This writing life is a delight, but as with everything in the world it seems there must be a drawback or two.
For me, the worst is the roller coaster.
Ok, it's a bit of a cliche, but writing is a creative job, which thus involves the artistic temperament. And that means ups and downs.
Some days go well. The words flow, you might get a good review, or be invited to do a talk at a festival, or some teaching.
On other days, the fates are having none of you.
They stubbornly resists all your best attempts at alluring small talk, keep anything uplifting well out of your way, the most interesting emails are for strange medical products to enhance your sexual vitality (I seem to get an oddly large number of those, do they know something?!), and the day passes without anything worthy of note actually happening.
That's the roller coaster, and the climbs and falls can sometimes be giddying.
A visual interlude here, before I depress us all. One of my favourite ways of lifting the mood is a walk in this wonderful world, and I'm very lucky to have the River Exe near to my door, with views like this -
Over the years, I've found a few ways of dealing with the roller coaster, aside from delighting in spectacles like above. Telling yourself that good days follow the bad ones does often help, and happily it's true.
A bit of exercise, falling back on chats with your kind and loyal friends, enoying something of real quality, whether it's writing, music, anything like that, they're all useful.
But on the whole, I've come to a strange conclusion -
I prefer the way of life that involves the roller coaster to its alternative. Because otherwise you're flatlining, and that doesn't sound like living to me.