I have some very exciting news that I feel so honored and blessed to share. Seriously, I think it requires a drum roll. Ready?
One of my bestest friends is getting her book published!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh! I am so freaking excited for her. No one is more deserving of this than she is. She has put in so much time and effort into this baby of hers and no one can really empathize with her more than I can because, well, I’m a writer too. I know just how hard that shit is! Some people have no idea just how difficult it is to write a book. They think, “just write it!” Or “Hurry and finish already!” Yeah, it ain’t that simple. There is so much planning, crying, and self-loathing that goes into the writing process. And I really wanted to take this time to share just a small glimpse into that writing world that few people understand, and to also address something that has unfortunately occurred in the midst of my friend’s excitement.
Let me start by reiterating something I said a few sentences ago: Writing is hard. It is seriously the hardest and most infuriating thing to ever do. As the creator of this world (in your novel), you have to think of everything. EVERYTHING. And everything has to make sense. I know. “Duh, Alex, of course it has to make sense.” That is a lot easier said than done. You want your characters to get from point A to point B? Awesome! But how? “Oh shit.” You want your character to be the secret ‘chosen one’? Why? And the reasoning better be complex as hell or else you just created a pretty cliche and boring story. There is so much to think about and dissect, but the reality is that most of that stuff is done on the fly.
The best writing is usually done when the writer isn’t even thinking about anything, just letting words flow onto the page. I’ve learned recently that when you’re in one of those moods, the ones where words are literally zapping off of your fingers, let it fly. Do not stop it. I have fallen into the habit of writing and not stopping for anything. If I misspell a word I don’t cross it out or erase it, I just rewrite the word again right next to my misspelled one. If I write a sentence but then think of a better way to phrase it, I don’t erase or scratch out my previous sentence. I just simply rewrite it. Our education system has always taught us to think meticulously about every word we put on paper. In every essay, speech, thesis paper, etc., we have to carefully word ourselves. And in that process we cut out a lot of our own voice. We cut and cut until that little bit of creativity and spark gets shoved so far back into the dark, creepy depths of our minds that you suddenly hear people say, “Oh, I’m not creative at all.” Yes, you are. Society has made it so that it’s harder for you to find your creativity, but it is there. So, in writing, it is a constant struggle to not cut your voice anymore. It is a struggle to just keep going, keep writing, finish the story. My friend has done just that and I am so freaking proud of her.
That said, it is so easy, especially as a writer, to corner yourself in your own negativity. You never really hear this side of things from writers or writer friends because it’s not something fun to discuss, but I think it’s necessary. At least for me it is.
It is easy to look at someone’s success and think, “what about me?” It is, by far, one of the worst things to think of in the midst of a friend’s success. It was not my first thought, not at all. My first reaction was definitely some squealing and excitement because, like I said, no one has worked harder for this than my friend has. But then the reality sank lower and lower into my head. And then this little low voice crept in the back of my mind, “what about you?”
Unfortunately, I was not the only person to think this about my friend. But when the situation quickly spun into something straight out of Mean Girls 2 (not Mean Girls 1 because that shit was beautiful and 2 was just utter crap), I realized there was a better way to look at things. It was time to change my perspective.
So. I had to start from the basics. This is what I know: 1) Writing is hard. 2) Writing is really hard. 3) Writing is really fucking hard. 4) My friend is an absolute badass.
Instead of feeling like I was being left behind, or feeling (and I hate using this word but I have to face the fact that it is true) jealous, I should feel inspired by her! Guys! My friend wrote a fucking book! And now she’s getting published! YES! That is the dream! And I am so incredibly happy for her. So although we struggled together (and I imagine we will continue to struggle together; that’s just what writers do), I am also very positive that we have inspired each other too. The fact that she’s getting published does not change that. She is even MORE of an inspiration to me now. Because it will happen for me in its own time. I will learn from all the hard work and dedication my friend has put in and learn to apply that to myself. That way, we can live that dream together too.
What I’m trying to say is: CONGRATS, SARA. You wrote a fucking book. And now, the world gets to read it and see just how awesome you are too. I’ll always stand by you and encourage you and cry over your books and tell you when something sounds like a piece of shit, cause that’s just who I am.
To find out more about Sara’s book and her own announcement, click on the highlighted LINK. Be sure to follow her on twitter, Instagram, and hey, why not start stalking her on Facebook too! She also has a blog! I have mentioned it a few times when I first started out, but seriously, go check it out now.
In the mean time, add her book (THE AWAKENED) on Goodreads!