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11 months later...

11 months later...

posted 31 Mar 2012, 07:24 by Jack Ellison

It's been a while and I'm sorry, if anyone is actually following this story, that I've left you hanging for so long.  I could tell you that I've been far too busy to post anything on this page, but it wouldn't be strictly true.  I've not been idle by any means, but it's not like I've had absolutely no time either.  But then there really hasn't been that much to say.

I made an album last Autumn.  It's my first.  I saved a bit of cash and booked a week's studio time and came out with the masterpiece I've always wanted to make.  They're selling well at my gigs and occasionally an order comes through via my website.  Fuck the record companies.  We don't need them, not now we can talk directly to our fans.  I just wish I had a few more, then I could quit my job (which, given the state of things I'm stupidly grateful for at this point.  Lots of my friends are struggling to even find a call centre job at the moment. Tough times. We weren't brought up to expect this, I think that's why my generation is struggling.  We thought we had all the time in the world to work out what we wanted to do.

I now play every gig going.  I have a backing band for some gigs, but if travel's involved then it's just me and my guitar on a Megabus.  It's cool.  I feel like it's going somewhere.  Infamy does not beckon for me, but I like the level I'm at.  I can confidently say I'm a musician these days, which has taken me a long time to believe.

I'm back in Manchester living in a house share.  I stayed in London for a couple of weeks with Katie, felt anonymous and insignificant amongst the millions of individuals.  It was cleansing.  I realised that I didn't want to be with Imogen any more.  I had been wandering down a path for some time thinking that there was no alternative for me, but London freed me.  OK, so I met a few girls down there, but that wasn't the point.  Before that book showed up I was bored but not dissatisfied with my life of half-heartedly pursuing my musical ambitions and living with a girl I'd told myself I was destined to be with.  I kept it from her for a reason and at the time I thought it was not to hurt her, but on reflection I think I wanted to have a secret.  It was excitement.  It reminded me that I'd once had real ambitions of having an interesting life.  I left London feeling energised.  I told Imogen that I was moving out and she was actually pretty devastated.  I found myself a room in a house-share and I've been living there ever since.  It's not the best move of my life - it's pretty difficult getting used to different people's attitudes towards washing up and hygiene.  Four youngish lads in a house can together be pretty disgusting.  It takes living with a woman to make you realise this.  

I returned from London with hopes of not returning to my job, which was under threat after I disappeared for a few weeks.  I spent a day going round recruitment agencies, hearing the same grim prediction of my employment prospects and went back to the bank to beg for my job back.  Because rehiring me was cheaper than training a new drone, they accepted my apology and I've been there ever since.  All the London energy has since evaporated, but as a single man I'm much more dedicated to my music.  I do feel like I have the spark again.

Imogen and I don't acknowledge each other if we happen to cross paths.  She established that norm in Sainsbury's a few weeks after we broke up.     

But anyway, enough about me.  It's not meant to be about me, is it?  I made that clear on the homepage, but I dunno, I've been telling this story to you for a while now and so I feel like I know you, or at least you know enough about me to be mildly interested.  But anyway...


I honestly couldn't believe it.  It came out of the blue.  When I was in the London, me and Katie sent the manuscript to a lot of publishers.  It was Katie's idea to do a guerilla-style assault on the book industry, sending it to everyone at once to see who went for it.  She thought that sheer competitiveness would have the publishers beating down our door, but the approach led to rejections and silence on the whole.  Three asked to see more of it, but none of them got back to us.  Katie says even now the occasional rejection letter arrives at her place.  

So we've talking about self-publishing it for some time now, but neither of us have got round to do anything.  I felt like I blew it with the whole industry and, whilst I hadn't lost interest, I was running out of ideas.  It's not like I know anything about how to sell a book, but I have looked at some websites.  I just got easily defeated, and I changed my life which felt like perhaps that was what the book was intended to do for me.  I moved on a bit, I guess.  It wasn't like I'd completely given up on it, I would have come back to it at some point.  

Then only two weeks ago, out of the blue, literally from nothing, I got an e-mail with an offer for the book.  It must have been sitting there for months, just waiting to be picked from the slush pile.  I still can't get my head round it.  More details to follow, but I just wanted to let you know.  It's happening.  It's actually, really happening.  Dan's story is going to be out there.

Shit.  A week since I signed the deal and I've only just realised I need to warn people.  Their story is going to become a public work.  Perhaps that was the first thing I should have done, back in 2010.  I don't get any wiser.

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