Rejection. Denial. Rejuvenation. Don’t care.

Last autumn, Abaddon Books called for open submissions. They were looking for an e-novella which would fit in with their current oeuvre. I had an idea for a story about growing up in the north-east in the 1980s (as that’s what I did). I could easily turn it into a zombie horror. So I did and I although it is unfinished, there were enough words to submit. Which I did.

 McCausland, Shane (2003), First Masterpiece of Chinese Painting: The Admonitions Scroll, British Museum Press, p. 75, ISBN 978-0-7141-2417-9
McCausland, Shane (2003), First Masterpiece of Chinese Painting: The Admonitions Scroll, British Museum Press, p. 75

I received notice the other day that they won’t be able to use the story even though the editor liked the pitch and the characters. And as with all writers (I imagine), I threw my toys out of the pram! Why bother? I’ll never be a writer! I’m giving up. I’m never writing another word! Which lasted about 2 days. I’ve never had a short story published although I’ve had many reviews and articles published in a variety of places. You see I’m working on the novel, tentatively called Spirit of Books. I think it is an important story for me to tell. Yes, it’s a fantasy novel about libraries and stories and books, but I also think it’s an important social commentary about the priorities of people, from local government officials, to middle managers to young adults. It’s about the sense of entitlement everyone seems to have today. It’s about how people are stupid but how everyone is scared to say it.

Of course, I write book and comic reviews regularly and I have a wife and… and… and… there’s always something going on. I have an allotment to maintain and stuff and there’s my photography, and can I even find a few hours each week to dedicated to my novel? Probably not. So it’ll be a very slow process and I’ll probably be retired before I finish it and no-one will read it anyway, and you know what? I don’t care. I’m going to write it anyway. If it takes me forever and no-one every gives a shit, I will finish it.

So I plan to do anything and everything I can do to complete this project. Last year I read Stephen King’s On Writing and I recently finished Scarlett Thomas’ Monkey’s with Typewriters and I hope I’ve taken the lessons and advice on board. I think I might get some of my writing reviewed by a professional, to see if they can give me some specific advice. And of course I will keep reading and writing as much as I can.


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