Because let’s face it, there’s a crapload out there to be fearful of when it comes to writing:
The success or failure of other writers
Falling behind the curve or being way ahead of it
Writing great stories
Writing craptastic stories
What are other writers saying
What if other writers aren’t saying anything at all
Doing it right or doing it wrong
Being the same
And there are countless more fears… We all share some level of the same fears, but we also share some level of more personal ones. None of it feels good. Fear can motivate and fear can paralyze.
I’ve talked about fear some this year, and it would seem that while I thought maybe I’d admitted most of my fears, it turns out I was wrong.
I promised a book by the end of October and I didn’t deliver. Then I promised it by the end of the year and I didn’t deliver. I then promised it by the first week of February and still nada. So, while I’ve been working on this book, I’ve not finished it. And part of the reason for that, is fear. I’m scared.
Are you wondering why?
When I started working in the Southern Shifter Kindle World, I had only planned one book, Ink To Bear. Then, I was asked if I’d write another one. I said yes and added on to Gus and Bex’s story with Inked By The Bear, which ended in a bit of a cliffhanger. I didn’t want to leave it for long, but I did have other commitments to finish at the time, and I worked on it. Real life bit me in the ass HARD and I lost all sense of time beyond exhaustion; mental, physical, and emotional. I didn’t have anything else in me. I had no creative spark. I’d sit down to write and end up going to bed instead. I looked to all the things going on and I just couldn’t do it.
Now, when I was writing Inked By The Bear, and hearing a lot of other voices in my head, I got a wild idea to connect all my bear worlds into one big conspiracy. I drew no frills diagram on my whiteboard. I started playing with how to connect things in my brain. It consumed me and I was ready to spend the next few months on this.
Then life happened. Then the holidays happened. Then deep thinking happened. Then new directions happened.
And in the midst of all that, fear happened. What the hell was I thinking? I couldn’t connect different worlds like that. I couldn’t pull off something that big. I didn’t and don’t like reading things that intricately woven together, how on Earth was I going to write something so intricately woven together? I wasn’t a paranormal romance author. I don’t watch all the paranormal shows. I don’t read all the paranormal romance books. What the hell was I thinking? I didn’t and don’t have people I can turn to and ask for help in plotting such a massive over-arching storyline.
Those were just some of my thoughts. There were others. The point being, Bearing The Ink isn’t finished and part of it is because of fear. Fear that I wouldn’t measure up. Fear that I would fuck it up. Fear that I would tank more than I usually do. Fear that other writers would laugh and mock. Fear that they wouldn’t even notice. Fear that readers would hate it. Fear that I would hate it. Fear that I would fail. The thought of succeeding never entered my mind so I couldn’t be fearful of it. I was and am very scared and it paralyzed me.
Paralyzed. Past tense.
I’m still fearful. In fact, I’m scared shitless. But I’ve been scared shitless since the beginning of the 2016. I’m writing contemporary in a new voice and trying new things. I’m looking at marketing a little differently. I’ve walked away from a couple of projects. And I’ve begun working hard on Bearing The Ink again. All of it scares me. Every bit of it. The fear of screwing up, of making a fool of myself, of failing freaks me the fuck out and I truly want to go crawl into a hole. But, I’m not going to. I’m going to do this, no matter what. I’m going to deliver the book. I’m going to continue writing. I’m going to figure it out.
And if you’re along for the ride, hold on.
If you’re waiting for Bearing the Ink, please hold on just a little longer. You won’t be disappointed.
I don’t know about y’all, but I need A LOT of words this weekend. I need ass in the chair, fingers on keys, and words pouring out of my eyeballs onto the screen.
It’s week 5 of 10K Weekends For Writers and week 4 was a pathetic effort on my part. I got less words last weekend than I’ve gotten all year long and we’re only in February! (Can you believe that, btw? I mean FEBRUARY!)
So, bring your manuscript, your determination, your motivation, your terrible for you snacks (or if you’re one of those who can eat healthy writing having a writing binge, go on and bring your carrot sticks and water)… But it’s time to get down to it and write.
