For the first time in nearly a year, I’ve started writing. I don’t really want to get into all the deep, personal reasons why I haven’t written, but just know that I have them. I didn’t just drop off the face of the Earth without cause. I didn’t abandon my dreams, lose sight of my goals and shove you all (my readers) into a dark hole for years without a good reason.
Let’s call if my quarter-life crisis.
And man, did it suck. But at long last I’m finally feeling ready to start writing again. I don’t know if I’ll publish anymore books, but I’ll definitely be writing on a more frequent basis. I figured a good place to get my feet wet would be here on the blog.
I was speaking to a good friend last night and he asked me why I never updated it anymore. I had no good excuse for him, only the truth. He knew most of it already, as most good friends do, but I told him I would write again soon despite everything that has happened.
So here I am, holding true to my word. I’m going to reignite Flash Fiction Fridays and also do some writing of a more personal nature throughout the week.
There are some things that will change here. For one, the look of this blog. Back in the day, my agent and publisher told me this blog had to match the theme and tone of my book. Well, my book was a flop and this design never really matched it’s theme anyway, so get ready for a design overhaul. Don’t freak out. It’ll be okay. Change is good.
As I look at this blog now, I think it’ll be a good change. This place is like an abandoned mall, once awesome and full of expensive beautiful things, now darkened and broken, probably full of hoodlums.
That’s right, this blog is full of hoodlums. Beware.
Anyway, I also wanted to answer some questions before I begin our regularly scheduled programming. I know you all have many of them (you guys email me a lot). First on the chopping block is Blood on the Moon. Yes, I know I haven’t given out any info on it for a long time.
You want brutal honesty as to why? I just didn’t care about BOTM. Or rather, I cared, but it was too painful to think about. It was like talking about my dead baby or something. I loved Blood on the Moon SO MUCH. Like, so much you guys. I worked my ass off on those books. I poured my soul into them. And they flopped. I never even made my advance back.
And it sucked to think about that. I already had so many terrible things happening in my life, thinking about BOTM was just too much to handle for a while. So I’m sorry beloved readers, for abandoning you, not answering comments here on the blog, not returning emails or Facebook messages. I’m sorry I put you all away in a hole and tried to forget about you. It was only for self preservation purposes, which I know is a shitty excuse.
To repay you for your patience, I want to give you the full, uncensored story on what’s happening with book three. I know you’re all jumping out of your skin to know when it’ll be released.
Just a warning: you may not be happy with the end of the story.
Okay, so I have about 40K words of BOTM 3 written. The story is plotted out, so I know what will happen, but I’ve yet to write the majority of it. About two years ago, I contacted my agent and I tried to get her to sell it to Running Press, my publisher. But, she also wanted to sell another book with it, make it a two-book deal. Cool, I was in. I wrote a book called Fear the Reaper and I loved it to death. My agent, however, thought it needed work. Cool. I worked on it, sent it back to her a month later, but she still thought it needed work.
Rinse and repeat. Six times. I worked on that book for nearly a year, to no end. It was never good enough, never right, never what she wanted. I was working so hard, wracking my brain, using every trick I knew to make this new book perfect. But it never happened. Eventually I gave up. Stopped trying. Figured, I wasn’t a good enough writer to sustain a career. I could write one or two half-decent books, but in the end I had nothing to say and no story to write.
I gave up.
So BOTM 3 was lost as well. Its fate had been tied to Fear the Reaper, and since that book never made it to sellable status, neither did BOTM 3.
Now, years later, it’s still in the exact same place. I haven’t spoken to my agent in months, havent written a word in even longer . . . and the truth is, I don’t know if the third book will ever be published. I don’t know if my agent wants anything to do with me anymore after I flaked so many times. I don’t know if I’m good enough to write professionally. I don’t know much at all, really.
But I do know that I have the writing bug again. It crept up on me one day out of nowhere and whispered: write something. You’ll feel better if you write.
See, I’ve been suffering through a huge depression for about a year now. And something in my brain told me that if I just started writing about my gnarled up emotions, I’d feel better. So I did. And I do feel better.
After talking to my dear friend last night, I know the next step in updating the blog. I have to cop to my mistakes and my failures in order to overcome them. I can’t slide things under the rug anymore and just hope that if I can’t see them, they won’t affect me. Things don’t stay hidden forever. Eventually, everything comes out.
So now it’s out. I’ve been a lame, lazy, lackadaisical loser. (How’s that for alliteration?) I thought I was going to be this way forever. I had started to give up on myself the way I had given up on writing. And then my friend reached through my phone and kicked me right in the ass in the best way possible. He said words I hadn’t heard in a very long time.
He said I am strong. And I can handle anything. And I’m a badass.
And the most important thing he said: “You already know that, you just have to believe it.”
At first, I didn’t believe it. But I was laying in bed afterward and it hit me suddenly and without preamble: I do know it. I am a badass. I am strong. And I can handle anything life throws at me. Because in addition to all of this, my friend forgot to mention that I am wicked smart, creative and sensitive. And that means I have no excuses. I’m totally capable of handling my shit. I don’t get to check out just because it’s hard.
So this is me, not checking out. I’m writing again, and it feels amazing. I feel like ME again, and it’s been a long, long time since I felt that way.
I guess, I have to face it. I can’t deny it anymore, not out of fear, disappointment or anything else. I admit it, people: I’m a writer.
I’m many other things as well, but down in my core, I’m a writer and a poet, a romantic, a lover of art and beauty and books. I’m someone who has to create, has to make things to express how I’m feeling. I have to have that release. And my favorite way, the only way I know how to do that is to write.
Without writing, I’m not me anymore. Without writing, I’m empty. And I never want to be empty again.
Tomorrow is Friday, which means I will be releasing a Flash Fiction story. So I have to get to work. I’ll be scouring Pinterest for story kernels to pop and burst into an epic tale. You can join me there, if you want, and pin stuff for me to write about. I’ll make a board for us all to pin on. Just message me on Pinterest and I’ll invite you. I’d love to see what you think I should write. JenKcreates is my handle and I’ll post a link to the board below.
Here it is, yo. Click it!
So here I go. Off to write things and create things and share them with the world. Hopefully, in some small way (or maybe even a big one) it’ll mean something.