Dear Diary, today I decided to shake it off and try again...
Updated: Aug 26
Diary entry - 3 March 2020
A few years ago I wrote and self-published a paranormal romance book called The Descendants - Rise of the Reaper Army - and it was a total flop 😢
Having been a newspaper journalist for so long and hearing people compliment my writing since I was a little girl, I just assumed the first book I wrote would be awesome.
And there were some good reviews - but for the most part it received what people like to call 'constructive criticism'.
The worst part, was I knew the 'constructive criticism' was right.
I didn't develop the characters
I rushed it
I had no clue what I was doing
I had no ARC team - thank goodness
I thought I edited it, but there were typos and errors all through it
It was a not so hot mess!!
And all my friends bought it... #humiliating
The thing is, I knew it wasn't my best work and I also knew that genre in particular did not reflect my genuine voice as an author.
It was hard to sit down and admit I hadn't really tried, and then ask myself, was it out of fear that I didn't give it my heart and soul - because what if I did and no one liked it?
Now I am about to face my fears and try again - for real this time.
How it panned out...
Now don't for a minute think I've mentioned this in a bid to have you read it - I am definitely not. In fact, if you ever see it I encourage you not to read it.
The reason I'm bringing it up, is because that failure shook my confidence to the very core.
After a while I realised it was my fear of failing at something I had given my absolute all to, that had caused me to make a half-hearted effort because it gave me an out.
I could say to myself and other people things like, 'Well it wasn't really my best effort', or, 'I didn't really put my heart into it'... and other excuses.
If I did my best and failed - where would I go from there?
But in the end all I did was manifest my own fears.
People thought I was a shitty writer - and why wouldn't they? I gave them a shitty, disingenuous book to read - all to save my own ego in case my best effort wasn't good enough.
The thing is, for writers like us, it's almost impossible to step away from the keypad and never write again. It's harder still to stop our brains from throwing up potential plots and characters.
And that's what happened to me...
Despite my fail, that inner writer would not shut up and my heart kept telling me, please just give it another go and really try this time - don't be afraid.
So I did.
I gathered my resilience, determination, and childhood dreams of being an author, and sat down at the computer.
What came out is something I am finally proud of because this time I put my heart into it.
Don't ever sell yourself short because you're afraid people won't like your book, and don't set yourself up to fail because it might give you an out.
Trust me, it feels just as shitty as if you'd done your best and it didn't work - worse probably.
Good writing has to come from the heart... because that's where all the best stories live.