Author, bloggers, college students with a paper to write… Let’s get it on!
Add your name to the Linky below and keep track of your word count. The social media hashtag is #10KWeekendsForWriters. Grab the little badge if you want, but join in! Challenge yourself. Can you write 10,000 words between 7pm tonight (Thursday) and Noon on Sunday? Why noon? Because it’s Super Bowl Sunday. I didn’t forget. Hell, I’ll be watching and pulling for Peyton! And for those who won’t be watching, you can have until 10pm as usual. But for those watching the Super Bowl? It means is that YOU and I have to get the most words in BEFORE kickoff, before you start the party, before the beer is cold enough…
So, you ready?
As Peyton would say O M A H A!
The title of this post was the first line of an email I received and while Shirley likely didn’t and doesn’t expect an answer, I’m going to give one anyway.
It came from me. It came from deep down inside me. Claire is me and I am Claire. At least, parts of me are. At least parts of her are. And she needed to come out. She needed to breathe. She needed to talk. I needed to let her. I needed to shut off all the shit inside my head and let HER out, let HER talk to me, to you, to whoever wanted to read about her.
It’s not a long book. It could have had more added to it. Thousands of additional words, but you know what? No. It’s good right at the length it is. Too many more words and would have been the same extraneous crap that fills most books, the superficial shit that doesn’t need to be there.
But it’s good where it is. It ends as it should. It begins as it should. It follows a personal journey. It follows a timetable. It follows a thought process, though at a deeper level. Facts have been changed, but the pain remained the same. Healing happened and the catalyst was real.
Those initials in the dedication? They’re all real people. Three Dominants and a male submissive. All real. All I know. All who helped this journey at one stage or another. It’s personal and you don’t get to tell me that it’s not true to the lifestyle this time. You don’t get to tell me it’s not BDSM enough, or BDSM at all. You don’t get to tell me ‘Oh but you don’t write that.’ You don’t get to tell me to change the blurb, change the cover, change how I promote it. You don’t get to tell me the characters aren’t damaged enough. You don’t get to tell me that it’s really vanilla wrapped in kink. You don’t get to tell me it’s not important, that it happened to quick, that it needed more, that it isn’t real. You don’t get to tell me shit because there are parts of this that you haven’t lived, that you haven’t touched, that you haven’t known. Until now.
Some books take off. Some don’t. Some have a short shelf life. Some don’t. Some names, some stories have finite existence. Some don’t. I’ve been told enough that I couldn’t, shouldn’t write certain things. I’ve had, and let, myself be told how and when and what. And let’s be clear… i LET myself…
I wasn’t strong enough. I was a newbie. I listened to others tell me how to tell my stories, what visions I should have, what I needed to do to if I was going to make it… I listened. And I was MISERABLE! As a writer, as an artist, as a storyteller, I WAS MISERABLE! Add in some personal trials, some heartache, some emotional challenges, and I was THIS. CLOSE.
But, then… I met someone who let me talk. Who liked words the professional world of writing has never read from me. Raw, unpolished, from deep in my soul words. Words of desire, passion, forgiveness, and growth… And that was when I knew. It was time….
All the negative, undermining, should’s and shouldn’ts, need to’s and don’t need to’s… All the voices I kept hearing in my head, all the words I kept seeing from emails and reviews and memories too hurtful to keep inside anymore… All the caution and safety and hiding behind walls, both personal and professional, came down. And you know what it came down to? It came down to Fuck you. Fuck. You. It’s not your book to write, not your story to tell, not your business to make or break, not your life to live. Fuck. You.
I turned to a friend who told me it was okay. Who said You Got This.
One turned to me looking for advice and help, but who, in the end, helped me.
Four active in BDSM, who all taught me many things about myself and the lifestyle.
And then, I wrote. I said fuck you to everything and everyone who ever said You Shoudn’t Do That, and I wrote. I poured my heart out, my soul out. For 27, 000 words, I cried. I hurt. I gave it my all. And I sent it out into the world.
