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Using the I Word

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

July the 5th 2019

Here I go. I have decided to dive into self-publishing and see where I come up. It doesn’t really suit my personality; bigging myself up, self-promoting, marketing Kate Abley like sausages. But I’m just so bored of sitting in my kitchen and essentially talking to myself without worrying anyone within earshot. That can’t be healthy.

To get to this decision I have to ask myself a few questions. In the next few months, up until the launch of my first story 'Changing the Subject' on October the 31st, I will write them down in this diary. Which will probably make me ask more about them than I have so far.

I just have to get over the loathing for such a task that is built into me. I have to deal with over fifty years of British self-deprecation, female feelings of unworthiness as well as being highly sniffy about what used to be called vanity-publishing. The many and various roles I have adopted over the decades have all involved fighting for and nurturing other people. And I like being useful to other people; mostly I have taught 3 to 5-year olds how to read and write and do their sums. The most commercial thing I've ever done is stand in the streets trying to sell Revolutionary Communist propaganda in post-Thatcher Britain. It might've made me somewhat used to criticism but a grounding in the cut and thrust of virtual vending it was not. I am pretty poorly prepared to start selling me.

But I don’t seem to want to stop writing stories and having a proper agent didn’t work out. So, this is me, doing this, aren't I wonderful.

Simply doing this is already helping. Writing in the first person, using the I word, is new and feels strange. But it is not necessarily immoral, even in this narcissistic age, is it?

I have approached the task in almost the same way as trying a new recipe. If I was going to embark on making a Lamb Tagine, which I might actually, I would; Google Lamb Tagine Recipe; read three of four Lamb Tagine recipes, make notes on what they all have in common and ignore any tricky bits or things I don’t actually like, check the cupboards for ingredients I might already have, buy new ingredients, give myself more time than the chefs say because they know what they’re doing and then get cracking. In this way I have fed my family on delights such as Sossolini, Rice and No Peas, Chicken Mengele and Hole. My kids are healthy, no-one got food poisoning and frequently seconds have been requested. Maybe not for Chicken Mengele, but hey.

So; I have read four ‘how to self-publish’ articles, made notes, found in my metaphorical cupboard that I have two good stories and part-time experience of marketing for two non-profit organisations, bought a bloody website (more on that later I think) and am starting in July with an October deadline. What could possibly go wrong?

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