I think it’s easy to be swept along on a wave of expectation.
These past weeks I’ve found myself catching up with lots of things, making preparations for the mammoth November that looms, and it kind of feels like I should be doing more, but then again I organised a lot of things months ago. But I am eager and perhaps just a little bit a control freak … no comment.
I got to thinking back to March 11th — exactly six months ago today when I got the news I had been waiting for forever — when Parthian books said yes to publishing my novel. What a day that was, although it was in the evening when it was finally confirmed and the following morning when I got to announce it. That night I kept it to close friends and family and barely slept a wink.
Six whole months ago and we’re almost there.
There were lots of cover discussions yesterday (have to get the marketing right, so now an idea involving next summer, as well as November — think covers) but I will talk about that when I can. But I realised when I got to really thinking about it, just how much this means. I mean really means. Everything. It’s my obsession.
It’s easier to see obsession when you look in from the outside.
People ask if obsession is a good thing — but it depends on context, compulsions are a different thing entirely. But being passionate, being driven by single-minded determination, like this is the only thing that matters in the whole world — well, as long as other parts of life aren’t neglected, right? Like people? That’s okay. Isn’t it?
I was thinking last night about my personal journey to this point in time. When Lee was still here we had a cottage in Bethesda and what a gorgeous cottage it was. Like a little Hobbit home — apt for someone with the name Hobbs! And Lee and I worked for the same company but different departments and different shifts. It was close to ten years ago and that was when I was beginning to finally write the novel I had thought about since the age of fifteen! But I never neglected the time with Lee and when you think how short that was in the end, I am so glad of that.
When he was on earlies I got up at 5 am with him and when I’d waved him off to work retreated to the little crog loft and often with the pitter patter of rain on the skylight, I’d write. It was perhaps the real beginning of the path that led to where I am now. I’d do three hours and then off to work and sneak in more during the day while I waited for my assays to process in the lab. I couldn’t help it, the obsession was rolling by then.
When Lee was on lates I did my writing in the evening while I waited for him to come home.
And so it began.
After he died it took a while to be able to write but when I could, it became my saviour. And I think that’s when the real deep obsession began. It wasn’t supported, let alone nurtured, by my employees because my mind clearly sought other things. But like I said, and like I still very much believe, without that passionate all-encompassing determination and constant strive to be a better writer, I would never have had that phone call six months ago today. Or still be so obsessed about the short stories I write and getting I Am Wolf absolutely right before it’s submitted.
But last night, in the quiet, worrying about some slight changes to publishing schedules (don’t worry — actually might be better now and yes still out as planned!) I thought about how so so so much I want this. Like I have never wanted anything else in my life. What is it that I want exactly? Well not fame, not even money (but it would help) but for my stories to live in people’s heads and for them to love them. I can be the name on the cover that for most means nothing. That’s fine.
Perhaps living with only pets and sitting here at this computer day in day out does make you needy in an inside my own head kind of way, driven beyond driven to do this well. My whole life is nothing but writing. Barely a conversation goes by without there being something about writing, books, launches. I guess that makes me a bore to many — like I was to my employee. But I can’t apologise for something that makes me happy and that without it, I wouldn’t have got this far, right?
So all I can say to that is I can’t be any other way. And it seems to be working.
Have a great day, y’all!