A break. Let me explain.
My heart is heavy even as I write this. But after a few days of prayer and thought, I've decided to take a creativity break.
Let me explain.
As I've shared a bit previously, my Dad is undergoing some tough health issues. My Dad. My precious, brave, encouraging Dad. And it has taken a toll on me. I don't say this for pity. I only say this to be honest. Part of me has dreaded writing this post. Because I feel like it means I'm giving up. After all, when the tough days hit, shouldn't the writing flow? Shouldn't I be able to write through it? Create out of pain? Trust me. I've tried. But all that happens is my heart stays heavy; my fingers stay limp; and the writing stays terrible.
So, after the sweetest conversation with my husband, some thoughtful prayer, and encouragement from my family, I've decided to shelve my sequel for now. I've decided to limit my posts, my self-publishing push. And take care of my mental health. Take care of my family. I love this life--this writing life of mine. I will return to it too. But for now, I need to let my mind explore without timelines.
What will I do? Spend days with my family while my Dad recovers. Read. Freelance (bills must be paid, after all). Organize forgotten closets. Take care of household things. Write other stories. Or not. And most importantly, trust God through this tough moment in time. He'll lead me back to creating when he wants me to.
I hope to update this blog, here and there. To keep you updated on life. Until then, I adore you, readers. For your support. For your hugs. Looking forward to creating along with you someday again.
That little scoundrel. The jealousy monster. He's been rearing his ugly, pointy, scaly head again and man, have I had to fight him off. Hard.
When books don't sell like you hope they would. When reviews aren't pilling up like you wish they would. When your writing doesn't flow like you thought it would. Jealousy appears like a nasty beast.
"You suck," it says. "And those people? All those people out there--the writers, the authors, the successful dreamers--they don't."
"But, I'm doing what I can," I say. "I like what I've produced."
The monster simply scoffs. And grins. "Oh, really?"
And then a montage of everyone you follow's successful tweets and images and snaps flash before your eyes. Played to some stupid song like "We are the Champions"; but somehow with updated words like, "They are the Champions: And you're not."
Yes. Other people are successful. Will always be successful. And guess what? I want to be happy about that. Honestly--what right do I have to wish doom upon others, only until I too become as successful as they? I don't. What a hypocrite I would be too. To cast snide long glances and bad vibes on others as they share their successes--when all I want is to share mine.
Jealousy. It's a tough thing to battle. It's one of my weaknesses in life. Jealousy about others' fashion choices; income; hair length; weight loss; book sales; websites; follower count...and the list can go on. It can so easily consume me. To the point where I'm spending more time being envious over others' successes and less time being my own girl boss. And getting stuff done. Working on my own goals. Being confident about my own self. Joyfully accepting the path God has set me on. And rejoicing in being content right. Where. I. Am.
I'm working on this. This contentment journey. Always have been. Always will be. But it's something I constantly need to remind myself about. Especially when the jealousy monster appears in full force.
So. Here's to you. Your successes. Your goals. Your dreams. Can't wait to hear about them all.
Guuuuuys for a LIMITED TIME THE NAMING OF COLTON BLACK is ON SALE!
That's right, from TODAY until September 14th, TNCB is only $0.99 on Kindle!
The price will jump to $1.99 (still a DEAL!) on the 15th and last until the 18th, so snag one before the price returns to its original price ($2.99) on the 19th!
(And don't worry. I'll send out some reminders along the way :D)
Stuck. So, where do you go?
This is going to be a WILDLY far fetched comparison, but I'm feeling it, so here it is. Lately, after publishing two books and having an amazing book signing experience, I've been feeling stuck. Almost like an olympian coming off the high of winning a gold medal. (I told you it was far fetched.) It's an odd feeling, being here. I thought I'd revel in it more. But I'm feeling--stuck.
I know I need to press onwards. Put my face out there. Contact more people. Go. Go. Go. And yet--where do I begin? I rode the wave for a bit and now, I've crashed.
Now, I'm not saying this for pity. Because I've made this choice. I guess I'm just being real. And asking for some help. Help in how to cope. Help in how to move forward. Help in how to stay connected and sell books.
I would LOVE some advice. Or an encouraging word!
Thanks, all. XOXO big time.
I just wanted to say a big thank you for putting up with my inconsistencies lately. The blog. The newsletter. Social Media. It's all been rather off lately--and that's due to life happening.
Without telling you too much, my dad's been dealing with some not so happy health issues that have landed him in the hospital. Surgery; recovery; and many more long months of rest. Which is where my time and attention have been. Visiting; spending nights with my parents; encouraging them. It's hard, running a blog and business when things like this happen. Because you don't have anyone else doing it for you. When you drop the ball, everything stops.
But I knew that if I could explain a little, you'd all understand. Because, well, life happens. God is good. Family is good. And life will eventually find its new routine. Until then, expect a few more bumps in the road.
I AM working on this month's newsletter -- I am! It's just a bit late.
Thanks again, guys. You make this so fun.
I know you’re not supposed to highlight negatives in your life. You don’t want the bullies to get attention. The haters to get the spotlight. But sometimes, you gotta call out the negatives so you can remind yourself of the positives. So. Here goes.
I got a negative review.
It’s an odd one, though. While the reviewer gave it three stars and complemented the book three times (1. It was well written; 2. “it had some funny parts”; and 3. They “liked it” (not loved it)) they ended their blurb with “Do not buy.”
Knife in the gut.
Not going to lie. That hurt. Hurt to read words about my precious baby that I labored over for years. That I cried over; sacrificed my time for; loved on.
You cannot please everyone.
Of course, I’d rather be able to. Of course I’d rather everyone love my writing; praise me for my prose; for my plot lines. But that’s not realistic. Even the greats receive negative reviews. How then can I expect to escape them?
If anything, negative reviews tell me three things:
There’s a part of me that wants to cry. To stop writing the sequel to The Missing Crimoire (what’s the point? This reviewer found my plot uninteresting!) But that means letting one voice win. I can’t let that one voice win. Therefore, I will brush myself off. Hold my head high. And write.
Because that’s what I was purposed to do.
It’s not easy, ignoring the negatives. But it’s an absolute must if you want to remain joyful and continue your art. Keep at it. You’re awesome.