I woke up this morning and one of the first things I remembered was that I’d received an e-mail from an agent who liked “Naming Names”, and who, despite an ominous-looking ‘however’, had invited me to a meeting to talk about what the book needed to make it a viable proposition for said agent to consider taking it on.
This is good news, obviously, and I must remember to send a certain author a humble thank you note for said author’s part in my getting any attention at all from an agent. It is, for someone in my position, probably the best possible news.
I was beginning to think about what it all meant, and how I’d prepare for the meeting when my daughter bustled in. I hadn’t seen her since I’d received the e-mail, so I read it to her, and she was all gleeful and proud. Bless her.
Then she said, “Try not to be too much like you, though, Mum.”
When I told my father-in-law, he said, “You might try not to talk too much.”
Oh dear... oh dear.
Then, my very lovely friend said, “Remember, darling, you have two ears and one mouth.”
Oh dear... oh dear... oh dear!
You see, that’s always the plan. I always mean to sit quietly and listen and speak only when spoken to, and not offer up my opinions quite so vociferously, and give others a chance to get a word in edgeways. I’ve been trying for years and years, and years, to calm down in polite company, to act my age and be, somehow demure. It hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not betting on it happening now.
The problem is twofold: a) I am shy, but this is coupled with b) I am a younger member of a large and vocal family. If I hadn’t learned to shout out long and loud, from a very early age, heaven only knows how I would have survived. The truth is, I might have done rather better than I’ve managed.
I’m not a confident, strident, even arrogant woman. I’m insecure, vulnerable and contradictory. I just can’t help myself.
In the end, I’m working in a creative industry where there’s room for all kinds of people with all kinds of peccadillos. In the end, I hope the lovely agent recognises that.