I read over the last few posts and realize that they are VERY depressing. Problem is, yes they are. It’s part of who I am. I am a depressed, on edge, often overworked, under-promised, single mother with a love of music, low tolerance for common idiocy, and full of anxiety. Nothing is easy, nor does it come that way. I had to push for my music, push for my schooling, push to get my daughter to wear a bra, or say a word, and push to remind those supposedly close to me that I exist.
There are some writing posts that talk about online presence, and how you need to be positive, promotional, and downright full of cheer. Sure thing! If I am trying out for the Dallas Cheerleading Squad. I learned early on, to tell things like they are. The more you fake, the more you drag others down into a fairytale of bullcrap. If someone is kind enough to publish my work, it should be because I did the work. I did the couch-sitting, back-breaking, fingernail tearing work that made me go slowly bald. I agonize if my character’s mother ended up being too much like mine. I worry if my character mouths off with a flippant answer, how much of me is in her, and how much of that is apparent. I stress over the fact that I use associations that make many people steer left into a car crash, instead of steering right to the bookstore for another chapter.
I cried when my first draft ended up being around 300k words and I realized that would never fly in a breakout author. I still cry 6 drafts later when I end up with 150k words and watch multiple agents on twitter state that the first would should be around 100k. I write about spiders and angels, and fire ants, and truck drivers, and people who have so many layers you wish you could peel them back like an ice cream cone – And, I worry that nobody else will see it.
Sorry to say I spent 20 years writing stories out of my head and into the trash can. This ‘trying to get published’ thing is completely new, completely frightening, and feels like torture – of which I have been through before in my past. There’s not a day that goes by, that I don’t secretly regret making this promise to Ben and my now deceased mother, that I would attempt to send out my work.
There’s also not a day that goes by that I wonder if I can bring joy to anyone that might read it, and think it might be worth while. It’s like teaching my daughter words. You try, you find new ways, and you repeat 80 times and keep going – till one day when she spends all day giggling and saying ‘Halloween’, even if it is near Christmas.
So, in my way I am apologizing for being an 80’s gothic, depression loving gamer, with a penchant for supernatural lore, a love of history, and a range of music that caused me to get kicked out of my own school more than once. If there was ever a mentor for this type of thing, I wish I could sign up for one. Until then, I will continue to type out my thoughts between chapters, and hope that it washes away in a job well done.