When I write, well, when I've written The Two Swords, I've suffered from some 'I'm published, I have to write the book a different way - what if it's not good enough,' thoughts that have definitely stifled my writing and how I used to approach it.
Writing for me, was for my friends, at least that's what The Dark World was. I would type up a chapter and send it to them via whatever messenger we used back then, they would give me feedback, and I would write more, always keeping in mind what was a good story, and what simply wouldn't work.
When it came time to write the second book, The Immortal's Guide, I no longer had these friends to contact via messenger, and we couldn't meet up for tea due to our busy schedules, so I wrote the book I've always wanted to read (and surely, that was what the first book became after several re-writes and edits), and that one was definitely chock full of action, fantasy, haunting themes of death and life, dragons, giants, merpeople - I really wanted to expand the World I had created - and definitely because it played up well in the story (that I won't spoil here for obvious reasons).
And with the third book now, it's funny because I have this lore, this canon that I can't deviate from (nor would I want to, it makes sense), and to write these characters that have ultimately, definitely changed since the events of the first book, has proven troublesome for me. They're the same, yet different, their thoughts are different, but still in the same line of who they were in books one and two, just perhaps, what motivates them is different.
And it's fun. Hard as hell, but ultimately fun and rewarding.
To go on Facebook and see all these other authors touting their books, saying 'THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD READ NEXT' is heavily disconcerting. It's akin, to me, as someone shoving a watch in your face and saying, "Buy this, this is the best watch on the planet." And It very well may be, but more often than not, that shouting is going to drive them running in the other direction. That's how I feel about the constant book Facebook/Twitter posts hocking ones book.
True, I no longer have a product out to direct people to, but you can be sure when I do, I will converse with other authors and readers, read their work, but if they don't read mine, oh well, I've gotten a new book out of it, and something to pass along to my friends and those that have read the original self-published versions, and have followed me along this long, long journey to publication.
The books have changed, my writing style has changed, but not by too much, and I realize I've been neglecting my books in lieu of other things, when, ultimately, my books are what taught me the love of the craft of writing. I was already a lover of books, of reading, mine are what spurred in me 'hey, you can do this too.' And I have J.K. to thank for that.
I know it's important to focus on my writing, even though I've got my plate full with school, work, and Burning Willow Press. I truly believe that nothing I do outside of my writing, will help with it, besides more writing - and reading good work. I won't even get into academic writing - or what they believe consists of 'great writing,' we all know the problems with that, I will merely leave you with this.
If one day, perhaps, I'm walking down the street and just one person comes up to me, book in hand, eager for a signature, or to pick my brain about the story, I will know I have made it in my career. Aside from the conventions, the bookstore book signings, the (hopeful) cosplays of characters in my books, I will know I've made a difference by being myself, doing what I've always felt is best, and doing the hard work I know is necessary to reach all of my goals. (Oh, you didn't know? I've suffered many a sleepless night writing, worrying about ever getting published, what I'm going to do with my life, directionless anxiety, depression...etc.) And I've never stopped, regardless of ALL the inane doubts filling my mind, paralyzing me from getting out bed, even putting one word down.
But that's my life, that's what I go through, and that is, I believe, what helps me attain what I set out to do.
(We Capricorns love to accomplish I've goals, I've heard.)
I guess I do this because there's nothing else for me - besides acting, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms. And as long as that remains true, I will continue to churn out my stories - the ones I know there's an audience for, anyway.
With blood and love,