There's one lament I hear time and again from aspiring authors, and I feel for them.
It's a familar one, but frustrating nonetheless, and it's this - how hard it is, however much work you put in, to actually get published.
Yes it is, I won't deny it ... but! Never give up, because it does happen - I know, because it happened to me.
And once you're in, it does get easier, I promise you. Because that's the point of this little ramble.
I've come to think of the battle to get published as storming the castle.
When you're outside, the fortress that is publication looks darned daunting. The walls are thick, strong and high, and you can feel there's no chance of ever getting inside.
But when you do, everything changes. You get to know other writers, publishers and agents, you can socialise with them, chat away, and suddenly all sorts of opportunities begin to open up. I suppose it's the old story of who you know.
Rest assured, I understand how formidable the castle can look. It's only five and a bit years since I had my first book published and I vividly remember the feeling of being outside.
But you can do it, and when you do and you're inside the walls, then suddenly you're on the move and sometimes at a dizzying pace.
To mark this little reflection of a blog, I've found one of my early publicity shots, from when my first novel, The Death Pictures, was published, back in 2008.
Oh wow.. more hair, no beard, but still the same old slightly baffled by the world look. Some things change, others don't...
Right, finally for this wandering, I hope it helps to say that the castle isn't as scary as it looks. By far the majority of people I've met in the publishing industry are thoughtful, warm and kind, and love their art.
So, keep storming away... I look forward to seeing you inside the walls.