I’m reading Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. It’s about a man in search of the self. I’m in Cafe Nero at the back, and it’s a little dim in here: sullen light from a large square central skylight. I’m in search of a large down-payment from a publisher.
I’ve had a sudden loss in my confidence with my memoir – not in terms of its quality, because I’m generally pleased with it.
I have a difficult task ahead of me: the thirty unsolicited emails to unsuspecting agents. They take 1 in every 1000 books that are sent to them: not good odds – actually, appalling odds.
My father once said to me that it doesn’t matter how many people there are in the race, if you are the fastest, you’ll win. If there are a million runners, and you are the fittest and most determined athlete, you’ll win.
This makes sense; but it’s only a slight comfort.
The trouble is I’m procrastinating. I could start the attack tomorrow. I already have a list. But I’m filled with mortal terror. Luckily my ambition is a stronger force than my fear, so ambition will win. But the fear of rejection is also strong. I’ll let them compete for a while, and ambition will out.
It will get done – I’ll send out the emails to Agentland; it will happen, and I’m glad I started this blog, so I don’t feel so alone in this endeavour.
It makes me feel that I have some supporters: you. And if you can bear with my procrastination and fear, then I’ll take you with me up the mountain on the treacherous journey from pixels to publication.
I wish I didn’t want it so badly; it’s like an ache inside. I want the book to be read, so I can feel loved and admired.
My ego is a terrible gargantuan beast; it’s totally out of control, and it’s one angry motherfucker. It’s unhappy when it’s ravenous; it’s angry and restless like a hungry dog.
Just one Yes from an agent, and it will gorge on that good fortune.
Dan Proops, we love your memoir and we think we can get it there for you. I live for that Yes, and I feel an affinity for all the writers who have taken the rejections: 20, 30, 50. They are true athletes and are prepared for the marathon.
Trouble is I have no patience. Where do I learn that? It would be so much easier if I were Johnny Depp. He rules like a god, and is triumphant, while I squirm in the maggot-mud of obscurity.
He looks so good too: I’ve tried to grow the facial hair that he has; it’s no good. If I try for the moustache, it’s uneven and turns orange and curly. I can’t even compete with the guy’s facial hair.
Hi Johnny, if you’re reading this, email me, and give me facial hair tips, or even better, tips on how to become famous and adored by a million unknown strangers.
I can give you advice on how to become an unpublished writer and Twitter addict. Get in touch, and we can chat about facial hair and Lamborghinis.
1. Are you happy with your facial hair?
2. Are you trying to get published?
3. If so, how do you handle the waiting?
My friends think I’m pretty good at Twitter, and I’m obsessed with the numbers. I’m aiming for 10k followers, and currently have 6408.
I’ve also been organised, keeping ‘important’ people in lists, so I can keep tabs on them. It’s like monopoly, or The Sims.
Trouble is, I’m a little nervous when it comes to ‘engagement’. My best ‘friend’ is a surfer film-editor from the US. She’s called Daire: @garageglamour.
She makes me laugh, and we get on. Normally she tweets about mad, funny things, but the other day, she said she was sad. So I said I was sad too and wished her better.
Then there’s JC Brennon. She’s written a memoir, and it has 63 good reviews on Amazon. She’s published and has more followers than me. But she’s very nice.
And the incredible thing about Janet, is that she’s obsessed with Johnny Depp! She’s always posting pictures of the guy, and he always looks handsome in an elfin way. He’s gaunt; I’ve never been gaunt.
I have to set myself a target date when I send out thirty emails to literary agents – let’s say this Monday. If I don’t keep to it, I’ll confess. I want to do it so I can get the rejection slips, and then I can pop them on here, for you all to read. We can commiserate over the new synthetic universe of cyberspace.
1. Do you tweet?
2. Are you happy with the quality of your Tweets?
3. Do you ever wake up, sweating and stressed, wishing you were Johnny Depp?