When I wrote my first book, The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can Be Torture back in 2010, I had a clear purpose. Bullying has become an epidemic in this country to the extent that children are literally dying. I wanted to change that, to make a difference. One day, I received a letter from a child that started out, "I am a bully." Uh, oh..this can't be good. She went on to say that she had read my book and it really affected her. "I didn't realize how much I was hurting this girl, and I promise I will never be a bully again." SCORE! Even if I never sell another copy, I have made a difference in at least one child's life.
When I wrote my second novel, Through The Gloaming, I really only had one purpose in mind. To prove that I really was a writer and that my first book was not just a fluke. It took a solid year of blood, sweat and tears, but I did it, and I am pretty happy with how the story came out. No sooner did I publish, then people started asking me when my next book was coming out. Dear God...I have not caught my breath from the last one! But it got me thinking....what if this is it? What if I am never able to come up with a decent story idea ever again? People are expecting me to come up with something! My brain immediately went into panic mode.
The stress of this industry is sometimes overwhelming. Trying to balance writing, publishing and promoting my book along with taking care of the rest of the responsibilities of my day-to-day life is exhausting. I am also obsessively checking sales stats which I have to stop doing because it is making me a nervous wreck. I worry over everything, but mostly I worry that I am going to let everybody down.
So, after a few months of trying to come up with a new story idea, I decided to put that on hold and work on the illustrations for a children's book I had written a few years ago. Can you believe it? I got myself an "idear" Is it a good idea? I don't know yet, I think it might be, but I'm going to let it simmer for awhile while I finish up this children's book. It turns out I just needed to switch gears for a bit and let the story ideas come to me. Good thing too, quitting is not an option for me.
I am a writer, and a writer writes....always.