I read a lot of blogs by other writers, and I’ve noticed that at one time or another all of them have been visited by the Not Worthy Monkey. That devious little bastard that sits on your shoulder, whispering in your ear about how bad a writer you are, how no-one will ever be interested in what you’re doing. He always comes visiting when you’re at your lowest and so more open to his bogus “advice”. The little bugger turned up on my doorstep about a week or so ago, totally unannounced he plonked himself into by chair, pulled my laptop over and started reading, giggling as he went.

My current WiP had been going well, part one wrote and with beta readers, and part two progressing better than I’d thought. But he was doing his utmost to put paid to that feeling of wellbeing that has been with me for the most part of this year. That feeling that finally I’d hit on something that might just do it, might just get people interested in what I had to say. In the space of a couple of days I hit snag after snag. Characters wouldn’t behave and the flow stalled. Since he came calling my writing has been hit and miss, going from everyday to every other day, and then every other other day. I was despondent, finding excuses not to open the file up and start writing, the Not Worthy Monkey was winning.

Then last night that all changed. It’s amazing how effective two emails can be to lifting the spirit.

use enough gun

I submitted a short story to the third in Pill Hill Press’ Monster Hunter anthology collection – Use Enough Gun – close to a year ago. I’d already had my story Groundhog Day published in the second volume and was over the moon to be accepted again. Then things went a bit awry at Pill Hill, the result being the site closed and all the authors were told the rights to their stories had reverted back to them. But then came Miles Boothe like a veritable knight in shinning armour, he took up the challenge and created Embry Press, a new publication house that would be specializing in stories about monster hunters. Whilst he was sorting things out he told all authors accepted by Pill Hill that he would be carrying on with publication of the third volume.

Last night I had an email from him, it had attached the edits for my story Jack, he’d indicated some changes that helped the pace and tone of one of the action scenes. He also put a note on the email saying he felt that this story was the best work I’d done. Four little words, best work I’d done, that’s all it took and the Monkey was riled, his grip on me weakened and he was starting to become dislodged. But I wasn’t out of the woods yet, he was still in my head, his case still unpacked.

Then I had a second email, this one was from Douglas Strider – author of the brilliant Space Danger: The Deadly Planet of Death -, Doug is someone I’ve know for about a year on Twitter, his a fellow budding authour, and he kindly accepted my request to beta read the first part of my current WiP. He’d done a great job, he’d given me lots of comments, ideas and a huge barrel of encouragement. He liked what I’d done and how I’d done it, and what’s more he wanted to find out what happens next. I was high on praise and my back sore from all the clapping. The Monkey, he was on the doorstep his case in hand, a dejected look on his face as he went on his way.

Now I have my laptop back, now I have my mojo back, the Monkey banished – for now – but I’m not complacent cos I know if I’m not mindful he’ll be back.

To Miles and Doug I’d like to say’s thanks, you’ve lifted a flagging writers spirits a thousandfold.

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