I’m here. Today, this day. I am here. Aware and awake and … me. Not 100% me, but me. I’ve been in a COVID funk for, gosh, years, do I really have to say that? Yes, literally years now. I have flashes in time, traumatic memories and moments that this evil one has scarred me, and those I love with. It’s not over, but I trust God and science that it is diminishing. I, so far, am surviving, not thriving, but today feels brighter. I, we, those I am closest to, have survived thus far. There have been casualties, and there will continue to be. Some have lost their lives and some are yet to lose theirs. Some have lost their livelihoods, and some may yet lose their careers. Some have been scarred by the physical or psychological ravages of this evil one, some are still in the thick of their trauma. No one is unscathed.
But I’m here. Today, this day. I am here. At peace. At my keyboard, with mountains in view… writing, for the simple pleasure of writing! And it occurs to me that though I don’t always write with the mountains in view I think I like to write best when they are. Now it occurs to me, that’s not fully accurate, there was that wonderful dock, on the banks of some river in Tennessee, the name of which I’ve now quite forgotten. Maybe, I like to write best when there’s peace in my soul, and maybe I most easily find peace when I’m wrapped up in Creation’s beauty.
Anyway, I’m here. He hunts (he of course is the grizzly bear I call my husband, well usually I call him Jeremy, but grizzly bear works too). She sleeps (she is my 90 year old grandma with dementia who lives with us. I usually call her Gramma, or Gramma-lady in written word). They will be here soon (they are some of my grandchildren, I usually call them by name). You are here too. Not at the same time as me, but you are here now. Hello you! Welcome to my peaceful moment!
This moment is 8:56am Pacific Time on November 27th in the year of our Lord 2021, I sit in one of my most favorite unnatural places. Inside walls of wood and sheetrock I hole up. The heater just clicked on, cars hum by outside, olive green clock ticks lull me from the kitchen. My soft and cozy, fuzzy brown double recliner holds me, and I pause writing for a moment to reach for, and hold, something of my own. A warm cup of goodness! Ahhhh... Feet up, laptop propped on legs, I am here, and I am at peace, for this moment.
The house is remarkably clean. I spent hours yesterday before she woke cleaning it and listening to Rachel Hollis’ “Girl, Stop Apologizing” from my Audible app. I’m not a neat freak, I cleaned to prepare. Christmastime is here! We will decorate, and for some reason, in my mind, I need it to be very clean before I can decorate. This is a special decoration year for me. I am in MY own home for Christmas for the first time since 2016. I have Christmassed on the Chicken Farm, where I was quite welcome, but never quite “at home”. We Christmassed last year in a house that, though it belonged to us in name, was the “home” of the Gramma-lady. This year, my name and my heart are in this house, and I think that’s what makes it my own even though I share it.
It’s Saturday, soon she will be up. We will go to get the grandchildren, and a day of introductory Christmas fun will ensue. I can only speculate from my peaceful seat now, how it will all play out but I know it will not be like this. Not quiet. She likes the TV on ALL THE TIME, so loud it drowns out the clicks of the heater and tocks of the clocks. They are tiny humans but so big with noise and questions and giggles and rattles and musical toys. No, it will not be quiet, but Lord willing, just as blissfully peaceful.
May your day too be filled with peace, despite any noise, any trauma, any business that ensues. Peace be with you!
I’m known for asking questions, please indulge me... I have a question for you today. You are here now.
Where is “here” for you?
Wait… one more question… Would you stop for a moment and breathe deeply? In …. out … in again. Hold. Think. Feel. Exhale.
What are your feelings and thoughts at this moment?
Do you have peace? If so, why? If not, why not? Share publicly, or privately, or just with yourself.
Something about a mandate to get vaccinated or lose your job doesn’t sit right with me. It hasn’t since it was demanded of thousands of people.
How is it right that men in positions of power can demand a mass of humanity to put something inside themselves whether they want to or not? How is it right that they can force people into submission by threatening their livelihood? It is not right, it is a breech of our human rights. I say “NO” to this demand! I refuse to turn my card or my body over a man who has made abusive, coercive, threatening demands.
