turned 16, I left school because I hated it and couldn’t wait to get out. As I was going, I got bailed up in the quadrangle by my English teacher, Miss Law and berated for leaving because “I had the talent to be a successful writer and should go on to university and study English literature.” Really? Why hadn’t she told me that some time during the four years of High School instead of yelling at me, humiliating me and singling me out for constant criticism? Sorry, Miss Law, but you left it a bit late and I didn’t believe you. But then, that’s the way school was back in the 60’s, especially in the country. So I got a job as a shop assistant, married at 18, first baby at 20, three more in the next eight years (no regrets there, my children are still my pride and joy), divorced and began a complicated, convoluted, unsettled life for the next twenty years. Until I met my present husband and found that rare gift – domestic bliss.

But I never stopped writing stories. Even when I wasn’t scribbling ideas in notebooks, I was writing in my head with an imagination that I felt I had no control over unless I could put it down on paper. Kind of a sanity saver for an over active imagination. I learned over the years that I saw the world differently to most people, didn’t like groups, hated being told what to do, and often preferred to observe rather than participate. I now know many writers share these same qualities, and they are qualities, not disadvantages, if you are a writer. I firmly believe writers are born, not made.

I taught myself to type with my brother’s school typing manual on a golf-ball typewriter that kept breaking down and which my son kept soldering back together again. I completed my first full length novel in 1988 at age 35, sent it off to a major English publishing house (before countries closed to foreign submissions) and bugger me if it wasn’t accepted! Yep, first cab off the rank. Seemed so easy. But I was about to begin my lessons in dealing with the publishing industry and some of those lessons were brutal.

I had contact with two editors who had approved my book for “the list”, editors with lovely English names and charming manners. They asked me for some specific revisions which I duly did and sent the revised manuscript to them. Then…nothing. Nada. Not a thing for months. I sent off letters. No response. After quite a wait, I finally rang the publishing house in England in the middle of the night (I’m in Australia) only to be told that they had been bought out (by a wealthy and well known Australian no less, the traitor!) and most of the old staff replaced. I burst into tears. The receptionist took pity on me and gave me the home phone number of one of those lovely editors. I rang her and she was dismayed that I hadn’t been contacted. She and the other editor had been replaced as Fiction Editors and the new guy didn’t like my book. And that was that.

Back to the drawing board. Having been accepted by one publisher, I assumed I would be accepted easily by another. Not so. I did the rounds with no success. Then overseas publishers stopped taking foreign submissions and local publishers stopped taking direct submissions from authors. The rules had changed. I needed an agent.

Didn’t take me long to find an agent. She told me my book was “the best thing to cross her desk in two years.” She proceeded to send out letters etc, but without success. After six months, she left the agency she worked for and went into another line of work, but left me with a list of people I could follow up with.

Then illness hit my family and I had a year of dealing with real life issues. When I was able to pick up that list again, I found the people on it had either left the industry or moved into other jobs within the industry. Another lesson learned – this industry is fluid. It never stays the same for long.

I kept writing and sending out manuscripts and letters to agents/publishers and built up quite a collection of rejection letters. At the same time I bought my first computer. No, that’s not right. I rented my first computer because I was too poor to buy one. I borrowed ‘Computers for Dummies’ and taught myself to use it. We’re talking the 80’s here. What a revelation that computer was! I no longer needed to retype the whole manuscript every time I made changes.

I kept writing and getting rejection letters. Then I found another agent who made a big fuss of me – to begin with. She promised me marvellous things and delivered nothing, then dropped me, but forgot to tell me she’d dropped me. She just didn’t answer my calls or emails. I finally got the message. I was on my own again.

I kept writing and kept trying. I was a single parent of four children with a full time job and writing in my spare time, which I didn’t have much of, so I put in a lot of late nights. Fast forward to 2006 and Lulu.com arrived, borders and Trad Pub rules disappeared and the world opened up to writers. I published two paperback novels there at no cost to me (not the first ms that “almost” got published, that’s still sitting in the back of the cupboard) and began my journey as an Indie Author. Not a lot of sales and not a lot of outlets for marketing and promoting back then, but it was the beginning and my lessons in the industry continued. My first novel, A Place In Time, was shortlisted for an Australian literary award, but I considered my second novel, Damaged Goods, to be better and indeed it sold more. Sales were few but my books were out there at last. And there ain’t nothing sweeter for an author than knowing strangers all over the world are reading and enjoying (or not) your books.

Skip to 2010 and ebooks arrived. Glorious, wonderful, miraculous ebooks that could be downloaded onto Kindles and tablets in an instant for a fraction of the cost of a hard copy book. Along with ebooks came marketing/promoting outlets, again without borders – Twitter, blogging, Facebook, Amazon and Smashwords. I became one of the Indie Author ebook pioneers, connecting with other pioneers on Kindleboards Writers Cafe. It was exciting back then. We were all learning at the same time and helping each other out. Some of us went on to big things, like the wonderful Amanda Hocking (something in the surname perhaps?), but most of us continued with modest success and if they were lucky like me, they were happy with that. I sold books in varying numbers every month, got regular royalty payments and considered myself successful. I worked every day on new stories and marketing and promotion, whilst still dealing with real life around me and all the trials and tribulations that brings.

