It’s a hard thing to explain that while striving to be your very best, being average in the bigger picture is actually just fine. We can’t all be the best of the best. We can’t. Being our own best self is what’s important.
Here’s a Fantasy V Reality comparison of :
Getting An Agent
A fabulous book deal will immediately follow, my career will be a glitter ball of movie premiers, writing by the beach and coffee with J.K. Rowling.
A stream of rejections, four complete new novels, five years until an offer of publication.
And that is FINE. It’s better than fine, those five years made me a better writer, they forged a bond between me and my agent, they allowed me to understand why I was writing and what I wanted to write about.
Getting A Book Deal.
I’ll be able to pay off all our debts; I’ll do loads of events; the book will be a massive hit; I’ll be nominated for awards; I’ll make the world a better place with my writing.
I paid off a tiny bit of the mortgage; I do some school visits; the book is doing fine but actually Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart ( which is gorgeous by the way, just like Peter) is Usborne’s lead debut of 2016; there are a gazillion brilliant books out there so I am unlikely to win any award I’m nominated for; my writing can briefly make the world a better place for a few individuals.
And I am OKAY with that. In fact I am VERY HAPPY with that. It’s awesome. I don’t need coffee with J.K. Rowling, I’ve got all my SCBWI friends. I don’t need loads of awards for my books to matter – Instagram mentions from readers are my reward:
I am a small boat in an ocean of cruise liners and I am cool with that. My small boat is afloat and full of good stuff. So it is with Britain.
The EU referendum result is a little bit like me saying to my publisher and my agent and all my writer friends,
“I don’t actually need you because in a former life, I was J. K. Rowling and I’m going to be her again.”
If those words had come out of my mouth I’d have basically punched a massive hole in the bottom of my boat. That’s what we just voted to do to our country. Now the hole is there and we need to start patching it up before we sink. I wish we didn’t have to, but we do.
Let’s try and do it together.
Kathryn Evan’s is the author of More of Me. She’s been nominated for the Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award. You can vote for her here: First Book Award.