I wish the invisible little man on my shoulder would shut up!

I don’t consider myself to be an author as I don’t earn my living from writing. Therefore, I am an IT project manager who also writes. I write for pleasure because I want to tell a story that I think other people might enjoy reading.

My problem is that since writing for pleasure I am constantly suffused with the feeling of guilt, fuelled by an invisible little man on my right shoulder, who whispers incessantly into my ear.

His sole aim is for me to get my second novel completed. Therefore, if I spend the day in the garden (and by God it needs weeks, rather than days of work), or if I go shopping for frivolities such as a new bathroom blind, which then takes a whole day to put up because I am pretty incompetent at DIY, or if I book a walking holiday so that I can’t take my laptop, then this voice in my ear never stops: “What the hell are you doing? The weeds will just grow again so why bother – or just hire a gardener? Why do you need a blind, no-one can possibly see into the bathroom and you have made a hash of putting it up anyway, so why not just get someone to do it in the first place? If you insist on going away for a holiday go to an isolated cottage so that you can WRITE!!”

The only time he is quiet when I am not sitting at my laptop is when I spend the weekend with my grand-daughters (who truly are the most fascinating and entertaining little girls in the whole world). I think he rather likes them – but I suspect this is only because my visits are infrequent.

But sitting at my laptop is not enough to satisfy him. As any reader of my earlier blogs will know, having just had my debut novel “The Jewel Garden” published, I am now having to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to promote it. As I e-mail libraries & bookshops, communicate via FaceBook & Twitter, try and find reviewers, update my website, write this blog, send out press-releases, the little guy is jumping up and down on my right shoulder yelling obscenities and telling me to stop wasting my time. “Have any of these activities actually resulted in a single sale?? Just focus on writing “I Castrati” because, after all, that is all you really want to do, isn’t it?”

The trouble is, when I do actually work on “I Castrati, there is another little man on my left shoulder whispering, “What’s the point of writing a second one, when no-one is reading the first? And whilst you sit there with your head in 18th century Italy, your house is falling apart and your garden is turning into a jungle. And you have family out there in the real world who you haven’t seen for months. None of you are getting any younger – no-one lives for ever.”

I don’t know where these little men came from, but I wish they would shut up!


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