Far-Forwarding and Parenthetical Asides

I’ve made a game plan.  A well-defined (or as well defined as it can be) plan of action.

After many alternating days spent in an exhausted (sometimes strange, sometimes frustrating) headspace, it happened.  I put all things in their proper order inside of my head; I formulated my next several moves as far forward as far-forwarding things can actually go.  It feels good.

It’s funny that the planning actually happened on such a busy week.  It was such a busy week, in fact, that I didn’t do one bit of laundry.  I’m struggling now to catch up on that (along with other household type things).

All of this planning came after my last entry about paranoia getting in the way of things.  I did some thinking (especially after the very helpful feedback I received), and then I stumbled upon a new sort of understanding with myself.

I’m trying to figure out if I’d already sent the first book in my series to my friend by that point or not.  I’m not sure.  Well, I must have.  Or maybe not.  Either way, that understanding with myself was devised with myself at some point before the weekend.

That ‘understanding’ was me telling myself, “Self…you have to be smarter.  Slow everything down for a minute, THINK, and stop being an idiot.  Oh, and stop trying to rush everything for whatever reason.  Some things CANNOT be rushed.”

It seems easy.  Part of me thinks that it must have been because I can’t really remember when, exactly, I felt completely better about everything (it wasn’t immediately after formulating the plan, but sometime later).  But given how long it took me to really think – to stop for a bit and listen to what my heart was telling me…it couldn’t have been such an easy thing.  Or maybe the most difficult things can turn out to be easier than the struggle of them in the end.  Sorry, I’m rambling.  I honestly don’t have a clue what I’m saying; it was just a thought.

Husband and I went home (where I’m from, not where he’s from) for the weekend.  Saw some family.  Didn’t see some friends that I wanted to see quite badly.  Things happen; it’s neither here nor there.  But the friend who is currently in possession of my book came over.  It was the first time that I’d seen her in person since my husband and I got married several years ago.  I won’t go into the awesomeness of seeing her in general (because I could ramble for days and I’m attempting VERY HARD to start making my entries much shorter than the first few [also, personal conversations with friends are personal…she and I both know that it was a great time and I don’t need to go into that any further]), but will instead give a few thoughts on the matter where it pertains to my book. 

She isn’t finished with it yet, but I was able to sit down with her and go through some of the notes she’s made so far.  She asked me questions and I answered them to the best of my ability (so long as they didn’t give away relevant things (secrets) that come into play later).  She and I spent quite a while going over the prologue with a fine-toothed comb – tweaking it in all the places that bothered me.    It was the first time that I’d felt good about the ONE part of the book that gave me innumerable headaches.

I was happy about all of it while it was happening and immediately after, but I think it took some time for it to really sink in for me. 

You see, I always take some time after interactions with people about my books to really analyze everything – tones of voice, facial expressions.  I dwell on those things until I’m positive that I’ve deduced all aspects of a person’s feelings on the matter.  Not many people have read them, so all input (in any form it comes) is valid and extremely relevant to me.  It’s all important.  Everything is all something that could potentially help.

I know that my mother loved all of them, but not because she asked me a plethora of questions about them.  I get quite a lot of my opinionated being from my mother.  Though she saw the main character (and the situations, relationships, secrets) COMPLETELY differently than I intended for them to be seen, she didn’t bother asking me what they were supposed to actually be (regardless of my ridiculously widened eyes due to just how far from home her taking of them as a whole were from my own).  My mother was content with the way that she saw everything, which – though immensely baffling – was satisfactory to me.  So no, I don’t know that she liked them for that reason (seeing them the way I intended).  I know that she did because she read all four of them two times and my mother does not read.  I’m STILL trying to figure out how in the world she didn’t catch where I’d added TEN THOUSAND words into the last one.  I digress.

I will not get further into the other people who have read them (or how they felt, or how I felt, or anything, actually).  It’s not relevant.

I’ve been asked questions about them, sure.  People have listened to me ramble for days about them, sure.  My husband never needed to ask questions because – by the time he was actually reading the first one – he knew everything that happened in all of them, and the ins and outs of all the characters.

I’ve never had a…back and forth with a person about them.  At least not in the way that I had with her over the weekend.

It was very eye-opening – in a lot of ways.  And it was what I’d been waiting for.

I’ve had a great many questions about them swirling around in my head for months on end now.  How would the main character be taken?  She’s very…strange.  I thought she would be extremely difficult to relate to (it was one of my bigger fears), but I’m thinking now that she won’t be.  I’m thinking now there’s a possibility that some people out there might love her nearly as much as I do. 

Would the hints be picked up? 

That was a big one.  The way that I’ve written both of my series is to drop hints about future things – whether that be scenarios, or simply character traits.  That makes it fun for me to write, and I’m hoping that will make it fun for other people to read.  I’m glad to say that – from what I read of her notes and analyzing her questions – some of them have been, and some of them haven’t.  The surprises are just so fun.

I think she was worried that her constructive notes would make me feel horrible.  I’ve wanted constructive criticism from the get-go.  I needed someone to look at my books objectively – to take ME out of the equation and see them for what they were…someone else’s story that I was telling for them.  I love every character that lives in that world, but I’ve done everything that I could for them without assistance.  I just want it to be told as well as it possibly can be.  This is one of those instances where my pride will not stand in my way.  In fact, with this one thing, my pride is basically nonexistent.  My pride will constantly get in my way, but I refuse to allow it to hinder the story any longer.

It was just so exciting – all of it.  I’ll stop with it there because I’ve already written more than I wanted to and still not said nearly 1/10 of what I could.

So basically, things are moving along in the book avenue.  I’ve got the next steps planned out, and now…I’m just waiting for everything to line up so that those next things can be knocked out.  I just…I just feel better about all of it as a whole.

In other news…

We’ve reached our monthly data cap for our internet.  For those of you who do not have to deal with such things…of this one thing, I am envious.  For those of you who do not know what that means…It means that, until our billing month is reset, my internet is moving slower than dial-up.  That is not an exaggeration.  SLOWER.  THAN.  DIAL.  UP.

And doesn’t it figure that Facebook – which I care about less than I can say – is moving along swiftly, but this website does NOT want to load ANYTHING? 

Please be patient with me responding to comments (or ‘liking’ posts because sometimes the ‘LIKE’ button will not pop up on the first go for me when I’m reading other people’s blogs).  I will try to do so as quickly as possible, but some pages take more than fifteen minutes to load…a LOT more.  My newfound patience for my books does not carry over to staring at a blank computer screen and waiting for something simple to load on it.  It’s been very difficult not to throw my computer screen at a wall.  Or out of the window.