Let’s get a couple things straight:
First of all, I love my job. The first time I heard about the Alternative Solutions Program within Washington State’s Division of Child Support I knew it was the job for me. I have served the public to the best of my ability, with the utmost integrity and honor. I am mindful that my paycheck comes from the taxes of the citizens of this state and do my best to not waste their money and my time. I have provided thousands of resources to hundreds of struggling parents. I am only one person, but I am a faithful steward to this state and do not want to lose my job.
Second, this isn’t about whether I’m vaccinated. I have strategically decided to keep my vaccination status to myself because it’s my personal business. I want to make it abundantly clear that I have absolutely no problem with the vaccine at all. I fully support its use for anyone and everyone that wants it, whenever, if ever they want it. I have encouraged people to be vaccinated. I have taken people to get vaccinated. I have chosen a personal favorite of the currently available vaccines and have carefully “followed the science” as well as I think any layperson can. No, this isn’t about whether I’m vaccinated or not.
This is about a demand that thousands of women (and men) must either put something inside their bodies they do not want inside them or be forced to lose their livelihoods. I cannot be ok with it. For what they’re worth, here are my reasons why; for your rumination, for your ridicule, to rally you, to assure you that you are not alone, there are THOUSANDS OF YOU, you are heard, you matter and you deserve to do what you think is best for your body. You can stand strong and I will stand with you.
When I was a girl, a man told me I had to put something inside me whether I wanted to or not. I didn’t want to, so he forced me. He coerced me to give in to his demand with a threat. He said bad things would happen to me and my family if I didn’t. Because of the threat, I complied. That decision shaped the rest of my life.
The trauma and shame of giving into his demand led me to a young adult life of self-harm, self-abuse, self-hate and addiction. Then one day, through a simple sunset conversation with God, I found myself on a road to drug free living and healing through Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Once I was stable, I devoted parts of my life to keeping people safe. Most of my efforts have been through advocacy and volunteer work. I have also defended people’s safety and autonomy with financial support to organizations that defend the abused and neglected or free humans from modern oppression, enslavement, bondage and trafficking. Of course, I’ve written as well. I have taught countless children to be “safe, smart and strong,” and to say “NO” if someone tries to do something to their bodies they are not comfortable with. I have taught children that if they say “no," they need to tell other grown ups and KEEP telling until someone makes it stop.
How it came to this, I do not know, but it appears “safety” and “autonomy” are at odds with each other and we've been commanded to surrender our personal choice over our bodies for the sake of public safety or … or… something bad will happen.
Again, I ask... how is it right that men in positions of power can demand a mass of humanity to put something inside themselves whether they want to or not? How is it right that they can force people into submission by threatening their livelihood? It is not right, it is a breech of our human rights! I ask you to say “NO” to this demand as well.
As for me, I say “NO” and stand in solidarity with the heroic men and woman of the healthcare industry who have valiantly and bravely fought against COVID-19 for the last year and a half. If anyone has a right to choose they do! They lived it, fought it, and know that "no" means they may be putting themselves at risk. I say to them and other state workers like myself that I will stand with you and support your right to choose what you allow into your body. I will tell and keep telling others how wrong this demand is.
Please make no mistake, I will still encourage those who are high risk to get vaccinated (although I can’t do this at my state job because it is such a hot, personal topic; we think it best left alone unless we are directly asked about vaccinations). I will still offer rides to anyone and everyone who wants a vaccine that may not be able to access one on their own. I will “like” or “thumbs up” those who feel compelled to share their vaccination status on social media. AND I will support body autonomy and a person’s right to choose what they do with their own body even if it costs me my livelihood. UGH I don't want to lose my job! But yes, even if...
