This is the bit where the protagonist returns with an intriguing info-dump and/or new perspectives on his life, isn’t it? Sadly, all I have to offer is fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. That tag-team has kept me largely out of action for the past year. When I returned to my writing it felt a bit like stamping on eggshells; besides issues of concentration, the pain brought unwelcome bluntness and impatience. If a character’s goal was to travel from point A to point B then I had little time for intrigue, the instant they stopped to ponder I would jab my finger in their spine and cry ‘hurry up, man! My back hurts!’
Thankfully, the writing has provided an anchor. Focussing on editing what I already had, and pecking away at doing some more, has kept me (largely) sane amidst changing life circumstances. I set my sights on releasing a single short story on Kindle and achieved that just last week. If you’re at all familiar with the process then you know what comes next: fretting over formatting, pricing, trying to tease reviews out of the punters and poring over sales figures like a submarine captain charting his way through hostile waters. The self-publishing experience, in a nutshell.
It’s up there, though. I keep loading the webpage and staring at it in a deeply suspicious manner. This isn’t so much the “first day of school” analogy I used before, but more of a ‘don’t you dare embarrass me!’ as though I’ve attended a high society dinner with my pet chimp. I think everyone is politely ignoring him for now, but wait until the dessert course.