That is all.  Have a lovely day.

I’m not sorry for all of the parenthetical asides contained in this entry (or in any other XD).

Also…I don’t write my books that way.  No worries.

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When Paranoia Gets In The Way Of Potential

Paranoia…

I wonder if all writers feel that word as intensely as I do.  I’d be interested in finding out.

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering on the word over the past few days.  You see, regardless of feeling it, I’d never really put much thought into it.  I’ve known from the get-go that I am paranoid about my books.  In a world where people can hack anything…why wouldn’t I be?  In a world where I have had my things stolen or broken into in nearly every place that I’ve ever lived…why wouldn’t that be a legitimate concern?

I’ve told many a person that I would let someone babysit a child that I don’t have before I would hand over a copy of my book to them.  I meant it then; I still mean it now.  It might sound ridiculous to some people, but to each their own.

I was struck with a thought (or more than one, really) sometime over the course of the last 48 hours.

Am I concerned about my books, or am I concerned about myself?

Is my paranoia impeding the potential of my work?

I believe that it very well may be.

When briefly discussing my revelation with R via text…she said something along the lines of, “As long as you’re not guarding it with your life, I don’t see a problem with it.”  That might not be right, but it was close enough and I don’t feel like scrolling for ten minutes attempting to find it.

My response was, “I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing.”

She then proceeded to say that it wasn’t what she meant; she was talking more of a physical protection.  Something about a dark alley and someone trying to steal it; I stash it and take a bullet.

Now…what R doesn’t know is that, in my head, I was contemplating all the places of my body that I would take a bullet for the protection of my book.  I feel ridiculous, of course.  If someone was going to shoot me, I highly doubt they would let me pick the spot of bullet impact (or, perhaps, caliber?).  Nevertheless, I still thought about it for awhile and came up with a list of a few places.  My series is about assassins; I’ve done a lot of contemplating/thinking about spots of the body and what lies beneath said spots (how much damage it could potentially do, etc.).  I was serious as I thought about it; it was not some joking thing.  I think that’s the most worrisome part about it.

Would I die for my work?

No.

Am I adamant about protecting it?

You betcha.

Now that we’ve got all that settled…Where does a person go from there?

Do I need to start drawing up contracts or something before allowing people to take a look at my books?  That’s an insane thought.  I write books, not contracts.

I need feedback on them.  Good ole’ unbiased feedback.

Would people – friends or family, even – be offended by that?  Or would they understand?  I don’t know.  It’s hard enough for me to ask someone to spend their time reading them to help me with the feedback thing.  But then throwing the word contract into it?

Maybe people not wanting to read my books is all in my head.  Maybe I’ve gotten so carried away in all of this that I haven’t realized…a few people have offered.  I’ve pretty much shut down all of them.  When I want people to read my books…why in the world am I doing that?  Would contracts be a feasible way to ease my troubled mind?  What in tarnation would they even say?  Yes, I am so flustered that the word tarnation just came out of my fingers.  I’m not hanging my head in shame and confusion over that; I’m too focused.

I guess what I’m asking is, “Is this level of paranoia normal?”

Or, “Am I alone in this craziness?”

Or, “What in the world should I do here?”

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

You don’t need to leave comments about me being crazy; I’m already aware.

It makes life interesting, what can I say?

Author Excitement…

It’s contagious, isn’t it?

I’ve said it before on here that I had no idea what to expect when I started this thing.  Kind of silly, isn’t it, to have never contemplated the fact that I would be interacting with other writers on an outlet where everyone is a writer of some sort?  I could laugh at myself for it, if I didn’t feel so ignorant.

If I could go back with that knowledge – a week, two weeks, a year…what would I think?

A very small portion of me wonders if I would’ve been jealous.  I am not a jealous person by nature, as I feel that no one person has any more or less to offer than the next.  But given that I’d never had a dream before the AUTHOR dream…Would I be jealous to see other people living it while I was struggling to keep my head above the water?

It’s a very small portion that thinks – at first glance – I very well might have assumed I would be.

I am not jealous.

I am the furthest thing from it.

I keep going to these random people’s blogs.  Some of them have books published; some of them are struggling to get through writing their first.

Some of them are raging in excitement over a request for a manuscript, or the first glance at the finished product of the first thing the world will see of all their hard work – the cover.  The availability of the finished product – a piece of their life, ready and waiting for the world to grab hold of.

I’m not surprised that I feel no resentment, but I am somewhat surprised by my own reaction towards all of it.

I keep smiling.  I am so excited for these people, struggling and prevailing.  I am so excited for these people to be having the moment that I am so looking forward to having myself – the moment that I will have, one way or another.  And I’m smiling now as I write this.

I smile when someone seems genuinely appreciative of anything that I have to say to them.

This website is somewhat exhausting.  I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to, but…it’s worth it.

So, to all of my fellow authors out there – whether aspiring, like me, or established – I will say to you now the same thing that I try to say to all of you I come across.

Good luck.

And I mean those two words, more deeply than I can express.

 

Jeremy Clarkson and Dealing with One’s Personal Elephants

I’m currently on my second day and my seventh or eighth attempt at trying to get this entry done.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I had such a difficult time writing anything.  For that, I am angry.  I’m trying to dig myself out of that feeling by repeating a Jeremy Clarkson voice over of, “There will be anger and raaage,” in my head.  It’s working a little.

My god, I’d forgotten what it was like to lay down to sleep and be kept awake by all the words I wasn’t able to get out during the day.  I’d forgotten how unbearable it was.  I’d forgotten how much I hated it – that feeling of wanting to catch the tip of a word and pull them all out through my ear, just so I could get some peace from them.

Damn these pictures of Jeremy Clarkson in place of the previous pictures of kittens taking up space on my screen.  Maybe a distraction will do me some good.

I think the only way to get this out is to ignore the elephant standing in my room.  I mentioned before that I am a private person; I will add to that now and say that I am an extremely closed-off person.  I can’t explain how difficult it is to write about myself instead of characters.  Rather than dwell on that fact – explaining it, describing the extent of it, and making it all so much worse…that’s all I’ll say about it.  I am closed off.  To everyone.  This – blogging, sharing myself – is harder for me than I care to say.

With that in mind, I will proceed forward, walking around the elephant.  (I love elephants by the way – real ones, not the sort mentioned previously).

Yesterday was a strange day for me.  I was in an extremely weird/unpleasant headspace.  Not for any one reason in particular, but for a vast array of them – most of which I have no desire whatsoever to share.  Those that I didn’t want to share were like little baby elephants standing around the big one while I tried to write this.  Now, keeping in mind that I love elephants, is it any surprise that I spent my fair share of time yesterday staring at them?  Analyzing them, contemplating over their unexpected presence in my room?