I have fervently fasted, sought spiritual council, read the Bible (specifically Daniel 1-6) and prayed over my decision. In good conscious that is true to my core beliefs, I choose not to submit to the demand meted out. I have gathered as much data as a non-scientific person can gather and may share what I learn as I process this life changing decision. I am making my stand FOR and WITH the health care workers and fellow state workers who will not comply. I will not be turning in my vaccination card on 10/18/21 as Governor Inslee demands. I am hopeful the Governor honors his words to accept religious exemptions and accommodate individuals accordingly. I’m hopeful thousands of men and women in this valley aren’t forced to choose between their religious and moral convictions or their livelihoods. I’m hopeful I, personally, do not have to choose between mine. I'm hopeful we get to herd immunity by choice and no one has to be forced, coerced or commanded do something against their will. It is, and always should be, an individual choice what we allow inside our bodies.
Photo cred to: https://unsplash.com/photos/tKqqbDiya8A?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink
I am surrounded. Murky southern reservoir water laps the edges of the dock I sit on and we call our own for this one glorious weekend. Earlier this morning the birds and water filled the air with music and sound, a serene welcome to the day. It’s mid-morning now, the world is awake, so I unleash the music from the little square speaker. Kenny Chesney sings Blue Rocking Chair. My hand-picked serenade to fit the mood, if not the color or style of the chair Jeremy sits in. Not too loud, not to quiet, enough. Like this weekend and this vacation get away. Enough. There’s no loss of nature or the slow ease into the day on my speaker’s part; the speed boats, pontoons and wave runners have already washed out the birdsong and we’ve been to the store and back for bait and more supplies. While he’s focused on the lines. I’m focused on remembering how I ended up here, surrounded by water this morning.
After we returned from the store, I contemplated staying on the cozy, covered porch of our “glamptastic tent” or moseying down to the dock to be nearer his essence. I love this tent and this Airbnb space. It boasts all the pieces of nature I adore, hills, trees and water with the luxuries of modern convenience, indoor plumbing, running water, covered spaces, air conditioning, electricity. Near perfection. It would be quite perfect if not for the mass of humanity. The lake is fairly full of gas powered this and screaming engine that disturbing the natural wonder for the sake of leisure and entertainment (but isn’t that why we’re here too? Just turns out our leisure is preferably a little more slow and quiet than theirs.). I digress, back to my contemplation. Of course nearer is better, I am a quality time soul, so I work my way down to the dock… to him, getting this and that for me or for him on the way. It occurs to me that a laptop is an odd thing to bring out to a dock, but it’s sturdy and also covered and there’s an outlet above the table and chair set for the Christmas lights that illuminate the night, so I shrug and do it anyway.
It’s time to fish. All this time while I’ve been contemplating, he’s been preparing the lines. Sweet! I haven’t missed a minute of the lazy summer action. We have two licenses and poles and I’m not opposed to catching fish, I even tied one of my own lines to a swivel this time, but he seems to like baiting and stringing for me, so I’ll let him… until my bobber dips under, then I’ll be all about the catch! I day dream that mine will be the biggest catch and I’ll bring it in flawlessly (with his guidance of course) and it’ll make him, and my son, proud of my catch too. Hopefully I don’t pull a silly girl move and lose a fish. That’s the worst! Don’t get me wrong, I’m OK being a novice at fishing, I do not pretend, nor could I ever pull off a bluff that I love to fish as much as true fishers do, but I don’t want to ruin a good catch either.
And there he is. He who loves me. Big, broad, brawny, bold, bald and bearded. My favorite human. Maybe it’s rude to say that with children I’ve known and loved longer. Is it fair to put them “second” to him? Maybe if they were still really children that wouldn’t be a right thing to say, but they’re all grown, doing their own things. I love them and am devoted to them but, if I’m honest, it’s the truth that Jeremy Worley is my favorite human, save for myself. My kids had no choice, I am their mom, or adopted mom, or ex-step mom, or step-mom. They didn’t choose me (well maybe Matea did). It is what it is and we are family. He chose me. He chooses me every day. I’m humbled and grateful for his love and also for his family. They live in this Tennessee area and their annual reunion gave us the excuse to make a point to be here. I might not have left Washington otherwise, the work to plan for my grandmother’s care while I am away was extensive and exhausting! I might have thrown in the towel for an eight day vacation “just for me.” I was willing to put in the work and effort for family. My look back at the work from this dock tells me the reward was worth the effort!
