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.
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.