Now, not everything about yesterday was bad.  In fact, nothing about yesterday was bad, past my inability to write.  I did a lot of thinking.  I did some planning.  I made a mental check list of things that needed doing.  I’ve done a few of those things today as planned.  I still have a lot more.  One of those being the dire need of writing a new, more suitable synopsis/summary of my book for query-writing purposes.  It’s probably ignorant of me, but I write a different one (query) every time.  Some people might think that it’s silly, but the way my head justifies it is, “You wouldn’t write the exact same letter, word for word, to two of your best friends.  Would you?”  Maybe it really is ignorant of me to keep trying to think of these agents as people when they all seem like some giant mass of unreachable entities.  Maybe I should sit down, write a generic letter that could be sent to anyone, and just send them off.  They say it’s frowned upon to send queries to more than one at a time, but I’m going to spend the next two years of my life waiting and sending, waiting and sending.

I want to be writing more books.  I can’t do that while my head is still stuck on worries of this series.

I don’t know.  Either way, I need to write a better synopsis/summary.  I need to get over the fact that I have surprises I don’t want ruined in those books.  Like…fifty of them.  Get over it.

I need to read a book and write a review.

I need to clean the windows.

I need to finish unpacking.

I need to do about a hundred things similar to the last two that aren’t worth mentioning.

So yes, yesterday was full of a giant list of things that needed doing and a brain that fought against the doing the entire time.  There were good things about it.

Husband will be starting his new college stuff next month.  He’ll finally be going to school for something that he has genuine interest in.  He’ll finally be following his dream.  I’m glad I pushed him to do it.  He seems so happy and excited.  I think, maybe, that he might understand how I feel soon.  Ah, the stresses and joys of dream following.

Roommate brought home a newspaper article for me.  It sounds ridiculous, but I almost teared up at the thoughtfulness of it.  It brought a little breath of relief to the end of my day, and it was most welcome.

One important thing that needed saying follows.

I have this friend, right?

You know those people that you always look up to?  The ones that are so good that they make you ashamed of yourself?  The ones that make you stop for a second and wonder, “What would so-and-so do here?”  Yeah, one of those friends.  She’s always been like that, at least since I’ve known her (middle school).  I’ve always looked up to her.  I’ve always wondered how she could possibly be so good.  I used to have zero comprehension of how it was possible.  I’ve learned a little bit growing up, but that still doesn’t change how I feel about her.

Anyway, I lost contact with her, just like nearly everyone else that I know.  So, while I could not call her a ‘close’ friend, I can easily say that she has remained one of my ‘favorite’ friends.  She’s one of very few people that I missed talking to, and you could ask the people that I didn’t lose contact with; I’ve said it many a time.  Making a Facebook will give you an easy avenue to getting back in touch with people.  I’m glad for the general frustration of the website in that respect.

The point of this being, I got back in contact with her, we exchanged a few messages here and there – the how are you doing, this is how I’m doing, sort of stuff.  Now this is where the story gets weird.  I posted a status update on there about this here blogging thingy and everything that followed has sort of blown my mind.

I put passion for writing back into her?  I…inspired her?

My initial reaction was, “You’re kidding, right?”  Then came the slow, goofy, nearly squee-ing grin.  Then the, “You’re kidding, right?”  Then the prickly feeling that you get in the front of your eyes.  I’ve gone back and forth with it probably forty times or more over the past several days.  Either way, it’s made me do some major self-evaluation.  That self-evaluation played a very large role in the strange headspace yesterday.

I’ve closed myself off, hermit-like, for the past several years.  My big question of myself yesterday was, “Have I really changed that much in my seclusion?”

I have.

Enough for that, though?

I didn’t think so.

I didn’t know.

I guess so.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, you think.  It’s quite possible that it would seem that way.  But it’s the simple fact that I, in some way, shape, or form, had such a positive effect on someone that I’ve always looked up to.  To question the feasibility of such a thing brings up so many questions of who I am as a person now.  I don’t care if anyone else is asking them.  I’m asking them of myself.  I can’t tell you what it means to me.  I can’t tell you what the thoughts it provoked mean to me.  I couldn’t find the words if I tried.  After all, I’m writing about myself and not a character.

It means a lot.  More than I care to share.  More than I could let myself share.  I’ve shared enough about it, I think.  I got my point across.  And in my shortest entry so far, nonetheless.  Hooray for me.

I couldn’t sleep last night because I wanted to say, “Thank you,” but it didn’t seem like enough to me.  I couldn’t think of what to say.  In the end, it’s all I really could say.  All I can say.  Maybe it is enough.

She writes beautifully, by the way.  You can check out her blog here ( http://bnbrown10.wordpress.com/ )…She makes me feel like I need to pack it up and go home, lol.

Now that I’ve finally said what I needed to say, and got out what I needed to get out, I can take a breath and relax.  Maybe those elephants will leave me alone for a little while so that I can sit down and enjoy a few things.

How haaad can it beee?

The Nonsensical Ramblings of a Small Fish in a Big Ocean

I sat down earlier and attempted to write this.  It didn’t work out so well, clearly, given the first sentence.  In part, I’m sure that was due to the cold cup of coffee on my left.  In another part, dinner was done and I had somehow managed to go nearly the entire day without eating a bite of food.  Now, that was not entirely my fault (the lack of eating), though I will not go into the details of push mowing a backyard that has been tampered with by the devil himself on an empty stomach on what is likely the hottest day so far this year.  Basically, by the time dinner was ready, I was hungry.  Then I got distracted by The Voice.  It happens, and it’s not the point.

Armed with a piping hot cup of fresh coffee, and sitting in the dark…I feel content to move forward.  Well, partially.  I’m waiting for my cat – who ventured downstairs as she usually does around this time every night – to come meowing at the door, asking to come in.  I will put the cat out of my head and wait until said meowing actually occurs.

When I say that I attempted to write this, what I really mean is that I typed up about three pages worth of words that didn’t just stray off the path I’d initially intended to take, but decided to make an entirely different road to travel down.  It’s a problem with me; I doubt that will ever change.  I digress should be my life motto.  Maybe I will change that, to make it official, and to change something.

There are about…twenty pictures of cats currently at the bottom of my screen right now in the ‘Related Content’ section.  I am trying not to be distracted by them all, but they are so cute.  I digress.

I’m going to pretend that I haven’t already written 300 words without even mentioning the point of this.

The point!  Blogging.  Wow, original, I know, right?