If only the boating traffic wasn’t so profuse, this would be bliss! Two books on a bait laden table flank my left side. To my right … the rapid lapping water, yes, another boat went by a few minutes ago. In front, the best view! Him, two poles and a watery reprieve from work and care giving for a dying loved one. I struggle though. Part of me feels like I should be up there with him, nearer him, touching him maybe, or at very least sitting by him but I wanted to write. This is fishing for me… sitting, pondering life, waiting for the bite! They tug at the strings of my heart these inspiration filled, ripe, hungry emotions and thoughts waiting for me to set the hook on the concept, give it some slack, let it swim and fight a bit, reel up and guide it in when it’s time. His bites too are filled with anticipation of what’s on the hook at the other end of the line. This is bliss! But after one thousand wonderful words of reflection on this morning and this moment, the books beside me beckon. It makes sense to close here, grab a book and lay nearer him. Who know maybe I’m the luck he needs to bring in the big one!
Now what? It occurs to me that I’ve spent so long preparing these seven books that are still not “ready for market,” that I don’t know what to do now that I’ve given myself permission to “just write.” I’ve been ready to move on for years. Yes, I mean “move on.” This term, I’ve learned from a number of trusted friends and loved ones is shunned among the grieving. We do not “move on” from grief… but in this case, I’m ready to move on. I’m not grieving these seven books. These three, or six worlds I’ve created (depending on how you look at them) aren’t lost or gone or dead. There is no grief in “leaving them.” I’ve finally given them permission to be! I grieved and mourned when they were hidden away from the world. Not so anymore. They are alive and available for you or for no one and I do not care (but if you do read them, as always please leave feedback for me in an Amazon review so I know how to get better at my craft). I’m not an all-star advertiser, that ain’t my jam (if it’s yours and you believe in my work, let’s chat, I’ll split royalties!). I’m a writer and my job is done for these seven books! I created them. They’re out there. Now I move on to other worlds, words and stories!
I move on because only seven stories are out there. There are so many more books and Creations in my mind! I have an intentional non-fiction partially drafted, and a few more that could be manuscripted. I have who knows how many drafts of fictional work in various stages of doneness, or mostly finished. I have hidden ideas that have all of a sudden exploded in my mind again, tapping, knocking, pounding out their existence in my mind… “Hello! We are here. Will you work with us again? Will you please, finally make us come to life?” I’m ready to move on to them. They deserve shelf space and existence as much as the other seven do.
Really, then, the question isn’t, “Now what?” It’s more like… How do I choose? How many do I have to choose from? I don’t even know. There’s the first. We all know that nothing compares to the first! It’s still out there, stopped dead, ironically at a funeral scene. Letting Go… its working title. This first story of mine, this first awakening of a different place, time and world, these main characters are, have always been, black. Do I, a white woman, have the right to write this story? Appropriation comes to mind, “woke” comes to mind, “White Supremacy” comes to mind, and yet, this is the first for me. My first story was all about them. Kiera, Marcus and their family. How I loved shoving myself deep into Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Alex Haley’s world where Kunta Kinte endured so much and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a dead-too-soon mentor changed my life and opened my eyes even wider to the racial disparities that still exists and how I as a Christian must be against racism. I cannot forget the truck driving culture I researched too, the world of sleeper Mack Trucks and mobile existence, and families back home, the European boarder crossing drivers, the lot lizzards… All gloriously assimilated into Kiera and Marcus’ world. But … Do I dare tell their story? I’m white. That’s dangerous. But they were never white, always black, always. Who do I offend if I continue their story? Who do I betray if I change them to white because I am white? What happens to them if I don’t finish their story? Can I find a friend who is black who will give them credence. Ahhhh, yes, yes I can! I see her now, in my mind, this gorgeous dark skinned friend of mine! She will help… I’m sure of it! And so Kiera and Marcus’ story might come to life , but I will not make them white. They are not white. They are survivors of a legacy of slavery, atrocities put on them that built the wealth of this nation. Their heritage and story deserve to be told. I will not change them to white because I am white and it’s frowned upon for me to write characters any color other than white.
