Day eight, I believe. Today is another day of navel gazing, mainly because my future is once again looking uncertain. Did you ever hear of the Chinese curse ‘may you live in interesting times’? Well my times have been interesting for years and I really wish they could become a bit more predictable and boring. The life of a writer at the beginning of her career is not for the faint hearted, not when you’ve burned your bridges (or had them burnt for you), and have to get that living-from-writing thing happening sooner rather than later in order to continue living.
So today I’m wondering, ten years ago did you think you would end up where you are now? Did you have a plan and did that plan work out for you? Or are you standing in the ruins of your life wondering exactly where things went so pear shaped. My life is not in ruins, not any more. It’s uncertain and it may soon be taking a turn that I didn’t expect and don’t want, but it’s not as it was a few years ago. But ten years ago I thought I was in my forever home, in my forever life. Of course I realise now that the reality I thought I was living was all smoke and mirrors, but back then I thought I was happy and content. I’m very good at lying to myself, but I do think that I truly believed it then.
However life does like to teach lessons and if you don’t notice they tend to be pushed onto you. So I had my lessons, and I lost everything I thought was important. And, as those of you who have been here for a while know, I found out that most of what I thought was important really wasn’t. That’s the good thing about interesting times, that they teach life lessons which would otherwise go unlearned. I’ve grown and I’ve reached a healthier emotional state. But you know what Life? I think I’ve learned my lessons and I think I’m ready for some uninteresting times!
Ten years ago I thought I knew what I wanted and I thought I knew how I felt about everything in my life. I thought I knew what was important and I thought I was happy. Turns out that I didn’t know anything. Five years ago my childhood and my present collided in quite spectacular fashion inside me and I had a complete (although quiet and internal) breakdown. The last five years have been confusing, frightening, sad and lonely. I’ve fought through them all even though I wanted to give up. I still remember standing at the water’s edge on New Year’s Eve in 2012 contemplating walking in and not stopping. I didn’t, and I’m more grateful than I can tell you that I didn’t.
Last year I took a huge leap of faith and came here and it was a good decision. I’ve learned so much about myself, and I’ve been able to write – I’ve published seven books since I’ve been here! My first book started doing better with a name change and now I’m getting positive and uplifting reviews on all of my books. Some get more than others, and that’s fine. None of my books sell well enough to make a living from them but sales are slowly building. I have so many creative ideas that I was too defeated before to have. I’ve learned so much about the writing process and self publishing. I feel fulfilled when I write in a way that nothing else has done for me.
But my future is still uncertain, money is tighter than ever and I don’t quite know where to go from here. I know that I want to stay here, and I want to keep writing for as many hours in a day as I can. But I also have to pay the bills, and if my latest book (more on that soon) doesn’t do well I’m kind of in a tricky spot. It wasn’t one I foresaw; when I came here I would never have dreamed that this would happen – no I’m not sharing exactly what it is, suffice to say it’s a financial disaster.
So my interesting times continue. It’s been ten years since I last felt certain about my future, and I’m hoping with all of my heart that soon I will be able to feel it again. You have to have hope right? Without it life would be permanently grey.
Anyway, given my current circumstances I went ahead and self published Letters, which I had been thinking about doing in any case. I’ll put the link here. It’s $1.99 now, tomorrow it will be free for three days if you want to wait until tomorrow. I kept the sex scenes in, I feel that they are important to highlight the difficult times the protagonist Cassie was going through in the beginning. Here’s the link, go take a look. If you like it please leave a review :)