All (lame) joking aside, I actually had a very serious tone in mind for this.  Probably best that I’m not using it.  I haven’t read through it, but I’m sure that my failed attempt at this earlier sounded remarkably unhappy, which was definitely not the tone I’d wanted to set.

I’ll say that, when I started this thing a few days ago, I had no idea what to expect.

I sort of take that back.  With all things in life, I came into this with the lowest of low expectations.  I do that so I’m rarely disappointed.  I can’t say that I’m never disappointed – that the low-expectation-trick is some foolproof method that keeps the crawling feeling of disappointment from sinking in.  It happens, even to the most prepared.  It happens quite a lot actually.

I was expecting that even the people I know – even my family and friends – wouldn’t take a first look at this thing.  I was expecting that people who care about me wouldn’t take the time to read anything that I wrote.  I post long entries, what can I say?  Do I expect anyone to read them?  No.

I can’t explain how…startled I was that first night when some random person ‘liked’ my entry.  Did some random person actually read what I had to say?  Why?  How in the world could they sit there and actually read half a book worth of rambling?  It was insane to me.  And I can say was as long as I make it clear that it’s paired with is.  The was/is thing is split down the middle.  I partially understand it now.

It took me a little time to get a proper feel for this website and how it works, I’ll be honest.  Despite being in my mid-twenties, I feel like I have zero knowledge for this sort of thing.  I still don’t really understand hashtags.  I get it that they’re for trending, but past that?  IS there a past that?  You see, I don’t know.  Anywho, gradually figuring this thing out.  Gradually going to random people’s blogs and reading their (MUCH shorter) ramblings.  Or non-ramblings (meaning that they say worthwhile things).

It’s so weird all the different sorts of blogs there are.  That statement was just a random thing; it really holds no relevance whatsoever to what I’m saying on here past being an errant thought that touches – remotely – on the subject.

The next line is supposed to say, Do you ever feel insignificant?

I still said it, didn’t I?  You see, I can’t get away from it.  To write this entry, the question has to be asked.  It would make no sense without it.  Maybe I was onto something in my failed attempt.  Do we ever really fail, or is failing the first step to succeeding?  I digress.

I can’t put the other stuff in here, I just can’t.  I will work around it.  Insignificance is the key.

We all feel it at some point in our lives, don’t we?  We all feel like we’re not good enough, or we’re pushed down, or sometimes…sometimes we’re just down for no explainable reason.  Sometimes you don’t need to trip, you’re just there.  It doesn’t even have to be a ‘down’ feeling.

I will start off this explanation and how it’s relevant to me by saying that I am an extremely private person.  I wasn’t always.  I wasn’t always a lot of things that I am now.  If  you reversed that sentence, it would also be true; it would also be more important.  What I mean is that, if you put me face to face with the person I was a handful of years ago…it would be very, very difficult not to punch that idiotic girl in the face.  I would stop myself though, because that idiotic girl turned into me at some point.  My friends and family have asked me why I want to use a pen name…that’s why.  I don’t want to be associated with that girl.  It’s hard to say, “It was still me, somewhere.”  I’ve had many people tell me that, if they wrote a book, they would want their name and picture all over it.  I wrote the story.  Why would someone need to know my name or see my face?  What does it matter?  I know I wrote it. The people I talk to will know that I wrote it.  None of that changes what’s inside.  Isn’t what’s inside the thing that’s important?  What does any of it matter?  When discussing it with one of my friends, he said that it was a pride thing.  I am full of pride, in my own way/ways.  I’m still unsure.

Part of me embraces the stupidity of my youth while another part is disgusted by it.  If I hadn’t gone through what I have, or done the things that I have…would I still be me today?  I am not ashamed, but…I want my life to be my own, and my past to be in my past where it belongs.  It’s difficult in this day and age.

Several years ago I deleted all social networking sites.  What was the point of having them?  No one talked to each other; they just added friends to add them and to nose around in their lives.  I was guilty of it myself.  I just didn’t want to be a part of it anymore.  So I spent the last several years socially isolated, lost in my own little fake world that I ventured out of from time to time to sit and watch movies with my husband.  I didn’t even have a cell phone until last November.  Now I made a Facebook and this here blogging thing.  I’m talking to people.  I’m talking to more people than my husband, or my parents, or my siblings, or my friends on sushi dates.  I’m talking to people that I don’t know.  It’s so freaking hard for me.  I sweat profusely when talking to cashiers at stores for god’s sake.  I used to walk around a room, talking to everybody.  I used to hang out with my friends and every night made it my personal goal to ensure that everybody in the room was smiling.  Just the thought of that now makes me cringe.  I need to find a happy medium with it.

I need to tell myself that not everyone will over analyze the things that I say.  Not everyone will sit there and think, “My god, she is an idiot.”  I am content with my books.  Interacting with people is another matter entirely.

Where does this stem from?  It’s a mix of simple anxiety (socially and in general), and that feeling of insignificance.

So, is it surprising then that – despite how anxious I get when talking or interacting – I am a talker?  I doubt that it is, given how much I write.  You see, a lot of the reason I’m so uncomfortable with it is that I can’t stop myself.  If you get me talking, I will not stop.  The biggest issue is that, quite often, I don’t realize what I say until after I’ve already said it.  It’s not that my word vomit spits out horribly offensive things; it doesn’t.  My word vomit spews ignorance.  Every conversation I have that lasts longer than five minutes will induce at least five, “I shouldn’t have said that,”s.  Now, the recipient of said conversing may not think anything negative about it.  It is my curse to bear.  It is my curse to over analyze myself – to be overly critical.  It’s not so much that I worry about making a fool out of myself to other people, but that I worry about making a fool out of myself to myself.  Turning into a hermit of sorts will make you worry less about other people and what they think.

But do I worry that who I am and what people think of me will have some sort of adverse reaction towards my work?  Yes.  Yes I do.  It’s silly, possibly.  But…take query writing for example.  You have these guidelines to follow.  The brief, one to two paragraph description of your book.  You give them the word count, the examples of books that it’s similar to (target audience and whatnot).  Then…*chuckles quietly*.  THEN you have to tell them why you’re qualified to write the book that you’ve written.  You have to sell yourself.  I don’t want MYSELF to be a part of it.  And that honestly has nothing to do with my lack of qualifications; it has everything to do with the fact that I feel like my work is so much better than I am.  I don’t want to be the reason my work is rejected.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  I know that it is; you don’t have to tell me.  Or maybe it’s not so ridiculous.

This is what I’m saying about insignificance.  I sit here…beyond astonished that anyone would listen to what I have to say.  I would be so much less astonished about a person wanting to read my books.  But to read my thoughts and feelings?  To want to know what the process is like for me, or how things are going?  It’s insane.  One person wanting to do that is insane to me.  Someone wanting to have a conversation with me is INSANE to me.