Why do I have to write just white anyway?! Why can’t I give presence to other cultures and colors in my worlds? Who dares say because I’m white, I can only write white characters. That’s rude! Maybe I only know the experiences of a white woman but I LOVE multi-colored, multi-racial spaces where other cultures can be celebrated and explored by my ignorant white friends who see only their world, and see it so blindly, they can’t even identify characteristics of their own white culture. I WANT racial diversity in my work. I do not want vanilla white power, assumption and privilege. It disgusts me. More than disgusts me, it saddens me. So blind, we whites, we are so blind. Why not give presence in my white womans’ novel to all the colors?
There’s that, and then there’s “my” people... the “conservative Christians.” Sex and Jesus, my non-fiction work, will surely piss them off. I’ll be a heretic for sure! Let’s be honest, it’s going to piss off the LGBTQ+ sector of the population too. And just now it occurs to me, maybe it was better to get bogged down in the seven books of yore than face ridicule from all sides and sectors because I want to honestly explore sex and sexuality for myself and with my God and my Bible. The “Safe Seven” … Can I call borderline erotica and books that discuss child abuse, drug addiction, suicide, and abortion and highlight Korean and blind characters “safe” and get away with it?! I didn’t have to worry about anyone calling me out or ridiculing me too badly with the Safe Seven (but that’s probably because they weren’t properly marketed haha).
Who cares if they’re offensive? They scream to exist so, in boldness I must press on, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations… ohhhh wait… that sci-fi world already exists. I digress. In boldness I dare to step into deeper waters. It’s where I’ve always longed to go, but it’s dangerous. I can’t touch bottom if I go too far in my fiction and non-fiction. There is deep, thick, eddied water out there that just might pull me under. But again, what does it matter? I don’t market. No one will read it anyway right?! I mean without big dollar marketing I’m a no one and a nothing. I can write whatever I want and it won’t exist in the real world at large. So… why not write what my mind creates?! If I’m white and I want to give space and presence to black main characters, I will! If I’m conservative Christian and want to explore polygamy and homosexuality I will! If I’m happily, faithfully married and want to write about a polyamorous soul, or middle class and want to dare to enter the world of the unencumbered rich, or dwellingless destitutes, I will! I’m doing it!
I feel it’s only right and fair to dust off the old stories down in the cellar first (Anyone else hear Creole Williams just now?) Let me take them down off their long forgotten shelves, blow off the cobwebs, wipe down the sides and surfaces, pour out the worlds I’ve hidden away for far too long, breathe in my creation, celebrate the skills, however unrefined they are that God has given me, and offer them up and out into this world we all share so you may share in my world. I think sending them out first is the right thing to do. In theory, the more I write, the better I’ll get at my craft and if I leave these firstlings to fester, I’ll never move on. I’ll always hear Marcus crying for Kiera, and Lewis and Clark beckoning me to explore. Yeah, there’s dust and inexperience, but these half-crafted come out first. Fiction and non. I’ve got four days of mornings to write, I’ll give two to fantasy and two to reality. I’ve got an inventory to work with for a couple years at least, I’m sure. Fair enough… hello worlds, how ya been?! It’s good to be here again! Fingers flying across the keyboard, ideas filling my mind. Hello you, hello me! Let the new adventures in old worlds begin! As always, whoever you are, enjoy!
My current inventory of unpublished, unfinished or somewhat started stories for reference and planning:
Sex and Jesus – and all the others that come in this explorer’s series of the Bible
Sailing with Russell (do I still call it that?!) - maybe that too is where reluctance to “move on” comes from
Missing Matea – is it more than an idea anywhere in any manuscript, this “Missed Connections” creation or mine?!
And then of course there just must be a book for Ashlee and Jake, since the other kids have one!
Manalysis and Date-a - because if I charted my dating adventures, I can publish them right?!
The Leaving – because there is something there to share
Dementia Land – but that story isn’t over yet is it?
