New. Does that really apply to me, considering I’ve been at this (writing) since twenty-ten? I’ve come a long way. Easily seen, even with my own eyes. I look back at the beginning of the journey. Read each story – what was I thinking? I really thought I was good – then – what a laugh? Right? And what were readers thinking? I read over pages of saved reviews and realize that most of them were simple please updates, great starts, and spoilers – but they had made me smile back when.
But this was my beginning and I wouldn’t change it. Those little things encouraged me to learn. To grow. To spend countless hours studying the mechanics, offering my work to seasoned writers and taking – sometimes critical, hateful – feedback.
I studied grammar, punctuation, and story mechanics. Figured out what worked and what didn’t through trial and error – rewrite – rewrite-rewrite. Manual labor has never been as exhausting.
"Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. "
Then – the next level. Let’s self-publish. I was my own biggest critic. I’d heard the world too – you’re not a real writer if you publish yourself. I console myself with the FACT that I could have published traditionally – I didn’t like their terms. Writing is freedom. Who wants to give that up? I didn’t. Deadlines and fix this, change that. No way! And the percentage! Ha! Those companies take too big a chunk. I’m the one who spent years creating that first book. I’m the one who stayed up too many nights learning how to get better – I refused to give that up.
I did it myself. This is ten times harder when you have no money to spend. I edited it myself, using knowledge from high school English, a few great free lessons found online, and eventually, found Grammarly to help a bit more. Nothing’s perfect – I find errors in big publishing house’s books too.
I taught myself to design books covers and how to format the manuscript – and then I hit the publish button – excited.
But as many writers know, the excitement faded quickly. Yes, I expected the response to equal or surpass what I had gotten on those first writing sites – It never came. As the years passed, I grew discouraged and even lost the desire to write. There’s too much competition. Too many DIY authors and I’m just lost in a stormy sea.
I think about The Ultimate Warrior, a wrestler I had loved as a kid and what may have been the last words he ever said on television – I want to leave my mark behind. Even if it’s never popular or successful – My passion will always be a part of this world. Looking towards twenty-twenty, sparked with new hope, I am starting anew. I still love to write. That’s what all the mechanics had taken away. For far too long. Now, it’s all about me. What I love. Nothing else matters.
So, here is my new virtual home. I kind of like the way it looks so far. I can’t wait to post all the little things I thought would stay hidden away on my computer forever. It’s been a long – interesting ride – Now, I want to share it with – well – everyone! Let’s see where it goes. LOL.