Now, a lot of the reason I’m writing this is because I had a conversation with a person today (technically yesterday now).  It was awesome.  I think it’s amazing that you can go to some random person’s blog, read it, feel something, comment, and then end up carrying on a conversation – a remarkably enjoyable one, at that.  It’s amazing to me that some person would show more interest in my opinions than…I would say…more than half of the people that I know in real life.  Is that sad, or is it amazing?  Is that the beauty of this thing?

I think it IS beautiful to show support for people you’ve never met, just because their words touched you in some way.  Don’t we all wish that we had a little more of that?  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we did – if we reached out a little, stepped out of our comfort zones?  I think we all need a little more of that – doing and receiving.

So I have to tell myself that stepping out of my comfort zone is alright.  It’s alright to put myself out there.  There will be negatives, of course.  There will always be negatives.  I’ve been thinking this whole time that maybe, JUST MAYBE, my books could help people in some way.  But maybe…maybe this could too.  Maybe I could make people think about something.

Maybe I don’t have to hide behind my books.  I’m shaking my head right now.  I’ve hidden inside of my books for years.  It’s nice to come up to the surface and breathe, but do I want to get out of the water?  I like being in the water; it’s safe there.  I like it there.

I don’t know.  I don’t even think I’ve said anything in all 2000 of these words.  This really wasn’t anything like what I wanted it to be.  That’s what happens when I stray from novel-writing.  I shouldn’t be surprised.

All in all…good day.  Very good day, apart from almost passing out, sweating all over my just-cleaned couch, drinking cold coffee, and being hungry.  It doesn’t sound like it, but…very good day, indeed.

And thank you – to anyone who reads this, or any of my other nonsense.

* Written yesterday and not posted because I was extremely tired.  Yes, it’s just one button, I know.

** Mostly it was not posted because I wrote a second entry afterward and was contemplating over posting both.  The title of this one comes from the point of the other.  I discovered that insignificance was not appropriate and could only explain what I meant with a silly small fish/big ocean comparison.

*** For some reason, I keep typing butter every time I attempt to type button.

Novel Writing and Dream Following

Writing a novel…it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, like most people (including myself before I dove into it head-first) would believe.  It’s sort of like being blindfolded on a roller coaster.  You sit down, prepared only with the knowledge that you’re about to go on some sort of journey, get strapped in, and then you’re off without even the vaguest clue when to brace yourself for the sharp turns and sudden drops.  I’m writing this post partially to give advice to potential novelists who are beginning to toy with the idea of taking the same journey that I’m currently on, and partially just to help people understand why this is the best journey that I’ve ever been on.

I will start it off by saying that any views, opinions, methods and thoughts that I share in this are only my own.  I cannot speak for anyone else and I would have to assume that (after reading the blogs of many authors) my methods are likely not the same as a lot of other people who have done this.  That’s the amazing thing about it though; there IS no wrong way to do things.  The only way to write a novel is by doing it your own way – by doing whatever works best for you.

I am a planner.  I plan everything out in advance – meals, clothes, things to do.  Try as I might, I cannot plan a book out beforehand.  There have been innumerable times where I have sat down with a notebook and sparkly pen and attempted to map everything out – from main plot lines, down to individual chapters and character  developments.  I’m sure that works for people.  I would think that, in order to release books in a series separately, it would be the only way to get things done.  You would need to have everything perfectly planned and all details sharpened to a point to be capable of making sure the characters and story did not get away from you.  It does not work for me.

I have written two different series of books.  I went into both of them with an idea and thought that I could keep control of them; I could not.  To me, creating a story is creating an entire world.  You imagine the scenery, the landscapes, the buildings.  You create issues, ways of living.  And then, you plop little people down into some place that you made up inside of your head.  Sometimes those things change as you’re writing.  The most magical thing about it is that – just like in the real world – these people grow and adapt.  They live and make choices.  They surprise you, they make you angry.  They make you want to punch them in the face.

When writing my first series, the only thing that I could compare it to was a boulder rolling down a mountain.  I felt like I had pushed it from the top and was simply following it down as it made its path.  I had no control at all.  I could not control the characters and their decisions any more than I could control the decisions of my best friends, or of random people walking down a street.  They might not be real, but they were alive enough to live in the world that I had stuck them inside of.  Beautiful.  Chaotic.  Stressful.

I had so many issues when writing that first series.  I couldn’t count how many times I discussed those issues with my friends and family, attempting to get their opinions on how things should be handled (without really telling anything about the story to anyone but my husband because I am unbelievably paranoid about them).  At the beginning of 1-3 (the third book in the first series), I was having a huge issue with one specific character.  During the course of their time in my little world, they had changed (shown their true colors) and made it impossible for them to continue playing the specific role I’d had set for them.  What an issue to have for an important character!  What to do, what to do?  My best friend suggested that I have them do something that would change the dynamic drastically; she gave me a few examples that might possibly work with the limited information I had given her at the time.  I couldn’t do it.  It truly wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it, but that I just couldn’t.  I said, “I can’t make them do something out of character.  It would be like intentionally slamming my own hand in a door.  I wouldn’t do that.  I can’t make them do something that they wouldn’t do.”  It wouldn’t even be like cheating to get what you want; it would be like a betrayal to what a person stands for.

Frustrated, I continued on, letting the dynamics naturally change just like they would between any two people.  Eventually, another character popped in.  Now, one would think that – because I am writing – I would have the final say in how much or how little a character will be in a story.  Again, I don’t.  That second character was meant to be fleeting – just some random person met in the course of the story.

You meet a ridiculously large, uncountable number of people throughout your life.  Some of them you don’t care for.  Some of them are alright.  And sometimes, you meet people that you just click with.  My main character in that series clicked with that fleeting character.  I could not get rid of them.  They caused so many problems in the story, so many stressful situations that drove me insane as I was writing.  Then one day…everything fell into place.  That fleeting character (I call them accidental characters) fixed the situation that I’d had so many issues about in the first place.  Of course they created new ones, but that was not the point.

Accidental characters – while initially frustrating or nearly rage-inducing – can be a saving grace.

Another example.  At the beginning of 2-2 (second book in second series), accidental character shows their face.  I wrote them out.  I complained to my husband about it.  I said, “I don’t want them there.  I can already see the problems they’re going to make.  I do not want them there.”  Two different times I wrote that character out – opened new documents and started the chapter over.  They just kept showing back up in different forms.  On the third try, I went with it.  Again, that character ended up being integral to the development of the main character.

