Video Q&A

Yes, you read the subject correctly.

I had an idea several weeks ago about doing just that (a video Q&A). Knowing my anxiety (it’s like a real person to me, watching over my shoulder), my first thought after the idea struck was, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.’ (Please imagine that being thought in a sarcastic inner voice.)

I mulled it over (cue Harry Potter thought path . . . moving on . . .) for a while. After doing as much (and talking to Husband about it and hearing his opinion), I tossed the idea out there to a couple friends. Most said, “DO IT!”

(All but one really said as much, and admittedly that friend is freakily similar to me in a lot of ways so I can definitely understand her saying she didn’t know.)

I have my obvious issues with it:

1) That I will make an ass out of myself.

2) That words worse than ass might slip out of my mouth on accident. (I frequently use ‘bad’ language, but only when I feel it’s ‘appropriate’ to do so. I try not to use those words on here because I consider this something along the lines of being ‘out in public,’ where my ‘bad language’ is all used in my head. (That’s the way I was raised.) Hence me starring things out (for the most part) when I either feel like I can’t or don’t want to get around using a particular word.)

3) I write much better than I speak. (Hence me being a writer and not a public speaker. Or public ANYTHING.) Do I really want everyone to hear this stammering I occasionally post about on here? Not particularly. Do I want anyone to hear ummm come out of my mouth about fifty times? No, but it most assuredly would happen. (Not to mention that I make absolutely HORRENDOUS faces while I talk. I really do.)

4) Do I really want to send myself into all the anxiety attacks this would surely induce for absolutely nobody to even watch it? No.

There are the good sides to it:

1) As much as I prefer writing to speaking, obviously you can get more out faster with the latter.

2) I would really like to hear any questions people might potentially have for me, and then answer them.

3) As hesitant as I am about literally putting a face to the name, I don’t really think it would be a bad idea to essentially say, ‘Hey, here I am.’ (Then follow it up afterward with, ‘I bet you can see why I sit alone and write books now, huh?’ 😉 )

4) Even if it might stress me out, it might actually be fun.

I do video diaries for myself to keep up with things going on in my life (because I have a horrible memory), and I’m sure doing a video Q&A then sharing it with everyone would let people see that the way I go about writing on here is very much how I am in real-

SQUIRREL.

(All the parenthetical asides in posts/comments/messages is how my mind works when I’m not writing books. Really. I am a mess. ha)

Anyway, I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself with even asking if it wouldn’t be something people were actually interested in seeing. (Who would want to watch me ramble?) But better to ask than not because someone out there might have something they’d really like to ask me. Who knows?

 

SO! If anyone is interested in this (the rambling/stammering/etc./etc./etc.), please let me know. Feel free to start asking questions. I don’t really care what sort of questions they are, to be honest. They can be work-related. (About characters/writing/publishing/etc.) They can be ridiculous and have nothing to do with anything. (Why do I love Merlin so much? What’s my gamerscore on XBox? I’m kind of proud of that last one. Just saying.) I don’t mind.

I only have ONE stipulation with this though. Just one.

If any of the questions contain spoilers for either of the books I have out, please ask me those questions privately. I will try to find a way to answer them in the video regardless because I’m pretty used to being careful with how I word talk of these books. If I can’t do as much but feel I can answer your question privately, I will do as much.

Anyway, feel free to comment on here or Facebook. If you would rather ask the question privately (either for the reason mentioned above or because you don’t want me to use your [first] name in the video), you can do so by messaging me on either my Facebook page or GoodReads. (Also feel free to add me as a friend on there if you’d like while you’re at it.) Or you can shoot me an email at cmillauthor (at) gmail (dot) com.

If there aren’t enough questions asked to warrant doing this, I WILL answer the questions asked via whatever means you contacted me.

One more thing:

I will not give away any spoilers. Not for any of the books, whether released yet or not.

HAVE A GOOD DAY, ALL!

(Please excuse me while I mentally go hide under a rock.)

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The first week of being published.

The clock has now ticked over into Thursday, which means – with Wednesday being at an end – Reave has been live for a full week.

It’s been a very…strange week for me. Most of the time I’m somehow able to convince myself that the book hasn’t released and is still safely in the only places I had it before (Herald, HD, printed out several times for edits, the proof, and…my brain). It’s been better for me that way, trying not to stress about how much people will hate it (if ONLY the second book could be released before the first…), or even just the fact that people CAN read it now.

