Christmas blues continued or: what I am going to do with the rest of my life

Today was supposed to be big book promotion day for The Dark Citadel with an Amazon countdown deal and a couple of advertising sites weighing in. I’ll have to take Amazon’s word for it that the deal is actually on because I can’t see any price change. So, no more promotional links from me, as they don’t show a new low price.

There are also only three shopping days left until Christmas. Having abandoned shopping last Friday, I had a look on the flea market yesterday and found a few pretty bits and pieces. I had intended looking up town this morning before the crowds get there, but wasted half of it in futile emails to Amazon. Taking my boiling blood to the shops was not a good idea, so I took Finbar for a long walk instead.

The morning was beautiful, sunny, cool and the colours all so vivid. We were overtaken down by the river by a Tibetan monk, saffron robes, shaved head, sandals, the lot. He stood in quiet contemplation, looking through the golden trees, across the beautiful blue river where a thin veil of mist was dissipating in the sun. His hands were lost inside his robes and I assumed he was looking for his rosary beads or whatever thingies Buddhist monks use to get the spiritual juices flowing. When I looked back he had got out his smart phone and was taking a pic of the cityscape behind us. Somehow, that made me feel even more depressed.

What I realised though, as I watched the placid river, the robins, and a pair of magpies inspecting a likely-looking nest, is that this whole book lark is taking over my life. I spend hours each day writing. When I’m not writing new stuff, I’m trying to write synopses, query letters, polishing completed mss, or looking around for places to submit novels or short fiction.

Many writers claim that the creative aspect is enough to keep them going. I thought it was too, with a little recognition from time to time. When a lovely review comes in, or a story or a poem is accepted for publication, I get a real thrill of happiness. But it would also be nice to see my paypal account filling up. That is the real litmus test—do the punters, not just the literate, like-minded and possibly indulgent people who ‘know’ me, want to buy my books? If they don’t, I feel that I’m bashing my head against a brick wall.

From now on, and I suppose this counts as a New Year’s resolution, I am going to spend more time on OTHER THINGS. I will sit down and write when I feel I have something to say, not because it’s like a nine to five job where I sit in front of the computer until I find something to whitter on about. I am not going to sweat to get Beyond the Realm of Night into paperback because I don’t think it’s worth the time, hassle, and the expense of buying a proof copy.

I’m going to…well…I could wash the dog’s blankets, or clean out the kitchen cupboards, or…something.