This is the end, my friends. Of this series, anyway. I plan on keeping y’all updated from now on since you’ve been so cool and supportive and just plain awesomesauce. Thank you for going on this journey with me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been empowering for me to write down what happened, to be real, and to dissect my thought process and motivations. I hope it’s been helpful or at least interesting for you as well. (To catch up, you can read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here.)
One thing I want to address before I tell you where I am now is how grateful I am. I am extremely lucky to have been able to focus on writing fiction the last couple of years. I’m not saying you can’t write novels if you work a full-time office job -of course you can- but I just want to acknowledge that I’ve been crazy lucky to have had the space and time to write these books. I know I’m fortunate and I feel so much gratitude for my current situation.
I’m also lucky that I have access to mental healthcare. Without insurance, therapy is expensive and, although everyone deserves healthcare, I know not everyone has it. I hope we see that change very soon. Being able to talk through my bullshit with a professional has been invaluable for me and I wish that everyone could reach out to a therapist when they need help.
Speaking of reaching out, that was something I had to tackle with these books. I hate asking for help. I hate networking. Just the thought of approaching someone and letting them know I need something from them makes me shudder. I don’t want to be a burden but it’s more than that. At some point during this process, I realized that deep down I think I should be able to do everything myself. I also realized that’s insane. I made myself ask people for advice and, to my surprise and delight, they were lovely about it; they went above and beyond for me. Some of these people were strangers but they took time out of their days to give me helpful hints or to point me in the right direction. When I asked writer friends if they wanted to be beta-readers, they all said yes right away and gave wonderful notes. Then they did it again for book two. That’s about six hundred pages these incredible people read for me just because I asked them to. My husband patiently listened to me talk plot problems and character ideas on countless walks and helped me brainstorm over many a cocktail. It’s been an amazing lesson to learn: if you ask for help, you’ll get help. You don’t have to go it alone.
So, here’s where I am: The first book is done, it’s just waiting on its cover. (I hired a really fantastic artist to do the covers and a great editor to copy proof the books. Both are ladies; both are fierce.) The second book has been through beta readers and I’m currently incorporating their notes. Next step is editing and another cool cover. My hope is to have the first one out in October and the second one out in January but we’ll see. I’m not putting pressure on myself. I’m going with the flow! And, I’m outlining book three right now. So, that’s where I am. I’m excited and terrified. I’m proud. If anyone has any advice on marketing, let me know! I have no idea what I’m doing but, honestly, that’s beginning to become part of the appeal. It feels like when you’re a kid and you spontaneously decide to try a one-handed cartwheel just for the hell of it. You might fall on your head but you might not. That’s exactly why it’s fun.
I’ve let go of the outcome of this. I’m really focusing on the process and the process is pretty awesome. As I was telling my friend the other day -another writer- I’m in a real “fuck it stage” these days and I gotta say, it feels good. She told me “great things come from fuck it stages” and I think she’s right. So, I’m gonna keep on keeping on and I’m gonna keep you posted. I know this ‘behind the scenes’ stuff is weird and maybe not the marketing campaign most people would advise (LOLZ) but I feel okay about it. I would even go so far as to say I feel good about it.
So, yeah, I still don’t really know WTF I’m doing but instead of feeling scary, it feels sorta perfect.
Because fuck it.
*The last and final (thank goodness) terrible bathroom selfie is from my curly bangs stage yayyyy.