Actually, that's not strictly true; I thought it would be magical. I believed all my dreams would come to pass, that I would be furiously, overwhelmingly happy and everything would simply fall into place. I'd find myself, and my beautiful wife, and we'd live in wedded bliss thereafter with kids n' shit.
The truth however has been unsurprisingly underwhelming, like my book sales:
So I finally finish the book. I put it out there, and did a spot of promoting (this, it transpires, is quite hard. You have to do this every three minutes, forever). I sold a modest 3 paperbacks, and 350 kindle copies, 329 of which were given away in a free promotion.
But I don't give a tuppenny cock about the figures - even though I've just banged on about them as if I do.
Having spent over five years writing my (Ha!) "book" a creative endeavour that actually began twenty years ago, I feel justifiably proud even though it turns out that many of the purchasers have been my friends who I forgot knew about this blog and now know my deepest darkest secrets. So that's awkward. But anyway...
I still want to get this book out there. Call me biased, but I rather like it.
After uploading it to Kindle back in April, I decided to speed-read said autobiography before getting the physical copies made, and I quite enjoyed it. I was reading it properly for the first time and it wasn't too bad, even though I was a little disturbed at how much crying I seemed to do.
But my stories were there; the ups and downs, mistakes made and lessons learned. I even laughed in places as I made those final requisite trims.The book seemed to have a beginning, middle, and end. It had that journey feel to it, a Roman à clef but with more fact. It read like the story I was always trying to produce.
And I thought it would sell, but it turns out it's not that easy. You can't just put it out there and hope it stands and falls on its own. That's why large marketing and PR teams exist, companies who for vast sums of money can promote a movie and encourage enough people to see it even though it's an absolute abomination against mankind.
But with next to no promotion for a book with very little sex, mine will vanish like a beloved national institution under the Tories.
My friends have advised me to write Book #2, which I find hysterical. It was torture cobbling together a series of stories I'd already lived and told. Book #2 would have to start here, in the present, where I've not got a fucking clue what happens next.
And as for the present, I am the fattest I've ever been, which is a shame as something clicked inside me a few years ago when I read The Game. I realised I only had this one life and this one body. I managed to find the willpower and perseverance to lose over 30lbs/ 2.5 stone, and get in the best shape I'd been in since my teens.
That became Stage One of my Grand Life Plan. Stage Two was to get dating, but I was too paralysed by fear and chicken-shit, so I moved directly on to Stage Three: Write that Thing. And in doing so, I stopped eating lettuce and pretended I was Hemingway. I chugged back all manner of
My bearded face is round.
My penis has vanished beneath my gut.
And I look like a sausage.
I also have to accept that I've absolutely no excuse but to quit my job, the one I took as a stop-gap in 2005. In two weeks time, I will celebrate my tenth anniversary at a place I stayed at because of a) the 2008 recession and b), I wanted to write my way out.
I've had a few cursory glances at the jobs pages since and to tell you the truth, I'm scared.
I'm in my forties now, yet all I can take are administrative positions. When I look at adverts for Office Managers and the like, they all seem to want people with enthusiasm. The last time I was enthusiastic, The Prodigy had just hit the charts.
But I have to do this. I can't dismiss this anymore as that job is over in my heart. I no longer want to be there, particularly as our stock and accounting systems I use on a minute-by-minute basis every single day have been switched to one that has slowed down everything I do. In the two months since the changeover, it is now impossible to get anything done any quicker. Switching over has been a colossal mistake, and my job has become infinitely more frustrating as a result.
And next week - somehow I've been told this is my fault - I'd logged my boss's weekly vacation in the diary followed by our colleague the week after. My boss then decided to extend his leave by another week and not tell anyone, meaning that from Monday, I'll have to run the damn company on my own.
The only upside is when that fresh hell's over, I'll get my own holiday. Large Northern Flatmate (since outed in the book as "Pete" as that's his name) and I will be going to Benidorm (fucking Benidorm) with his mate Dom.
Because Pete's scared of flying, Dom's offered to drive there - from London to fucking Benidorm. In my head, this will be a grand adventure. After all, even being stuck in a car for days with a man who's incapable of shutting up and another man I've only met once for five minutes nine years ago will be bliss compared to twenty minutes at work.
Though I may end up killing Pete. A few weeks ago, we wandered through the Marylebone street fair and I had to leave after a couple of hours. I could no longer bear his unceasing, incessant commentary on absolutely everything whilst he either dismissed or ignored everything I said. By the time Pete started muttering loud insults about passers by for absolutely no reason as we sat chilling in Paddington Street Gardens, I had to leave.
Wait, why the fuck am I going on this holiday?