When I look back on my life and I have to say the happiest memory I have is that of being is a wide-eyed, optimistic teenager saying those three “magic” words for the first time and hearing them back (yes I was an emo who thought he was oh-so-original…)
But a close second is opening that e-mail in November…no wait let me set the scene.
It’s mid-November and I’m stuck on the Isle of Wight in the midst of a blustery, personified deluge, soaked to the bone wearing my scrubs which, whilst very comfortable, do not offer even the slightest protection against the elements. I’ve been up till 5am, delivering a baby (the films by the way are absolute lies, it does not take five minutes – try ten hours) and I’m tired, so very tired. I sit down in my tiny room, considering powering up my Xbox. I was playing Assassins Creed 3 at the time and Colonial America was my place of fantasy, my world of escape.
So I decide to check my mail, bleary eyed, covered in…stuff. And I see an e-mail from Neverland Publishing (http://neverlandpublishing.com/index.html). I prepare myself for the worst, after all this was the first publisher I’d ever queried and I knew enough about the industry to not expect mountains to move simply because I desired as such.
But mountains did move. That one thing, that one thing I have sought my entire life. To anyone who has never experienced it, it is a hard one to quantify, to do justice. That feeling…when you have wanted something for so long and to have it finally within your grasp, something you thought you’d never have…
An offer of publication
The euphoria lasts an age. Two ages. Several dynasties and four distinct epochs.
Then the doubts come. I started to grasp the realities of the publishing world. I wasn’t unique, I was one of many. So. Many.
What makes me different? Honestly, I don’t know. That’s up for readers to decide.
What if no-one like it? What if no-one hears about it? What if I can never write a never novel to match it (this last one gets a lot of air time in my head).
But that’s the world we live in, and you either deal with it or you don’t. There are no hand outs, no magic tickets. Only hard work and perseverance.
So I looked myself in the mirror and I told myself to just man up. No-one helped me write this novel, no-one even knew I was writing it (more on that later). In fact no-one in my entire life has ever thought my writing was anything more than a childish pastime.
If I had one piece of advice for an aspiring writer it’s this – believe in yourself. No-one else will. We stand alone on the shoulders of giants, echoing through space. Write because you have no choice. Write because only you can tell this story, you owe it to society to write this story. Have that utter conviction like you’re ‘ Eli Manning and it’s all on you. No-one in this entire world can do what you can do.
It’s you and the words.
It’s magic and boldness and electricity…