Me being ridiculous, contd.15th January 2023
Ooof, what a funny few days. Very kind mention of my new book in the Mail on Sunday last weekend, which puffed my ego right up, then I wrote my Telegraph column about my teenage devotion to Prince William which went a bit mad online. Woke up to various angry comments like ‘HE WOULD NEVER HAVE MARRIED YOU!!!’, which was slightly my point. I know! I would have made a rubbish princess! I just (sadly) spent six or seven years thinking about him when I was younger! You can read it HERE if you like. But it was also weirdly gratifying, because my editor at the Telegraph emailed to say the column was the best performing piece on the website all week, and while I may not be the kind of columnist who writes important and searing pieces about Ukraine or the abysmal state of the NHS, I was chuffed to think I’d generated debate even if it was in a column that mentioned boarding school, Royals and a polo match. Stick to what you know and all that.
And then on Friday night I was in the pub and tagged in a Times piece on Twitter, a new column the paper’s very brilliantly launching, rounding up the best new popular fiction of the month and including my new book. My new book in The Times! I’d never been reviewed in the Times before! And it was a round up of the best fiction so it was definitely going to be a good review! I couldn’t read it because of the paywall but that was ok, I’d get the papers in the morning! I was in The Times book pages! My ego, by this point, was roughly the size of Piers Morgan’s. Maybe even bigger.
I’ve got a bad back at the moment and rolling over in bed hurts, but when it hurt that night, I honestly and tragically consoled myself by thinking ‘That’s ok, in the morning I can go and get The Times and see my book in the round up of the best fiction for the month! Who even needs a back?’
In the morning, I raced to Budgens. Oh, ok. There were four very lovely reviews in the round up and one, for my book, which was less lovely and critical of my heroine, and her breasts. (HERE it is.) I felt so ashamed that I instantly got back into bed, turned off the light and genuinely pulled my duvet over my head as if that would protect me from the hot prickly sense of embarrassment. I’d been so excited the night before, and so assuming, and now I felt very stupid, and my ego deflated like a whoopee cushion. How dare I call myself a writer? I wasn’t fit to be a writer! I was so arrogant to think that I could be a writer!
After an hour of so of this, I told myself to get up and get a grip, that if I put myself out there I’ve got to learn to take criticism better and put my big girl pants etc etc. What kind of snowflake writer can’t take a brickbat or two? It was still included in the round up, so that was something, right?! And I’ve written reviews that are a bit mean in the past, before so this was fair. It was karma! Later that day, I went out for dinner and cried again over my best pal Holly, who was extremely patient and held my hand while I wept into my pasta, as other diners looked on sympathetically, presumably thinking I was going through some sort of extremely painful break-up.
Deary me, what drama. Luckily, although I still feel a bit bruised this morning, I am also laughing at myself for being so ridiculous. My mum’s friend Sue has a very good expression which is ‘onwards and sideways’ which I think about quite often. So, onwards and sideways for me and my ego.
(Although I still think you can have pert and pillowy breasts, no?! What I mean is that Stella’s breasts are lovely and high and the sort of place it would feel nice to lay one’s head on.)
(Please nobody email me about breasts.)