Today my first stand alone work debuted on Amazon (which you can buy here).
It's been an incredible trip to get here, and I have a confession to make.
Today, after getting home from work, and just staring at a book cover with my name on it, I burst into loud, ugly sobbing for about thirty minutes.
Because a year ago, I didn't think I'd ever be here.
I wrote the Bone Queen while I was in my second to last semester of grad school, and I was ready to give up writing. I hated the first draft of the Bone Queen. Hated it. I was ashamed of what I'd written.
I lost all faith in myself as a writer, and resigned myself to never writing again.
And for about six months after that, I didn't write. I was at a point of exhaustion I didn't think could exist. I was past just running on fumes; I ran on nothing but spite, hate, and caffeine. Graduate school really did nearly kill me and every creative bone in my body.
It wasn't until I had turned in my thesis that I even really gave writing a try again, and I was shocked at how much just writing again helped me feel like me again. It helped me be not so exhausted, not so depressed, and anxious.
It was like falling in love with words all over again.
The Bone Queen's revisions all happened during that slow return back to words. The first few revision drafts were painful and awkward like trying to crawl through a mine field with your arms and legs bound behind your back. But by the time the third draft was taking shape, I felt confident in my own fingers again.
I found my footing, and The Bone Queen's story found its heart.
Seeing it in print, knowing that everything had paid off in the end just sent me into tears of relief, and joy at knowing that I did it, that I was much stronger and way more dedicated than I ever gave myself credit for. (and waaaaay more dedicated to writing than to say... getting up early to exercise. hahahaha)
So, here's a little bit of encouragement and hope out there for anyone whose struggling with writing, who can't see the end of the road. It's out there, and you can get there even if you have to crawl through the mud, and drag your exhausted body across coals.
I know a lot of people are starting Nanowrimo right now, so just buckled down and crawl through the fire.
You can do it.