To my writing friends:
I haven’t wanted to write in over a year. Sure, sometimes I’d force out a paragraph here and there. I kept up with a bi-weekly article series I do. But to actually write? To follow up on my debut novel that released a year ago? I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t get past the “what about after?” stage. The marketing and the begging. The constant concern that I’m not good enough. That I’m not strong enough. All the things that come after the actual writing is over. My friends tried to help me. They finished reading my debut and left Amazon reviews. They shared it with their friends. But as strong as they were, my anxiety was stronger. More than 60 positive reviews and I still doubted all of it. My own worth. My own abilities. I hated myself for even trying.
I know that there’s a strong correlation between those who write and those who live with depression and/or anxiety. I know I’m not alone in the crippling fear and the self-doubt that plagues you as you just want to create something worthwhile. Something real. I know how hard the process is and how every hill seems like a mountain. I know. And I can’t help you surmount all of that. Just be aware: sometimes it gets better.
I wrote 17,000 words this weekend. I can’t tell you exactly what broke the dam, but a huge part of it was the conscious realization that I never HAVE to publish another book if I don’t want to. I never HAVE to beg and plead and count reviews again if that’s too toxic for me. I never HAVE to do anything. But I want to write. So this weekend I did. And the minute I stopped worrying about what anyone else would think of it, when I gave up on all the things that would come after– I found myself finally able to do so.
I know that this isn’t the solution for a lot of you. I’m aware that the end-goal for so many people is to make something that people will read. But that’s just the thing– no one will ever read what you don’t write. Maybe someday this will be worthy of putting forth again. Maybe I’ll be willing to face all the mountains for a chance of someone seeing it. Maybe I’ll get the fan mail that my debut novel brought me. But none of that was ever going to happen if I didn’t put down the words first. And I couldn’t put down the words if I was afraid of what would come after. So… none of that matters. Time to go back to my roots. Write for me first and don’t worry whether or not others may decide to follow.
Whatever demons are keeping you from putting that quill to paper– I wish you the best at fighting them. Because I think you probably have a story to tell. You probably have a tale that’s going to save someone.
And it’s okay if that someone is just you this time.
Like this post? I wrote a more in-depth article about writing here.
So I know I’ve been saying how excited I am to have finally hit Quill and to know that my book will be in the hands of actual people sometime in the near future. But, honestly, I don’t think it hit me until today.
WE DID IT, FAOII! WE REACHED QUILL!
The Last Faoii is officially worthy of select publication. Everyone who pre-ordered will get their signed copies (and those who order in the next month, as well). It will be available as print-on-demand on Amazon. It will be a real, true book. And I am nearly speechless…
Five years of working on this. 200 agents that either said “no thanks” or nothing at all. Dozens of re-writes. Thousands of moments of doubt. All of it has finally come to this. No matter what happens now, this book will be a physical, real thing. People will be able to read Kaiya’s story. Her world will not be lost to oblivion.
Thanks to all of you.
I can not adequately explain my feelings on the matter. For so long, this has been my everything. And now there’s finally a chance of it becoming more than that. Mostly, I feel humbled. Elated. Terrified. Alive.
It is wonderful.
The battle isn’t over, of course. There’s still a couple weeks left in the Geek and Sundry Contest. It’s going to be hard– damn near impossible, actually– but according to the rejection-letter-origami-zoo I have sitting in my office, so was getting this far. “Impossible” is just a word, and not one that is in faoii vocabulary.
We’ve made it this far. We can take that hill, and we can still claim more victories in the final month before the campaign ends. The idea of “failure” is officially behind us– there is no losing now.
Fight on, Faoii. I have never been so proud of this army as I am now.
Thank you for everything.
Orders, Faoii! Listen up!
We’re getting close, Faoii. We’re only 40 or so pre-orders away from Quill and select publication. If nothing else, we can earn that victory.
It’s a little more sobering to realize that we’re 100 unique readers away from the top 3 in the Geek and Sundry contest. And we only have 21 more days to get those readers. That hill is more challenging– but I think we can make it, too. I know I keep telling you that I want our banner on that hill– but it’s more than that. I want to be able to put The Last Faoii in the hands of young people across the nation. I want to give them a heroine that’s worthy of being emulated– who’s more than a pretty face looking for a husband. Who’s strong and fierce and wearing armor that covers all of her vital organs. I want young LGBT people to have someone whose main characteristics isn’t that they’re LGBT. Kaiya is a warrior, a woman, a faoii— she’s more than “just” a lesbian, and I want people to be okay with that. And I think a lot of you do, too.
So prove it. Help me get this book out there, to as many people as you can. I want to win that contest because Iwant Kaiya to help us change the face of fantasy literature and heroines. We can do that. We are faoii.
Send your friends to inkshares.com/books/the-last-faoii. Write a review, recommend it, pre-order your own copy… but help it become real. Time is running out. We will do this.