One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen is called Anvil. This is in spite of – and partly because – it is a real-life version of This is Spinal Tap. It follows a rock band that shared arena stages with Metallica, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi in the eighties, except they never took off like the others. Much of the film focuses on their guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow, who now works dragging delivery cages around for a catering company, but still dreams of being a rock star. There is one moment where Steve stands by the boot of a car filled with his latest album, and says he doesn’t care whether it sells ten copies or 10,000, he’s proud of it because it’s the best album that Anvil has made. Enviable though his attitude is, anyone who’s ever produced anything and released it to the world will find it hard to entirely buy into it. You’ve worked to create something because you thought it mattered. It’s OK to hope other people care too.
Circa 2017, 200,000 books are published in the UK every year, and in 2015 the average literary fiction title sold less than 300 copies. That’s a lot of books destined for obscurity.
What better way to face that than to celebrate? Success is a bad teacher anyway.
I’m putting together a little zine called A Catalogue of Failure and I’d love as many people to contribute as possible, with their words, cartoons, poems, photographs, or a combination of these.
It can be an anecdote about your biggest rejection in love, a slice of a story you never got published – anything you feel expresses a time when you felt the sting of failure.
I will gather these up, and design, print and bind them by hand to make them into something special. Because we’ve all been there. We will all be there again. And there are no Hallmark cards for it.
The deadline is 30 November. Go!
More details… https://acatalogueoffailure.wordpress.com/