The Book Launch Party
30 Jun 2015
About ten months ago I was writing a book.
At the time, I had no idea if I could write a book.
Or if I did somehow manage to write one, I was deeply unsure that it would be any good.
As you’ve probably noticed, my inner critic is fairly active. And even though he got featured in the book, he often popped up while I was writing to undermine my morale and make me feel like the situation was hopeless.
Inner critic: “Featured” in your stupid book?! I was the best bit!
And so my search began for helpful distractions…
I discovered that being in public tended to silence my inner critic, as I was less prone to procrastination. Soon, I stumbled on the Otto Lounge, and it quickly became a regular occurrence for me to spend an entire day there making happy, coffee-fuelled progress.
Many months later, sometime after the book came out, I sent an email to Otto, telling them, basically: “Hey, I wrote a book in your place, and it totally exists now! Look!”
Much to my surprise, they wrote back suggesting they could throw a party to celebrate!
And so, last Thursday – only a few months after launch! – I finally had a launch party 😀
Otto laid on a fantastic reception:
And I did some chatting about life, anxiety, custard, happiness, computer programming, and general silliness:
It was a really wonderful night. I’m very grateful to everyone who came along to support.
Afterwards, I got chatting to a few people that hadn’t known an event was happening, but had been in the bar and got drawn into my story*.
* Or, at least, been enticed by the free drink to listen for a bit.
Some even ended up getting a copy of the book!
Inner critic: The fools.
(A few other people were – quite reasonably – just trying to have their dinner and chat to their friends, and so they paid less attention. It possibly didn’t help that my opening gambit was to pretend I was about to begin a three-hour long appreciation club for traditional Danish folk songs…)
Most amazingly, one woman I spoke to told me that anxiety had kept her in her house for months, but she’d seen that this event was happening and took it as a sign to come along. I was taken aback by this… it’s incredible to think that this little event had an actual effect on anybody’s life, however small or big a step it may have been. Really humbling. That alone would have made the whole night worthwhile.
But, as well, I was well-supported by family, friends, strangers, and the kind people at Otto Lounge. And by the many people who couldn’t make it but sent their support via the internets. It really meant a lot.
Thanks to you all!
In other news, lately I’ve spent my time alternating between flat-hunting and writing another book (!). Details of all of this will be coming soon, so stay vaguely tuned.
And if you do want to stay abreast of what I’m up to (and get secret extra stories that don’t make it onto the blog) then stick your email in here and I’ll make sure you’re occasionally entertained with some nonsense in your inbox.
In the meantime, here are a couple more photos my unofficial photographer managed to snap amidst all the slight madness:
Neil Hughes is the author of Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life, a comical and useful guide to life with anxiety, and The Shop Before Life, a tale about a magical shop which sells human personality traits.
Along with writing more books, he spends his time on standup comedy, speaking about mental health, computer programming, public speaking and everything from music to video games to languages. He struggles to answer the question "so, what do you do?" and is worried that the honest answer is probably "procrastinate."
He would like it if you said hello.