Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I don't even know where to begin...

The past few days have made me an emotional wreck for three reasons.

1) I released Love You, Always last week which is a book that has more of me in it than any other story I've written or story idea I have. The book deals with loss, grief, family dynamics but also has a lot of love between friends, family and new love.

When I started writing this story, I was grieving. Not for the same reason Anna (the main character in LYA), but for several others. I was grieving my marriage that was on life support and I was grieving for the girl I used to be before I lost myself in my marriage and being a mother of four kids.

I didn't get very far with the manuscript before I set it aside.  I had forgotten about it until nearly six years later when I stumbled upon it while cleaning out my old files on my computer.  I read the prologue and balled my eyes out. I couldn't believe I wrote it but it lit something in me and suddenly it was all I thought about.  Once again, I was grieving but for completely different reasons. My sadness, my grief, my regret, my forgiveness, my hope,  and my love is in this book which makes me feel extremely vulnerable.

2) I put Until Now for free on Amazon. My expectations were quite low. I thought maybe a couple hundred people would pick it up. I was wrong. As of right this minute, it's been downloaded nearly 11k times.  My hands are shaking as I type this.  I know that only a small percentage will actually read it. I still have several free books on my nook that I have yet to read and I know I'm not the only one who has a stock pile of free books, but still...  I'm gearing up for the negative reviews and criticism. I'm imperfect, my books are imperfect and I'm okay with it, I expect it, but I'm still bracing myself for it.  I want people to be honest with me. I really do, but it still hurts. It's like someone calling one of my gorgeous kids "ugly".

3) I've been struggling with the story I'm working on, Love Me. I recently deleted 20k words from it which is over a weeks worth of writing. It was for the best and I'm glad I did it but it put me in a funk. I finally set it aside and started working on the next book in my cue which is the second book in the Until series. Until Us which is Katie's story.  It's going easier and I'm happy about that but it does get frustrating to get into a story then hit a block.

Put them all together and I'm a vulnerable mess.  But I'm glad I'm a vulnerable mess. In the past I would do anything to avoid feeling vulnerable or exposed. I'm a natural wallflower but every time I step out, I feel a little stronger and I need to be stronger to keep going when I get bad reviews or people hate my stories. It reminds me that it's not about them but about me and the stories I want to tell.

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