I saw a notification in my WordPress comments feed recently congratulating me on it being my twelfth anniversary since I started this blog. I also turned 40 years old in mid-July. So, a couple of milestones reached! I thought I’d give a personal update to mark these occasions.
I don’t enjoy social situations, but felt a little pressure (maybe societal, maybe self-induced) to do something to celebrate my 40th birthday. So I invited a few friends to a local pizza place for lunch. I felt uncomfortable the whole time, with underlying depression. Maybe these were exclusively my feelings, or maybe I was picking up emotions from others in the group, I’m not entirely sure. But having said all that, my friends were very kind and all put in a lot of effort to try to make me feel loved. Thanks be to God for the people He has purposefully placed in my life.
I’m going through a bit of an ordeal with medication related to my mental health condition. I have been wanting to switch to a mood stabiliser for some time, because I experience episodes of horrendous despair followed my buzzy highs quite often. The highs are wonderful and in a way I wish there were more of them — there seem to be a disproportionate number of lows, unfortunately. But I’m working on switching medication so that may help to some extent.
I ran a free eBook promotion for my book The God Articles about a week ago and the book was downloaded more than 1000 times in one day. I found this really encouraging, although it hasn’t led to as many reviews on Amazon as I was hoping for. Shoutouts to the three readers of this blog who left reviews after I emailed them, you know who you are and I’m very grateful. I’m running a free book promotion for my four-book compilation Puppets on Tuesday and I’m excited about that (again, reviews appreciated if you have read or intend to read it!).
I’ve been trying to spend time out and about in parks and cafes and there’s one cafe not far from where I live which has become a kind of ‘philosopher’s corner’. There are a few regulars there who discuss philosophy and religion together in quite a stimulating way. Once again, we’re talking social situations, so not something I always relish, but I have had some good conversations and respect the guys there very much.
At the beginning of the year the Lord said I should focus on promoting my books this year, so that is what I’ve been trying to do, putting my other ambitions on hold. I have recently finished setting up a Shopify store to allow me to sell my books direct. You can take a look at TealightBooks.com. My books are also still available on Amazon and everywhere else, but I have quite a large stock of books that I’m hoping to sell direct. I’m always open to signing books, dedicating books, writing personal letters to accompany books, so if you’d like to buy something I’ve written and would like a personal touch in one of those ways, check out the Shopify store! I’m also going to include a free CD copy of my album Tell Everyone Now with every book order (it just occurred to me to do this as I type!) so maybe one or two people will dust off a CD player and give it a listen!
I’ve been playing more guitar recently and recorded a video of a little song I wrote which I shared on Facebook this week. It felt good to do that. And by the way, I added a Music page to this blog so anyone who’s interested can check out my historical recordings! I’m only playing acoustic guitar at the moment, but in the past I’ve been in rock bands and also recorded an electro-rock album (that’s Tell Everyone Now) in 2018. You can listen to samples on the aforementioned Music page.
I’ve been really struggling with regret recently. I nearly bought a very small flat about 10 years ago after I inherited some money, and I keep thinking about how different my life would have been if I had gone through with the purchase. When I reflect on what happened, I feel as though I made a dreadful mistake, but I also believe regret is illogical because God is in control of everything that happens and so I have to accept it wasn’t part of His plan.
I gave up smoking completely and have been vaping, which I have been led to believe is almost as dangerous as smoking. So I’m going to try to give that up as well. Smoking and vaping are coping strategies to deal with stress and the states of mind I often experience while living in this accommodation, so please pray for me to be able to cope in healthier ways! My father may be buying me a tennis racket as a 40th birthday present and so that could be a hobby I pick up again after a long hiatus!
A couple of people have recently asked me if there are audiobook versions of my books available. The answer is presently no, but I’m working on it. The cost of producing human-narrated audiobooks is high, and I’m holding off on producing AI-narrated audiobooks until the technology advances some more (though it’s already pretty good). Taking the advice of a fellow writer, I’m going to give it six months.
I’ll end with a reminder that all of my books are currently free as eBooks (visit the Books page for details) but please, if you read one of my books for free and enjoy it, leave a review on Amazon! Reviews are really important to help me reach more people with my writing, so be a darling and help me out, I implore you!
I would also like to invite you to leave a comment on this blog post to make me feel less lonely. You can tell me what you’re doing this weekend, if you like. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to see my best friend from school who will be in London for the day as his wife is selling jewellery at a pop-up market.
God bless you and thank you for reading! 🙏🏻