When I was a child, I loved to read books. My first book was The Velveteen Rabbit that my mother insisted I must have.
On our first trip to the public library, my first book checked out with my very own library card was the audiobook, Strega Nona. (I thought I was such a big girl now!)
I continued to read throughout my elementary school years, well into middle school with the "chilling" Goosebumps series, but sadly, stopped in high school, because boys and friends were more entertaining than the effort it takes to read a story.
In college I had already been so detached from reading, it hadn't even been considered as a fun pastime with all the textbooks I was required to get through for assignments. Imagine carving out time to read for fun. Pah!
So graduation arrives, and a week after having been so bombarded with papers, exams, projects, presentations and class discussion entries for the past few years- I was bored. So bored, I was willing to try out the novel my bestie (Vero) insisted I read. (Fifty Shades baby!)
And wow! That reemergence into reading was... just... shit! Shocking? Thrilling! Sexy... and just plain eye opening to what I was missing out on since middle school. Not that Fifty Shades is appropriate for middle school, no, not at all. But I mean I'd been missing out on that incredible escape for too many years. Obviously at 25, the erotic novel was an enjoyable read, and definitely DIFFERENT from Goosebumps and The Velveteen Rabbit!
I mean we're talking erotica in black and white! I had no idea books were that explicit! I then went on to read several other stories, ranging from mysteries, smut, historical, psychological thrillers, dark reads, paranormal, contemporary, new adult... you name it so long as it was a Romance story. Happy ending, tragic ending, whatever it was, I was reading it.
I was severely addicted.
We're talking benders on books. Reading well into an hour before I had to get ready for work, and then rushing home to read the rest of it.
It's been insane how consumed with reading I became.
But I love it, and won't let it go ever again.
So how did I go from being a book addict, to wanting to write one of my own?
It came about one day discussing a family story with a book buddy of mine (Lee Pie). She couldn't believe her ears, her jaw was practically collecting flies with shock at the tragedy I was sharing with her, that I relished her reaction.
She says to me "Jennifah," (she has a New Yorker accent) "this sounds like a book I haven't read yet."
I tell her, "you know what Lee Pie, you're right. I'm going to write the book."
She was the catalyst for all this writing shenanigans I've been immersed in.
And really, how hard can it be to write a book?
Boy, was I wrong!
It is not easy. But then again it is. Maybe because it's the first one, I'm all over the place.
Maybe I am not cut out to write like I thought I was.
Some days, I can write for hours. It comes and comes and comes and I don't care if the sky is falling, I need to write in that damn scene before I lose it! Everything will inspire something and it's such an exhilarating feeling. I'm unstoppable!!!
'Why, why, why have I not done this all my life? What the hell had I been waiting for?'
Other days, nothing comes to me. No creative flow, but... I become this editing-critic monster that attacks pieces I wrote and I spruce them up, I clear up the thoughts, I fix as many of the grammatical errors I can catch, I elaborate notes or outlines into entire chapters and I just all around work on it to make it as best as possible.
I work on the brand I am trying to establish. I market this persona as a writer, I try to engage people and make connections so that if I am not actively writing the story, at least I am working on the book somehow.
Then there are the worst days.
The days I wonder 'What hell am I thinking?'
"This is garbage. Who in their right mind will read this?'
'How am I ever going to finish this? It never gets there!'
'Why isn't anything coming to me anymore!' <--- That's the scariest one of them all, that terrible, terrifying writer's block.
So then I take a break. I step away from the book and I stop all writing, editing and working because I don't want to compromise the material.
Is that a good decision? Probably not. Sometimes these breaks end up being a week or two at a time.
But writing is stressful.
A good stressful.
Fun, most of the process. Challenging, that's for sure.
Do I keep going?
Yes, I tell myself.
I need to complete it.
Revamp my motivation somehow.
So as not to be idle, I look into publishing processes, editor fees, design cover artists, copyright laws, etc. and I want to crawl into a hole and pretend I never got myself into this mess in the first place.
I shouldn't have opened my damn flapper and told EVERYONE I wanted to write a book! I shouldn't have campaigned and raised some funds to help me publish the book when I get to that.
Shouldn't have this. Shouldn't have that. Doubts. Insecurities. And most of all defeat starts to creep in.
And then.... the very next day, out of nowhere, I. MUST. WRITE.
What a crazy experience this is! Such an artistic semblance this writing process I committed myself to is.
I mean really, how hard is it to write a book?
I'll definitely never underestimate it ever again. I have such a respect for writers of any genre. Any story. Because they did it.
And I've come to realize, there will be a reader for every story.
So my book continues. I still work on it. I'm excited most days, and as you know now, doubt it at times.
But to my friends and family that have encouraged me, supported me and contributed to it- just know that I will finish. I am always working on it- somehow, someway.
I naively imaged finishing it by this April. That won't be the case. I am thinking closer to this summer now because I have accomplished a lot, though not all of it.
But I will complete it.
And the last bit of info I have for you, is that the cover design will be created by the talented Hang Le starting in April!
THAT, has definitely revamped my motivation again because her work is superb, it'll be the cover of my book, therefore...
I. MUST. WRITE! :)