Autumn is a funny time. Yes, the leaves are pretty colours, we don’t have to worry about ugly men walking around topless anymore (in public!), and we have Halloween and fireworks soon – which are always jolly good fun. But none of this totally makes up for the fact that we’re simply too soon after the delights of summer and too far from the joys of Christmas for anything else to be truly delightful or joyous. These cold, darkening days render me decidedly fragile - and to think, I used to laugh at people who claimed they got Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every winter. That was before I lived in Scotland.
I am trying to combat the autumnal blues, as well as my own wretchedness concerning my status as a useless unemployed person, with some writing projects. These are threefold:
1) Despite glaring continuity errors, erratic changes in plot/characterisation/time/logic, and whole sections missing where I have simply written ‘???’, I have decided that I have finished the first draft of my novel. Sort of. In lying to myself like this, I can move on and edit it, which I think is more productive than just hating its presence on my computer - and indeed, in my life.
2) I have set up a writers’ group. It is called WOW, which stands for Writers on Wine. I am proud of that acronym. The group is in its fledgling stages at the moment, but I am confident there will be much good writing and much good wine.
3) I have become a Literary Consultant.
So the unemployment thing is not strictly true, although my bank balance would suggest otherwise. No, I have recently been appointed a Literary Consultant for a publishing company in Geneva.
This is not as grand as it sounds. It is actually a ghostwriting job. Back in May, I applied for a different role in a Geneva-based publishing company and - to cut a long story short - they offered me the Literary Consultant role instead. Getting the job was a rather long and ridiculous process, however the highlight of it all was being whisked off to Geneva for the day – the single most high-flying (no pun intended) moment in my laughably non-professional career.