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Making Your Own Path

So, update on Book One re-editing. It’s going well, but slowly. I’m mostly making really small changes on things I missed or things that always bothered me, and I’m continuing to enjoy my own story. Which is nice. Sometimes, I actually find myself grinning at how much I love these characters.

I am starting to feel anxious about releasing Book Two again, though. Part of it is just the same reasons as before. That people won’t “get” the story, or they will misunderstand my characters. Another part of it is the not new, but finally accepted feeling of not fitting into the writing community. My process is too different. I don’t follow the same rules. I don’t agree with the generally accepted advice. I disagree with the norm. I cause waves.

I’m weird. I always have been. Magic Inc. is weird, too. It would have to be, seeing as it is my heart and soul poured into book form. Sometimes, I wonder what I’m doing releasing these stories into the world. Jane is me. Her experiences are mine. It’s all too real and too vulnerable. What if they hate it? What if they hate me?

I’ve had it implied that I’m not serious about writing because I don’t write everyday. Because I don’t (and can’t) treat it like a job. My anxiety is just too overwhelming. And to be honest, I just don’t agree that forcing yourself to write creates the best work. Not for me, anyhow. Every writer is different.

Writing is my life, and it has been since I was eleven. Writing is my art; I cut myself open and pour my heart and soul into it. I am a very serious person, on all fronts, but my writing… it’s basically sacred to me. It’s my spiritual therapy. It’s my vocation. It’s all I have to give to the world.

And that’s the thing. I could stop publishing. I could write just for myself and hide away from the online world the same way that I usually hide from the “real” world. But then I would have absolutely nothing to contribute. It would feel like I didn’t exist. (It already feels like that, sometimes.)

I used to believe that there would be some people out there who could benefit from my stories. I still hope that’s true. But it can be hard to believe in. To believe in yourself. Especially when your formative years were filled with bullying. And in some ways, it’s easier than ever to lash out when you don’t like or agree with someone. (Even I’ve done it, occasionally.)

I fear that Jane and her journey will be just as misunderstood as I was growing up. And believe me, I wasn’t perfect, either. I judged other kids; I did stupid things. But I never fit in anywhere. Something that has continued fully into my adult life. I’ve always been forced to make my own path. I guess that’s just the way it is. I will do what is best for the story. I will do what is best for my writing process. If that makes me an outsider forever, then so be it.

But it’s lonely making your own path.