You cannot write people out of your own life, can you?  No matter how badly you occasionally want to, once a person has met you, they have met you.  That is never a bad thing.  You are the main character of your own life story; every person you come into prolonged contact with leaves some sort of mark on you – whether it’s a different way of thinking about something, or simply a memory that you’ll never forget.  It’s personal development.  I could never deny that to these poor, unfortunate souls that I torment in my books.

After so many different attempts at keeping control over my books, I decided to just go with it completely – to trust the base story and the characters to carry themselves through whatever messes came their way.  For me, it works.  It’s why my second series was written so much quicker than my first.  That’s why it went more smoothly and gave me (hopefully) less gray hairs that I have to cover up than the first.  Sometimes, you have to trust other people to make, maybe not the best decisions by other people’s standards, but the best decisions for themselves.  Sometimes, you have to trust yourself enough.  Sometimes, you have to stop being such a control freak.  (Those last two sometimes statements were mostly for me.)

Oddly enough, when giving up some of that control, I felt like I had more of it.  It’s possible that I had initially been so focused on squeezing the life out of it to keep hold that I didn’t realize it just needed a push here or there in a certain direction.  In the second series, while I felt I could not say where one relationship went with another, I could say that I had hold of the main thing – the story.  At the end of the day, I said who was good and who was secretly bad.  Sometimes, the characters played it out in a way that I could not make them anything more or less than what they were.  Mostly…I had some sort of say in the decisions where they did not pertain to any specific character and their relationship with any of the others.  But can I really claim that?  If a person is good, they are good.  If a person is bad, they are bad.  Do I get to claim that I decided it for them?  I don’t know.  Isn’t that fun?  *shakes head and sighs*

I know that many people have separate jobs while they work on their books – that it’s the enjoyable thing they do for themselves in their time off.  Personally, I don’t know how they manage it.  For me, it was/is/has been the most consuming thing that I have ever experienced in my life.  I slept those stories, I ate them, breathed them, drank them.  My god, I feel so sorry for my husband having to deal with me staring off into the distance, trying to work things out in my head for such a long time.  “Did you hear what I just said?”  “Uhm…what?  I’m so sorry, I was thinking about my book.”  “Don’t you remember what I said to you yesterday?”  “Uhm…you were talking to me yesterday?  Wait.  Oh yeah, I remember you talking.  About something.  At some point.  Yesterday?”

I’m sure it sounds humorous that way, but imagine my husband having to deal with that constantly for the past two and a half years or so.  I feel bad for him, but he says that I’m doing what I love and that makes him happy.  Support is worth more than gold.

Writing is the loneliest place imaginable.  You feel like you live for the sole purpose to get this story out of your head.  You can’t think about anything else.  You can’t concentrate on anything else.  Every second of every day that you’re not physically working on it, you’re mentally working on it.  You’re trying to figure out where to go next, you think of a tiny snippet of conversation to put in, you’re trying to line up little details with big details.  Then, at the end, you can’t even be satisfied because all you’re doing is thinking about all those miniscule details that don’t add up, all the things you have to change to make it perfect, all the things that hardly anyone else would notice, but are giant, flashing neon signs to you.  It is…exhausting.  Add onto that the fact that you are constantly attempting to improve your writing…it goes to some place beyond exhausting.  Some place that makes you pass out as soon as your head hits the pillow (as long as you are not focused on some scene that you’re trying to work on).  I’m not sure if all writers believe their writing is crap, but I’m convinced that horrible feeling is integral to improvement.  As long as you always feel like it is never good enough, you can make it better.  One thing that you change might be the one thing that kept someone else from appreciating your work.  I watched Jurassic Park yesterday so I’m hearing Malcolm in my head talking to Ellie about the butterfly effect.  One person might not sound like a lot, but one person might tell ten people, who might tell ten more.  One person might write an amazing review.  That one person might just need to hear some joke that you slipped into the cracks of your book to feel better.  That one person might just need to read about your characters getting through something awful to know that – if some made-up person can do it…they can too.  That’s what books are for.  Well, one of the many things that they are for.

I will admit that when I first started out on this extremely long, stressful, beautiful journey, I had absolutely no intention of ever attempting to get anything published.  I wrote my first book for myself.  It was only when I was partially through the first series that I realized the selfishness of it.  Why should I keep it to myself?  Sure, a lot of people would hate it, but some people would like it.  It would make some people laugh, or cry.  Why should I be selfish when I could help people the way that authors have helped me with their books?  I get my pride from my father – this unwillingness to ask for help when I most desperately need it.  I get a double-dose of it from my mother, who is incapable of sitting down for five minutes and stares out the window when it rains or is cold because she cannot go outside and do something.  I grew up watching both of them almost literally kill themselves to take care of their family.  So asking anyone in this world to help me is like some sort of betrayal to the person that I want to be for my parents – the person that I want to be in case I have children one day.  Asking an agent to take a chance on me when – on paper – I am not worth taking a risk on…even though it’s the way that things are done, it kills my soul a little every time.  I can’t explain it.  So, going into this sort of thing with the knowledge that it is impossible to do on your own…it’s something that you’ve got to accept.  It’s something that I’m still working on.  Can we really do anything entirely alone in life?  There will always be people who want to help, you just have to look in the right places and let them do it.

You get hung-up when writing.  Some conversation won’t work out, some scene, some character isn’t doing what they’re supposed to.  Now, my best friend has written about half (I could be wrong, don’t hold me to it) of a novel.  She and I deal with the hang-ups in opposite ways.  She skips and goes back to it.  I angrily trudge along through the muck.  That is mostly due to the fact that I cannot connect things; they have to be written in order completely.  I have tried it the other way and it just doesn’t work.  Hang-ups are to be expected (and usually happen at the most inopportune times, for good measure to rain on your happy parade).  If you work on them, they go away for a time, but they don’t ever stop.  Expect the hang-ups, mentally prepare yourself for them, have a few motivational things to tell yourself to get through them (It will be over with this scene, If I get through it I can work on the next part).  If you’re writing anything – be it a blog, or a novel, or a journal entry…they happen.  You hit roadblocks, mental walls.  Break them down and tell yourself that you won’t let an inanimate object control your life.  It sounds silly, but it might work for some people.  It would be a shame to let ten lines of a conversation ruin the entire process.  Hurry up and write a book; it might be my new favorite.  I might tell ten people about it.  Who knows?

