Do you see all those words there? They suck. They suck ass. And every last one of them are real. I know because I have first hand experience with each and every one.
Why is the title of this post ‘Under Caution’? Because that’s how I’ve been proceeding the last 7 years. Under. Caution. No green flag. Not even a red flag. Just the yellow one. The one that keeps you in place. The one that keeps you from moving forward or backward. Just going…nowhere.
The words over there <—-, I have been NONE of those. Part of that is because I’ve been holding on to Lissa Matthews for too long, the Lissa Matthews I started out as way back when. I’ve been holding onto her for so damn long and it’s not done me or you, the reader, any good.
The Lissa Matthews who wrote Pink Buttercream Frosting, Simple Needs, Sweet Caroline, Cracklin’ Rosie… She’s gone, y’all. She’s been gone since 2010.
A personal experience. A loss. A sadness. A weakness. All of those things took hold and never let go. I never let them go. I didn’t know how. (Let me tell you, this honesty stuff is HARD) But she’s not coming back.
So many readers have been waiting, hoping for her to come back and she’s not going to. She’s gone. That voice. That writing. That feeling. It’s all GONE! We all have to let her go. I’ve tried so hard to find her. To emulate her. To get her to show up, even for just a moment, and she’s gone. It’s hard to admit. It’s hard to tell y’all that. But it’s time. It’s been time.
So, if you’re waiting for her to come back, stop. Because she’s gone. Like the Hall and Oates song said, we better learn how to face it.
I know what went wrong, but I haven’t known how to fix it. And I’m still not 100% sure how, but it comes down to embracing the loss of that Lissa and embracing the Lissa who’s left.
I have to stop being scared. And I’m scared shitless. The voices I still hear. The words I still see. The disappointment I still feel. The time I’ve wasted and the uncertainty where I fit. The publishing world has changed while I’ve been riding around under caution. The expectations of readers have changed.
Every. Fucking. Thing. Has. Changed. And I know I can’t keep up, not going at the pace and direction I’ve been going in.
So, this is where we need to be. Where I need to be…
Facing my fears. Never giving up. Finding motivation. Excelling. Knowing where I’m going and why.
I don’t know how to get out from under caution, but I’m going to get the green flag. Lissa Matthews will still be writing. She, I, have too many projects and readers depending on me. I may try a new pen name, though. I may not. I may continue to write everything under Lissa Matthews. While I’m supposed to be concerned with my brand and making sure everything fits with everything else and who else reads me while they read others because that’s how some of the algorithms work with Amazon, I’m more concerned with finding myself and putting out books that we all love. You, the readers, and Me, the author.
I used to believe I could make it in this business. I haven’t believed that in longer than I care to admit or think about. But it’s time… Again… And if you’re one of the readers who’ve been waiting for the Lissa Matthews of Pink Buttercream Frosting and Simple Need to resurface, I’m sorry. She’s gone, her voice, her emotion, her naivete. It’s gone. I’m different. Lissa Matthews is different. It was never meant to be that way. It was never meant to happen. But it did. It’s time to move on and learn from the past and change and grow.
I can’t describe you how bad I feel at the moment after reading your . . . struggle. I wanted to write ”problem” but the word ”struggle” is more accurate because I know what you are talking about, again, because I also am struggling with myself, like you and I’m 30 years old, just starting to live my life (or so I hope). Everything you wrote completely describes my current situation. The anxiety and depression became an everyday routine for me and it’s suffocating me. I wish I could help people like you who are going through all this like me, but I can’t. I’m still trying to help myself, to dig my way out of it. To take a full control over my life.
So, the only thing I can do is to say that you’re not alone and that you have my full support and compassion, to overcome it. Some might think it’s strange to say ”you have my support” to a stranger, someone you don’t know, never met, but if you find yourself in their words, then it becomes familiar and in a way, you get to know each other.
I truly hope that you will find the peace you are craving, the love you need and above all, to find yourself.
Thank you. It has been a struggle, yes. That’s a great term to describe it. I’ve been struggling and admission of that, admission that I’m not the same person I was when I started writing, admission that that voice isn’t coming back was gut wrenching, but necessary. It needed to be said and those expectations needed to be let go of so who I am now and will be can fully emerge.
You’ll find yourself. Half the battle is admitting it and knowing you want to, and doing something about it.
I’m sorry to hear you have been struggling, whatever brought this on is your business, all I will say is to take care of yourself however you need to and if writing is still something that you do and share with your readers, then I believe your readers will be here for you.
Since I first read your books, my reading interests have changed, which is why I think you will always have an audience, should you choose to continue to share your work. However, the most important thing, which I keep trying to do in my own life, is take care of yourself because that is the most important thing!
And although we have never met, I definitely want to send you a big (((((HUG))))) and you can now say that you have been bold, fearless, daring and brave – you wrote and posted this entry!