Then, I got scared. I texted my friends. I was scared. The voices came back. The doubt, the fear, the anxiety. It all came back. What had I done? What was I doing? I don’t write this. I don’t put myself out there like this anymore. I don’t get personal anymore. What had I done?
When Shirley’s email came in last night, it was like a balm to my bruised and battered being. I told a story that made someone else cry. I told a story that made someone else FEEL! Do you understand what that’s like? To make someone FEEL? To make someone else’s eyes tear up while they’re reading my words? MY WORDS?
Break Me is a new voice. I’ve been telling y’all it was coming. It’s different for me. It’s new for me. And I love it. Do you understand that, too? I love this voice, this vulnerability in my writing because it’s fucking real. It’s painful, it’s beautiful, and it’s MINE. It’s ME. It’s been locked up behind doubt, both self and from outside sources, you know, those successful, know all the things people. This one story, this voice… This is who I dreamed about becoming, who I dreamed about being when I began writing. This is who my college English professor saw through the words I wrote in class. This is who the catalyst saw through the words none of you have ever seen.
I have said Fuck You more times in the last 4 weeks, than I have said in my entire life. Every piece of self sabotage or self doubt has received a hearty helping of Fuck You. Every bit of anyone telling me what I MUST do, what I MUST write, has received a helping of Fuck You, too.
I want authentic. I want real. I want ugly crying. I want joy. I want the stories I want to tell to be what comes from me. Not what is safe and sound and that fits perfectly into this category or that slot in promotion. Will I be successful in the business of writing/publishing/selling my soul to the Facebook Gods? Probably not. More than likely not. It doesn’t work that way. You have to conform. You have to do what everyone else is doing even though we’re all sick to death of it all.
One of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies, Wonder Boys, is “He respects us enough to forget us, and that takes courage.” He is the writer. Us are the readers.
And my happiness is worth more than fitting in to a writing cookie cutter. I want the books I want to write. It’s reckless and it’s daring. It’s scary and it’s brave. It’s my fucking story to tell and it came from deep down inside me.
Thank you to T for breaking me. For helping to shatter my ability to trust myself and others. Same goes for J and L and S (female)…
Thank you to JR, the blue collar atypical Dom, for helping to put me back together again and for making me laugh through it all.
Thank you to another S (male) for letting me open up, for letting me share, for letting me explore my own emotions, and for reading each and every word of Break Me without judgment.
Thank you to m for showing me another side of selflessness, of selfishness, of devotion to self.
Thank you to Shirley for the email Friday night… For asking where this book came from. It came from me.
And thank you to Scarlett Dawn and the bringing together of so many wonderful authors and the many different voices to tell stories from The Club.
Break Me is available now….
It’s that time again and y’all I’ve got a crapton of words to get down this weekend. 10K minimum! Who’s with me?
If you’re new to this, all you need to do is sign up with the Linky at the bottom of the post, then start writing! That’s it! Oh, and we talk on social media, encouraging each other through the weekend with the hashtag #10KWeekendsForWriters
Blogger, or author… Come on down! Keep track of your word count and let us know at the end of the weekend!
One of our participants last weekend, author Amy Ruttan, logged 14K! How awesome, right!
Snag the button from the side bar. Tell your friends. Invite people to join in! The more the merrier. This is about building community, getting words down, and having fun challenging ourselves!
Let’s Get Writing!
It’s that time of the week again! It’s time to get your write on! Meet those deadlines. Get started on that new WIP. Get beyond that scene that’s had you deadlocked. Or get those reviews written that you’re behind on.
10K Weekends For Writers is open to writers and bloggers alike!
With the impending Winter storm headed into the East Coast for the weekend, if you have power and can write, it’s the perfect time to do so. Get something warm to drink, bundle up, and get writing!
Sign in below to let us know you’re playing along and leave a comment at the end of the weekend with where your word count started and where you ended up!