I never talked about my book(s) on here until just before I released Reave, past saying I’d written them or whatever was going on with them. I’ve always been weirdly protective over them, but I suppose that’s understandable and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I wouldn’t even let my sister read it before it came out, if that says anything. I just didn’t want to let this one (or any of the others) out of my sight. There’s yet another way it can be comparative to having children (I’m assuming), but…….I’m PRETTY sure I’d be less protective of any children I ever had. I’d let my sister take one of those out of my sight for a while, if I had one.

It’s silly, I know. It’s something I struggled with a lot (am still struggling with), but I’m trying to get over it. My sister is actually the one that found the typo I was writing to in Dear Typo, by the way. I should’ve let her read it beforehand. Now I know. I will just have to get over certain things.

I spent the first few days checking my rankings on Amazon randomly. I probably wouldn’t have done much of it if I hadn’t been so shocked at getting on a couple lists for a little while. That was….pretty freaking awesome. I’d never expected to see anything like that, and I DID get to see it, so that was a spectacular moment for me. I didn’t mind dropping off those lists as much as I likely should have (though, yes, I did mind because…I’m human), maybe partially due to the not-expecting-at-all, and maybe partially due to expectations of the dropping (realistic).

There have been a few awesome moments.

Reading the first few reviews on it blew my mind.

The mom of one of my best friends was reading it, asked said friend when the next would be released, was given the ideal (but not feasible) time frame. The response she had (which was told to me) was something about not being able to wait that long. I believe there was an exclamation mark involved, but I have a horrible memory and could easily be wrong.

Mind was blown over that.

I’ve seen three pictures of people holding the book as of now, and that’s probably been the most fantastic thing about it. All for different (but similar, but different) reasons. (Probably up there is an unneeded word.) Seeing those pictures made me think of that moment of holding the proof in my hand, of it not necessarily being the moment I’d anticipated for the past three years (maybe because I was sick, maybe because of circumstances at the time, and maybe because I’d hyped it up so much in my head). Seeing pictures of people holding my book has been a better feeling than me holding it for the first time. Baffling, just like it was when I held it, only in a different enough way that I’m able to actually enjoy the feeling of it rather than sitting there staring at it like it’s some alien life form.

Mind blown over that.

I’ve almost had an anxiety attack every time someone has said something about reading it. I need to find some sort of faith in myself, but…haven’t yet (I’ll say again, GAH! over not being able to release the second book first). It’s the damn characters. I have faith in them. I just….COME ALONG with them. Bad writing, lack of technicality and all.

I thought I would be obsessive over rankings (as obsessive is a fitting word for my personality in general – if you add ‘mild’ before it and turn obsessive into the first part of an acronym that’s followed by CD, we’ll be set), but I haven’t been. I think it’s understanding that this is going to be an uphill battle regardless of anything, which I knew from the get-go. I’ve felt a little lost at multiple points, but it is what it is.

I’m just thinking about how the people who ordered the physical copies of it are getting them in the mail now, and that’s…yeah.

Anyway, I expected myself to be feeling a lot more crazy than I have. Maybe it’s losing a bit of the attachment I had to it from keeping it so much to myself for such a long time. It’s…out of my hands now. People will either like it or they won’t, which I accepted several years ago with the books that will never see the light of day. I’d imagine some people won’t be able to make it past the prologue. Some people won’t ‘get it.’ Some people will want to punch me in the face for it (I’ve already got that one – that someone wanted to punch me). Some people will say, “I can’t wait that long for the next one!”

The latter of those is the only one that confuses me, and I’ve already heard it several times. It’s so weird.

It’s also so weird realizing that everyone has always been right about me. I DO expect the worst. Understand that good can happen, but expect the worst because it seems the most likely thing to occur in any scenario. In trying to change my outlook on things, I can see that’s not a healthy thing to do either because…I don’t believe it’s as realistic as I’ve always thought it was. So in telling myself that one of every ten people might PASSABLY enjoy the book…I’m doing myself – and my work – an injustice. And that’s a shame.

Maybe I’ll figure all that out along the way as well. I had to let go of it in order to feel like I wasn’t living half the life I wanted to be living (writing them and keeping them all to myself). Maybe the ‘faith’ thing will happen eventually. I just don’t think it’s fair to keep telling myself that everyone is ‘too close.’ Someone being close doesn’t mean they’re lying to spare your feelings. Someone complimenting you doesn’t mean they’re doing it with ulterior motives or being dishonest. It also does’t mean that they’re crazy (which is the first thing my mind goes to…sorry to anyone who ever says anything nice to me – I’ve probably thought you were crazy at some point or another. >.>).

Like everything with this, it’s just…a journey.

