Back to pinning the tail on the donkey

You might have noticed a bit of a hiatus in the blog posts over the past month or so. I wish I could tell you that it’s because I’ve been beavering away, polishing, honing and writing anew. I’d be fibbing if I did that though, and while there’s a very thin line between telling lies and writing fiction, I’m not wanting to cross that right here. The truth is, I’ve been finding it really hard the last few months.

I’m not completely naive. I’ve read books, I’ve studied courses, I’ve followed other writers. I know success doesn’t happen overnight. But knowing, and knowing are two different things. Your head can know something, while your heart is busy thinking something entirely different. So while my head knew that the path to success will be long and hard, my heart (the same one who spends my win every time I play the lottery!) is telling me how everything will fall into place.

It hasn’t so far.

I hope it will. Sooner rather than later hopefully. But at some point.

What has struck me though is how much like playing pin the tail on the donkey this bit is. I’ve finished my book. Mk1 anyway. But trying to find an agent, trying to take that next step towards success is a complete reach in the dark. I’m blindfolded about where to go next. I’ve got this book. Is it good enough? Does it need fixing? If so, how? And because pin the tail is a party game, you’ve got people shouting conflicting advice. Go left says one person, you’ve got the makings of a great commercial thriller, go right says another and keep the pace thoughtful. There’s some others who are clearly watching you (you can feel their eyes on your back!) but they’re not willing to give any feedback or advice to help you find the donkey. And then there’s the ones who you can hear leaving the game. No advice given, just the knowledge that this isn’t the game for them.

It’s an incredibly confusing time. I don’t have any advice about how to get out of it because truthfully, I’m still there. More and more of my colleagues and friends are getting their tails pinned on donkeys and I’m still here, waving a pin in the dark and that can be dispiriting.

One thing I do know is that if I’m going to be a writer, I’ve got to get some sort of tail on some sort of donkey. So my plan is to edge forward:

  • Make the changes I know, in my heart, need changing
  • Stay true to my vision of the novel
  • Keep on listening to advice, shaping my ideas as a result and yep… keep on stabbing that tail in front of me

Surely, at some point I’ll hit fur! Won’t I?

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