Monday, 14 September 2009
Pollyanna Time: N M Browne
For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, I live more by the academic year than the calendar one. The first hint of autumn in the air, the chill winds, the shortening days and I get an unseasonal burst of energy, a desire to make new resolutions, dye my hair some unnatural shade of russet and buy a new pair of glossy, conker-coloured boots.
This year my first and most significant resolution is to enjoy what I do. No longer will I angst over the demise of the mid list or whinge about the parlous state of sales. I refuse to be envious of top sellers or bitter when my name is absent from short lists. I am going to enjoy the moments when I have a story I want to tell and the leisure to tell it. Autumn is always a reminder that things will probably get worse; colder, bleaker, darker so I am going to enjoy the last lingering golden days of sunshine and have fun.
Secondly, I am going to stop making crazy resolutions (I’m not including the above resolution in that category whatever you might think.) I know I’m not going to be up and dressed and working first thing in the morning. I am rubbish in the mornings and my brain does not come on line until significant amounts of caffeine have been imbibed, until I have listened to the Today programme, skimmed the paper and surfed the net. I am very unlikely to write a thousand words every day – I never have so why should this year be different? I am going to write what I can when I can and wherever I can and not beat myself up when the quality is a little bit dodgy either.
Thirdly, I am going to read more teenage fiction and enjoy the skill and talent of my fellow writers. I am going to be glad to be living in an age when such good books are available instead of depressed by the quality and quantity of ‘the competition.’ I am going to be pleased when my books are in stock, not cross when they aren’t. I am going to smile benignly when people ask me whether I’ve ever been published or thought of writing a real book - for adults. I am going to laugh in a warm, friendly and entirely non hostile way when someone asks if I’m going to be the next JK Rowling. In short I am going to be a veritable peri- menopausal Pollyanna. I think I’ll be happier.
Watch this space...