I find myself in a place of genuine discomfort.
After years gaining confidence and finally growing comfortable sharing my real life journey freelancing online and here on my blog , I have decided to start publishing some of my fiction. It’s harder than I expected.
But it’s not like coming to the conclusion to publish was easy either. I spent years – years – writing fiction. I remember finishing my first book in my mid-twenties, a romantic suspense novel of love, murder and revenge. I was so proud to have completed it but then came the problem of selling it. I sent it out to agents and editors and then sent it out some more, receiving mostly form letter rejections but also an occasional personal letter (they wrote letters back then!) offering some kind, positive feedback before crushing my dreams and my soul.
I pretty much had the exact same experience with my next book and my next. So I edited and revised, continuing to write and submit to those agents and editors, thinking that I wasn’t good enough, but hoping that maybe one of them would think I was.
But then a funny thing happened. Or a few funny things. I somehow became middle-aged and started giving a shit less about being traditionally accepted. I realized that I, someone who could barely turn on a computer, had somehow managed to build a social media platform. That many of my fellow online writer friends were self-publishing and just maybe I could too. And that while my fiction wasn’t going to win any literary prizes, it was fun, engaging and entertaining; and many people would like it.
The idea started to take shape and grow, slowly and carefully, like a bubble, until finally one day I said, I’m doing it. I’m going to put a book or two or maybe even three out there in the summer sun and let it fly, because I did it and because I’m proud, and then I’m going to move on, start fresh and write something completely new.
Still, writing fun, sexy beach reads presents a challenge in small town suburbia. I worry about what people will think of me. Even worse, I worry that people won’t like it; that judging eyes are everywhere whispering about my craft, my character and my content. But as difficult as that is, I know it’s part of the gig.
So I need to remind myself to be brave, to keep putting myself out there and to stand behind my work; that I can’t worry what people think of me, only what I think of myself. Because pushing beyond our comfort levels is often what makes us better.
It’s not an easy lesson, but like my writing, I’m a work in progress.
Also available for the Nook and Ibook.
Murder Across the Street. Coming Soon….