General

The Rewritten “Me”

With the publication back on Friday finally of Tomorrow The Grace, I realized my “About” page on here needed updating. Yesterday, I did so. I kept the Thomas Jefferson statue photo snapped of me on a visit to his Monticello, Virginia home some years ago:

[The Author (l), received by President Jefferson. Monticello, 18…. uh….]

As for the concluding text, it is now this:

In 2017, I headed down a slightly different path: the pre-modern. I wrote a massive historical romantic story of the 1780s-1790s: Conventions: The Garden At Paris. It is a tale revolving around a mixture of real historical figures and fictional characters:

In October 2019, I finished a sort of sequel. However, it is not necessary to have read Conventions before reading this follow up (although given the complexity of the tale doing so would probably be helpful background):

I hope you enjoy your blog visits, and I have other social media listed below.

All the best,
Robert

Email: rjnello@mail.com.

Instagram: RJNello.
Twitter: RJNelloWriter.
Facebook: RJNello.
Tumblr: RJNello.

With Tomorrow up fully with its four predecessors, another sense of “the end” hit me. Authors, I believe, get a degree of a “high” writing, and look forward to finishing that cursed, vile, drives you bonkers manuscript. But once the book is finished, you are rather lost.

I am finding I feel much the same way I did back in late 2013, and in 2014, and in 2015, and in mid-2017 upon the completions of my previous four novels. Post-publication I always miss the focus and challenge. I have found in the last few days that I’ve been reading parts of the novel again I suspect somehow seeking to recapture a bit of that “buzz” I had gotten in writing it:

[Excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace, Copyright, 2019. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

I also feel worn out, and want to PAUSE for a time, rest, do some reading, and have something of a “writing holiday.” Yet in the competitive world of “indie” writing, pauses tend to be “career suicide.” Regardless the absence of a project before me is, I admit, perhaps a problem of another kind as well.

I am by temperament, I suppose, life pessimistic. In some respects, social media is not really where I should be. For instance, there are so many authors out there who post schmaltzy “motivational” and “self-help” stuff.

For example, I won’t identify this author (and I edited this Instagram lift from her slightly, as you see, to hide her identity). I follow and generally like her, and I am not assailing her here personally, but citing it as an example only. In fact, I really admire this personal outlook:

[Taken from Instagram, October 2019.]

And I wish I could find it in myself. But I just cannot understand that outlook. I find seeing it prompts from me the initial reaction that the poster is bl-ody delusional. In many ways even worse, it comes across to me as fake and forced.

For I CANNOT believe anyone is that HAPPY as a writer. To be a writer is to me forever to be some degrees of “miserable.” All that really varies is the daily depth of the misery: some days are much worse than others.

Or maybe I’m the one who needs help with my outlook? Yet based on what I witnessed of my (now late) uncle’s authoring life in the 1980s-early 2000s, what I have read in well-known writers’ biographies, and what I am now experiencing myself, I think I am by far the more realistic about the craft. I have come to feel writing is to a degree akin to an addiction and even an affliction, so I can understand why so many even “successful” authors were/are also so perennially troubled…

[Photo by me, Potton, England, September 2019.]

…thus I guess the point of this post is to plant my own flag in response to starry-eyed social media authoring optimism. It is similar perhaps to the teen girl who admires that barrage of Insta-photos of “that model” she follows. The teen needs to be told again and again to remember that what “that model” is posting is, in fact, misleading, contrived, and NOT REAL.

For authors, we have this social media problem. If you write invariably you find occasionally you feel isolated, low, hate what you produce, consider yourself a failure, and even hate yourself, so the last thing you need then is when other writers you follow on social media share their latest stream of “uplifting” posts/pics and observations about how “beautiful” and “golden” and “lovely” they assert it is being a writer, punctuated with “smiley” hashtags about how they #lovewriting #lovelife #loveeveryone and #blah, #blah, #blah… and you can’t bring yourself to unfollow them because they are also “friends.” As you scroll by them, understand you are not alone in feeling that you might want to bash your head down repeatedly on your desk.

So as with “that model,” writers who post such are not really – in my opinion – reflecting reality either. In the end I am sure that they too are just as alone with a keyboard as you are and struggling to write well. We can only but wonder what #pain and #frustration and #hurt they are trying to gloss over in appearing so social media #positive #happy #thankful.

Have a #good #day, wherever you are. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

______

UPDATE: October 23: See this post for some good things about being an author. ๐Ÿ™‚

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