A little over twenty years ago, I started writing a book. It wasn’t for money, fame, notoriety, or anything like that. It was never going to be read by anyone other than me. I wrote the words because there was a story inside me I needed to tell.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve written more books, more poetry, more words that may never see the light of day, but they’re all there, and maybe one they’ll be published. Maybe.
The thing is, I NEED to write. I LOVE writing. I love exploring the worlds inside my head and giving life to hundreds of different characters from normal-ish people, to weird and wonderful creatures like wolf shifters, dragons, angels, and demons. I write from my heart.
Every character has a tiny piece of me entwined through their actions, words, and sometimes their thoughts and beliefs.
I write first for me. When I’m writing, there is no depression, no PTSD, no anxiety (although that does come after the first draft). There’s no one telling me how I should act, how I should feel, or what I should say. There’s just me and my words.
BUT... when the time comes to share those words, the anxiety kicks in.
Am I good enough?
Are these words too real... too fake... too triggering?
Are my words too similar to another author’s words?
Are they so different that no one will like them?
So many questions run through my mind, and there are never any answers. Because some people will love my words, and some will hate them. And no matter what, I will question myself repeatedly.
I’ll go through stages of overwhelming euphoria, and deep, dark despair. I’ll shed tears of joy when people tell me they loved my story, and tears of sorrow when those anticipated negative reviews come in.
Not everyone will like me...
There have been many books I’ve started and haven’t been able to finish. Books I haven’t liked, and books I’ve read and wondered what on earth the author was thinking when they wrote it. But when it comes to my books, I guess I see the whole world differently.
And that is MY problem.
A problem I wish I could fix. But I can’t.
I’ll always feel the sting of a review that points out everything the reader didn’t like, everything they thought was “unrealistic” or “ridiculous”. It hurts when you’ve put your heart and soul into a story and someone “hates” it. It hurts when you’ve spent hours at computer typing words, revising, self-editing, revising again and rewriting, only to have someone come along and point out everything they don’t like about it.
It hurts because I am human, and I have feelings.
I’ve heard you have to be pretty tough to be an author.
I’m not tough. But I am trying.