Last month I popped over to the shopping centre behind the office for something in my lunch break. Can’t remember what it was.
There was a pop-up stand by Starbucks, one of those that appear one day and are gone the next.
As I walked past, the man on the stand came up to me and asked, ‘Do you read books?’
Looking at him with the contempt such a question deserved, I was torn between, ‘Of course I read books!’ or ‘What do you take me for?’
Long story short, he was promoting books for an author. The author was sitting behind a stack of his books. I walked away with 4 for 400DKK. A bargain actually, considering how expensive books are in Denmark.
By an author I’d never heard of. Another indie. I felt I should be supportive. Then it turned out he’d been doing it for years and was extremely successful.
I walked away with 4 books I still haven’t read and the feeling that I really should be better at saying no. I couldn’t really afford to spend 400DKK on something just for me, not with Christmas coming up.
I thought about taking them back, but he’d signed them for me and it would have seemed so rude. I thought about selling them, but I’d still lose money and who would pay the postage? He’d been so friendly, offering to be on hand with advice if I needed to talk about my own writing.
He said, ‘There are a few success stories out there. If you work with e-commerce, you should be able to make a go of it.’
I thought about that a lot. So instead of taking them back, I decided to take the books as a lesson. A lesson that I should get back to my book. Find out what I wanted to do with it. Whether that was to keep trying to find an agent, or find the indie style that worked for me. To at least make enough to break even on the 400DKK.
Because it doesn’t matter how many excuses I come up with, how much I tell myself I don’t have time, at the end of the day I still just want to write.
Sometimes it’s like struggling back to something I lost so many years ago.
But I think there’s something worth finding at the end of the road.
I just have to keep going.