Sunday, 4 January 2015

Time Flies

And I'm back at work tomorrow.  More than two long, lovely weeks at home with nothing to do but relax (at least that was the theory) and it's back to normal.

Just in time really, not that I'm anxious to rise at 6 and brave public transport, nor am I anxious to go into the office first without my regular morning buddy who has left to take another much better job.  It's going to be hard for a few weeks until I get used to it.  But you do.  It's not the individuals so much as the slow, slow drip of people we've lost over the past year that gets to you as slowly, slowly, the death by a thousand cuts, the landscape changes, and I guess one day it will just be so totally barren I won't want to be there either. 

I was sitting on the sofa trying to organise my thoughts - what I needed to do, what I needed to finish, start, arrange, organise, ready for tomorrow, and I realised I hadn't thought about the coming year.  What do I want to do?

For the past several years I've had finish a book at the top of my list.  I've done that now twice, and am half way through a third, but it's the publishing them that's hard.  One I never sent out, the second I sent out but got rejected and need to change it, and the third I'm still working on.  It seems like goal that recedes further each year, seeing the book in print, and I can't say that this doesn't dismay me.  Not because it's a tragedy, but it just seems to be slipping away, that idea I had of myself as a writer, not because I can't write but because the market that would support my sort of writing just doesn't exist in as wide a form as it did even five years ago.  It saddens me to think that my novel was a flash in the pan, but at the same time, I'm proud of it, and if that's to be the only one, then it's a fine one to represent me.  And there's self publishing, too.  I can do that with not too much downheartedness, but just as if I were publishing it with a reputable publishing house, it still has to be in top form, the best it can be, and self means just that, no editor, no editorial advice, no guidance, no feedback.  i gave the last one to several people.  SOme loved it and some didn't say another word to me about it again (draw your own conclusion) and those that did talk to me about it had such differing comments that I was left bewildered as to which way to go in the editing process.  So I did nothing.  There's something a little soul destroying about spending another four months on it getting it into some sort of shape that I feel good about, to sell it for 69p on Amazon and still have nobody read it.

And it's the writing I love, anyway, though naturally you write because you want to be read.  You have an invisible audience in your head and you want to engage this reader.  You don't write just as an exercise in vanity.  It's from an urge to communicate.  Though vanity does come into it, of course it does, otherwise why does one want it published 'properly'?  It's ego, and self-image, and self-worth.

I realise thought that I am, have even, given up on the idea of myself as a writer, a published writer, and am quietly becoming accustomed to the idea that I'm a nonentity, just another scribbler.  It is sad and a bit dispiriting.  But the world does not crack into two, and nobody cries.  I suppose it's life - that you have to scale back your ideas, your dreams even.

Does this mean I'm giving up on writing.  No.  I'm giving up on caring about it as a means to define myself publicly.  I mean, publicly?  What public.  I live a quiet, semi-solitary life and see few people, there is no public.  I like it fine, too.

My resolutions for the next year are to NOT care what people think of me, unless I feel I've let myself done by acting badly towards someone.  But as Maya Angelou says, people can only make you feel small if you give them permission.  I don't.  I don't need anyone's approval.  They don't even need to like me.  I'm fine as I am.

I will always diet because I like the way I look when I'm thinner and I have a wardrobe of clothes that like me better too when I'm thinner.  However, I do plan to make the absolute best of myself whatever size I am.  I have drawers of scarves and earrings and necklaces and I never wear them because I can't be bothered.  Bother, Marion.  They're lovely.  Use them, or give them away.  Enjoy them.  Enjoy being me in all my fat arsed imperfect dyed blonde glory.  Nobody's looking at me anyway.  Even if I weighed 9 stone, I'm past the turning heads stage.

There are more.  But I need my ugly sleep...