Introducing me, an enthusiastic yet vulnerable first-time novelist blogging about how writing is hard.
Oh eff, I'm starting a blog. Of all the things I should probably be doing, giving myself additional writing to keep up with is not one of them.
Here's the thing: I'm writing a novel. I've never written one before. It's fun and scary and unsurprisingly difficult, and I feel approximately 3,000 different things about it every single day.
As a result, I now need to write about writing to cope with writing. Apparently.
Putting myself out here and talking about this whole thing publicly could not be more terrifying. I started tentatively telling people about a year ago that I was going to write a book. But I did it in a really awkward, jokey way to protect myself in the event of failure. "I was just kidding, haha, me an author? Okay."
I told people I was writing the lesbian Fifty Shades of Grey.
I should note that I've been told I come across as a shy, buttoned-up person. Even so, I stated this ambition to many people, friends and strangers alike. And I'm sure most of them thought I was joking, because I was... ish. But if anyone happened to be paying attention on a micro-level, they could see, hear, or probably smell the hint of desperation that I wanted to be serious. Look, if I thought for a second that I could come up with 80,000 words of kinky girl-on-girl sexytimes (or girl-on-nonbinary or whatever queer combo I wanted), I would absolutely consider it. I want to write this book that badly. But I also want it to be a well-written, fun thing to read, and alas, smut is not where my talents lie. I know. I've tried.
Yes, family, I have tried.
The truth is, the Fifty Shades comment wasn't entirely arbitrary. It came from a real struggle I was having that I'll elaborate on another time. But what I'm getting at now is I was afraid of several things, including never actually starting a book at all. So broadcasting an over-the-top half-truth felt like more of a commitment to move forward than continuing to silently plot (read: wish but not act) on my own.
Another fear, of course, is that I'll put all this effort into a book, and it will still profoundly suck. And since I've told all of you about it, you'll all get to see me faceplant into a pit of humiliation. There are people out there who've told me I'm a decent writer, but I'm not convinced. Instead I'm out here living the imposter syndrome life, waiting to see all the cringing faces when people finally read this book and see me for what I really am: average at best.
Nevertheless, my true intentions are out now, so no take-backsies. It's taken longer for me to take this leap than I intended because I hit a wall of depression that seemed so, so tall and endlessly long. But it appears I've finally made it up and over, and since then I've built some positive momentum around this yet-to-be-titled novel. Series, actually. I expect more walls ahead, probably at really inconvenient times — chronic mental illness is a hoot that way — but all I can do is try my hardest until I hit one. And then try even harder to scale it.
So, hi. I'm writing a book, and I'm going to chatter on about it.
This will most likely include, but not be limited to, pondering POV, sharing things that inspire me, worrying readers won't be satisfied with a super slow-build romance, wondering if I can write post-millennial dialogue using Urban Dictionary alone, etc.
And maybe pictures of cute animals?
That said, I am in no way an industry professional or writing coach or really any kind of resource writers might find useful to get published. If you're interested, like a zillion of those folks can be found elsewhere (here and here, for example), and they seem to have it covered pretty well. However, I'm all about sharing mutual experiences. I'd be super happy to hear from you if you're into that, no matter your level of experience. I'll offer up opinions and ask for yours, and we can be friends.
I'm looking forward to it.