Today’s article may be a little disjointed. I’m just going to try to share what’s on my mind, though everything is rather muddled. The reason why I’ve titled this post ‘Perspective’ is because after a period of intense focus on the completion of a new book, I’m now taking stock and thinking about what happens next. Also, I’ve been listening to quite a lot of Chillhop, and one of my favourite songs in the genre is Perspective by Barnes Blvd, so I wanted to share that with you! Give it a listen if you want to hear something beautiful and mellow.
I shared in an article a couple of weeks ago that due to financial hardship I was going to sell my laptop. I did actually put it up for sale, but had no reasonable offers, so it didn’t sell. And I’m so glad. There’s no way I would have been able to complete my new book without a computer, and as writing is such a big part of my life I think I would be sorely regretting it if I was computerless! Many thanks are due, once again, to those of you who have donated money to me in recent months, because it’s largely due to your contributions that my financial situation isn’t so much worse.
I’m not going to write about accommodation in this article, except to say that I’m still living in the same place and haven’t yet been able to find an alternative. A few days ago someone who’d seen the TikTok video I was featured in offered a possibility of accommodation in a different part of the UK, but then I didn’t hear from them again, and in any case I’m not sure whether it would have been a viable option. So I’m still living in the same place, with all its woes, and trying to make the best of it.
I’m really missing not having a counsellor. I do have some friends, and I’m grateful for them, but counselling is a different kind of relationship. I miss having that one-hour slot every week where I can just share, without judgement or attachment, all my thoughts, worries, hopes, and dreams. There is a low-cost counselling service that I applied to recently, but they are only offering assessments via video, and this was not suitable for me (I won’t go into why). I would love to see a private psychotherapist — I think everyone should have the opportunity to do so — but cannot presently afford to.
I had a really good phone chat yesterday with a long-time friend who I met at Hillsong Church London. He is one of the most conscientious and God-fearing people I know. Even though I haven’t been able to persuade him to read the Qur’an, we are still able to have good chats, I suppose due to mutual respect and a willingness to continue the friendship despite theological differences. I get a bit frustrated when my friends seemingly don’t take an interest in my writing, because my writing is the beating heart of what I understand to be my vocational calling (at least, at the present time). But yesterday, my friend was asking me about my books and it was a blessing to have that discussion. I was able to share a little about why I write and my writing and publishing process. It was kind of him to ask and listen, and a blessing for me to be able to share.
On the subject of books, I think I may have written my last one. I think I’ve covered everything of theological and philosophical importance that I want to share. I am having niggling thoughts about potentially writing a book about divine justice — that was actually going to be my next publication before I changed my plans and decided to write Christianity, Islam, and the One True God. But much of what I wanted to say about divine justice is covered in my new book, so there may not be the need to write another. I will prayerfully consider what to do.
I don’t want to publish so many books that everything becomes really stressful and chaotic. As a self-publishing author, I have to manage every aspect of the publishing and marketing process, and the more books I have available, the more overwhelming certain tasks become. For instance, over the last couple of days I updated the back matter of all sixteen of my published works to include information about my new book. This was a necessary but daunting and rather laborious process!
If I had any more books, the task would have been too daunting for me to tackle alone, and I don’t have the money to employ someone else to do it. I also think that quality rather than quantity is best when it comes to writing and publishing books, although there’s no doubt that more books can lead to more exposure, which can be a good thing, depending on one’s ambitions. I guess there are pros and cons to every approach — for fiction writers having a ‘series’ can be really important, but for non-fiction writers less so. I suppose I will write books for as long as I feel I have something meaningful to contribute, and no longer!
At the beginning of the year I prayed to God about what my focus should be for 2022. The word that God gave me was ‘rest’. So I’m going to try to take heed of this and cut myself some slack, as things have been particularly stressful over the last couple of years and particularly in recent months. There will be some work to do in order to make people aware of my new book, but I will take things slowly and try not to stress about it. I will rest in my accomplishments and try to be thankful to God for all He has been doing in my life. God is mighty and wise — all my hope is in Him.