April marks the second anniversary of the release of my debut novel and these past two years have felt like an eternity or a blink of an eye depending on how I choose to look at it.
Since its release, many people have said wonderful things about CAN’T TAKE IT BACK and their reviews filled me with pride and happiness. Some people didn’t like it and their reviews (which I know I shouldn’t have read) filled me with doubt and sadness. Luckily for me, there were more good than bad but eventually, once the debut buzz wore off, I had to move on to writing new projects and trying to sell them.
That’s when the passage of time moves into an eternity, because I really thought I’d have released another book by now and the fact that I haven’t makes me feel like a failure. As much as I try to disconnect the “business” of writing from the craft, I know I’m more focused on selling a book rather than writing one, and that shift in my mindset isn’t serving me well at all.
Looking back on my last several newsletters, I can see I’ve been using that space as a way to work through my emotions, while also trying to put a positive spin on everything. I’ve talked a lot of about writing for the love of writing and pushing through the disappointments. I’ve talked about hopes and dreams and wishes. About fresh starts and cutting myself some slack. And all of those sentiments have merit but I know they aren’t always helpful (or true). Because emotions can’t always be wrapped up into a neat little package and topped with positive affirmation bow.
I almost didn’t send a newsletter this month because I didn’t think I could find a positive spin on how I’m currently feeling. But then I told myself I didn’t need to. Maybe I just needed to keep it real and share that I’m having a tough time right now.
Words aren’t happening. I’m scattered and unfocused. I find myself jumping from one project to another without really accomplishing anything.
Will the words come back? I’m about 87% confident they will and writing will fill me with joy once again.
Will this feeling of failure come back? 100% it will and as much as I may hate it, that’s just a part of the business.
That said, no matter what happens in the future, two years ago my debut novel released into the world and I became a published author. It may not always feel like that’s enough, but that doesn’t make it any less true.