Too bad you can’t ever prepare for a journey like this as much as you think you can.

Does someone have any pants I can borrow? I think I forgot my own.

Why I’m using a pen name…

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time and actually read my entries, you’ve probably seen me say at least once that I’m a very private person. If you know me personally, you might not even realize how private I am. I do tell people a lot of things, but when it comes to personal matters . . . I generally don’t. There’s a line, I think, and there’s some part of me that finds it damn near impossible to cross over that line – even with people I care about, a lot of the time.

That being said, that’s not actually why I’m using a pen name. In fact, it’s almost irrelevant in the ‘reasoning department’ and is mostly just a small thing that makes me feel a little better where my life is concerned.

While I am very private, I do war with myself over it. Honesty and openness are a VERY big deal to me and I’ll spare you all from me going on some tangent where I could ramble for days about those two walking hand-in-hand and whether or not they’re constantly required to walk together, or how I feel about either of them, and how my feelings about either of them clash with me wanting to keep my personal business personal (and by keeping it personal, I mean keeping it ENTIRELY to myself).

And while I’ll say something I said in one of my first blogs on here (that I want to keep me as a person separate, in a sense, from my work – meaning, yes, I am responsible for the work, but the work is not ABOUT me), I’ll also say that I do understand there’s no escaping from the fact that . . . I am responsible for my work.

My desire to use a pen name is less about my instinct to go hide under a rock (you have no idea how tempting it is . . .) and more to do with ‘personal choices’. So, in this entry, I will drop a barrier that might seem very small to other people, but is VERY large for me.

I call the name I’m using a ‘pen name’, but . . . it’s kind of not. It is not my legal name, but it IS my name.

My legal first name does not begin with a C. EVERY nickname I have (apart from one) begins with a C. Only about three people call me by my real name (mom, mamaw, and my niece after she could say my full name) regularly. Everyone else calls me something that starts with C (apart from my dad, who has the different nickname for me). I sign most of my emails as C, and have done so for a very long time. I’ve used those nicknames as my ‘name’ on most social networking sites for years. If you want to know my first name (or even a nickname) so you can stop calling me ‘C’, I’d be more than happy to tell you. But . . . I’m pretty used to being called C, and I prefer the nicknames (as they’re what I hear most often), so . . . yeah. I’m content with it. Meaning, if there was a room full of people and someone shouted, “C!” behind my back . . . I would turn around. I would be more likely to turn around for that than my real name, if I’m being honest.

As for the second half of the ‘pen name’ . . . it’s my maiden name. I’m partially using it because . . . that’s the name I had at birth, and that will never change.

But mostly?

I am using my maiden name because I’m unsure if I ever want to have children. I’ve done quite a bit of battling with myself on that. And yes, part of me does possibly want to have children in the future, but . . . I’m not entirely sure. And I think about the fact that, if I don’t . . . my father’s ‘blood’ will stop with me. It brings about more guilt than I could probably say on here. So, using my father’s name is a potential ‘repayment in advance’ (meaning I at least put SOMETHING into the world) in case I don’t ever have children. Not really a fair exchange, but . . . it is what it is. That’s why. Very personal.

And there you have it.

Anyway, I have some things I need to do on here, which I’ll be trying to do over the next several days while simultaneously attempting to nitpick this proof I have. Now that I’m almost completely over that cold (which kicked my butt a LOT harder than I expected it to), I’ll be able to start knocking some stuff out.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

I’ve done it . . .

I have actually let another person impact a decision, past what to eat for dinner.

Many of you who actually read my entries on here know that I’ve had a very difficult time trying to figure out if I wanted to attempt to publish traditionally, or if I wanted to self-publish.

None of you know how many times I’ve flopped back and forth about it. Seriously – I kid you not – every other day it will be the one, then the other. Throw small presses into the mix and you’ve got a very not-fun mix of things to flop over (and over and over and OVER) with. I’m sure many of you have been in that boat before. But I’m sure most of you – after doing the research – have been able to make the decision that was best for you. I couldn’t. I’m not kidding. There are pros and cons to all sides, which anybody who does a Google search will know. All those pros and cons evened themselves out with me.

When talking to people (especially my husband) about it, they tend to just go along with whatever you say. That’s not bad. Most people understand that a person will do whatever they want in any given situation, and trust that a person is capable of making the best decision for themselves. So when I call you at two in the morning almost screaming my lungs out about how I’m GOING TO SELF-PUBLISH, of COURSE you’re going to think, “That’s the best thing for her to do.”

I’ve done it. Yes. I have made those calls.

I have made those calls, slept on it, then woke up with a different outlook.

