Good friends are worth their weight in gold; mine are some of the best. No matter how silly I become, how wrapped up in my own head, how afraid of failure or stagnation, they bring lightness and fun to my life. I am not ashamed nor afraid to say that my life wouldn't amount to very much without them.
So, when I had my little breakdown and realized how much time I had wasted, I reached out to them. I asked for help and support, and they came through. As they always do. From back garden BBQs where we talk about writing to raucous nights in the pub where we talk about nothing, and the messages we pass like ships in the night when work gets too hard; these were instrumental in forming this plan.
And the plan starts with Miranda.
They pay practice makes perfect, which is absolute bullshit; practice makes progress, and I'm trying to teach myself that this is better than perfection. After all, once you reach perfection, there's nowhere else to go, right?
Miranda and I are old friends; we came together in 2021 when I made her from thin air. She's a character, a character I used to learn how to format ebooks, and though she's had no commercial success, she's garnered a good review or two.
But another friend, a flesh and blood friend, got me thinking; why can't Miranda be the bridge to get me over my fears?
After all, while I have no real desire to make a career writing romance, I love the process and I enjoy that it can be a lighthearted, comedic genre.
So, reader, that's the plan; me and my friend Miranda are going to blaze a trail. Through me, she gets a life of her own, and through her, I get to learn how to settle with imperfect works, and how to market fiction in the modern world... and together we can have a little fun.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena"
- Theodore Roosevelt
The downside to this, of course, is that Miranda gets the glory, and the shame, for the victories and losses... but I'm ok with that. I want to make her look good, but I need some distance from the harsh reality of authorship for now.
Maybe it's not the best plan I could have come up with, but when courage fails ingenuity has to come to the fore; I know that I'll have to face the critics myself, one day, without a mask to protect me. At least I will need to if I want to meet my goals and dreams, but for now this is a good halfway house.
Authors have been using pseudonyms for years, centuries actually, and though creating a whole new persona, distanced from yourself and your face, may be a step further from the casual act of changing one's name on a book cover, it feels right.
Because Miranda is not me, she doesn't think about changing people's lives with fiction, she just wants to make them smile. Because she is not me, she can shrug her shoulders at a bad review and, though hurt, not feel that it is a direct extension of her self-worth.
Miranda is my friend; the one I wish I could be, and I wish her every success. Maybe, when the time comes to step into the light, I'll step away from her, but right now I doubt it; she's the part of me that enjoys indulging in the silly, the implausible, the utterly irreverent and fairytale-esque parts of fiction that I can't figure out how to fit into my own works right now.
I hope you all have a friend like Miranda,
Stay hopeful x
Follow along with the Perfectionist Diaries:
3) The Miranda plan (you are here)