Once Upon a Time…
An Author wrote a blog post….
And then everything changed…
Greetings Liz Acolytes and even you, over there in the corner, wishing you had the self-control not to read my monthly ramblings about my life as author.
I’m going to draw your attention back, albeit reluctantly, to last month’s post. Because since then, I have had what we fiction writers like to call a “pivotal life moment.” And it was not a good one. Not at all.
It was so not good in fact, I’ve spent the past weeks since said pivot in a bit of a funk. Or rather, a snit. Well, I guess what I’ve been in is best described as a depression spiral.
Like I said. Not good.
I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say on October 7 I was riding high on life, feeling like a kick-a** success story of my own making and by the end of the day on October 8, I was in a sniveling, cursing (that never changes) mess on my kitchen floor. Due to no fault of my own, my life’s pivot moment had occurred. Well, okay, the most recent one but you get me.
“Fine,” I thought to myself at some point in that very long night of the soul. “I’ll just get myself back to writing. No biggie.”
The next morning or perhaps closer to noon after I finally got to sleep for a few hours, I got up, made coffee, sat down at my trusty laptop and stared at my own fingers for something like three hours straight. “No biggie, yet again,” I convinced myself as I launched into my favorite method of self-counseling by cleaning every square inch of my house down to the baseboards, washing and/or ironing every available stitch of clothing, shopping for healthy meals, walking the dog, then getting a mani/pedi. “I can get back to it. I just need some time to…process.”
I’m guessing you can surmise what happened next. But I’ll tell you anyway because that’s what I’m here to do.
Thanks to this thing that happened to me at the hands of some folks who let’s say don’t exactly have their act together and took some of that out on me, I did not write a single word from October 8 until…well….today when I’m sitting with my fingers over the keyboard, wiping out the cobwebs in an attempt to locate poor Hans the lederhosen-wearing hot Muse so I can beg his forgiveness. This is without a doubt the longest period of time I’ve ever gone avoiding my laptop like it was a shot of apple cider vinegar—good for me, but yet unimaginably horrible at the same time.
If you recall October’s Pro Rookie post I was in a jovial yet somewhat panicky mood, wondering how I’d “fit it all in” between my so-called dream job and this pesky little writing hobby I’ve developed over the past decade. I had projects, including a critical revise and resubmit to one of my Target Publishers, plus a co-writing gig with the amazing Desiree Holt. My agent was about to start submitting my first chick lit novel—that one thing that was born as romance and morphed thanks to her insistence, into something else. I had two massive concepts pressing against my cortex, begging me to slap them onto my trust MacBook screen. AND I was writing my very first serialized novel exclusively for Radish. I had episodes to write. Two per week to be exact.
I asked you how I might manage all of that, remember?
But to look back over the past five weeks, you’d think I had nothing more than grocery lists and weekly menus to create. Because that is the sum total of what I wrote during that period. I’ve been writing since 2008. My first book (thankfully for all of us, no longer available) was published in 2010. I’ve been working with small publishers, self-publishing, and querying my every long arse off since. And why? Well, we’ve discussed this before, my beloved fellow scribblers and I think we can agree that the answer to that question is “Because I have to do it.”
Many times I have described my writing—which has yet to net me much in the way of actual money or fame (yet being the operative work of course)—as something I do to unwind, to relax. “Some people garden or cook,” I’d say to anyone who asked (including the folks to provided me with my unwanted and unwarranted Pivotal Moment). “I make words.”
And I did. Usually in the wee morning hours, or on the odd Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It suited me. I understood it for what it was and what it was not. I’d evolved past my need to have “NYTBSA” after my name to validate what I was doing. I was working toward that, make no mistake but not having them didn’t cripple me as they sometimes do to us in our early, heady days of author-dom.
But thanks to that moment on October 7, 2018, I could no longer do that.
Yeah. I let someone else dictate how I spent my “me time,” even after I was no longer affiliated with them. Someone(s) who had zero respect for me or what I was capable of doing.
In the past few days, something about that started to gnaw at me, burn in my gut, and ultimately force me to realize something. When I said to all who listened that I “had to write,” I damn well meant it.
No, my agented book is not being fought over by multiple publishers. No, I’m not really earning any more than I once did on my existing, 20+ published novels. No, readers are not breaking down my door to demand more from me. But that, I now fully understand, is Not The Point.
Now that I’ve reached the end of his post, I want to thank you, loyal author-readers, and the folks at Savvy Authors, especially R.J. Garside, plus a few of my most stalwart fans for allowing me to use this time and this particular venue to announce something: Liz is Back. I’ve located poor Hans the Hot Muse, shivering and sulking in the back corner, his beer glass empty and his mind full. We are reunited. And while it won’t be easy—not unlike skipping the gym for a month and thinking you can just leap straight back into your Advanced Cycling Class—I am no longer going to allow anyone else to determine my worth, especially as an author. That is what I am. And I can’t make my big breakthrough and get discovered thanks to my amazing small-published, self-published, serialized novels unless I keep creating them.
Thanks for listening guys. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to do.
Happy November to all you Na-No types and for all of you (and me) remember, our success is what we make of it. The unwritten next great American novel will never get discovered.
Believe it or not, in the middle of all that chaos and inner trauma, I had a book release. And one that is rather appropriate for my general mood.
If you like compelling novels about strong women who are sometimes brought low by a combination of their choices and extreme outside forces, who rely on their female friendships to get them through the low points, and who must save themselves before admitting that a super dreamy hero is right in front of their faces the whole time…the I’d say pick up a copy of FireBrew today. Enjoy.
One wounded hero + one shattered heroine = an untraditional romance for the ages.
Jane Terrance believes her life is in perfect order. She’s got a great job selling commercial real estate in Detroit, a condo in Midtown with
her best friend, plenty of her own money, plus full control over the men she seduces and discards with regularity.
Trey Lattimer seems a little young to be retired from firefighting and, at first, he’s just another guy for Jane to conquer. But the harder she tries, the more mysterious he becomes, until his presence in her life does nothing but wreak havoc on her psyche.
When her carefully constructed world comes crashing down around her one violent night, Jane reaches out for a hero, a role Trey is eager to play—as long as Jane accepts she must be her own heroine if they’re to stand any chance at a real relationship.
BUY THIS BOOK!