Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Is Why.

This is why I write.

It's not for numbers. They're addicting, they're dangerous, and they shove you to the edge of what ifs and maybes and but shes...
It's not for ego. God, ego. The few shining moments where I think the words I've written are magic are fleeting and far between. Ego rarely has what to do with it.

Money. HA.
That's all.
Just, HA.

I think all of us at some point dream of wide-stream success
of accolades
and fans.

But why do we write in the first place?
Why do I write?
Why do I spend hours and hours, fingers flying at the keyboard, pouring my very soul onto the figurative page? Why do I reread the things I've written, over and over and over again, sometimes not recognizing myself in the words I have written? 
Do I not know myself well enough to recognize my blood splattered across the pages of a story? Do I not know myself well enough to see what I'm really trying to say when I write stories, changing names and places and situations, but leaving the feelings the same?

Do I not know myself enough to think that maybe I write to distract myself from the voices in my head that tell me I'm never going to be good enough?

Maybe I write because it's the only way for me to understand what's happening-
the only way for me to be able to understand anything that's ever happened to me.
Maybe I write because sometimes, I think I was made to breathe words and not air.
Maybe I write because there are stories that are screaming inside me, doing everything they can to claw their way out and splatter onto pages.
Maybe I write because of the years I've stifled what I've wanted to say to others
Stifled how I felt
Brushed it all off like it wasn't a big deal.
When really I was breaking, splintering, knowing that nobody was going to pick up the pieces
because I didn't let anyone see them there.

Maybe that's why showing your words to someone else
Is the most terrifying thing you can do
Even if it's someone you trust, someone you love.
It's ripping out the far corners of your soul,
the parts that sometimes you forget are there- that part.
Maybe that's why I write.
Because I don't understand myself well enough to figure it all out without writing it down first.

I write the words I love you because I need to hear them
I write love stories because they give me hope
I write happy ever afters because, God, do I want one.
I write heartbreak because I've been there,
Wondering if the pain will finally what ends up choking you
I write heartbreak because I know of all too well. 

I don't write for anybody else. There are times that I think I do- times I think I write for numbers on Amazon, for book deals and fame and all the other things we think we want but really don't know.

If a tree falls down in an empty forest, do we hear it? 
If I throw words out into the world, will anyone hear me, or will all there be is an echo of my scream for someone, anybody to hear me?
To listen to what I'm saying?
Should it even matter?

I write to keep the monster of self-doubt at bay. I turn up the music, turn off the world, and try to find the little voice inside me that thinks I can do it all.

I try to remember that my words have the power to change people. To heal people. To heal myself.

That somewhere, buried deep inside me, under the layers of self-doubt I’ve let build up, there is a four year old child who is absolutely certain with every fiber of her being that she can do anything she wants, even if she has a stupid boy haircut.

There’s a six year old girl who’s written her first book and has discovered that she can write stories by herself. That she can make up her own stories.

There’s an eight year old girl who writes about the things she wishes she had. The places she wishes she lived. She writes to escape the maliciousness of the people she thought were her friends.

There’s an eleven year old girl who writes because she’s read everything in the library. Who ignores all her teachers and writes, because she doesn’t care anymore. Because it hurts too much for her to care.

There’s a thirteen year old girl who writes because she loves to.

There’s a fifteen year old girl who stopped writing, and she’s not sure why.

There are days when I feel like I’m just an endless pit of self-doubt. That I’ll never be good enough, that my words will never be good enough.

And then I think of those girls, all shadows and ghosts of myself, and know that they would be so incredibly proud of me. Of what I’ve done. Of what I’ve written. The fact that I actually published a book is something they only dreamed of.

So I write for them.
To let them know that all those years of wanting and waiting and dreaming and hoping and crying and surviving weren’t for nothing. That the things that I thought would break me are the things that help me write. That all those people who told me I couldn’t were 

I could.

I can.

All I have to do is keep writing.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Friendly Update (WIPMarathon)

Well, hey, y'all!
It's been a while since I updated this blog- and since I'm technically doing WiPMarathon this time around, I figured now would be a good time to update you, especially now that I have things to be updated.

WHAT I'M WRITING: After a long and grueling stay in the KK Revision Cave of Doom, I've finally clawed my way out. I revised one complete MS, and part of another one, before coming to the realization that the second MS needed more time before I finished revising it. Which meant adding it to the pile of MSs that need more time before I return to them.
It's funny, how every book I write has a very different process that I go through, from the initial idea to actually writing and revising. Some are faster, and some take a bit more time. I don't think that one version or another version makes the story itself better- that time isn't necessarily a key to perfection. Not that the ones that take less time are rushed- maybe I'm just in a place in my life that I connect with it better and it's easier for me to see where the story goes.
So after a few weeks of waffling between ideas and partially started MSs, I've finally found the things I wanted to work on- and it seems to solidly be two very different MSs, both of which I am at the crazy in love stage right now. (YAY!)
So, hi, WIPMarathon people :) I now have goals for now to February that don't include revisions, and I am SO HAPPY.
(Goals for next week: a total of 21k written)

WHAT I'M READING: All the books. Alllll the books.
Okay, not all of them, but a lot of them. Most recently, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE and WHY WE BROKE UP, both books I highly recommend. A few MSs for incredibly talented friends, making me once again realize how lucky I am to have friends who are magicians with words.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Okay, this is kind of embarrassing, because a lot of the songs on the playlist for one of the MSs....well, let's just say that I look like a crazed teenybopper fangirl, and it's hard to explain to people why I'm voluntarily listening to it. "It's for a book! Really!" But they don't believe me. SIGH.
(Although some of the songs I would voluntarily listen to, and have little shame about loving- One Direction's Story of My Life and BSB's Show 'Em (What You're Made Of).)

WHAT'S INSPIRING ME: My students. While teaching can be frustrating and stressful, having them routinely tell me that I know everything is lovely (I trained them well), but their creativity and belief in themselves is really magical. It's totally cliched, but I think that I learn more from them than they learn from me.

-Well, it's been over a month since the release of HEART BREATHS, and I still can't believe that people are buying it. So, everyone who's bought a copy- *tackle hugs* thank you thank you thank you. And those of you who've reviewed it? On my list of Favorite People Ever. There's actually going to be a blog tour for HB, hosted by the lovely Shane at Itching For Books. If you're interested in joining, click here.
-I got on my soapbox earlier this week (you can read the whole rant here, if your heart so desires) but tl;dr? LM Augustine and I have started a Tumblr of NA books with nice guys and little to no sex. We haven't read all of them (it would be hard to have done so), but we've read blurbs and reviews and sample chapters. It's a great list if you're looking for a New Adult book that isn't all 'bad boy tattooed motorcycle rockstar sexsexsexsex'.
-I may actually use my Tumblr account on occasion. Because obviously, I need something else to do when I should write :) (

So, that's what's going on around here! I'm hoping to share some news with y'all soonish, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!