I’ve been asked how I find the motivation to work so much.  When I am actively working (writing or editing – not query-ing), I do it between 9-14 hours a day (or night because I am a night owl and it is the only time where there is nearly complete silence in the world – meaning it is usually the only time that I can actually think).  It’s why I could finish an entire series in about six months; I worked my back end off on it.  The only answer that I can give people is, “It’s what I love doing.”  I watched my father wake up at precisely the same time every morning to go to work to provide for us until he was injured.  He overslept once when the power went out.  He was late once when his truck rolled down the hill and was hanging over the drop-off above the creek.  I don’t know that my father ever loved what he did.  He loved his family so he did what he had to for them.  I had a conversation with him about this a few weeks ago when I was feeling very downtrodden about the whole getting-published thing; it’s difficult to have a conversation when you’re attempting not to cry on the phone to your daddy (I don’t like crying where people can see/hear).  I don’t want to look back on my life and say that I did what life forced me to do.  I want to look back at the end and say, “I did what I loved.”

It’s quite likely that I will continue to be life’s play-thing for the entirety of my time spent in this world.  But…it’s possible (though highly unlikely) that one day, I will look life in the face, smile, and say, “I won.”

If you want to write a book, write a book.

If you want to learn how to sail a boat, go sail a boat.

If you want to fly a plane, go learn how to fly a plane.

If you want to be a teacher, go do what you need to do and spend your life striving to sharpen children’s minds.  (We need some good teachers out there who care).

If you want to be a nurse, go take care of people.

A vet, to fix up animals.  A therapist to help people deal.  A chef to make beautiful, tasty food.

If you want to see the world, go do it.

Find a way to make your dreams happen.  Don’t let inanimate objects hold you back.

It’s your life.  Do what you love so that one day, you can look life in the face, smile (or possibly laugh) and say your own variation of, “I won.”

Be happy.  Why else are we here?

Maybe one day…

So here it is – the blog that I’ve been putting off making for quite some time.  It’s not that I don’t want one.  It’s not that I think it would be a hassle to keep up with.  While I was still – I will say actively – working on my books, I used that as an excuse to put this off.  If I was going to write, I was going to write a book.  Or ten.  And while that excuse is valid, it’s not the complete reason as to why I didn’t start one sooner.  A lack of understanding the sharing websites (Tumblr, Twitter), while also valid, is not why I’ve been dreading this moment for months on end now.  Which reason to touch on first?  The easiest?  Are any of them simple?  Should starting a blog really be SO difficult?

I used to write on these things.  I will say that, until I began writing books (and had more than half of the ones I’ve written under my belt), my blogging was the tippy-top of my writing capabilities.  I had my good, old fashioned journal.  I had my Myspace blog.  Then I had my blog.  There was always an issue with writing quality for me.  In my journal, I never had the worry that anyone would read it so I could be open and honest, but knowing that no one would read it made me incredibly sloppy.  My Myspace blog…well, I knew that at least a few people would read whatever it was that I had to say about my idiocy on any given day.  I’m not sure if it was the fear of how my words would be taken, what people would think, or how big of a fool I would make myself out to be, but it was like stretching out a rubber band to only half of its potential.  If you stretched it too far, it would most assuredly break.  Why bother?  If I didn’t try my hardest, I could always use that as an excuse.  And I would always have a rubber band.

But my blog?  No one knew about it, but there was always the possibility that someone I knew would find it.  I made it simple enough for it to be a feasible concern.  It was the knowledge – a little whisper in the back of my head – that I was writing for some secret audience.  So I pushed myself to my potential at the time and it was so startlingly easy.  It was the only time that I could look back at my writing and say that I was somewhat proud of the words I had managed to get out.

I write.

I’ve always written, but it doesn’t come easy for me – at least not in the way that I wish it would.  Nothing ever comes out the way that I want it to.  My words don’t flow.  I get distracted and stray off topic.  I used to write about myself – what was going on in my life, how I was feeling, and again, my own idiocy.  My imagination is practically nonexistent.  When mulling over the idea of writing a book (which is something that I’ve done for a great many years), I always thought that – if I did – it would be about some real life experience…something that I had gone through, something that I could potentially help another person with.

2010 my husband deployed.  It was like a wrench in the spokes of my life.  His time in the military was almost up; he wasn’t supposed to deploy with his unit.  We had literally two days notice that he would be leaving, then those two days passed and I found myself sitting around on the third – back at home with my parents – and wondering what in the world I should do.  So, I bought some new books, read them, bought some more, read them.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  It was quite a long time ago when I learned that reading books was a way to escape from my life when it was letting me down, when it wasn’t enough, when I was sad, or afraid, or angry.  I buried myself in books for several months to cope and to pass the time; I’m not ashamed of it.  And it worked for those few months.  Then I woke up one day – after reading several disappointing books in a row (you know the ones you have to fight and struggle to finish) – and got this absolutely ludicrous idea in my head that I was going to write a book I would actually want to read.  I invited my cousin over, we talked about it, he helped me with a few ideas.  I started writing the first little bit on my desktop computer – tossing around ideas, testing the waters.  When I was able to talk to my husband on the phone, I discussed it with him.  Being the unbelievably awesome, supportive person that he is, he said, “Go spend the money on a laptop if that’s what you want to do.”  I did.  Thus, my first child was born, so to speak.

And I was proud of that little monster while it was still developing.  I can remember sitting in my chair one night, looking down at my tiny little laptop screen and having the revelation of, “I am writing a book.”  That turned into, “I have written a book.”  Which turned into, “I have written a series of six books.”  Each revelation was surprisingly less amazing to me.  Not because I’d become accustomed to the fact that I was – by any definition of the word – a writer, but because I wasn’t happy with it.  It wasn’t necessarily the story; I still love that story and its horrendously twisted characters/situations.  It was me.  It was my involvement in it.  My failings.  My selfishness.  My writing.

I tried for a little while to get it published.  I believe I sent out about five or six query letters.  I can remember the disappointment of never hearing back, the shame of the few polite rejections.  I am nothing but happy about those rejections now.  It was while I was writing up one of those queries that I had probably the most important revelation of my entire writing life.  I read through the prologue, I sat there, I blinked at the screen, then I looked away.  “This is crap.”  Of course it was a different four letter word that I said in my head that night.  The meaning is still the same.  Almost two years of my life spent on something that was, yes, possibly better than some of the books that I’ve read, but by my standards was…not even decent.  The story was there.  The characters were there.  It was the writing.

Everyone tells me that I’m too hard on myself.  But what a disappointment it is to invest absolutely everything you have – your time, your energy, your personal life and relationships (as they both get pushed entirely to the side when you’re writing), your heart, your soul – into something and realize that you could have done better.  You should have done better.  Someone else could have done better.  If I’m hard on myself it’s because I never, ever want to think those things again.

