Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ready Steady Book

WELCOME TO 2007, the year when all sorts of lovely things are going to happen.

This time last year I wrote a column declaring that 2006 would be the year of killing dead things. I promised to lose weight (again), learn to drive (again), get my house in order (again) and write a book.
While I was steadfastly against the notion of New Year’s Resolutions- believing that you are only setting yourself up for failure and recrimination when you tuck into the first illicit chocolate bar/ glass of wine/ cigarette of the year- I did decide to make some changes to my life all the same.
And for the most part, I achieved my goals. I lost weight (admittedly at rate of pound on, pound off, pound on, pound off), passed my driving test, decorated a couple of rooms in the family home and wrote not one, but one-and-a-half books.
The only problem with actually achieving those goals, is that 2007 is going to have be pretty spectacular to meet my now overly high expectations.
I am fairly lucky though in that already my social diary is filling up and every now and again I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s not all just a dream.
You may have read in this very paper late last year that as of this Autumn I’m going to be a proper bona-fide author who’s book will be available in the likes of Eason and Shipquay Books and News.
While I promise not to spend the next nine months rabbiting on about the book in the way I spent nine months rabbiting on about my pregnancy in 2003, it does feel a little like I’m expecting a new baby. After all this will be a new beginning- and one which thankfully involves neither an episiotomy or stretch marks.
But just as with pregnancy there is a degree of trepidation about the whole thing. What if no one likes it? What if no one buys it? What if people take offence at my overuse of the word ‘feck’ throughout it? What if the book bombs and people laugh at me in the street? What if people think I’m getting too big for my boots? All these questions now keep me awake at 2 in the morning as I also try to plot out book two and three in my head, while I try to plan the next night’s dinner and my day in the office.
Sleep is for wimps- which is a good thing because I don’t get any any more.
I’ve had to start thinking like an author- but not only that like an author who also has a full time day job and an almost three year old son to look after. Every question, be that what to write in an email or what to wear when meeting with important publishing type people is now prefaced with the internal question “What would Marian do?”. I am too scared to trust my own judgement on anything.
I wondered did the wonderful Ms. Keyes have the same self doubt and worries? Does she worry that people will want to take her picture and talk to her on the radio and review her work? A quick glance at her website, and her monthly newsletters reveals that she does. She hates being interviewed and she dreads the release of each new book in case people say horrible things about it- which, it would seem they almost never do.
So, I guess if big Mazza can ger her knickers in a knot about putting her work out there then I’m in pretty good company.
But is there a reason why we women can’t accept our good news and success instead of crippling ourselves with self doubt and worry? Why can’t we sit back, pat ourselves on the back and feel delightfully smug- if only for a few wee moments?
I know I’m not alone in rarely being happy with my lot. This year proves it. Not content with achieving my last year’s non-resolutions I’m setting myself a new pile of them.
So I’m resolving (in a non-resolution way) to be more positive and upbeat this year and to push my worries to the back of my head. Sure haven’t I done well to get as far as this? I refuse to let my crippling self doubt wreck it all at this stage?
I’m also resolving (in a non-resolution way) to lose more weight so that if I end up on the telly, or in a magazine, I won’t look like Maeve Binchy’s older, fatter cousin.
I’m also resolving to push myself beyond my comfort zones- be that accepting an invitation for public speaking or stepping on the scales at slimming club. I know that this year will be what I make of it and sometimes that is going to involve doing things that make me nervous.
And I promise, lastly, not to complain or whinge because I know that this is a dream come true. I just guess the teacher in Fame was right when she said that to achieve your dreams you have to pay in sweat. It’s time for me to get sweating.

1 comment:

diane s said...

A huge WELL DONE on the book deal! Can't wait to read it and brag that I read your blog... ;D

great article too btw - glad you're abel to re-produce those here for us non-Irish peeps! :)

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