Letting Go – the first world I ever created, paused at a funeral
Eleven Lives of Evelynne – Ohhhhhh to be skilled enough to take on her 144 overlapping years, do I dare?! Maybe it’s fear keeping me from moving on and into the complexity here
The Big Y – my Nanowrimo of favorite people’s favorite songs! Oh I love this HEA!
Sugar Shack – because oh what a dreadfully transformative place this is!
Cardboard testimonies – I can’t even begin to imagine how this world will change mine!
Ladies of the Loop, or Let’s get Loopy, or some other sweet sisterhood story that centers here in Wenatchee on friends who meet for walks and runs on the Apple Capital Loop Trail
How Church Girls Get it On! - because that’s a purely shameless endeavor!
Parens Patriae – the dystopian world born in Kaihla’s mind, that’s gestated in mine for all these years now
Exotic Teas, The Sunrise Guy, The Amazon Adventure, and The Safe Story – none of my own, but if he who shared them with me doesn’t do something with them… I just might!! - hint, hint!!!!
That’s it?! Really?! Only these works or worlds of my own and a handful of borrowed concepts? They seem like an endless universe inside me, ever expanding, galaxies and solar systems to explore, chart and share! Here I boldly go!
Here's my struggle; I’m a writer and I think my words and stories should be shared. They were never intended for me. With the exception of diaries, I’ve always written with an audience in mind. After I had legitimate books, the idea of “sharing” my stories somehow morphed into “selling.” It seemed to me that if I had books, I needed to sell books. I started to daydream about winning the book lotto. I fantasized about each one, or just one, hitting it big! I dared to dream that writing could be a job that sustained me. I would say good-bye to whatever title I held and my profession would from then on be: “Author!” It was a dreamy dream and I was quite caught up in it... until I realized books don’t magically sell. Like any product they need to be marketed, and a salesman I am not! I will more often talk people out of something than into something. Selling makes me queasy and uneasy. I needed help!
I interviewed and researched marketing companies and chose one. Next thing I knew it was a whirlwind of money out, and things to do on my checklist, and projects to get done. It overwhelmed me, it confused me, and on Independence Day, it stopped me. This is nothing new. Other things have stopped me dead in my writing tracks. Other things other than writing. Always “something” gets in between me and creating things to share. Doubts arise: What am I doing all of this for anyway? What is the point, the purpose, the reason? Do I even have a right selling? Surely I’m not good enough, the stories aren’t good enough. But why? Why would these thoughts, ideas and stories come to me, if not to share?! Why, God why? I’ve prayed over it, agonized over it. I’m currently on a private spiritual journey that revolves around future writing. Yes, I’ve been here before, and since I’ve paid so much to have my website resurrected, really, rebranded, I might as well dissect and post my newest writing dilemma here!
Ugh! Marketing! First and foremost have I said that I hate selling?! I do. I can list off plenty of personal strengths, I’m not self-deprecating, but selling is not my strength. I am 43 and getting older every day. I’m not interested in pouring time into pursuits that do not give me pleasure or fulfill the call God’s given me. At this stage in life, I’d rather focus on and refine my strengths and honor the strengths of others by trusting (and paying) them to do things I do not want to do. I don’t want to “do” marketing or sales, so, I hired it out. In my head marketing is selling. Turns out it’s not! Marketing is a different beast, another one I’m not interested in pouring time into learning. Instead, I poured money into my marketing company. It was probably a laughable amount of money to them, but to me it was a lot of our household disposable income each month, honestly more than I could realistically justify. Rebranding was in full swing, but no sales were realized. Four months in, I started stressing about the money. I felt like a thief robbing my already financially strapped household to fund a fantasy that “my books will sell!” We needed that money for “real-life” and I was playing make-believe with it. I *thought* book marketing was like hiring an editor; you give them a manuscript, they correct your mistakes and send you a bill. I thought the job I was paying marketers for was making and posting ads. It’s not. It’s other stuff to get these darn seven books I’ve already created "ready" to sell, before actually selling them.
