I promise, this is not a rant. This post serves two purposes. 1) Free therapy. 2) Information for followers.
Since I’ve been pushing to publish The Ash Garden at the end of last June, I’ve been actively posting, messaging, contacting everyone both online and off-line in order to prepare an advanced sales campaign. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback, mostly in private messages or Twitter DMs.
There’s some backlash as well. I’ve lost social media followers and people I thought were supportive friends.
But, don’t they know? I thought everyone knew. I’m not shy about my medical conditions or my creative projects. I’ve mentioned both in blog posts many times.
My most active followers (mostly on Facebook), definitely know, but then I wondered if everyone has the right information.
So I decided to write all information in one post, so you can learn where I’m at in my life as a writer, in case you didn’t know.
Information #1 – When
I started writing in 2003 when I was 25. I got serious about leaning everything I could get my hands on about writing in 2005. In 2006, I created a website with one HTML page, created a Google blogger account, then I kept building.
I freely admit I’m 100% self-taught. I’ve thought about going back to school so many times, but I simply lack the physical resources. I’m not ranting or whining. It’s just a statement of fact.
I applaud people who are able to go back to school, learn something new, and change careers. I think it’s brave and just awesome, but it’s not an option for me.
Information #2 – What happened between 2003 and 2006?
I began having symptoms that I hoped were temporary. Extreme fatigue, distorted vision and hearing, low energy. Everyone in my life told me that there must be something mentally wrong with me and I didn’t know what to think. I was just tired all the time and I didn’t know why. At one point, I limped to work with drop foot for two weeks. I never complained, though in retrospect, I should have said something.
At the end of 2004, I had a severe medical attack that landed me in the hospital for three months. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My brain was wiped clean and I lost everything I ever worked hard for. My graphic design career, memories, money, the first 27 years of my life, everything.
But I’ll tell you something. I can’t cry about the loss, because I don’t remember losing.
Information #3 – Relearning
So, returning to school isn’t an option, but I can learn. It took me 2 years to relearn how to walk. I researched everything on the internet. Changed my diet. Tried a lot of treatment options until I figured out what works for me. I made many trips to the library and did more research.
I did the same with my writing, at the same time.
Information #4 – Seizures
Little did I know at the time that mind over matter is a neurological function. I pushed myself too hard. Sure, I’ve relearned as much as I can, but at a price. In 2007, I relapsed, and developed seizures. Now, I pace myself.
“But, but, you don’t look sick!” Yeah, well, I won a free makeover last May, so compliments to the makeup artist.
Information #5 – Goal
My goal since 2005 is a writing career. I’m finally here. There’s always more to learn, but I’ve reached that point where I can sit down and write when I want. It took a lot of practice, and it still takes constant practice to exercise that writing muscle. More than anything else, I feel comfortable with writing.
Information #6 – Here Now
I’ll never say I’m perfect or the best writer evah. I’ve failed many times. It always seems like a good idea at the time. I’ve lost count how many creative projects I’ve started and never finished since 2005. I’m well-aware that lack of finished projects makes me look like the biggest flake, but I don’t see it that way. From my perspective, it’s all a part of the learning process that got me to where I am now.
So, to the naysayers out there who have pretty much accused me of being a lazy, greedy whore (I’m paraphrasing), yes, I am selling The Ash Garden for money when it has a publishing home and any future novels from now on, because that’s simply where I am in my life after 12 years of work.
I’m taking my writing to the next level, and hoping for the best.
Will you join me?