Obviously people do write about themselves and this needn’t be self-indulgent although it frequently is.
We are familiar with the autobiography. Thick books with large print that fill the book shops ahead of Christmas – commonly with titles like ‘My Life’ or ‘My Struggle’ and written by a person in the midst of their ‘15 minutes’ and judging by the book cover, often with surgery bills to pay.
But more commonly we have biographies. Much less tawdry. Where notable lives are chronicled by professional writers and read by people interested in their achievements and/or their field of endeavour.
My book Eclipsed doesn’t fit very neatly in to either of these two moulds but worryingly, it is probably more of the former than the latter.
It is about me and my son. (My failings and his success). Written by me. And published by er… me.
And now creating the audible version of the book, it is read by me also.
I worry that this is an awful lot of Me’s – and reminds me of the “Me-Monster” we all encounter from time to time – crushingly boring self-obsessed types who don’t ask any questions because they are too busy discussing their favourite subject.
And I fret that with this project, I might be the Me-Monster or the narcissist.
- excessive interest in or admiration of oneself
Similar: Vanity, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, self-regard, egotism
Of course, I could have employed a professional reader for the audio book but I decided not to. Written in the first person, it makes sense that I do the narrating? Plus I provided my reading services to Dominic Holland Books Limited at an unbeatable rate.
And this meant that last month, I spent three days (it felt much longer) in a sound booth reading my words, all about me.
But this was only the beginning of this onerous task. Because this week, I received the edited version of the book – which I was required to listen to – all 7 hours of it (like watching The Lord of the Rings and The Titanic back to back) – a story written by me, about me and read by me.
A further problem being that I don’t like listening to my own voice. I almost never watch myself either and only when I have to for editing purposes.
So it has been a painful week then. Locked away with my laptop, listening to my own voice talking about my own life (failings) for hour after hour. And to preserve my sanity I needed something else to distract me…
And fortunately I have just completed a new novel – my 6th – which I am in the process of editing. But I wonder how useful a distraction this has been, for my sanity anyway.
It is a sequel to my first novel, Only in America which garnered good reviews but insufficient sales and my publisher promptly fired me. And since then, my books have taken their chances in the jungle that is independent publishing – where we are literally at the mercy of the Jeff Bezos lions.
And I fret that with this new novel, I am being delusional.
Characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.
So all round then, it has been a very challenging week. So it amuses me when I discover that it is mental illness awareness week and I smile wryly.
I wonder if it fortuitous or awkward that I should choose this week to complete two writing projects which both might highlight my own mental frailties?
It might be an omen. It might be a prophetic. But of what?
My future success or further disappointments?
Time will tell as both projects are finally published – and you lot can watch.
Eclipsed audio book – coming soon – sometime this year (hopefully) (this is the plan anyway) and the new novel also – unsure when – Novemberish (maybe). As yet, unsure of the title…