And if you read my post Balance, then you know (where I’m talking about my hair) that my husband is THE ULTIMATE agreer. Yes, I know agreer is not a word, but it should be.

So (after going through this for months on end) while laying in bed yesterday morning before sleep (yes, I said that correctly – I am nocturnal), I caved. I said, “Husband, I NEED your input here. All of these pros and cons are even. HELP ME, FOR GOD’S SAKE!” That is not verbatim, but it’s close enough to pass.

He thought on it. Just now, we had a conversation about it.

He wants me to try to get an agent. And he wants me to do that so I don’t lose my mind. Getting an agent . . . well . . . it’s damn near impossible to do, I know. I don’t think I REALLY realized how damn near impossible it actually WAS until recently. I’ve realized. The likelihood is . . . not good. I’ve accepted it.

I’ve accepted it and am backup-planning in my head.

But you know what?

Until my editor (WOOO) gets done with my book in . . . let’s see . . . my brain is NOT working right now. A little over two months. Yes. She’s starting it August 1st and will get done at the end of the month. So until she gets done with it, I will get to focus on my writing rather than stressing to the high heavens. I’ll take that.

So when I fail with getting an agent (I’m not being negative – only realistic) . . . I will cross that bridge when I get there. The good thing about being realistic is that you ALWAYS have a backup plan. But now, I’ve got a plan BEFORE the backup plan is necessary.

Thanks Husband.

How strange it was to just say, “Alright. If that’s what you think I should do . . . it’s what I’ll do.”

If you know me at all, then you will know that DOES NOT HAPPEN. Just saying.

Sorry. Figured I should get all that out there. It’s off to bed for me.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day.

🙂

Publishing: Which Way Do You Go?

I attempted to write this entry a week or two ago.  When I say attempted, what I really mean is that I actually did write the entry in its entirety, but then decided not to hit the Publish button because I wasn’t satisfied with the feel of it.  Despite making all of the points I wanted to make, I’m extremely glad that I was unhappy with it at the time.  Now, I have a few new things to add.  And now, I intend to leave out all of the nonsense…or most of it, anyway.

Given how close the first book in my series is to absolute completion (and what I mean by that is readiness to be published, not finished with writing), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about publication.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the past several years – even before this second series started working itself out in my head.  Of course, when you finish writing one – or even sometimes before that – it starts crossing your mind.  And those thoughts begin slowly as, “Maybe I should try to get this published.”  They soon transform into, “Yeah, I should definitely try to get this published.”  Then, once you’ve discovered a magical gem that was hidden somewhere in the depths of your being, it is finally, “This NEEDS to be published.”

When you reach the point where you’re either serious enough, or curious enough about publication, you begin doing research.  The very first thing you learn about?  Agents.  Agents are the heart of the publishing industry, pumping the blood – a story – through all of the appropriate avenues.  Agents help you get your book completely ready.  They handle the contracts you couldn’t begin to understand.  They support you.  They do everything.  They get you published.  That’s what you learn.

For a long time, I thought that was the only way.  Self-publishing was only for people who COULDN’T get published otherwise, or so I believed.  And I will go ahead and say that I’m more than aware that a lot of people who self-publish do it because they CAN’T get an agent, for whatever reason.

When you begin to dig deeper into everything – the way it all works, all of the options…everything – you realize that there are options.  There are pros and cons to both sides.  I’m not knowledgeable enough about the industry to list all of them as fact; I can only list off the big issues that are currently swirling around in my own head, where they pertain to my own work.

I will tackle the self-publishing first because, to me, it’s the easiest to tackle.

You pay for everything, right?  You pay for your cover art.  You pay for this, you pay for that.  It ends up being quite a lot of money, unless a couple thousand dollars is pocket change to you, or unless you’re extremely gifted at formatting and design (I am not gifted at either of those things).  There’s the – absolutely legitimate – concern that you won’t even make enough money back to cover the initial expense of it.  To me?  The money it would take is nowhere near pocket change.  It’s a big investment.

At the same time, in order to get people to buy your books – because how could they even know who you were? – you have to self-promote shamelessly.

Do I like the idea of that?  Uhm, yes, in a sense.  I like it that people are passionate about what they do.  Do I want to do it?  I am bashful and backwards.  You take a guess.  Am I passionate about what I do?  You have no idea how much.

