As most of you can see if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time that over the last month I’ve really become hit or miss here. It isn’t for a lack of wanting to post here, but rather things to say. When I come to this blog I want my posts to bring value to your lives, not just always be about what books I have out to buy.
Sometimes, that means I don’t always have things to say that I believe will bring that value. However, today that isn’t the case. I’ve taken some time to refocus myself after nearly walking away from this business.
I needed to really think about why I am here and what I’m doing. I love writing. I have written stories and books since I was a very little girl. Even when I’m not actually ‘writing’, I’m still telling stories. It is in my blood, a part of who I am. In my day to day life, I will create these elaborate stories about random things and often times, my youngest daughter will jump in and contribute to these stories.
Storytelling is a part of who I am. It is my gift. One of the greatest things that is mine solely to give to the world. Only I can tell stories like me.
I think that is something I’ve forgotten since deciding to take this to a professional standard. After finishing my first novel, I decided this was what I wanted to do with my life and I was going to be a professional about it. I read blogs, books, and absorbed information at a rapid rate.
This is something I think first-time authors do terribly wrong. Not all information and advice out there is good advice. In fact, most of it contradicts one another and it can be rather destructive instead of helpful.
Still, I had no idea what I was doing and those out there with books had to know more about how to do the process right, right? That isn’t true. They knew their processes. The things that worked for them. That didn’t mean they’d work for me.
There had to be a magical key to making this all work. There simply had to be. So, I kept studying and reading. If you saw all the writing books I have lying around here and the training classes that I have purchased. Good heavens, I could wallpaper a house with it all.
The thing is that none of it made what I do any easier. It didn’t make it make any more sense and it certainly didn’t show me the magic key to anything. The one thing that has worked for me – writing. I write and I absorb all sorts of avenues for telling stories. It has made my own storytelling skills stronger. I write things and I finish them. When I’m done, the trick is to write some more. Begin again, in Neil Gaiman’s terms.
Studying how to plot better, character creation, brands…none of that worked for me. In fact, it sapped my love for telling a great story faster than anything. The more I studied and tried to learn these methods the more stressed out I became.
It became harder for me to write. Sitting down every day to tell the world these elaborate images in my head felt more like a chore than a gift. It was the worst feeling ever. And one I’d love to say has only happened recently, but it hasn’t.
I traded in my passion for what I do for the proficiency of index cards and dot to dots.
While I still was able to tell amazing stories, there was a sense of passion and love for writing that took a hit from it. Recently, I got to thinking about that. During my time away when I wasn’t working on the Treaty of Dragons series, I felt like I was failing you as my readers and myself.
I have the first two novels fully written and book three should have been completed by the middle of February. I beat myself up consistently over this. The usual tirade of why wasn’t I writing? And what kind of writer doesn’t write? Am I working the books in the wrong order? Do I need to replot book three if I change which dragon clutch comes next?
It was tireless and I found myself not working even more. It got to the point I sort of gave up. I didn’t want to think about the series any longer and I didn’t want to keep fighting it.
I just needed to breathe. So, I took a step back and tried to regather myself.
What I did figure out was that I had way too much free time on my hands. Games weren’t cutting it and I’ve never been a huge television watcher, so I grabbed a notebook. I began jotting down what was flowing through my head.
Genre didn’t matter, none of it. This was for me and nobody else. I need to get this story out of my head. It’s something that has been there for several years. I’ve simply been doing what I do best and naturally. I’ve been telling the story in my head.
It has been such a freeing experience. It’s been the reminder of the fact that naturally, I am a storyteller. It is what I do. It’s what I’ve always done.
If I stop trying to analyze why I tell stories, how I tell stories, or what is the perfect way to do it and simply let it be. Do what comes so naturally to me and just tell stories to the best of my ability then I have such a joy when it comes to sitting down to write once more.
That is what I needed to remember. If I stop poking the bear and be proud to be a storyteller. Understand that I do know what I’m doing. That I can tell amazing stories and rapidly if I just get out of my way and enjoy what I do.
Now, if I can only remember this later on when the feeling of being so free might be harder to come by and life starts to put the crunch on me once more. If I could simply get back to this place of just being and grateful for the gift that I’ve been given…that is something I’m really going to try to do right there.
Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.