I had a new dramatic fiction novel ready to launch, a children’s series (The Aunt Edna Stories, still to come) and a humorous novel all ready to go, and then real life intervened as it so often does. I had an accident and was laid up with splints and bandages and antibiotics for a year. Those books didn’t get launched and by the time I was well enough to get back to a computer, I thought they all needed a rewrite – The Curse Of The Author when reviewing “completed” work, they always look like they could be improved despite seeming perfect last time you looked at them. So I worked on the dramatic fiction novel, Home To Roost and launched it in early 2013.

And then a miracle and a disaster happened at the same time. I woke up one morning and discovered one of my books had made it into Amazon’s Top Ten. Good Golly Miss Molly, did I ever celebrate! And a week later, the second novel was there, and a few days later, the third. I had arrived! Albeit very briefly. One stayed in the top ten for about an hour, another for a day, and the third for three days. The royalties were sweet indeed, but when I checked my stats and saw that I’d sold books in seven different countries – well, that was as sweet as it gets.

As for the disaster – at the same time as I launched Home To Roost, Amazon went on their review culling mission, now known as the Review Scandal of 2013, and in the first week after the launch I saw eleven 5 star reviews appear and disappear overnight. I stopped looking, so I’ll never know exactly how many reviews were taken down, but I emailed Amazon (along with all the other authors this was happening to) and got some very nasty responses accusing me of paying for reviews, using family and friends to put up reviews, doing deals with other authors to exchange reviews and threatening to cancel my Amazon account if I continued to challenge them. Amazon was still my biggest sales outlet, so I stopped complaining and decided to wear it – another lesson learned. Just when you think you have total control over your work as an Indie Author, you discover you don’t.

I decided to wait it out while more cashed up authors challenged Amazon in court, the review culling and the nasty emails to authors stopped and I hoped that the reviews would begin to appear again for Home To Roost. But the Review Scandal did its damage and even though the book still sells, as I type this I only have three reviews for it.

I turned my attention to the humorous book and the children’s series and real life intervened again, this time in the form of a long term (but treatable) illness. I kept writing and marketing and promoting as much as I could. I researched my new book, Sarah Ann Elliott for eighteen months and started writing it, published the first chapter on my blog and felt on track with my career.

And then one day late last year I walked into my study and my head began to hurt. I walked out and it felt better. Hmm. Odd. I lay down for a rest and slept for four hours in the middle of the day. Odder. Tried to go into my study again the next day, same thing.

I thought I was just tired, so went with it and took a few days off. Then discovered my passion for my garden was missing and I’d lost interest in my Bonsai, two things that I had long been devoted to. And I felt terribly tired, really fatigued in the head as well as the body. I wondered if I was depressed, went to see my very good GP who knows me well and was told I was not suffering from depression, but possibly was simply burnt out from working and trying so hard for so long. She advised me to simply take a break from everything – and I did. No writing, no thinking about writing, no marketing or promoting (I hired someone to do that for the first time ever, what a waste of money, saw my first ever month in ten years without a single sale), no gardening or Bonsai-ing. I was taking long service leave from all my passions.

I slept, ate, watched movies (didn’t even have the energy to read all those books I’ve been looking forward to getting to), stayed at home and became a proper dag, and loved every minute of it. I’m fortunate enough at 63 to not have to worry about money, I have a wonderful husband who was quite happy with his frumpy, boring, sleepy wife slouching around the house, and there isn’t anyone out there demanding anything from me – no deadlines because I set my own, no touring or book signings because that’s the past, no readers pestering me because I simply ignore their emails if they do (sorry, readers, but I’ll get to you eventually), and the best part of all is that whatever talent/skill/ability I have as a writer is not going anywhere. It will be there when I am ready to partake of it again. Which I feel may be soon.

This blog is the first time in four months I’ve been able to walk into my study without my head hurting and turn on the computer. Earlier I went into my garden and smelled the roses. Yes, they are still growing despite my lack of attention towards them. And my Bonsai are still small and healthy, thanks to the shade house and automatic watering system. Am I over the IABOS? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll take one day at a time. But just writing this bit of stream of consciousness has felt good, so I’m making progress.

But I’ve had enough for today. So I’m going. If anyone reads this, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. If an Indie Author reads this and recognises a little of themselves in my story, I will not be surprised. If they don’t, well we are all different and writers should be different. Right?

So I’m knicking off now. Got a movie to watch and a nap to take. But I think I may be back tomorrow. Maybe I’ll try reading what I’ve already written of Sarah Ann Elliott and pick up the flow and add a little more to it. Or maybe not. We’ll see. IABOS is, IMHO, a very normal part of being a hard working Indie Author. Now that I recognise it and know how to manage it, I will never worry about it again. If I burn out, I’ll simply stop for awhile. And when I’m not burnt out, I’ll write, market and promote. It’s not rocket science.

Ciao for now!