Monday, 12 January 2015

An Author's New Year Resolutions

I hope it's not too late for a New Year's Resolutions post. These are the same ones I make and break every year, they might strike a chord.

1. Stop checking Amazon sale rankings every five minutes. They don't even mean anything, and besides, you said were boycotting Amazon.

2. That didn't mean you could go on Twitter instead.

3. Take more exercise. OK, well at least try and stretch. Try reaching for that book over there without leaving your chair. Reach. Stre-e-tch.....Oh. I hope that wasn't a precious coffee cup. I'm sure the stains will come out.

4. Stop checking your email addictively. Remember that your publisher will reply in a minute, they're probably just really busy.

5. Wait, why are you on Amazon again? What did we agree?

6. Read some books. Yes, a book book, not a tweet or a blog or a photo of your friend's cupcake platter. You're on public transport, what kind of example are you settting, squinting at your phone? You can't sit there being all anxious about the decline of reading if you're part of it.

7. If school food is so inedible, why don't you prepare a packed lunch once in a while for your author's visits instead of complaining bitterly inside your head on the way home?

8. Are you really typing Amazon in to the search bar again? You only checked a few seconds ago. How many were you expecting to sell in that time?

9. This isn't your bookshop. Leave everything where you found it. Was that pile of your books in the window when you came in? I didn't think so.

10. Stop checking your email! They will reply in a minute, OK?

11. No, Facebook is just as much a waste of time as Twitter. Close that browser down.

12. Do some research in a library (if you can find one that is still open) and not all on Wikipedia. It's amazing what you can find out, and you might even stay on topic, rather than researching one place name and ending up reading about the history of the apple strudel for two hours.

13.  Go for a walk every now and then. Forget about it for a while. It's better for you than sobbing and beating your fists against the wall.

14. Come up with a clever answer for when people ask "And how many copies have you sold?"

15. Come up with a clever answer for when school children ask "How much money do you make?"

16. Come up with a clever answer for when your bank asks "Why should we extend it ?"

17. Yes, using the Amazon app on your iPad counts. Put. It. Away.

18. Take some deep breaths. The publisher's reply was fine. Yes, it was.

19. Wait, you want to contact the hacking collective Anonymous and ask them to hack in to the Amazon servers to do what? No.

20. You have friends and family, apart from the ones in your head and on the page. They might actually like to see you once in a while.

21. How on earth did you get hold of Jeff Bezos' mobile number? You are out of control.

22. Try not to sound quite so breathlessly excited every time your agent rings. It is only once a year, you could at least learn to feign cool.

23. There was something else too, it's on the tip of my tongue...which reminds me, make more notes, do a memory course, but get better at remembering all those brilliant ideas.

24. Try not to stare into space quite so much, especially in public. You're really freaking people out. Hang on a minute though...

25. That's it. You got there. Knew there was one last thing. Write more words, on the page. In fact, forget all the others, you're going to do them anyway. So just stick to this one. Write more.

 Piers Torday


Sue Purkiss said...


Joan Lennon said...

Thanks Piers!

Emma Barnes said...

I'm going to print these out and pin them to the wall.

(Resolution No 26: Do not read other author's blogs and then print them out and pin them to the wall when you are supposed to be working: this too is procrastination!)

Penny Dolan said...

Think there are a lot of people still making resolutions, Piers, even if they can't yet DO them because of urgent tax account prep. Maybe a coincidence?

Your list is an excellent start - especially that last point! Thanks.