This is a question I ask myself often especially when I receive criticism warranted or not. I'm an emotional creature and unfortunately I have thin skin. It doesn't take much to hurt me. I hate being hyper sensitive but I've grown to accept it. I'm thirty three years old, there is no changing who I am. So I have to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly. To be honest I think that's one of the reasons most of my characters have emotional issues.
For me writing is a hobby. It's a fun thing I do on the side. My job pays my bills and the rest barely covers my tuition (I will not add more debt to my student loans, the federal government gets enough from me, lol). I work SUPER full-time in a high stress job typically fifty to sixty hours a week (I'm not rounding up), I'm in graduate school (I have a fifteen page research paper due Sunday), and I have a lot of family and friends who require my time and attention.
I'm not the best writer, I know that. A few interesting readers have emphatically told me so and yet I get up everyday to try again. I bury their harsh words and I pull out my laptop. For example it's 540 am on 01/23/2020 and I'm writing this post. After this I have to outline the rest of my research paper, make a more extensive outline for Cole, and get to work by 830am.
My to do list is epic and sometimes it feels unbearable. Sometimes, when it feels like this is too much, I long for the days when I watched Netflix and HULU after work. But even when I feel like giving up something always drags me back to the keyboard.
What is it? Why do I feel this need to write? I work so hard and try to be a better writer with each book and still sometimes I read a negative comment and it ruins me for the day. I feel sick to my stomach and embarrassed. I try to ignore it but the pain stays with me, at least for a day. Why do I focus on the negative? Is it in human nature to do so?
I've learned the hard way that I can only do my best. I'm a indie author so that means everything about this hobby is stressful because I have to do it myself. The marketing, the advertising, the promotion, the book cover, and the formatting are all up to me. I even have to find freelance editors and pray they don't rip me off (obviously, I've failed there too, many times.)
Every project adds more to my plate but I can't seem to stop. I love this genre and I want to be a part of it. I chose interracial romance because of my parents, they were an interracial couple long before the days of Scandal and How to get away with murder. The way people viewed their relationship was interesting... (cough, cough racist).
Writing in this genre was an easy choice. The color of your skin doesn't matter, people are still people. Personally, I wanted a chance to tell stories that centered on strong black women. I wanted to write about women who had mental blocks or emotional trauma, I wanted them to be classy, independently wealthy, and educated. I also wanted to see those same women become their own heroes, if need be.
I love romance novels. I have three bookcases full of books to prove it and that's not counting the countless ebooks on Kindle. I still think KU was designed specifically to feed my addiction :)
I have to admit this is hard. I graduated with a bachelors in information technology and two associates degrees in psychology and sociology. I only did the required writing classes at university. I wasn't a writer by trade, I was a reader and a researcher.
When I decided to hit publish, I knew the risks. Some people were going to hate me, that much was guaranteed. I knew it would be hard because I love transparency and responding personally to anyone who contacted me. That left me vulnerable and at the mercy of anyone who didn't enjoy my work. I'm sure all of you've seen how some people are on the internet, a select few can get nasty real quick.
I do my best to avoid stress. I don't respond well to it, typically I shut down. Everyone who knows me outside of the writing world knows that. I don't like confrontation and I don't allow myself to be around toxic people. I designed my life to be peaceful. I want to be a good person, a kind person. That means my life has to add to my happiness.
Now let me answer the question. Why do I write? At first I thought it was just to tell my stories. But now I know better. For every person who hates my writing there are a few who love it. Those people are why I work so hard at this. They are why I keep showing up month after month.
I'm going to keep trying because the only way I can get better is with practice. I have to keep moving forward. Again, I'm not the best writer that's why I price my books from $0.99 to $2.99 and offer all of them through Kindle Unlimited. I want to be fair to anyone who decides to take a chance on me.
Now I may not be the best but I can outwork anyone. I'm diligent, resourceful, and I really want to be great. I'm going to keep doing my best and I know one day that hard work will pay off. My goal is to write EPIC love stories (300+pages) like some of the other amazing authors I see on Amazon. I will get there with time. I've already started to invest more of myself into this. My graduate degree is for writing. I hope that the program improves my style and editing.
Although I accept my current limitations I believe in myself and some of you believe in me too. Every time I'm feeling low one of you magically email me or leave a great review. Your kind words brighten my world and give me the strength I need to work those extra hours.
So I write for you. You are my inspiration, my muse, and I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for showing up when I need you most. But most of all thank you for giving me a chance.
I challenge you to put yourself out there and go after at least one thing you love. It wont be easy, anything you really care about never is. But if I can do it, I promise you can as well. Let's make this new decade a time where dreams are realzied and goals are met.
P.S. A special thanks to Jacqueline and Lee, both of you helped me get through my preorder disaster. Also, I will be releasing the first 1k words for Cole's book next week :) So I hope you stay tuned...