While I was writing True Vines, my first novel that’s due out in a few months, I cannot tell you how many moments I had that I thought, I cannot do this.
I cannot write a novel.
Who do I think I am to even try? I’m a upper middle aged jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. My best years are past – they flew by while I tried to learn languages and adjust to newness, which seemed to be all the substance that my existence was made of. Adjusting. And now there I was, white MacBook at an odd angle jacked up on one leg, my neck sore, my pulse running, trying to capture what these characters, these flawed, beautiful characters were telling me to write.
Except that I wasn’t a writer, so why was I even bothering? Who would publish anything from someone who wasn’t even a writer? Sure, there’s my blog, my seven year attempt to unscramble what I had gotten myself into by buying the farm in Italy in the first place, and there were those two half finished books on floppy disk (remember those?) in a desk draw somewhere, but that’s different. Those things don’t make a writer, do they?
Sometimes I’d go into my studio and just bury my head and pound my fists. Cry. Scream.
Until I succumbed and just did what I had to do. I told myself to:
Write without worrying about finding an agent.
Write without worrying about the agent finding the publisher.
Write without worrying about nobody buying it.
Write without worrying that a year of my life could be wasted in the futile attempt to say something I wasn’t even sure about saying.
Write without worrying about exposing too much of myself.
Write with one single purpose in mind:
To give voice to what’s inside.
I stopped convincing myself I wasn’t a writer (what is a writer, anyway, other than one who writes? Why worry about appearing to be something I already was? But that thought came later – much later).
When I’d feel the doubt, I’d say out loud, “Just write, damn it.”
And when I stopped resisting, characters appeared out of the mist, each with their own story to tell, with passion, with hopes for the others, wanting to explain, be understood, believed in.
Just like me.
Which is why I,never having pictured myself as a writer, much less a fiction writer, love writing fiction. To explain why people are the way they are when put in the circumstance they are in.
Because we all want to be understood, loved, believed in for who we are. We’re all vulnerable souls wrapped up in egotistical shells. It’s all any of us are. And we each have stories – stories upon stories – to tell.
And then, amazing miracles started to happen. A good friend became my editor. My editor became a partner in a wonderful, indie publishing company. My book was accepted by the publishing company. All of that without sending one single query letter, without dealing with one moment of rejection, and without an agent. This just doesn’t happen in today’s cut throat, impossible to get a handle on, rapidly changing publishing world.
But it’s happened to me. But for it to have happened at all, I had to stop resisting. Stop thinking it couldn’t happen. Stop thinking that my lack of educational credentials in English Literature obliterated my practical and professional linguistic experience. Stop thinking that others know more than I do. Stop thinking that no one would be interested in hearing my voice. Stop self sabotaging.
And I learned to accept that I am a writer. It’s a part of who I am. It’s a fundamental aspect of my work.
For help finding your work and your passion, consider my ebook, Your Truth, which I wrote as a result of all that happened to me over the past 19 years of learning. I wrote it after finishing True Vines. My express purpose in writing Your Truth was to explain how to reset the resistance, how to access your own energy and minimize the voices from outside of yourself that cause the second guessing. Your Truth grew from True Vines, which is another reason that I am deeply grateful that I put the time in and wrote the first book – it’s the continuous source of so much goodness for me.
A couple of blog posts ago, I wrote about marketing strategies for entrepreneurs and offered three free copies of the ebook for your best marketing ideas. No one shared any! I was surprised, but then when I thought deeper, maybe I should approach it from another direction…
Give me, in the comments, the thing that stops you from doing what you have to on the path to your work. Where do you hit your resistance? What does it feel like? I’ll give three copies of Your Truth for Kindle or in PDF form away for your honesty.
In addition, I’ll still give books away for your marketing ideas on the other post!