Today is an anniversary of sorts. It's been six years since I became a published author. During the past 2190+ days I've experienced a number of exciting firsts and achievements. I've made connections with wonderful people and made online friends who have enhanced my life.
At the opposite end of the spectrum I've weathered a number of storms. One in particular (think hurricane rather than downpour) nearly broke my spirit and resolve and if not for a supportive and select group of authors in the same predicament I may not have survived at all.
Yet here I am. Stronger. Wiser. And admittedly far more cynical and wary.
Prior to the storm I faithfully followed the expert's advice of what a newbie author should do. I got a website. Joined Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I organized blog tours with other authors and wrote countless blog posts. (Not here. Elsewhere.) Social media networking and marketing became the norm and this new, fascinating yet frenzied online activity consumed my days and nights.
While I was busy doing all of these things I neglected my actual writing. Three years in I realized I'd lost the joy of writing and felt like a fraud. How can I claim to be a writer if I don't write? Reclaiming the joy of writing has and continues to be a struggle.
Therein lies the problem.
This week I took a long hard look at my writing career. The statistics from both a creative and financial standpoint are telling. You've heard of the proverbial starving artist? That's me. In more ways than one.
Disgusted and demoralized I made a snap decision to quit. Retire. Vacate the building. Stop writing. Period.
In truth the idea has been lurking around in the recesses of my brain for months. Ages have passed since my last unicorn under the rainbow sighting. I could no longer ignore this truth. I did not have the strength or stamina to paste a smile on my face and pretend all is well in my make-believe world.
But here's the rub.
My retirement lasted less than 24 hours. All night my mind swirled as I fought the greatest internal battle a writer will ever face. I cannot stop writing! It's mandatory. Necessary. As essential as breathing oxygen. And guess what? I don't want to quit. Writing is what I do.
Even when I'm not writing, I'm a writer. It's who am I.
Which brings me back to my writer's anniversary. Yes, it's been six years since I became a published author, but I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I've always had a pen in my hand.
This blog is a testament to that truth. I AM a writer. To the very being of my core. It's who I am. What I do. Writing defines me.
And so, I made the decision to begin anew. Fresh. Renewed.
This new blog is and will be different. For starters it will be less rather than more. Forget the hype and bling. I've never been comfortable with either. Still, I can't help but fret it's so far removed from what one would expect of an author that I continue to have second thoughts and wonder why I'm contemplating doing this.
If anything this blog is a release valve. It's a "proper" blog in the true sense of the word and if I end up being its only reader, well, that's okay too. I need a place to record my thoughts, my feelings and all the nonsense that's swirling around inside my head.
Join me. If you like. Or not.
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