Saturday, 14 March 2015

Confessions of the Demon’s Junkie Slave

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” – Harsh words by George Orwell, but they ring so true to me.

Ever since the beginning, my writing has taken a central role in my life. What started as a weekend hobby, slowly but surely came to haunt my evenings and sometimes lunchtime hours. I feel an urge to write, an urge to make progress and beef up my manuscripts. And in between writing sessions, I ponder over what I’ve written and how I can tackle the next stages. The demon of writing no longer lurks in the shadows; it gnaws at me, it invades my mind. It forces me to be alone in my struggle, and I lay there powerless, unable to share some of the weight on my shoulders. Only when I sit and resume the typing, does it leave me alone, albeit temporarily. It’s like a stubborn and spoiled child relentlessly seeking attention, never giving up until it gets what it wants. So, as a weak and undisciplined father, I give in to the demon’s submission hold and feed it what it desires. I’d like to say that I sometimes manage to turn the tables on the demon, that I’ve tamed it, but I’d be lying to you. I let it conquer me, for all dark is not pitch black. My understanding is that the demon is the one who provides me with my fix. He’s the one who nurses my addiction. He’s the one who prescribes my daily doses and injects the substance in me. And that dark magic, dear readers, is creativity. It’s a powerful drug which fuels my imagination, and I crave for it. As a junkie, all I can do is embrace the demon and its torture, and do my best to keep it at bay when other matters in life supersede and must be dealt with.

Today the demon allows me to momentarily escape the manuscript and write these words on what is a historical day. On March 14, 2014, ‘Out of Bounds’ was released. I mark my first anniversary as a published author!

A lot has happened during the year. Lessons have been learnt and decisions were made which have shaped my life as an author. The demon hasn’t let me sit back and rest on my laurels. Oh no! While seeking the public’s attention, he pushed me to write more and more. This time last year I was in the early stages of writing ‘The Perfectionist’, I was actively searching to get my first book reviewed, and I was building a social media presence. Now, a year later, ‘The Perfectionist’ is written and its fate will be determined in the next few months as I eagerly await more feedback from literary agents. On a side note, I was recently pleased to see one agent described the book as one with “an intriguing storyline” and that I write “with some flair”, but ultimately it was a no-go. I also wrote a short story set during the London bombings in WWII which I submitted for a competition; it’s called ‘Wartime Girl’ and results are expected this month (fingers crossed). And finally I started work on my third novel and today I am about a third of the way in.

The demon will undoubtedly force me to return to it as soon as I have published this blog entry. I will plead for a quick coffee break: just a simple request for a man with a painful illness. I hope it will be lenient with me. The demon lives by the motto ‘Eat, sleep, victimise, repeat!’
‘Eat, sleep, victimise, repeat!’
‘Eat, sleep, victimise, repeat!’
“Eat, sleep, victimise, repeat!” I hear its voice…I guess it’s time for me to go back to the manuscript.


Here is a reminder of where you can find ‘Out of Bounds’ (I have only included the main e-stores).
Remember, the price for the ebook version has been lowered. It’s currently at $1.99 – a bargain!




Barnes & Noble: