I’ve been asked many times: “What is it like to be a writer? That’s so cool!”
This a response to that, but it’s a personal response. Not something I believe all writers think or feel. Every writer is unique and experiences something different.
Writing is an escape. It’s a very personal journey to write the stories that are in my head. Which is why a lot of the scenarios in my head don’t end up on paper. My mind is a dark place, hence the blogs about the dark staircases.
In normal circumstances, I would respond cheerfully, “It’s a lot of work, but so much fun. It’s the best.” The answer isn’t a lie. It’s more of a sugar coating. For instance, when I finished To Dream is to Die for my publisher a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d be excited. I had met my deadline, and the story had grown so much. But when I glanced over at my third monitor, I saw my reflection. There wasn’t happiness or relief. There was anger. My furrowed eyebrows, and lips turned down betrayed my success. Although it was a success, I was mentally spent.
Writing allows me to fight my inner demons. And even though I had been self-publishing for years, it had never felt real until now. Now, others would be reading my dark contemporary fiction. Others would judge me and tell me their opinions.
Because it’s being officially released next year, I have to give the world a glimpse into my personal world. In Dead Dreamer, I gave Brenna the words I could never say, the strength I wish I had, the “IDGAF” attitude I pretend to portray every day.
I’m releasing blogs, promotions, ads, anything to hopefully gain an excited audience. Those who want to read this story and find out what the Fade is to me. And it terrifies me. Like anyone, I’m afraid of rejection and hate. There are nights and even days where I’ll be working and all of a sudden I’m in tears with fear. The thoughts circling: “What if they hate it?” “I’m not a writer, I’m a fraud.” “No one will read this crap.” “All of these ads look stupid.” “No one wants this.” “This is horrible.”
The living can be more terrifying than the dead. So I hid in my own world. Peering through the windows as I traveled further into the abyss of my mind. Because I’ve always wondered and still wonder if I’m being lied to (again). If my friends are really my friends. If my writing is really bad, but no one has wanted to tell me. So many questions, that I’m sure many others have faced.
But eventually, I pull myself back. I wrote Dead Dreamer because it’s something I wanted to do. It’s something I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. I can take the criticism. Learn from it, and improve my future work. I will break down. I will cry. No one will comfort me. I will be alone in those moments.
But in the end, my strength will build back up, and my journey will continue. Because no matter what, I want to see this finished. I want the world to see the book series completed and published.
If anyone reads this and feels the same…don’t worry. In the end, it will all be worth it. I have faith in that belief. One day, the hard work and pain will have all been worth it.