Yesterday my first book was officially released and the overwhelming support and congratulations that I have received is staggering and for that I must say thank you!
I wrote the first draft of Crooked Raven back in 2015 during a time where I honestly struggled to see the point in waking up each morning. I’d never seriously considered a writing career of any sort although I’ve always loved reading books and telling stories but when I was becoming lost in a dark point in my life I came across NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I can’t say why I decided to participate but clearly God knew what I needed when I didn’t because every morning I’d wake up at dawn, roll out from my nest of blankets on the floor, and write for hours just letting this fantasy world that had been brewing in my head empty into the computer. Beginning on November 1st I entered my word count each night and by November 30th I’d written 65,000 words as a completed first draft. This later evolved into the 85,000 word novel you now hold in your hands.
Now it’s 2018 and that book is published for people to read. It should be an exciting joyous and proud occasion and yet all I seem to feel is terrified. Terror is a greedy emotion, it fills all the crevices in your mind and heart spreading until it consumes your every thought. I’ve been waking up with pain from sleeping with a locked jaw and tensed muscles all due to stress and terror. While seeing all the love and support from friends and family yesterday and even today for my book made me smile it also fed the fear and called me a fraud.
The one thing I can’t face is disappointing those whom I care about. I’ve made mistakes and choices throughout my life and to see the disappointment in that person’s eyes…I tear myself apart. Of course I put all my best effort into writing this book, and the editing/publishing process definitely took a few years off of my life (haha), and yet as proud as I was to submit that manuscript for publication, once it became available and people said they’d ordered their copies and couldn’t wait to read it all I really wanted to do was hide, move to another town, country, maybe another planet. It’s silly, I know, but right now I just need to be a bit honest.
If it’s terrible then it’s terrible and all I can do is learn from the criticism and do better with my next novel. I know this and coming from a stranger or professional I would be fine to deal with this. But if a family member or friend spends their money and their time on my book only to be disappointed, I simply couldn’t face that. I don’t want people to crush me but I also don’t want people to lie to me or to put on a poorly done facade of praise. I’m a perfectionist (as much as I often wish otherwise) but when I published my book I let go of my control over it and am now facing an unknown future, an unknown response. I put a piece of myself on the block to be judged and it’s terrifying.
It’s a similar feeling to every time I stood on stage in a performance. Although at least if things went awry people would eventually forget about it, however with a book they can return to the scene of the crime anytime they wish. And yet despite the pure and utter terror I felt, I still pursued a degree in acting and loved it. And now here I am braving the writer’s path.
So there’s the honest embarrassing truth. I am terrified. There. I said it.
But despite this I still pushed that submission button and I still grab my notebook or laptop and continue to write, always working on the next story demanding to be told. If you’re afraid of doing something vulnerable, don’t be. It just lets the dark days win.
I am absolutely blown away by the support I’ve received. I honestly thought no one would care and yet the moment it went live so many people sent me congratulations, ordered copies, and told me how happy and proud they were. I began writing as a way through the darkness and although it’s not gone it’s a light and when I received your support during my book’s release I realized how alone I’d been feeling and just how loved I actually am.
I don’t want this post to be some dull sob story, I truly don’t. But I simply needed to express the depth of my gratitude to you all. You’ve touched my heart and although I’m still afraid you give me courage to keep going.
So from the bottom of my heart, whether you’re a reader or just a supporter, whether you love the book or decide it’s not a good fit for you, I thank you for loving and supporting me. It may have seemed a small act on your part to like an Instagram photo, to leave a Facebook comment, etc., but it truly meant a great deal to me.
Thank you ♥
(Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy)