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…
15 thoughts on “Coming soonish…”
What if you succeed? It’s true that you can’t always win or succeed at everything you do, but you will succeed because so far you have managed to get through a lot of good and not so good things. Live in the present and forget the past.
A man of many talents Dom. Writing, recording and publishing to name a few. I’m the owner of a much read copy of Eclipsed and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the account from your goodself. It wouldn’t mean as much read by anyone else. I hope you have a good week ahead.
Btw. I loved hearing Granny Tess’s lovely soft Irish accent in the snippet about the puzzle?
Amazing Blog again. Don’t over work yourself I think you are doing an amazing job. I think it was a good choice to read the audio book version by yourself. Because it’s your story and you should be reading/telling it. ? You already succeeded. Your books are amazing love to read them and in my opinion you will have future success. Best wishes to you and your family have a great Sunday afternoon.
Sara (20) ☺️
Loved this one! But have to say you’re the furthest thing from a narcissist, can’t wait for the audiobook!
Cool .good luck
I love the way you write. You get your point and content across without fluffing up the subject matter with unnecessary words. It is a true joy to read your work. I’ll spread the word over here in the states to read (listen) to your books. Well done on you sir.
Nice day! I am not in your position and it is easy to have an opinion, but I think everything is right, getting the desired goal or not, because as you say the one who does not risk does not win.
Have a nice afternoon, greetings.
While you may be struggling with all the “Me’s” you’ve been producing lately, I couldn’t be more thrilled. As someone who has mental health issues of her own, your books have helped me get through some very tough times in my life. I often wondered what your take was on mental health. Do you believe it exists? Do you believe in its severity? These questions and more often plagued me and so I am glad to hear that you recognize it’s existence, for so many still don’t. I sincerely hope you are doing well and are taking care of yourself. And I thank you for the support you’ve given and continue to give to me through your writing. Cheers!
No Narcissist has even a scintilla of self awareness and they certainly don’t have enough to understand their Narcissism. You are the antithesis of one, you’re a really good writer stuck in a broken system who will overcome said system with this one or I’m a monkey’s uncle, or wrong, which just means I’m right about the broken system. Cannot wait to have a look. We’ll done for finishing and for the audio xx
I appreciate your musings and the way you examine life (your own and the characters in your novels). It is refreshing to see such self-awareness and sometimes brutal honesty. It’s a shame that honesty can be brutal, but there you go. 🙂
Your blogs and books have been a welcome respite of humor and sometimes tears during the past year. I’m grateful. When comedy returns, and it will, I hope you continue with this blog and your novels.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Better late then never, Lovely blog Mr. H. I for one I am over joyed for the sequel to Only in America, it is one of my favorites. Also I wish you the most luck and hope at the end of these writing projects, you’re not in a straight jacket in a extremely padded room with no widows.
I’m a former fiction writer. One thing I have told people of all ages for the past twenty plus years is – “Everybody has a story, be it fiction or nonfiction, write it!” There’s no such thing as “narcissism or me, me, me” when writing nonfiction about your own life and experiences. Unless the book strokes your ego, I’m sure it would be an interesting read, if not touch home base with someone(s) in this world. I wish you all the best in success with your works, Dom.
Sorry that the week wasn’t very enjoyable. Listening to your own voice is always so cringeworthy, but I always try and remember that almost everyone has that opinion, and therefore, I don’t sound as stupid/weird as I think.
From what I’ve read of Eclipsed (one day there will be enough time to finish it), I don’t think you sound narcissistic. I’ve loved every page of it. I also remember going through the first chapter with your audio recording on YouTube, and I really enjoyed that.
Looking forward to the complete audio of Eclipsed, the unnamed novel, and next week’s blog!
I’m currently caught in the horrible phase of “what if I do all this work and it fails or goes nowhere?” And while I’m aware that it’s a chance I have to take because I want to do it, it doesn’t help the doubts go away. But I understand what you’re saying, although I have to say, thinking about furthering disappointments are no fun. I feel like it takes the drive out what you want to do.
Great blog! I think that part of this process that you are taking is scary to face, but what happens if you succeed? If you go further than you think? As someone once said, turn your nerves into excitement. I am very sure that you’re going to achieve great things.