I have been staring at this screen for about twenty minutes trying to figure out where to begin. Start in this deep dark hole I have dug? Reverse it? Show me crawling ass backward out? No. I don’t even know where to begin. I have never been good at structure, at format. So I will just let it flow as it comes.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. And that is such a strange thing to say. What does it mean exactly? Did I want to be a writer or did I want to be an author? Both, I suppose. I don’t want to write in a journal for therapeutic needs, only. No, I want to have my words read around the world. And they are, they are now, thanks to a little app on my phone. Instagram has brought my name and words to people around the globe. All I have to do it log into my website to see statistics telling me where people are checking in from. It still blows my mind. It is a beautiful thing, but it can also be damning. If you’re not sharing and posting constantly, using the perfect hashtags, connecting with the right people, your numbers will not grow. (Don’t even get me started on the new Instagram algorithm which has dealt me a considerable blow.) All of this madness has created an unhealthy obsession in me. I have an addictive personality, one that has never led me to truly harmful substance being put into my body, but nonetheless thrown me into all too common obsessions. I have an unhealthy addiction to social media and my phone that I am working to kick. It has affected my mental health and my relationship. I have recently started sleeping with it in the other room, thanks to some pointers I picked up by joining the More Social, Less Media program. But anyways….
The pressure to constantly post new writing on my Instagram has boiled over, and I have decided to take a step back. I have forfeited the race. My page is now more colorful, filled with images of what I am reading, my life, whatever I choose. My page is not a ‘writing page’ it is a ‘human page’. I am a human, and I have to do what it right for me. What else is right for me, and necessary to my mental health? Letting go of sale obsessions.
Earlier this year I published my first novel! Exciting right?!?! My dream had come true. Sera’s story, it means so much to me. There are those who scoff at romance, at the writing world I am entering into. The negativity is everywhere, but I don’t care. This story is more than that to me. I have a lot to learn, it is evident in this freshman debut, but it is honest. That is the one thing I can promise you will always get from me. There are those who say honest writing always wins out. Maybe that’s the case, maybe it isn’t. The underdog isn’t always going to win, let’s be real. I know that writing honestly doesn’t guarantee me sales, and I saw that, Burning Muses did not sell well at all. I made myself sick all release weekend watching sales, comparing myself to others, getting lost in unrealistic expectations. The magic of that beautiful moment was taken from me by my own self doubt and obsessive traits. But now it’s out there. I’ve moved on from that darkness, and I have learned SO much. I know what to do next time, I know what NOT to do next time. Rest assured, there will be a next time, and it will be as honest as Burning Muses. I will never sell out. I will write what I believe in.
Despite the depression I have been in lately over the business side of this writing adventure I have embarked on, I do see the light. I do see the luck I have found. My next poetry book releases this summer. Tell Me Where It Hurts is a brutally honest look into the madness that many of us face. The daily struggle of those who live with depression, anxiety, abuse scars, self doubt, fear. Poetry doesn’t sell well. Let’s be honest. We all know that. Yet, I still hit publish. I always will. Authors like Tarryn Fisher and Colleen Hoover have shared my writing, bringing readers who may have never given poetry a chance, to my work. I can never thank them enough for pushing their readers a step or two out of their comfort zone.
I promise you I will always try to do the same. I will push myself. I will put the writing first from this day on. I will push you to look inside of yourself. We will get through this together. We can let this poison go.