I’ve changed a lot in the last year or so. More than I ever thought I could’ve. Almost all of that is down to self-publishing my novel, What Happens in New York, and all the events that have lead up to that moment. I don’t think I’ll ever fully know the extent of how much it’s changed me, but here are some of the things I’ve noticed about myself in the last few weeks.

I’m more productive

I was never the most productive person in the world. I could write fast, but I seldom did. These days, I’m writing more and more. I’m doing more and more. And it feels good.

I can’t sit still

The more I write, the more I want to write. But there’s more to it than that. I can no longer sit in front of a TV and watch a show. If I go to visit my mum and nan, I can’t just sit and watch TV/make small talk. I want to be out doing something with them, too. It’s an odd feeling.

I’m more motivated/driven

I’ve never been more motivated in my life. I’ve always been ambitious, but I’ve always been very tight-lipped about my goals. Until now. I tell a small circle of people what I’m planning, then I run headfirst towards whatever that goal is. (In this case, finishing What Happens in London.)

I’m more ambitious

Once I announced the date for the publication of What Happens in New York, my brain was already considering publication dates for the sequel, What Happens in London, and my non-fiction book, Productivity for Writers. I had goals set for them before I’d even finished the first project. And I had further sequels planned, too. My mind is thinking BIG.

Books lined up at the launch for What Happens in New York!

Books lined up at the launch for What Happens in New York!

You can’t be shy when self-promoting

I’m going to be honest with you: I hate self-promoting. It makes me very self-conscious. But it’s the only way to get the word out about the book. So I have to swallow my pride, connect with total strangers, and not be offended when I don’t hear back from them. It’s tough.

It IS possible to knock down the self-inflicted barriers of fear

I was afraid of a lot of things before I started this journey. When you’ve never finished writing a book before, completing a manuscript can be intimidating. I had to fight through that fear, as well as the fear of publication and my novel being out in the wider world, to achieve my dream. And I’ve done it. It wasn’t easy, but now that I’ve done it, the whole process is easier. I’ve learnt from what I’ve done so far, and I can use those lessons for future books.

The only person that can defeat your demons is you

I’ve got a lot of demons. Some I’ve mentioned on this blog, others I haven’t. But ultimately, the one thing to remember is that you are the only person who can defeat your demons. You can rely on others to back you up, or to give you an ego boost, but they cannot fix your problems for you. It isn’t their job to, and it’s incredibly draining on them if you expect them to. Your friends and family are there as your backup, and as a wall to keep you strong, but even they can crumble sometimes. There’s no shame in asking for professional help. It will make you stronger in the long run.