Writing, perhaps more than most other careers, is characterised by a maelstrom of feelings. There is frustration that you can’t get an agent or publisher; disappointment that your book didn’t sell as well as you had hoped, or wasn’t listed for any awards; envy of other writers who seem to get much more attention than you and DON’T EVEN DESERVE IT!; rage about an unfair review or a one-star rating on Goodreads. Such feelings are interspersed with moments of giddy delight: you finished the bloody thing! You got a book deal! You held your book in your hands for the first time! People came to your launch and said nice things about you! Between those extremes of joy and pain there are more quotidian feelings: the self-doubt that is always lurking, boredom, a desire to be doing something – anything! – else. But also the satisfaction of writing a sentence that captures perfectly the feeling you wanted to evoke. Know that all writers feel these things, and most writers feel shame about feeling them. But they are normal. You are normal.