Friday, June 6, 2014

Reality VS Fantasy

I'm sure you're thinking that this post is about Reality VS Fantasy in books, but it is actually not. This post is about my writing and why I haven't fulfilled my promises when it comes to the second book in the Rapture Trilogy, why Butchered Love isn't out yet, and why I have been so quiet. 

Honestly, I never EVER wanted to make a post like this. When I first started writing I was determined to make all of my self-imposed due dates, and I did for some time. But then I started noticing other writers who could manufacture a book in less than a month, publish tons of books a year, that sold thousands of copies while they still had time to do other miraculous things like work full time, go to school, get married, take care of their 30 kids, etc. These women (and men) amaze me. I kept asking myself how do they do it? How come I'm not doing it? 

So I decided that I would (not have 30 kids, work, go to school, and get married) but write. I would write so fast my fingers would barely know what was up. I would be a writing monster, simply because -- if they could do it, then certainly I could as well. 
I bee-bopped along like this for awhile before I found myself swirling down into a pit of despair. I'm not a person who will claim that I am depressed or struggle some sort of unknown demons, though I think it is safe to say that anyone who writes, paints, draws, sings, dances, stands on their head -- any form of art, has some sort of struggle they deal with when it comes to inspiration and happiness in the form of the art they love. 

I quickly found myself falling behind my self-imposed dates. I would sit at my computer and look at my story and think. Why? Why am I so miserable right now? Writing is what I love, why is it a struggle? It shouldn't be so hard. It just shouldn't. This would end with my closing the computer after writing nothing. I cried about it multiple times. I knew I was capable. I knew I had the story in me, but where was it? Why was it hiding? I followed myself down into a pit of despair and felt like a failure--because that's exactly what I was--a failure. I hadn't lived up to my self-imposed deadlines. I let release dates come to pass with little to no writing. Just when I would get myself geared up to write again, I would fall back into a slump I couldn't get out of. 

As a full-time student I would make myself feel better by claiming school was the reason--school needed my attention, which is why I so easily feel behind on writing. I knew this wasn't true. I had plenty of time, even as a single mom, I had plenty of time to write, but yet I still didn't. 

Lately I've been asking myself why this is--how did I get to this place? And I finally figured out my answer. I'm not everyone else. 

I'm not a writer who can merely manufacture a story every month. I'm just not that person. I didn't want to accept it, but now I am embracing it happily. I am a person who loves research. I like to perfect my writing. I like taking my time, developing my characters. I'm not a beast who can form an amazing story in a matter of weeks. Things have to stew in my head and be re-read multiple times before I'm certain of them. Imposing those deadlines on myself made me desperate to rush, which led to bad quality of work. When I re-read the bad quality writing, it sent me into despair, because I knew it wasn't good enough. This in turn made me dread writing. DREAD! I would actually dread something I love so much! It was terrible, so terrible.

Accepting that I'm not everyone else is incredibly liberating. Writing is hard work and I want to be a better writer, and forcing myself to do it, will never make me better.

 I am a college student, a history major, for my writing. I am only twenty-three and I have come to terms with the fact that I don't know everything. There is a whole world out there full of things I have no idea about--but I want to. I want to learn. I crave it like I crave sharing my characters with the world. Being a student is my first priority, because I know I will never be the writer I want to be without it. It's like that saying--with knowledge comes power--and I fully believe that. I'll never be able to craft better stories, never be able to grow without knowledge. 

I am going to continue writing, in fact, writing has become so much better since I came to terms with all of this. Writing is my passion and I need it, but on my own terms, not by means of force because I am trying to live up to someone else's standards. 
I promise my readers that I will never stop writing and that the stories I told them were coming, they will get and I promise to give 110% in them. 

To finish up, my fantasy would be to be able to write a book a month and have them each be better than the last. Reality is, that's just not me and I'm finally okay with that. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Be looking for a writing update soon. 

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  1. I feel like I had a similar epiphany last year. Once I started going at my own pace it was like the stress literally fell off. You do what you need to do and I'm glad things are getting better! I read the first book in your Rapture trilogy after discovering your work through Kenya Wright and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Keep doing you and your readers will stand by you. :)

    1. Hi Victoria!

      It's so nice to hear that other writers have similar struggles, and that I'm not alone in this. Thank you so much for your kind words about Drowning in Rapture! That means a lot to me, because I've seen some great things about your writing! :-)

  2. I feel like I wrote this post. I have been having these problems and I'm no where near as busy as you or half the people I know! It basically came down the promising myself at least 350 words a day and not pressuring myself to do more. If it keeps flowing I can, if it blows I'll just stop. I've also started reading more again. I'd stopped because I felt guilty about not writing so I just turned into a couch surfing, TV watcher (because that makes sense and is a good way to alleviate my not writing guilt). I've also been reading personal development books like Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and The Success Principles to try and inspire me to do more, and that has really helped. But I still have crap days and have to drag myself out of the "It sucks! It all sucks! I'm going to print it JUST so I can set it on fire and dance around it!"

    1. Hey Honoria! I know exactly what you mean about the couch surfing bit. It's so easy to fall into that when I feel bummed about my writing. I'm happy you're getting things back together. I'm looking forward to reading your next book! <3

  3. take your time sister cuz your fan base will still be here waiting for your next book!!!

    1. Thanks Angie!!! As you know, I totally and completely heart you! <33