Some of these books have been published either as indie, or under my former publisher for over 6 years... I understand why one book isn't worth advertising, because there's nothing else to sell. I *thought* once I had an inventory of stories and series it would be time to sell. Unfortunately, right when my 7th book/second series was finished, the infringement lawsuit happened. I finally paid that off and *thought* again that it was time to sell. I really thought that's what I was buying. If I’ve learned anything out of this, it’s that marketing isn't putting a book up for sale and paying for ads... it's thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of prep work "first." The reality is I will not have that kind of time until I retire. Hopefully at some point in my life before retirement, I'll have enough of a disposable income to pay someone without hurting our household finances, but I don't right now.
What's more, and what's bigger, and what stopped me in my tracks on Independence Day is that I genuinely LOVE the process of writing and making up worlds and stories! It's therapeutic, it's refreshing, it's meaningful to me. Writing makes me feel good! Writing is my reprieve, my oasis, my confidence, my make-believe playground to run and be free and create in. It’s also a humbling honor. I know everyone can’t write. The fact that I can and that stories evolve in my head is an honor. I try not to sound all woojuu-y spiritual, but sometimes it feels like a Divine gift. I can create worlds and concepts with words! I don’t take it lightly. Writing is my calling. It gives me purpose. It helps me understand why I’m here. All of the sales and branding and marketing and hullabaloo turns something I adore and do for stress relief into drudgery, confusion, disappointment, stress, frustration and pain. No matter how much I'd like to see my books make money, I'd rather not sell or “market.” I just want to get back to writing for fun like I used to. I'm not "me" when I'm not writing. I feel like I have to have things "just so" with these seven before I can get back to being me, and they're never right! They’re never ready! They’re never enough!
I'm tired of these stories! Don't get me wrong, I love them all for what they are and where I was in life when I created them, but I'm ready to move on. I have so many other thoughts, ideas and stories bubbling inside me or drafted and waiting for revision and polishing. Even if I only write for myself, I want to get back to writing. But there’s that struggle again, it’s not only for me. Writing has never been only for me. That, to me seems selfish. Spending money on marketing also seems selfish. I’m depleting our finances for my silly dream. Equity is somewhere between stroking my ego and hiding the stories away from the world because someone has deemed them “not ready.” It's fair that these seven stories have space on an Amazon shelf. I can give them that honor and move forward with my writing. And... who knows... if God wills, and the wind blows the right way, maybe those who are meant to read them will happen upon them, forgive the covers, and the unknown author with no newsletter or platform, and slide into a world I've created for them!
Marketing isn't for me, not any of it! It stresses me out, confuses me and takes time away from the loves and joys in my life. If you tell me I can pay someone or some company money and not have to do anything BUT write... I'm in! I thought that’s what I was paying for, but it turned out I had to do so much "other" than writing and paying (and I over estimated what I could pay). So, I’m out! Maybe I'm lazy, or ignorant, or stubborn, but I don't want to learn the skill of marketing. I just want to get back to writing for joy. I need this escape back in my life; reality is too much!
Now, three days later, I'm embarrassed that I misunderstood what I was buying into and what writing is to me. I'm mortified because I made a fool of myself to a reputable marketing company and highlighted my ignorance. I’ve been surly and sour with my husband and my grandmother because I’m embarrassed about spending so much without realizing what I was paying for. I've agonized over all of this BUT I learned some things. I figured some things out. I processed, I refreshed, I accepted… all in written words. I got dirty, dug deep down to the roots. At the core, I am a wrtier! If all of this is good for anything, it’s that I’ve worked up fresh new words to share. This is my first blog post in over a year! THAT makes me happy!
I'll never “give up” writing. The truth is I can’t! Writing is part of me. I do think I’ll give up “marketing.” No more “please oh please buy my book,” no more embarrassing launch parties, no more ego stroking. I'll just write. I’ll share the words and stories that God, whimsy, the muse, or life prompt. I’ll hire an editor, hire a formatter, hire a cover designer, share on social media, pay for ads I can easily understand, release what I’ve created, and write some more (with pictures I know are royalty free haha). Whatever will be will be and at least this way peace can return to my soul because I can get back to the craft that calls to me. May you too find your calling and your peace!