An author's shame


The author’s head might be stuck inside a bubble of creative riches, yet the harsh fact is that very few of us make anywhere near the living wage. Instead, we have to work Monday to Friday on another career, whilst shamefully soliciting our writing on the grimy screens of social media.

The few sales we do make are usually down to Samaritan friends who hope to covert us. Sometimes, whilst travelling by train, we hear those kind, yet dreaded words: “I’ve downloaded your book and the first page looks interesting!”

Then, a few days later. “I’ve reached chapter three, you know!” You muffle something about a cash refund or a reward for their horrendous suffering and then waddle away towards some dreary office.

Three weeks later and you see the same person again. Yet now there’s nothing more said about the book and you feel utterly humiliated by the shame of their silence.

It gets worse. There’s a train delay and you have to sit with them. For a colossal thirty minutes you talk about everything from constipated squirrels to Japanese compost, and yet again, not a single word is spoken about that wretched book.

Maybe they are shy, you think. There will be a review on Amazon, perhaps? No, six years work and nothing. You wallow in a pit of failure, wondering why you didn’t spend more time winning beer vouchers at the local pub quiz.

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© 2015 by Martyn

Chapman and Sabine.

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