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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

The gamble


LIFE IS ALL about my book right now. I have put off paid work so that I can spend this month concentrating entirely on my second novel, finishing the first draft so that it is in the best shape it can be before I have to edit it whilst juggling other things.

Part of me thinks that logically this is the best thing to do – the other half of me fears it is the most stupid thing in the world. It’s a gamble.

I have always been a sensible, steady Eddie kind of person. It has been easy, because I have been lucky enough to be one of those lucky people who genuinely loved their job, and so my career in journalism has been a good one, full of fun challenges (I am also one of those people who actually means it when they say they love a challenge. I thrive on them. In fact, I get a little bored when I don’t have one.) So this gambling thing is an aberration. Perhaps it is even a mid-life crisis. After all, I was about to turn forty when, eighteen months ago, I took the gamble that is voluntary redundancy.

I could have got another job in journalism. Instead I did something crazy – I packed up my old life, moved to a new part of the country and wrote a book.

It was a flip of the coin moment, win or lose. But what do you consider winning? I have not had the kind of success that would make JK Rowling jealous, and of course I would love that. But there  is this mad  statistic which is oft quoted (I have no idea where it originated from or if it is correct, but everyone seems to accept it) that most debut self-published novels don’t sell above one hundred copies. Well, I’ve smashed that and then some. So I’ve already won the gamble with my very first book. I’m winning.

Now it is time for one more flip of the coin. Time to go for broke and hopefully win big. Time to concentrate on nothing but my second novel, and hope my gamble pays off.

#authorslife #selfpublish

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