A) If it had really been the best idea to submit a book in the week before the Bologna Book Fair.
B) If I should have avoided mentioning this blog in those emails, since now I felt under pressure to write something today, rather than just take the week off.
So it was while I was scrabbling for ideas yesterday that I remembered those cookbooks for last minute entertaining, dealing with the Mad Men-esque scenario of the boss suddenly coming round for dinner when all you have in the cupboard is a bag of out-of-date macadamia nuts. Why wasn't there such a thing for bloggers? And what would be in it?
The My Literary Life PostIngredients:
- One Fabulously Busy Writer
- Many Fabulous Writer Friends
- Many Photographs of Many Fabulous Writer Friends
Half-bake a "What I Did on My Holidays" style blog post, describing all of the literary events you have been to in the last week and who you met at each. Drop names liberally and concentrate on the people who are well-known, rather than the ones you actually like.
Emphasise how lucky you are and what a dream it is and how you're not worthy etc. Be sure to layer this part on really thickly, so it doesn't look like you're a self-aggrandising snob.
Stir in photographs, but only if they show your good side and definitely not that wobbly bit below your chin.
Garnish with air kisses and allow reader to steam.
The Writer's JourneyServes: Around 20 blog posts
- One Unpublished Writer
- One First Novel
- Many Agents
- Zero Book Deals
Finish your first novel (N.B. Do not revise it – this risks adding quality to your mixture and may cause unexpected success). Submit your novel to as many agents as possible, preferably with a very generic query letter.
While you wait, start a blog. Post enthusiastically and often about how the blog will chart your journey from unpublished nobody to bestselling writer. Think big – your blog could comprise your literary archive and one day be stored in the British Library! Oh, and don't forget to talk about your cats – everyone likes cats.
Blog about rejection and how you are carrying on regardless because the writer's journey is a hard one and you are brave.
Get rejected by everyone.
Put the manuscript in a drawer, take up needlecraft and never blog again.
The Political PostIngredients:
- One Hot Political Topic
- Some Politicians That Annoy You (Michael Gove is always a good filler in this meal)
- One or More Newspapers That Reinforce Your Opinions
- A Ladleful of Steaming Political Invective
Read chosen newspaper(s). Get angry.
Spend time discussing issue on Facebook/Twitter. Allow anger to brew, stabbing keyboard with barely controlled fury.
Pour out barely coherent but INCENDIARY thoughts straight into blog.
Season with righteous indignation and brace yourself for a storm of comments.
The Meta Blog PostIngredients:
- One Blogger
- One Deadline
- Zero Ideas
Open MS Word. Begin blog post by apologising for not having had a good idea for a blog post.
Add a pinch of reader sympathy by going on about how busy you are and how you really need a rest and blah blah blah.
Stir in cheap conceptual idea and allow plot to thicken.
Write entire blog post about writing a blog post. It's postmodern, innit.
Sit back and enjoy the fact you've got away with it for another week.