Soundtrack provided by: Heather Small, Proud, Sara Bareilles, Brave
Current Reading: The Millenium Series, Stieg Larsson
So I am starting a new addition to the blog, above each blog post will be the “soundtrack provided by” that influenced the idea and whatever I may be sticking my nose in at the time. I am an avid reader and if you have any questions about the books I’m reading or are curious to track them down yourself, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I’m delighted to discuss.
In the last couple weeks, I have found myself inspired by a group of writers I more or less fell into thanks to a coworker. The group is a bunch of writers, bloggers, and poets who are extremely passionate about what they do. That passion sparks me. So, to start today’s blog, I’d love to give a shout-out to The Figment Writers and the group’s amazing creator, Mia. This group has been an absolute blessing and I recommend it to any writer who would love to network and get to know some highly creative, awesome people.
With that being said, the group has a weekly writing prompt that have gotten my creative juices going in a variety of ways. The first week was an Oscar Wilde quote that had got my brain going and this week, the prompt was a simple word. Triumph.
So this got me thinking. People make a pretty big deal about my published work. I’ve never signed with a publishing company and have basically stayed self-published. I made this choice for a variety of reasons—the first and foremost being that I just don’t have the time to devote. I realize that more now that I have met writers who treat their writing as their profession. I applaud those that that can dedicate themselves. I just don’t know if I will ever be at a point in my life where I can do that and provide for my family. Time only knows what the cards hold. God knows I’m still figuring it out sometimes.
At any rate, back to Triumph.
Feelings of triumph are difficult for me because I take so very many things in stride. I never take the time to absorb those triumphs or value the accomplishment itself. In fact, my spouse occasionally has to force me to take time off.
Flashback four years.
I published my first book, Maeseloria: Birth of Light through CreateSpace in 2012. My celebration was diving into the next story and continuing my next body of work. The funny part about this is that I just didn’t see it as that big of a deal. Writing is something I love, something I do, so the natural transition to me was just to keep telling the story.
And then I told someone I did it and promptly watched their face light up and proceed to lose their mind about the whole affair. For the record, nothing embarrasses me faster than getting excited about my accomplishments to my face. Mind you, this person then also went out on our company people page and announced to the company what I had done. The next month was a series of red-faced, stammering explanations to the question I am never quite comfortable answering: “What do you write about?”
Three books later, I’m better about that . I have felt elated, nervous, terrified, giddy and overjoyed about finishing a piece, publishing my work but triumph was never in my wheelhouse of emotions about my books. The prompt got me thinking. Well, why the hell shouldn’t I feel triumphant? Between the four books, I’m looking at almost 1100 pages of words and a world that I created. I should, to quote my best friend, own that shit. In the last four years I have accomplished things other writers only dream of.
Will I ever be a millionaire like most people perceive successful writers to be? No, probably not. Other people’s perception of success has never been my driving force and probably never will be.
To me, that’s not the triumph of writing. The triumph is bringing your ideas to life. The triumph to me is seeing your message, your characters touch people. To me the triumph is when a reader gets mad at me over an event in the book. To me, the triumph is writing a scene that brings a reader to tears because it touched them. (True story, the crier in question was my own mother to boot.)
I don’t know if I’ll ever be what society deems a “successful writer” to be. I don’t care. I get to tell my stories. I get to put to paper a world I have only ever dreamed about. That’s triumph. That’s what makes me proud.
What are your triumphs?
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YES! Own that shit, girl. You are absolutely right – those moments of triumph are soul food. Congratulations to you on your 4 books, that’s an absolutely amazing accomplishment! And thank you so much for your kind words about The Figment!! xo
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I am frequently told by my spouse and best friend that I need to step back and take it all in at times.