Scary, isn't it?
Well, this is what life as a writer has done for me. Older, greyer, balder and with a tendency to wear a lot of black. And this is how I am in public, you really don't want to see me during my 'downtime' which is all beard and slippers and shuffling around the street in my dressing gown because, hey, I don't dress for work anymore.
I have been a full time WRITER now for two years!
My, it's gone quickly. And what has it been like? What have I learnt? What would I do differently? So, off the top of my somewhat shiny head here's the list:
1. Worry less. Oh God, where to begin? Crying at my first presentation at Puffin HQ was not the greatest of starts. I can laugh about it now, sort of. Then there's Amazon rankings, lack of five star ratings and wondering why I'm not on 'The South Bank Show', or 'Desert Island Discs' or even 'Woman's Hour' (yes, I listen to a lot of Radio Four) when it seems like every other author and their granny is.
2. Don't read books with exploding planes on the front cover when flying to New York. In hindsight that seems pretty obvious.
3. Don't headbutt other authors at their book launch. It was only a light tap, I hasten to add.
4. Realise most people don't look like their author photos. There's a reason we write, in cold, small, lonely dark dens. We're not meant to out in public that much. It's safer for everyone. Then you go to some event and are introduced to someone and only when they've left does publicity tell you that you've spent the evening spitting canapes over Stephenie Meyer*/Roald Dhal**/Dan Brown***. I've realised that if someone doesn'thave a name tag that's because they're IMPORTANT. Does Obama wear a name tag? No. Point made.
5. The internet is the biggest source of procrastitation ever invented. Facebook does not count as research. But Spotify is GOOD.
6. Make 'tax-deductable' your mantra when on holiday.
7. Editors have lives too and are not sitting around staring out the window just waiting for your call, even though they should be. And let's be honest, when they send you a manuscript with over six hundred comments what they're really trying to tell you is REWRITE THE BLOODY BOOK.
8. Writers don't believe in Christmas or holidays in general. Or sleep.
9. A lot more people make your book work than you could ever thank. So, in no particular order thank you to Lins, Ari, Wendy, Lisa, Jonathan, Stephenie (not Meyer, in case you were wondering), Tamara, George (not actually a bloke), Jonathan (actually a bloke), Jeni, Jo-Anne, Sam, Neil, Telka, Sarah, Sara, Sara, Julia, Helen, Kathryn, Lee, Alan, John, Conor, my girls, my wife, my family.
*Okay, I've not actually met Steph, but I have met her editor.
**Yes, I know he's dead. I'm just trying to make a point, alright?
*** I had a big Dan Brown joke in Devil's Kiss but the lawyers demanded it be cut. I'll have to tell you about it one day.