Writing has been my salvation throughout my life. During times of highs and lows I’ve always been able to turn to my work and express what I thought and what I felt through my characters.
When I decided to publish I knew I was never going to be famous or make money from it, all I wanted to know was that people out there had experienced the little corner of illusion I’d created. Seeing your words on screen, for sale, and seeing them downloaded gives a thrill. You get swept into the world of promotion and seek out places that can increase your audience. You do everything you’re supposed to, create Facebook pages, and Twitter, create a website, and get yourself involved with any other social media platform that you can think of.
No one has ever understood why I write, let alone why I would do it and not share it with anyone – like I did for two thirds of my life. I can’t explain my passion for it, there’s no comparison in life. If you have a passion for something (not just writing, any passion at all) it comes from inside you. A burning notion to just do it. It’s almost an addiction. It can completely take over until you can’t not do it.
I’ve been editing for the last couple of days. I’m second guessing myself, worrying about my audience, or rather lack of one, and how my current work will affect any audience I have for my other novels.
Tonight I’m tired. I’m disheartened. I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to share. Finding out that sharing isn’t as easy as I thought it would be is tough. Most of my daily work has increased because at the same time I should be actually working (with my business) I stop and start messing around with the website, or the social media, or whatever. I’ve actually found that I quite enjoy it, which is all good. So why is tonight different? Maybe it’s just that us creative types have a flair for the dramatic but I’ve been working so hard. I’ve completed Explicit Instruction. I have my next couple of projects lined up. I’ve been keeping the pressure up on myself, which is great.
Except tonight I realised something. I might be excited about my new project but no one else is. I’m worrying about hitting a writing deadline that I have set for myself. In amongst that I have to run a business and a home, and we have summer holidays coming up when I know I’ll get less done.
Feeling the pressure wasn’t what stopped me in my tracks, it was the sudden clarity that my mental hype about sharing my work with people was just that: mental. It’s all in me.
On the positive side it means that I can let up on myself. I don’t have to rush out Explicit Instruction. I don’t have to worry about completing the Mistake Me Not sequel, or about ‘Love and Madness’ my next chicklit title. I can slow down. In fact I can stop.
Tonight I suppose I’m feeling blue. It’s a bit like realising that magic isn’t real, there’s no Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, and no one who would notice if I never wrote another word.
Man, that sounds dramatic and I hear you all groaning and wondering why I’m bothering to blog and it’s a fair point. My only answer is that I need to write. I need to do it. When I have something to process, a situation, or an emotion, I do it through writing.
So sitting here, falling asleep at the screen, trying desperately to concentrate on my work it hit me and I had to write. I write because I have to. I write because I don’t know how not to. I write because setting out thoughts in black and white is the only way I know. Without it… I don’t know who I am.