Sunday 5 October 2014

You’re Invited Out on a Date

Signs of a problem: the cute doctor you met in Asda just asked for your number.

The symptoms: excitement; feeling flattered; confusion.

You’re halfway through the second book in your epic fantasy trilogy when the woman of your dreams saunters over and asks if you can recommend a type of potato. There’s an instant connection. You quickly bond over price-matched kiwifruit and before you know it, she’s asking for your number.

Think very carefully before replying. Is the reason that you’ve written one and a half fantasy epics that you’ve had no distractions for twelve months? Will you really be able to give one hundred per cent to being a totally splendid hotshot author if you go on a date? What if a date leads to a second date? What if, God forbid, a date should lead to a relationship!

It’s one thing if you’re already married when the writing bug bites, but to let yourself get into a new relationship after you’ve embarked on your difficult career path could be considered irresponsible.

Imagine running your fingers through your cute lover’s hair, feeling the softness of her skin against the back of your hand, touching her smooth lips with yours ...

Now stop!

This is just the sort of thinking that will stand in the way of your totally splendid hotshot career. Before you know it, instead of books, you’ll be launching a trilogy of children (shudder)!

If you want to be a successful author, misery, loneliness and social isolation come with the territory. And don’t you let J.K. Rowling, Ian Rankin, Michael Morpurgo, Jim Webster, Katie W. Stewart, Kath Middleton, Lynda Wilcox, Terry Pratchett, Dan Brown, Delia Smith, Nick Metcalfe, Susan Lewis, Neil Gaiman or Annabel Pitcher tell you otherwise.

I advise reading the our upcoming dating scenarios and familiarising yourself with common author-relationship clashes before agreeing to the date.

Additional Blog-Exclusive Advice

Chris Bailey

“What do you mean you can’t meet me tonight?”

You explain that you have to work on some scenarios for a fellow author, in hope of getting further exposure. Your date won’t understand. They never do. The hardest part of doing everything yourself, is the sheer time it takes. Often you’ll find yourself wondering what will come first: finishing editing your first book or the end of mankind.

You will have to make sacrifices and they will be difficult. You receive a selfie of your lady doctor friend wearing nothing but a stethoscope with the caption, “Are you feeling unwell?” You’re just about to leave your house when you realise, if you stay in you could have your blurb done by the morning.

You text back, “I’m feeling fine thanks.”

Well done.

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