TO PUBLISH OR NOT TO PUBLISH – THAT IS THE QUESTION
Let’s go back to a time when being a writer was a romantic and rewarding pursuit.
Here I sit, at the desk in my spacious boudoir. The French doors are flung open wide and the floor-length lacy drapes flutter in a honeysuckle-scented breeze. Birdsong from the garden is carried to my ears in the twilight. The flame of the candle flutters and a flume of smoke spirals toward the ceiling.
Pulling the drapes back I step outside, barefoot. My long, white nightdress trails across the dew-covered lawn as I cast my eyes to the heavens, to where a multitude of stars punctuate an inky-black sky. I inhale the crisp air into my lungs as goose bumps prickle my skin beneath the flimsy cotton fabric. I feel energised! My mind and my senses have never felt more alive!
Making my way back up the three stone steps I see a fox, his graceful silhouette slinking through the foliage. He stops and stands – motionless. Onyx eyes become sparkling diamonds and for a moment or two we become one. Then he’s gone.
The blazing open fire greets me on my return. The sandy dog hasn’t moved from his basket nearby for hours. His gentle snoring is the only sound the break the tranquillity.
I brush my long hair back over my shoulder and prepare to finish the task in hand.
A splash of ink is cold on my skin. The nib of my fountain pen scratches on parchment and I smile in satisfaction as I write the words:
In reality it’s more like this:
Consumed by self-loathing I take to my bed. I’m isolated from the world except for the muffled sound of the television and conversation from downstairs. There are people all around me, so why do I feel so alone.
I toss and turn as a luminous golden sky summons me through the roof window. It’s such a waste, lying here feeling sorry for myself on a night like this. A gloomy winter will be upon us again soon enough.
“Snap out of it, woman!” I tell myself.
With my two loyal companions harnessed up, I walk the country roads and 10.30pm, breathing the earthy air and taking in the beauty all around me. A light mist settles on my bare arms, making me shiver.
This is meant to be the medicine to make it all better. It doesn’t have the desired effect. This feeling of melancholy won’t lift until it says it’s time.
I return home, switch on the lamp and sit at my desk. A blank page stares up at me but the words don’t come.
“Why am I doing this?” I say for the hundredth time. “No one is interested in reading my books!”
And, what’s all this about Amazon deleting people’s reviews? I’ve also heard they want to pay authors for how many pages are read, instead of for a whole book! Then there are all the free e books out there. How can an unknown author build any kind or reader platform amongst all this madness?
Sometimes it’s all too overwhelming.
I switch my computer on and check for the umpteenth time on Amazon to see if my new book has materialised yet. No! Frustration bubbles up inside me. But it was meant to be out ‘yesteryear’! Why does everything have to take so long?
I don’t think I’ll publish any more books, I think. What’s the point? It’s nothing but an uphill struggle.
I might have lost faith in all things self-publishing and Amazon related, but I’ll never lose faith in the power of my imagination or the passion I have for putting it all down on paper. I’ll keep on writing and maybe I’ll get one paperback copy of each of my books made up just for me, myself to keep on a shelf, and be free of the rat race, forever!
I go back to bed where the girls lie curled up and sleeping. Lucky little doggies, I think as I stroke their glossy heads and contemplate a sleepless night ahead.
My Kindle is my companion until my eyes grow heavy.
A new day arrives along with a bright disposition. The black cloud has lifted and I’m ready to face the world. I switch my computer on and tweet ‘have a nice weekend!’ to my many writer friends and followers, and I realise I’m not really so alone in the world.
I check on Amazon again for my new book. “Yeah, whatever,” I say before resuming my writing with passion and gusto!
I embrace the ‘good’ day that has just begun!