It seems like an awfully long time since I posted anything kind of personal on here, and for that I apologise; it’s mainly been I’m reading here, or I’m interviewed there, and whatnot, and while that has a chance of being interesting (I certainly hope it does), it can get a bit samey. It’s certainly felt like it has. So, sorry.

But there has been a reason for it. Oh yes. And mostly that reason’s been: BECAUSE I’VE BEEN EXCEPTIONALLY BLOODY BUSY. And that’s no bad thing – I’ve been busy with good stuff, so I’m not complaining. But it has got me thinking. You know, for the past three years (it may be longer) I haven’t stopped. I’ve written Not So Perfect, I’ve signed a contract for it, done the edits, then launched it, then promoted it – while setting up a short story specific editing company. And I’ve, along with Caroline Smailes, written Freaks!, signed a contract, etc etc, blah, blah, blah. On Friday, I finished the final tweak to the final story. The book is done (for now) and can go to the publishers. (Hooray!)

And that means that I can have a break.

Writing a book is hard, hard work. Deeply rewarding and a huge amount of fun (especially if you’re lucky enough to have people like it), but hard, hard work. Promoting the book’s the same, especially if, like me, you’re a bit shy and not too fond of being the person everyone’s watching. And I’ll not lie: it’s been made more difficult by other people, people who might not want me to have a book out there, who might not want me to be on the ‘scene’ (I’ve discovered, over the few years I’ve been writing professionally (my first book was published in 2006, when I was a naive 26 year old) that there are two sorts of authors: ones who like, support and promote good literature and who support the industry (without it, there wouldn’t be ANY authors), and those who like, support, and promote their own work, and feel they can dictate what the industry should be; I hope I fall into the former category!).

So, it’s been a lot to deal with. It’s been a lot of hard work and not, as that naive 26 year would have had you believe, all fun and roses. And I should say, I’m not complaining. I’m simply, err, babbling. I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s just, well, not so perfect (would I want it any other way?)!

So, for now, I’ve got almost nothing to do. I need to catch up with emails (which I WILL do) and there are a few people I’d like to interview but, those aside, for the first time in years, I’m going to take a short break. I might go for a walk, or go shopping. I might go to a city and wander. I might go to a cafe or doze or read. Hell, I might even go on holiday. We’ll see.

But yes, even if it’s only for a few days, a break sounds really bloody good.

25 Comments on “Hello!

  1.  by  Astrid

    Wow, what am milestone. Enjoy It! The walk, the cafe, the holiday… All of them. Earned. Looking forward to Freaks. And liking the brackets in brackets πŸ˜‰

  2.  by  Joanna

    Breaks are essential. I'm sure you'll enjoy every minute. I'm really looking forward to Freaks!

  3.  by  Freya Morris

    Hi Nik, all sounds very exciting! A break is clearly well deserved and needed. A timeout helps in appreciating your job more (mostly because you can create some distance from the non-so-helpful authors). You can find or read something that can spark that excitement again. I hope you find it.

  4.  by  claire m

    Relly honest account of how things are..it must be quite tough being shy an all and doing the public side of writing I would have thought. i think the point i would take from this is either you are going to do something or you are not. And if you are you can usually find you can handle the rough with the smooth. Seems every business has got uncharitable people in it.

  5.  by  Nik Perring

    Hiya Freya – welcome! I think you're right about the distance thing; it's nice to have a little space from it every now and again, especially when it's been as intense as it has been, and for such a long time. But it's par for the course – and I DO enjoy it (which is probably half the problem!) so I'm not worried about the excitement waning, more worried about the energy needed!And the not so helpful authors can do as they please (they tend to be good at that anyway!) πŸ˜‰

  6.  by  Nik Perring

    Hello Claire! I think lots of writers have the same kind of problem in that they love the attention and hate it all at the same time. But it IS part of the job and, usually, I really enjoy readings and all that kind of thing. It's just a shame when it (and the rest of it) turns into a competition. As far as I'm concerned writing isn't a competition – it should be a celebration and there's plenty enough room for us all, and more, here. Plus – getting a book published (or anything else) is a really big deal and should be greeted congratulations and support, and not what I've experienced from certain people. Must say though, that it's not stopped me or in any way discouraged me from doing what I do. Luckily. x

  7.  by  bringingwordstolife

    I fully concur with the shy thing Nik – I'm quite a big fella with quite a gregarious character [so I've been told] but put me up in front of as few as 2 or 3 people and ask me to talk, while they sit and look expecting something profound and I'm mincemeat. If that scenario was meeting these people in a coffee shop, or in a pub, I'm sure I'd be fine – and this is one thing that is holding me back. I do know, when I have researched something, am confident and like the subject I can talk to a "small" crowd but like I say, I feel the pain – but sure I can overcome it if the time ever comes – go on holiday Nik and come back with some great funny stories πŸ™‚ Steve

  8.  by  bryonypearce

    If you're anything like me, your break will last only as long as your brain will let it. So I hope it's switched into neutral long enough to let you have a good long one (and that when it switches back into story mode you've got lots of lovely material that's bubbled away in your subconscious during your break).By all accounts, you deserve that nice long holiday – so enjoy.

  9.  by  Susan

    Well done, Nik. Sounds like you've had a productive year. Enjoy your well-deserved break!Susan

  10.  by  marthawilliams.org

    Wow, you have been busy — I loved 'Not So Perfect' and am really looking forward to Freaks πŸ™‚ Well done you, and hope you enjoy a well earned break.

  11.  by  lynseymay

    Aw, how sad that you've met some authors who would rather see themselves at the top of a small stingy heap rather than somewhere in the middle of a rich and varied one. Good thing there's plenty of nice writer types out there (including yourself). It's a conversation not a competition, looking forward to seeing what Freaks has to say : )

  12.  by  Vanessa Gebbie

    Ah, lovely news. You've earned a long and relaxing break. Enjoy every minute. I remember someone warning me when I had "Glass Bubble' coming out – 'You will find out who your friends are now – there is a lot of jealousy among writers – daft though that is.' True, sadly. Its a hard lesson to learn, but hey. You enjoy the rest, and here's to book number 4!

  13.  by  Brigid

    Good for you, Nik. Enjoy all those things!Interesting, I write but don't like the limelight, I am much more of a backroom person. I've had to read stuff in public and didnt enjoy the experience at all.Looking forward to your next book!

  14.  by  Nik Perring

    Thanks Steve! Oh shyness is just one of those things. I'm certain that, when it comes to it, you'll be absolutely fine (as I've been, and if I can be then so can you!).

  15.  by  Nik Perring

    Thanks Bryony – I'm not doing too bad so far (replying to blog comments aside!) – four days in and I'm loving it and the space!

  16.  by  Nik Perring

    Thanks Lynsey! Yup, most writers I know are lovely, and I guess you're always going to find bad (selfish/arrogant/poisonous) eggs in every industry; not much can be done about it. Just wish they'd realise we're all in it together and all as important (and deserving of respect, not treated as rivals) as each other.

  17.  by  Nik Perring

    Hey V – thank you! And yes, I do deserve a break (just wish I'd realised it earlier)!As I've said, there are not so nice folk in ever industry. Just a shame they're like this in this one because, really, it's a privilege to be in it!

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