In my writerly life, I get a queasy feeling from time to time. Different things can trigger it—a book signing, an autograph, a compliment, an advert, etc. Usually, something nice anyway. This time it was the cover art for the German version of PAYING THE PIPER. A woozy feeling washed over me. It’s a lovely cover but there was one thing wrong with it. It had my name on it.
Oh, I wrote the book and there’s no mistake about that but it does feel weird to see my name on a book cover. It somehow seems fraudulent. We are talking about me being a writer. This was never the plan. I read books. Someone like me doesn’t write them!
Maybe it’s the dyslexia talking. It’s made me self conscious and given me a sense of unworthiness. What could be more ludicrous than a dyslexic author?
Yes, I know some of you will berate me for saying that but it’s the way I feel.
Naturally, being the paradoxical person that I am, I am also immensely proud of my books and stories. I hope that I’ll keep writing for the rest of my life. It’s what I want to do with my life. See! Paradoxical. I never said this would make any sense.
I have a bookcase in my office filled with just my books and magazines featuring articles and stories I’ve written. I look at it all and think, wow, I’m responsible for all that. I also look at it and think, wow, I’m responsible for all that. I think there’s been a terrible mistake. Is there someone I can speak to about this?
I suppose I’m a still a fanboy when it comes to books and I get excited by books and authors I admire, but when it comes to my books, I don’t believe I’m in their league. It’s no different when I’ve seen my books in the bookstore. I see them on the shelf or display and I smile, but it’s quickly followed by a blush of embarrassment.
I suppose I’m too close to my work. I can’t view it the same rarefied air as I can with other people’s books. More than likely, most authors feel that way. I guess it’s because a book is like a house. I built it from the dirt up and while the rest of the world sees a house, I see all the difficulties I went through in its construction.
Objectivity is a bitch that way.
I’m not sure I’m making much sense with this admission. Mainly because I can’t quite put a finger the emotion, probably because I’m experiencing two of them at once—glee and embarrassment which are held in check by stupity. I blame being English. Boasting is an outfit that never quite fits. I don’t think my people have the shoulders for it.
I not sure there’s a cure for this aliment. Dramamine isn’t going to cut it. I know I’ve tried. Time heals all wounds so it might be the cure I need—but for that I will have to keep on writing. J
Categories: shelf life