I guess this does happen every time I write a book. People have asked why I waited so long to publish? Maybe you’ve heard this, so maybe you can relate? Was it time? Money? Lack of discipline? For me it was none of the above. I’ve always had a story in my heart, boring like some small parasite into the depths of my brain, eating away at me until I just had to get it down paper–or at least enough of it that I could walk away and feel satiated.
But I was never satisfied. Sure, getting part of the story down was okay, but it was never really enough. You see, I have been writing since ninth grade, and that is a wide span of time to have a dream and do nothing about it, but tease it with small intros to characters and scenes. It aches, it tugs, it gnaws, and eventually I came to realize that a dream can consume me and become my biggest foe. It’s like staring a rabid, snarling dog in the face, but it’s only foaming at the mouth because it wants love and attention. I never gave my dream so much as a quick pat and the occasional bone to placate it.
Why? This is the million dollar question (though I wish that million was in my bank account): because of fear. Doubt. A general feeling that this dream I have is nothing more than a dream. And what if I write one super, amazing, world-renowned best selling book? Then what? Oh yeah, the pressure to write another equally awesome best-selling book. But, wait! What if my great idea is poop? What if i’m laughed out of the literary world. What if . . .
These are the daunting questions. The questions that sat in my mind so long they began to rust and mold there. But in the year of my turmoil (2011), there wasn’t much left of my brain. Any hope, any glimmer of a bright and shiny future were stolen from me like a thief in the night. All I had left were the remnants of some molded, rusted over dream and the notion that it couldn’t get any worse. So I stretched my brain, washed it out with a grapefruit diet and nearly twenty pounds of depressed weight loss, and discovered the voices hadn’t died.
I wrote! I wrote and wrote and wrote until all I could see were these characters. And when that was done I stared at my manuscript and FROZE! What if . . . Stupid two letter word that still haunts me to this day. I submitted that manuscript to Bookemon (which is still #1 most read in the fiction category). I was petrified! But I was renewed, so I wrote some more. And when BE Still was finished and I stared at the manuscript, I FROZE! See the trend. The book received rave reviews. Woo hoo!
Wait! Crap! Now the next book has to be better, right? But what if it isn’t? What if Be Still is the best thing I ever write? What if my career has ended there? What if the next book is literary suicide? What if all I ever am is mediocre? I shudder. I go fetal. I rock back and forth, scratching the words “do better” on my notepad. Hello doubt. Is that you? You’ve been gone for quite some time now. Wish I could say I’ve missed you, but then again you never really went away. I saw you, sitting in the corner, smiling, poking, lurking, leaving little reminders that I may be pursuing a pipe dream. *sigh*
Whatever dude! I ROCK! And you know why, because failure is not an option in my life. I survived the hell out 2011, and not only did I survive, but I conquered and crossed boundaries I never dared venture before. Nani nani nani. Yeah, I see you, and I’m always aware, but back to the corner you go! This next book will be better than the last, and the book next year will be better. AND I WON’T STOP WRITING, because it is a dream come true.
Tania L Ramos, Author Who Rocked It