I hope you’re looking forward to tonight’s festivities, but a word of warning from Australia, where we’d already been there and done that – try not to drink too much! You’ll just end up where I am now, and where you’ve probably been yourself – regretting that last glass and swearing off the alcohol forever. For once, I’m dead serious. Here’s my new pledge:
During the six months I plan to spend as a full-time writer, I will not drink at all.
I have not been drinking much since I’ve met Josh, who (unlike most Australians) doesn’t really drink. We have a glass of wine with dinner probably once or twice a month. So you can imagine how three glasses of wine from last night have ruined my day today. I’d still made it to the gym, but that was the only thing I’d managed all day – no writing yet. Needless to say, incompatible with what I am setting out to achieve.
Don’t get me wrong, it was fun! My sister managed to take a long enough break from her two little kids so that we could talk about our writing dreams. Yes, she’s a writer too, almost finished with the first draft of her YA novel. We kept drinking, talking, and laughing till just after midnight. We talked about why it feels so wrong to take half a year off work, and why it feels so absurd to attempt yet another career switch, this time to a profession where the odds of “making it” are about as good as they are in the lottery jackpot.
Then we started going through our memories and remembering when we’d “won the lottery” before. Like when I’ve announced back in Ukraine that I was going to win a scholarship to study abroad and was ridiculed by everyone for a year, until I left on a full scholarship to the US. Or when my sister said that she was going to move to Australia and even I did not believe her, until she got into the second selection round. We came up with a long list and they all had something in common – a vision, a plan, and a lot of hard work. There was also something else – not giving up, no matter how hopeless things looked. It’s all too easy to swear off dating, once you’ve been on about fifty first dates, but I got my prize, and he still makes me breakfast in bed almost every day, even after all these fifteen months…
Anyway, I still have a lot of work to do in terms of arranging such a long leave – I’ve already talked to my immediate manager, but now I have to convince his boss, who can be a tough nut. He’s back next week and I’m going to bring it up on Friday, after he’s had a chance to settle in and is less likely to shoot from the hip. Wish me luck.
Meanwhile, there’s some excitement on the marketing front – Shizzle, Inc is on sale again this weekend, and I have a Bargain Booksy promo scheduled – will update in a few days on the sales numbers. The paper version formatting is almost finished, the first draft of the paper cover is done, and I have even purchased a bar code! There will be Goodreads promotions and bugging all the local bookshops with free review copies. Also, I’m up to 14,000 words on the sequel draft.
Enjoy your candy. I’m off to add another thousand to my word pile.