… and no longer counting. When I wrote this book, it was this fun, distracting, cathartic excuse to do bugger all for a year, all the while convincing my new rent paying girlfriend that the investment in time would all be worth it, and she would thank me when I bought an island.
In my head I was a wise, sophisticate, spiritually living in an old finca somewhere in the mountains, penning what would later be described by critics and readers alike as ‘a masterpiece that puts any of Hemingway’s works firmly in the shade’. In fact I was a bloke in a city centre apartment filling my veins with coffee and nicotine, lamenting the loss of something important that I mislaid when I got distracted. It wasn’t olives and Rioja, and idly chatting to Juan on his donkey. It was headaches and wheezing and daily barter.
The one thing that I never realised however, was how bloody long it would all take. I wrote my first paragraph in 2013, and now, a mere six years later, it’s finally available to buy. During that interregnum, the death of one pauper and the coronation of a new one, I did a very smart thing. I trained my brain to expect absolute failure, coerced and chivied my synapses to absorb the inevitable blow – no one will buy it, and if they do, Hemminway won’t twitch from his slumber. If you’re lucky, your mum might be polite.
And it worked – I am completely prepared for defeat. I have fashioned a padded cell out of hope and already placed my dreams in it. As I type these words I’m googling ‘Islands for sale, no minimum budget’. Denial isn’t often best… it’s always best. If you rearrange all the letters in the word ‘denial’, it won’t spell the word ‘island’- but if you’ve just removed your brain, it certainly will!