After staring at a blank screen for a ridiculous amount of time today, my itchy fingers banged out some words about what I want to write since I couldn’t figure out how to actually write it. The free-writing turned into something I feel like sharing, because I know I’m not the only one who’s felt like giving up…
I want to write a book that grabs people and gives them a shake. Makes them think and reconsider what they believe to know. I want characters whom readers connect with, fall in love with, laugh and cry with and cheer for, and those they love to hate.
I want to write something that resonates, that makes people continue thinking about the story long after they’ve turned the last page, that has them shoving the book in the faces of their friends and family, insisting that they read it, too, so they have someone to discuss the story with. I want them to shout about it everywhere, to say, “This. Read this! If you read nothing else this year, read this.” But at the same time, I want it to be a book that brings people back to reading, to discovering new worlds, to exploring various possibilities.
I want readers to ask “what if” during and after reading. I want them to believe anything is possible with God. I want to scare the shit out of them, but to also fill their well of hope. I want the hairs on the backs of their necks to stand on end and their hearts to swell with love.
I want to write the best fucking book I can possibly write, and hopefully it will hit at least one other person as strongly as it hits me.
This was the passion burning inside me when I started writing, before I knew whether I’d even share the story with a single soul. This was the passion that I gave into, throwing myself into its fire, that carried me forward, that I poured into every book I wrote.
But at some point, this passion, this deep-hearted desire to reach into people’s souls and leave a mark of beauty, was dimmed. It has never left, but other beliefs tried to snuff it out. Beliefs like, “You’re just not good enough.” “You’re not that writer, but that’s okay, because you do well enough.” “You need to be writing this, not that, because it’s what’s selling.” “You need to focus more on this, not that, because it pays the bills.” “You need to hurry up because your readers are leaving you in droves. They’ve given up on you.”
And most devastating of all, believing that people I trusted more than anyone, whose opinions meant so much to me, had not only given up on me, but had never really believed in me in the first place. Realizing that some people are only opportunists, jumping on board and going full throttle when everything is blue skies and lovely, but bailing as soon as the going gets tough. Wiping their hands clean and saying, “What we’re doing here isn’t good enough for me,” which, when you’re the author and producer, translates to, “You’re not good enough for me.”
I wrote through this major blow, ignoring all of the little voices whispering those things in the back of my mind, so I could hang on to that burning passion as much as possible. But once I completed the series that started it all, once I could stop and ponder everything that had happened over my journey thus far, my writing world went dark. Because my passion went dark.
My series didn’t end on the high note I’d wanted so badly, and I let the voices get to me. I tried to write, but the action was only to “produce” not to “ignite.” Reminiscent of my younger years, I started stories many times, but never made it further than a few chapters. My feels for the story, for writing at all, were gone.
So I focused more on filling my creative well. I traveled – all over the place. England, France, Scotland, and Wales, and coast to coast and back again in the US. That’s five countries and 18 states in 6 months. I spent time with friends and family, and readers and authors. We talked books and characters and our favorite book boyfriends, along with all kinds of other life things. My passion began to build again.
I’ve just finished writing my first full story in months, Supernatural Chronicles: The Wolves. It’s a novella and part of a group project with the Dynamis, and admittedly, when I first started on it, I thought I’d just throw it together as something to put out there. I believed in the project, but not so much myself. I stuck with it, though, because I couldn’t disappoint the Dynamis authors or my readers. And I wanted to give my readers a message to know I’m still here. Because although I hadn’t been writing much in the previous months, I’d been dreaming and planning all the books I want to write.
And wow, do I have a lot planned.
But it wasn’t until I got about halfway into The Wolves that my passion lit up. And now that I’ve finished, I’m burning with excitement. Excitement to write again, to give it my all, to follow my dreams, to reach into my heart and my soul and lay them all out there once again, hoping they will touch yours.
I not only want to write all of these stories I have planned, but I need to.
It’s easy to let the naysayers trod us down into the mud, especially those in our own heads. It’s not so easy to keep getting back up, brushing ourselves off, and trying again. But I will and I have. Because although those others might have given up on me, whether people who were close to me or readers in distant lands, I won’t give up on me.
Credit my characters. They just won’t let me give up. They’ve never stopped believing in me. And people wonder why I’d rather spend my time with my fictional cast than with real people…
No matter what our passion is, we all face those times where we feel like we’ve lost it. When you do, give it time, give yourself space, fill your creative well. Most importantly, reconnect with yourself and your passion. It’s there; it just needs air to burn. Then you can give in and not give up.