Thursday, 25 October 2012

Support Team

When one is a writer, one needs a support team. I have a support team.

I have Andy, who is and always has been, more positive about my writing abilities than I have ever been. He says, 'Give up teaching, get a little part time job and use the rest of your time to write.' And he is right. He also says, 'You must steel yourself against rejection,' and he is right about this too, because I am rubbish at receiving rejection slips; they make me want to inflict damage on the innocent post man who delivers them, then shut myself away in a tower never to see the light of day again.

I have the cats. When I am writing at the desk top, Pandora sits on my lap. She curls up in a teeny ball because she is freakishly small for a fully adult cat, and then falls asleep, and I feel I can't get up because I don't want to disturb her, so I have to sit and write (or play Mah Jong titans if the muse deserts me) until she wakes up or my legs go dead. And if I am sofa writing ( which is long hand in a notebook) then Tybalt squishes up hard against my side, until he goes to sleep as well and snores which entertains me enormously. And if I move, he gives me such a filthy look for disturbing him, I daren't get up.

And now I have chickens again! My avian muses. They are already planning a Hallowe'en adventure. I tried to tell Primrose that I thought spraying her gingery self a luminous witchy green was bound to end in tears but she said what did I know about sartorial elegance, and I had to admit not a lot really, and she said, exactly, and basically told me to trick or treat off. Watch this space!

I have writer friends in foreign parts who feel, like me, the frustrations of writing, and not being able to write, and thinking 'is it worth it?' and having to give each other 'pull yourself together' talks acroos the interwebbly. And knowing that deep down, writers we are meant to be, and writers we shall be, and it really doesn't matter that the only people who seem to get published these days are established authors or famous people of the cheap celebrity type who can guarantee their publishing houses good sales because some people will buy any old tat if it has been written by their favourite pop star.

And I have my sixth form students who know I am a writer and who have read some of my work and who think I should definitely be published and who have come up with a 'Get Ma'am Published' plan.

Which runs something along these lines...

1) take copies of ma'am's self published book into famous bookshops and insert them surreptitiously into bookshelves

2) go into those same bookshops and ask if they have a copy of Ma'am's book. When met with the predicted negative response, said sixth form plan to 'kick off' and demand that copies are secured for them immediately. They will also bandy phrases like, 'what kind of a bookshop are your running here?' very loudly, to create a public interest

3) make me sit outside famous bookshop at a table piled with my books a la book-signing mode. They will then, along with assorted friends, form a lengthy queue to get my autograph, thereby creating an interest amongst nosey passers-by who think they might be missing out on something

4) leave copies of ma'am's book in as many public places as possible - train stations, buses, libraries etc - they are willing to go pretty global on this one. Rucksacks were mentioned.

5) become my marketing team. They have already decided which of them will be my agent, which my publicity manager, which my press officer. They will give their services free of charge which I thought was rather touching until they said, 'Until you achieve international multi-millionaire status,' and I said I wasn't really doing it to make lots of money, and they looked at me like I was mad, then fell about laughing. Mercenary bunch!

But most of all I have you, the Much Malarkey Manor house guests, who, just by dropping by to have a read every day or once in a while, make my writing all worth-while.

So thank you! My support team!

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