I made inroads into the writing course yesterday and it terrified me. I realise that writing a novel is going to be like climbing Everest. In flip-flops. Whist wearing a blind fold.
We had to read the opening paragraphs of a novel called Us by David Nicholls. He wrote One Day, which is one of my favourite books. The beginning of Us is sublime. Damn you David Nicholls for being so brilliant.
My reactions feel familiar to me. Whenever I am faced with a difficult task, my instinct is to sulk, complain that it is too difficult for a mere mortal like me and throw in the towel. This reader, is why it took me six attempts to get a maths O’Level – there was a 21 year gap in-between attempts five and six.
Okay, so I am unlikely to ever turn out a paragraph as good as one of David Nicholls’, but then again, the same can be said of EL James. I know I could not write Fifty Shades of Grey, because I could not read it. I hurled it across the room so many times, the spine split and I never got to the sex because I couldn’t get past the adolescent prose.
Don’t get me wrong. I respect EL James. Enormously. She got off her backside and wrote a best-seller. Several best-sellers. She is a whole lot richer than I am. She found her own style, an audience who loved it and off she went like a rocket.
From this moment on though, I am not sure I can say ‘I am a best selling novelist’ in the mirror every morning. It sounds a bit…delusional. It seems to me that there is a fine line between delusion and self-belief. I will write the best novel I can, but I have in mind the photographer I talked about yesterday. She does not take pictures for the money. I cannot write a book because I think it will earn me £1,000,000. I will write it because I have to, in the best possible sense of the word.
To afford the time to write, I need money to come from somewhere. I was reading blogs over at Rich Dad earlier and he talked about fear. Successful people don’t let fear paralyse them. They make bold choices and stick to them. And they don’t put lots of eggs in different baskets.
That is what I am doing with fingers in so many pies – the novel, the PR agency, the pop-up cards business and the online courses. I cannot focus on all of them and get fantastic results.
The pros of the cards and the online courses is that they generate a passive income, but only with proper promotion and that takes time. The PR agency is going well. I love the work, but something is stopping me from scaling up. It’s fear. Fear that I might hire that extra member of staff and then go broke, fear that I won’t be able to manage the finances, that somebody will sue me. I must work on this. It has to stop. Now.
I have a meeting today in London with a potential new client. I am well prepped and will be my most positive, badass self. I will knock them for six.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a badass.
Here I come…
I am done with fear. It’s for failures. I am a brilliant PR because I can see a business through the eyes of a journalist. I am one of the best PRs I have ever worked with. I am going to sign up some big, new clients in 2018. AND I am going to work so hard on my writing, it can only get better.