Last chance saloon a very commonly used phrase and especially for the UK at the moment. The media are using it to describe the political turmoil we are currently experiencing. However, last chance saloon can mean many things to many people. I have a significant birthday coming up very soon and because of that, I have decided I must audit my life. There are two areas that I think must be last chance saloon country.
The first is getting myself fitter and healthier. That means addressing my eating habits which have never been bad eg I do not indulge in chocolate, cakes and biscuits and never have. But now is my last chance to do my best to shed the weight, help my arthritis, lower my blood pressure, blah-di-blah. I have started one popular eating programme that has many foods I like which are free to eat. I am getting used to tomato puree on my toast under the scrambled eggs!!
The second is my writing and because this is an author’s blog, I suppose that is what I should be talking about here.
What happens when an author comes to a crossroads and realises that he/she is never going to be as successful as JK Rowling? Answer: Rethink every aspect of their writing life.
Last night, the following article appeared in my twitter stream. It made it abundantly clear that a powerless writer like me and millions of others, have an almost zero chance of improving our financial lot. The Nora Roberts' of this world have the resources to fight and, all power to her, she is fighting. Read this, writers (and non-writers) and weep.
So I and most of my fellows, are handicapped before we start. There will never be a level playing field for us because the scammers make too much money and Amazon doesn't care.
I have decided the only option is to change my mindset. From now on, I write when I want to, not as the full-time job I have made it for the past ten years. This will have additional benefits in that I can take up my hobbies again. I can find time to play the piano, sing, do my cross-stitch and paint my watercolours. I won't feel guilty taking a few hours out to drive somewhere and mooch around the shops.
I think it might actually help my writing, in that doing other things and seeing the world around me will allow my subconscious the time to sort out that little plot glitch without me sweating over a hot keyboard. I can become a human being again, not a human doing, flying from one task to the next without having the time to take a breath.
As part of my writing last chance saloon, I have ordered some pens to send to friends and give to people who stand still long enough for me to put one in their hand. I will organise a proper schedule of tweets for my books, make sure this blog is a regular feature. And that, I am afraid, will have to do and if that means I remain a complete unknown, so be it. Wish me luck.