When I first blogged about getting the book deal, I swore I wouldn’t turn into one of those whingeing bloggers who type swift, miffed posts about deadlines and agent lunches and oh my God, you just don’t understand the pressure! If they even exist. And I have no intention of starting now. But something is going on...
I’m tense today. Unusually so. Maybe. This is the first proper day back and I’ve been tense all day.
This morning, for example, I was quick to rankle in the doctor’s surgery when they kept me waiting for a full 20 minutes in an otherwise empty room with the telly on full blast - I turned it off - and then asked me where my urine was. I had no urine. This was the first mention of urine. I was handed a tube and pointed towards a disabled toilet. Sullenly, peeved and wretched, I tried. But I had none. Goddammit! It’s the pressure! No one understands the pressure! So then I had to make another trip to the surgery this afternoon, armed with a small warm tube of angry yellow urine. I know, I know. Walk away from the gag.
Then, an hour or so later, Gchatting to a friend, I was tetchy. Unnecessarily so. If In fact, if I’m being perfectly honest, I was probably petulant to boot.
Then, around teatime, I became positively livid because I couldn’t buy rail tickets to London - my destination this Thursday - from Sunderland - my point of departure - without first going to Newcastle or Durham to pick up my ‘fast tickets’. Oh, the irony. Of course, had I been made aware of this, National Express, you sloppy motherfuckers, before I embarked upon the online booking process, I would have gone to the train station in person and accomplished everything in one fell swoop.
So I have to waste at least two hours of my precious, angry life, if not more, piddling about in search of a system that makes fucking sense.
It is galling, but I overreacted, sighing and stomping my feet, on the telephone, whining to the call centre lady, ‘But it’s a hideous, ridiculous world, isn’t it?’ ‘M-hm.’ ‘Isn’t it though? Say it is.’
Jesus. Leave it.
But it’s not just the National Health and National Express. (Oh, I also went to Vision Express this afternoon because I AM GOING BLIND! But they were quite nice, so I can’t really be churlish about them.) No. It’s more than quotidian awfulness. I’m feeling tense because… I’ve been trying to pinpoint it for a few hours now and I think it comes down to this: I’m afraid.
As always. It really never ends, does it? You get what you want and there’s barely time to pat yourself on the back before you’re plagued by fear of failure.
I’ve got so little faith in myself, even after having achieved a fair bit in the last 18 months. I’m afraid of everything falling apart and fading away. Not with a bang, but a feeble whine. I’m terrified of the book ebbing tepidly into total obscurity, not even bold enough to prompt proper enmity. And I’m afraid of the shame of whoring myself to give the book every chance of being read. But I know I have to. Even so, begging people to review your book is grody to the max. If they want to review it, they’ll review it. Must I send them Spamazon? Ohhh, I don’t know.
And more than all of that, I’m terrified of becoming boring, of having nothing to blog about but all this clunking bunkum and self-regarding bum gravy. And it is. It is bum gravy.
Hopefully though, this is me getting it out of my system.
Actually, I think I've just realised the solution. If faith is difficult to come by, probably the best solution is to just fake it.
So, tomorrow, I shall be blogging pictures from the final leg of the European Book Tour. Then we’ll work out the best way to sign books for those of you who’d like them signed, without me cringeing in on myself like a vampire trapped in a shaft of sun. Oh, come on, now that is embarrassing.
Now I must away and answer some questions for a Sky journalist. I know! First Harper Collins, now Sky. I’m so far up the scat-pipe of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire that I can practically tickle the Dirty Digger’s semi-colon with the tip of my tongue!
Thanks to Swineshead, the grumpy bastard who often takes issue with me for no reason, for the light relief.