Would I get over my bashfulness and backwardness to help my books?  No, but I would do what I needed to anyway.  I yam who I yam.  I don’t want to change who I am; I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t.  I like being introverted; I like sitting alone in a shed with as little human interaction as possible.  When I don’t talk, I don’t over-analyze every word that I said.  I don’t get nervous and sweat profusely.  Don’t we all like being comfortable?  Again, I would still do whatever I had to…it’s all just a matter of how happy I would be with it.

Alright…So NOW, the big question is…

Would my books ever reach their full potential if I chose to self-publish?  I don’t know very many people to be like, “HEY!  READ MY BOOKS!”

This is another one of those things that sends this horrendous sinking feeling into my stomach, worrying that something I do will be the reason my books fail.  Before, it was a concern about the crappy way that I write.  I’ve come to accept the fact that, while my blogging (and texting, and messaging) is horrible – my book writing?  Well…it’s really not SO bad.  It’s not great.  It could be better.

It could be a LOT worse.

Which gets me to the gigantic flashing neon sign in my head right now, when it comes to going the traditional route.  This was already the source of The Big Question Mark (and has been for the past few weeks when the realization actually struck me [and yes, it gets its own name]), but I can thank one of my friends for unintentionally solidifying it for me.

Editing.

I woke up and laid there on that day a week or two ago, resisting the urge to groan about being awake – as I do every morning (or afternoon, depending on the day) – and had one of those eye-twitch-inducing revelations that woke me right up.

What if I get an agent, then they send my book off to an editor that changes things without asking me?  What if they ruin everything?

That was the, “Oh fdhc,” moment that day.  The solidification changed the way I thought about it.

There were no expletives running around in my head, which is a feat in and of itself, as there are almost constantly expletives floating around in my head (even when I’m in a good mood).  There were no simpleminded, one-sided thoughts.

Not everyone is going to like my books (I’d realized that a LONG time ago), and that’s fine.  More importantly…not everyone is going to appreciate them, understand what I was going for, the feel I want them to have, etc.

A good, solid editing is important.  I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to get a ‘professional’ editor to do it.  What makes them professional anyway?  As long as you have someone who understands the written word – the way words are used, the way sentences flow, so on and so forth – what does it matter?  You can’t do that yourself.  You can do a damn good job editing your own work, but you still need other people to help in some way.  They see things that you won’t.  They’ll catch your too instead of who.  They’ll find the places where you thought you were being descriptive as all get-out (you can see it in your head…never mind the fact that you left those little details out), and really weren’t.  Editing is important.  It’s key to releasing a good book.

But.

There comes a point in time when you’re editing yourself where, if you touch it one more time, you’ll be doing more harm than good.

There also comes a point in time where anyone else touching it will absolutely destroy what you’ve done.  You have to know when that point is.

I’ll compare it to a beautiful, antique cabinet.  There is a difference between refinishing and slopping a bunch of paint over something.  There is a BIG difference between those two things.

This is where I’m torn, you see.

I want my character’s story to be told as well as it possibly can be.  Don’t we all want that for the characters that we nurture (sometimes torture), and love?

You have to know where that line is located.  You have to respect that line.  You have to respect yourself.

You have to know what you want out of the thing that you love so dearly and completely.

The most important thing is that I have to stay true to myself, and to my writing.  I want the story told as well as it can be told, but – above that – the story has to be the one that I wrote.

I can’t – and will not – change the way that I write, or the focus of my stories to satisfy anyone.  What in the world would be the point of doing this if I was that quick to say, “Of course you’re right,” without giving it a second thought and asking THE most important question you can ask yourself when another person has looked at your work.  Are they right?

More often than not, yes.  Yes they are.

To me, there is such a difference between adding a word, taking out a useless sentence, or moving things around and then completely twisting and distorting who I am as a writer.

I can sit there and drive myself insane all day long, worrying that I will be the cause of my book’s failure.

But the fact of the matter is…I would rather be the cause of that by staying true to myself as a person, and as a writer, than throwing every bit of myself out of the window because someone else suggested it.  I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.  If it’s a sinking ship, I will ride that baby down to the bottom of the ocean.  Do you want to know why?  Because someone out there will get what I was trying to do.  Someone out there will appreciate the characters that I love.  Someone out there will GET IT.  I would rather them get me than get some painted up, antique cabinet.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t know if I want to publish traditionally.  Could I?  Yes.  I believe wholeheartedly that I could.

WILL I?

I’m not sure.  But I can tell you right now that, if that happens…I will not let anyone destroy the integrity of my work.  Not to make it more marketable.  Not to make it easier to stomach.  Not to make it easier to understand.  Not for ANY reason in the entire world.

That’s just the way it is.

And now I’m hearing Bruce Hornsby in my head.

Could be worse.

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.