I let that disappointment eat away at me for what felt like eternity.  Time passes very slowly when you’re miserable.  I can’t explain all of the thoughts you have.  “I’m not good enough.”  “I ruined my own story.”  “This was the best I could do; if I can’t get this published, I’ll never get anything published.”  “I shouldn’t bother trying to write anything else.”  “Why should I waste years of my life doing something, only to fail?”  “I am not good enough at the only thing in my life that I’ve ever loved doing.”

I told my husband that I was taking a break from it all – that I would edit my series again at some point when I felt like I could.  Sitting here now, I can’t tell you if I was being honest with my husband when I said that.  I don’t know if I was being completely honest with myself.  I don’t know if there was anything at all inside of me that told me I was capable of picking that story back up, of tasting every word and adjusting each and every one of them until they had just enough salt.  I think I was lying to myself when I said, “I’m going to do it.  I just need some time off.  I’ve been working so long.  I need to breathe.  I need to have a free thought.”  I think that deep down…I didn’t believe I was capable of it.

And yes, time passes so slowly when you feel that way.  I tried to justify it.  I’ve never really thought the idea that I could do what I loved and support myself with it was fair.  Life tells you that you have to be miserable.  You have to get a job that you either hate, or can just tolerate.  Life tells you that you have to put off your dreams until you have the time or the means to accomplish them.  I’d never had a single dream in my entire life.  I didn’t grow up wanting to be an astronaut, or the first female president.  I had things that I wanted to do for a little while at different points in time.  Dog behavioral expert, chef, police officer, etc.  I never thought that the one thing I’ve done for almost my entire life could turn into what it has.  So, a month passed and that thing – that dream – began eating away at me.  It wouldn’t let me sit around and mope about my inadequacies.  It wouldn’t let my mind be idle.  It’s not even my love of writing.  It’s the stories.  The stories will not let you rest.  They give you no peace until you get them out.

One word popped into my head while riding who knows where with my husband; I can’t remember where we were going that day because it shut off the rest of my brain.  One word.  One single word brought an entirely different story to life in my head.

So I worked.  I woke up, I worked, I slept.  Once a night I would force myself to leave my writing shed and go inside to eat something.  It sounds horrible, I know, but it was the farthest thing from it.  I was doing what I loved.  I was happy.  I was consumed.

And one day I looked down at my new, bigger laptop screen (it was amazing to be able to see the words without squinting), blinked a few times, and then looked away.  “It’s like I didn’t even write this.”

That was the biggest compliment that I could ever give myself.  Me saying those words was me really saying that the writing was good – that it was resting at some strange, unknown place that went past ‘satisfactory’.  I don’t know how it happened.  I don’t know if it was the story, me living inside the head of an extremely intelligent main character and wanting so badly to bring her to life accurately, or simply because by the end of it I had been writing and editing nearly every day for almost two and a half years.  (Obviously that second series was finished much quicker than the first).  I just don’t know.

I finished it in six months or so.  I edited it.  I edited it again.  And again.  And on that last one I realized that I could not do anything else to it apart from the few changes that you can’t help but make here and there.  It was complete.  It was…good.

Now I’m at the point where I’m sending off queries, trying to convince agents that they want to invest in my story and in me.  A salesperson, I am not.

The last query that I sent off (four days ago), I threw all query-writing-knowledge out of my head.  I can’t write them.  So I wrote a man a letter.  I won’t get him as an agent, I know that.  But I cannot express how good it felt to read two sentences near the end (after apologizing for how unorthodox it was).  I don’t write books to contain myself, or a story, in one page.  I write books because the only guidelines to follow are the ones that I forge with those characters as they grow and develop.

Now I’m wondering if my books will never see the light of day because I am incapable of being short-winded.  How do you fit an entire world into a paragraph?  How do you fit your entire life – your hopes, your aspirations, your dreams, your wishes, your motivations – into a sentence that will make people believe you’re worth taking a chance on?  How do you say anything when saying nothing?  How do you limit yourself when you feel that there are no limits to any of it?

I am a writer.  I write.  I am not an author.  An author has an agent, books on the shelves of bookstores.

My dream is multidimensional.  I want to help people.  I want to give people a way to escape from their lives, even if only for a day of reading a book.  I want to give people hope that they can get through the bad things that life throws their way.  I want to help young girls realize that a relationship not working out is not the end of their world.

For that to happen, I need the next two steps before there are no more – before all steps are out of my hands and the big picture is there for everyone to see.  I’ve written the books.  The middle step is the agent, the publishing contract.  Then there is the last step before they get sent out into the world.  I am so terrified that neither of those things will ever happen – that I will be stuck on step one for the entirety of my life.  Step one is a feat in and of itself to be sure, but I am not satisfied with it.  The stories are not satisfied with it.

I’ve been putting off starting a blog because I am so terrified of everything.  I don’t expect my writing on here to be exceptional.  It’s my personal blog, so who really cares?  I’ve had a great many conversations about it with my husband and my best friend.  I needed a Facebook so I made one.  I needed a blog so I’m making this now.  I needed all of these things to connect me to other people.  I am not a salesperson.  I can hardly speak to people when faced with it.  I am a writer.

I’ve put off starting a blog because I’m afraid that it will be another query letter.  Another failed attempt.  Another thing to look back at later and hang my head over.  I could’ve said that better.  I could’ve worded that differently.  I wish I could stay on subject.  I wish I could get this out right.  I wish anything would come out the way I want it to.  My god, do I seriously have to write that much to say such a small thing?

But it’s all part of the process and maybe someone out there will listen to my long-winded ramblings.  It’s so weird for me to think, “Maybe someday the planets will align and everything will work out.”  That’s not how a realist thinks.

It’s funny.

Maybe one day the second and third parts of my dream will happen and all my literal blood, sweat and tears will pay off (the blood was due to an unfortunate binder-falling-me-catching incident).  Maybe one day I will be able to send my words out into the vast unknown to be picked up and carried by random people like the wind.  Maybe one day those words will help someone get through a bad break up.  Maybe one day those words will motivate someone to take charge of their life and their destiny.  Maybe one day those words will motivate someone else to follow their unrealistic dream just because it’s worth it to be happy (no matter how miserable it makes you at times).  Maybe one day those words will simply make someone smile when they wanted to frown, or laugh when they wanted to cry.

There is this image that haunts the back of my head.  The third and final step before those maybe one day’s can happen.  It’s an image of me, holding the first of my published books in my hand, looking at my husband, my parents, my family, my best friends, smiling at all of them and saying the words I will not let myself say until that very moment when all the planets in my personal universe have aligned.

“I am an author.”

Maybe one day.