One year ago today I shared the news that No Mother of Mine was available in paperback. While the eBook had been released the month before, I was thrilled when the paperback became available because after working on the book for a year, I finally had a tangible object I was able to hold to prove it hadn’t all been a dream.
Now that I’ve finished the second book in the series, I’ve been in a relationship with Jorja and the other characters in my books for over two years now; although the actual story about Jorja has been in my head for much longer than that. It was because of the constant thoughts in my head about a story I just had to get out on paper, as well as the absolute need to finally do something about my passion to write, that I finally sat my butt down in a chair at the computer and began to write.
Did I really know what I was getting myself in to when I first wrote, “She awkwardly carried the bundles wrapped in the sheet as she left the house by the back door,” as part of the prologue? Did I really think I’d actually publish the book or was there nagging doubt that it would just fizzle into nonexistence? Did I feel confident enough to share the story and the characters with my family, my friends…even strangers? Was I ready for the world to read, review, critique and respond to the book, whether the feedback was good or bad?I bet if I had thought much about it, all the doubts and fears would have kept my fingers stiff and unproductive over the keyboard. Instead, I wrote for myself, not for others and not based on what I thought they may or may not like. It is advice I’ve heard again and again over the past two years and it’s probably the best advice any writer can receive. You must write for yourself; plain and simple. Doing so leads to a much greater satisfaction than if you struggle to create only what you believe others will buy.
So I wrote a story, even though I had no idea whether others would enjoy it. Once I finally finished the first draft of No Mother of Mine, I was then brave enough to tell everyone about it. It was a big secret I kept from all but a few, so when I finally put it in writing as the first post on this blog, I knew I had cemented my fate. There was no turning back or I’d risk letting myself down, as well as many others who expressed their belief in me.There are many turning points when it comes to writing, as well as many firsts which happen again and again with each book and will likely feel just as nerve-racking the 10th or 20th time as it did the first. I truly hope I get to find out if that’s true. After just publishing my second book, I know I have a ways to go but I have a head full of ideas and many years ahead to get them all down on paper.
Here’s to another year with Jorja and the rest of the characters and here’s to another year with great friends and readers like you.