Hello! No, not yet.
I am so very close to publishing, and the reasons I haven’t are all very genuine. But there’s also a part of me that’s terribly afraid. Of failure, one might think. And one would be partly right. But there’s also a lesser-known fear: the fear of success. That’s the idea that you’ve become comfortable with never having tried; the lack of fame and fortune being a small price to pay for avoiding the uncertainty of life as a successful Whatever It Was That You Wanted To Be. I’m more afraid of failure than success though. Failure is horrible and bad and it makes your willy seem small and girls laugh at you and you have troublesome body odour that people point out and then you have no money and no house and no girlfriend and you’re living on the street, giving blow-jobs in return for half a Starbucks gluten-free tuna nicoise sandwich. Success, on the other hand, is just an endless procession of gob-jobs from 19 year old Victoria’s Secret models. Success is so great that you wouldn’t even care that you had to be Adam Levine in order to achieve it. That’s the only reason Adam Levine is still alive.
What’s holding me up then? Formatting. The problem with being a one man band is that you literally have to do everything, even the stuff that you’re unable to do. I was able to write, I was able to design a cover. What I’m not able to do is turn a Word doc into a flawless HTML file in order to publish it to the Kindle. Luckily, I have the internet, and all the info is out there. It’s sort of stayed out there though. I am no good with IMMENSE WALLS OF TEXT THAT PROBABLY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS I NEED SOMEWHERE INSIDE. This is why the first thing I am going to do when I am rich is hire a Personal Assistant. With massive, massive tits. And then another Personal Assistant who can read. She’ll be the important one; she’ll be able to rummage through all that information for me and relay what I need, in layman’s terms. While the other Personal Assistant administers a therapeutic Soapy Tit Wank. I jest, of course. I have a girlfriend for that sort of thing. Well, I did before I wrote that last paragraph.
Formatting involves going through the manuscript and taking out all the double spaces, double commas, double periods, that sort of nonsense. You also need to remove all the bits where you tabbed or used the space or enter keys to separate pieces of text. If you aren’t doing this, and plan to just shove your MS Word-written masterpiece onto Smashwords or Amazon.com without formatting, be prepared for it to be as readable as Fifty Shades Of Braille, Mandarin Edition. Put simply, your book is not finished. And there’s more. When going through your ‘script to put in finishing touches like double-paragraphs, you’re going to notice that the Amazing Dialogue you conjured up last February now reads like it was written by Daniel Day-Lewis’ voice coach for My Left Foot. So you have to tinker. And after tinkering, it reads like it was written by Brad Pitt’s voice coach for Snatch. God, I’m hilarious.
My point is, there will always be something you want to change, so you have to choose a time to walk away from it. You are a certain level of writer now, you have to accept yourself. There is nothing to say that you cannot rise up a level with your next book, or that this book has to define you. There is always a tomorrow. You need that tomorrow to be one where you have a book out there though, critics be damned. Tomorrow shouldn’t be another editing day. I’m saying this to myself as much as to you guys. There are ‘writers’ publishing eBooks who are deluded, awful, talentless writers, but they have more books out than you or I do. We won’t make any sort of impact on the world by criticising those cunts, we have to compete with them.
Let’s set ourselves a deadline. I’m going to say ‘Friday’. Friday it is then.
Thanks for following this blog, it means so much. I hope you’ll keep following it, because the best/worst shit is still to come. One day, you’ll be with me when I pick up that Pulitzer.
Or when I hang myself on Skype
Lots of love,