RebuildingI’ve said it over and over; writer is who I am, author is what I do. Well, these days it’s more like: writer is who I am, stare-at-blank-pages-and-watch-my-amazon-ranking-decrease-by-the-nanosecond is what I do. I am a writer. No one can take that away from me. But in terms of writing to finish the multiple novels I have in progress, I’m not writing. Football teams get rebuilding years, so why can’t I? This, as in 2015, is my rebuilding year. I came out of the gate strong – a novel (or more) a year from 2008-2012, all of which were published in some form. I spent the entire year of 2013 editing my most recent failure, I mean novel, which was published in December of that same year…and I never really got back on the wagon. Publishing that book was the worst experience of my young writing career and left me jaded, bruised and certain that I, in fact, was not good enough to be an author. Yes, I spent a solid 12 months feeling sorry for myself. What can I say? I have a hard time letting things go.

To be fair, life has changed me too. I’m not the starry-eyed girl that I once was and now know there is no such thing as a story-book happily ever after. There’s ‘we might not kill each other and are too stubborn to just let things go’ and ‘I’m very attracted to you but it would be great if you didn’t speak or have an opinion’ and maybe, if you’re lucky, ‘we get along pretty well and still find each other’s thoughts and feelings relevant.’ Needless to say, love isn’t a go-to plot point for me these days. Now, I’m more about finding yourself in the blackness of life – carving out your little portion of forever and finding a shred of peace in the madness of existence. So I carve away, rebuilding something that could someday resemble a soul and read books like, ‘How To Fix Your Novel’ and ‘Writer’s Doubt’ both of which are very good, by the way.

I imagine this is what those who are truly mad must feel like when they stop taking their medication because they ‘feel fine’ and don’t need it anymore. I do need to write, but I just…can’t. Random thoughts jumble in my head at night when I try to sleep, odd words spill out into the emails and content of my day job and people I’ve never met are angry with me for refusing to finish their story. What if the sad truth of the matter is there is nothing left within me to share? What if the sad truth is…there never was?

Like I said – a rebuilding year.

Writer vs Author

I held my book yesterday. I didn’t cry, but I probably could’ve. It’s so shiny and pretty and I absolutely can’t thank Crescent Moon Press and the amazingly talented team there – Marlene, Stephanie, my editor Farrah and the woman behind the cover, Angelique, enough for such a beautiful final product.

Playing With Fire

First time holding published book

So now comes the hard stuff. Promoting while trying to finish the series while trying to work a full-time job AND be a mom to my kid and work on my marriage. Geez, I’m already pooped just typing all of that out. You finally get your book out in hard copy and you think, ‘Wow. I actually did it!’ for about ummmmm, five minutes before you realize that’s just the beginning of your journey as an author. I’m a big proponent of realizing that being an author is a job like any other. Writer is who I am, Author is what I do. Writer, if you really are a writer, just comes naturally. Author is something you have to work at and ironically, more times than not, fights against who you are. Authors have to put themselves out there and meet people and smile and promote. Most writers are perfectly content with a laptop (or pad and pen), coffee and a comfy spot. Trying to manage any kind of promotion is very much pushing the envelope for us. BUT…like all things in life, any destination worth getting to requires you to get off your ass and get there.

It’s almost Christmas. o.O It’s also almost 2014 and let me tell you, I am so ready to be done with this year – that’s my new favorite number.

Talk soon. Love, CT