Number One - I don't have an agent!
Number Two - I don't have a book deal!
Why would that make me cheerful you might ask. Surely those are things I've been yearning for? And yes it's true, I DO want a lovely agent one day in the future and a book deal would be a most marvelous thing but, rather than bemoan my lack of either, I decided to try a change of perspective and see what happened.
But the thing is that I don't. I don't have anyone's expectations to fulfil except my own and that is a freedom I intend to enjoy while I still have it.
It means I can write if I want to but if I don't, if I'm busy or not in the mood then that's fine. It doesn't affect anyone else and that let's me balance my writing in to my life in a way that's stress free. It means that writing can always be a pleasure rather than a chore.
I can also write exactly what I want. I don't have to factor in the opinions of others, market trends or publisher preferences. If I want to write a book about a girl who discovers she's a witch and falls in love with a vampire then I can do that. I don't, funnily enough, but the choice is mine for now.
And, because there's no book to market, I don't have to worry about reviews or think about sales. I don't have to do school visits or book festivals. And much as I will enjoy promoting any book of mine in the future I think it's important to appreciate the fact that for now, for this little part of my life, I don't have to work at anything except writing the darn thing. That thought fills me with cheer.
The second thing that altered my perspective was reading a blog by the very talented and refreshingly honest Candy Gourlay called The Pursuit of Happiness. She talked about the publication of her second book Shine and how she sometimes misses the days of being on the slushpile. I have to admit that surprised me.
Candy had achieved what so many of us long for, she had escaped the misery of rejection and toil that the rest of us pre published authors have to suffer and yet she looked back on that time with affection! Why? What could possibly be good about the slushpile Candy?
"it really was lovely when the dream hadn't come true yet." - she said
And that is the key! Hope is a wonderful thing. I might still have all that to come. One day in the near or distant future I might have the joy of running around telling the world that I have an Agent! A Book Deal! A Launch Party! A Million Pound Film Deal...okay, I got a bit carried away there but you get my drift.
I could, if I'm very lucky, have some of that to look forward to one day and that thought, that idea, that dream makes me cheerful.
Now then, back to the editing.
And the hoping. :)