Hello friends. Here I am back on Snapdragons, and I am here because I’m in a bad place.
Everything is fine, finer than fine. Sparks and Mimi and Pudding are fine, Washington state is treating us well, and the business is flourishing. Last year I signed with a literary agent, and my first novel is currently on submission to every important publisher you’ve ever heard of.
And maybe that’s why I feel like I’m in a bad place. I’ve been trying to be Author Kat before I’ve sold a book. Sometime in the last year I saw someone say on Twitter that until you’re published, there is no way to say you’re a writer without sounding like an enormous ass. And it’s true. While I was playing the self-publishing game it was all right, but now that I am properly represented, I’m almost ashamed to talk about the writing. Because what if nothing comes of it?
And concerned about what I put out there. On my author blog I conceal my real name and my family’s faces and any opinion, however small, that might be controversial. That’s putting on a public face. It’s part of me, but it isn’t all of me, and it probably isn’t the best parts of me.
Since we moved, I have had a hard time getting my groove back, writing-wise. That grieves me. I enjoyed it so much, and now that enjoyment is largely gone. I feel pressure to come up with a book that hasn’t been previously self-published, for my poor agent’s sake. I feel pressure to structure and plan the story. I feel pressure to try new things to make myself grow. And I feel like I should squash my stories into saleable formats.
And, of course, there is the waiting while that first book is on submission. Every now and then, a rejection. When you self-publish and it’s obvious someone didn’t care for your book you shrug it off. Just not their cup of tea. When editors don’t want it, you start to feel like a failure. When more than one rejection cites the same reason for rejecting–couldn’t connect with the voice–every thirteen-year-old insecurity comes crowding in and you decide you really are a totally unlikeable weirdo. Damn but that hurts. My first trilogy is dark, purple, all the tender squishy parts in the middle. Everything since has been snappier and happier, and those books are also me, but that first trilogy … that’s my voice. It’s the truest one. It came out first.
See? I said everything was actually okay. But first I said I was in a bad place.
So I’m back here. I just want to be myself, sometimes. I want to remember who I was before I fell apart. I cut off this blog at the same time I moved and almost the same time I cut off the self-published titles. It was too much to shed all at once. I do, after all, want to be known. Not in a lived-in-the-same-small-town-all-my-life way. But I want there to be people who Remember When.
You all remember when. Job. House. Cat. Sparks. Wedding. Baby. You were there for it. It happened to me. It is me. I desperately want to be a published writer too, but until it happens … there’s no use in being a person who doesn’t exist.