Last year, when I was writing Curve, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. Google and the Indie writing community taught me everything. I hadn’t intended to publish my writing so there was never any big plan or sense of deadlines. I was just writing, writing, reading, writing. There were key milestones: setting up my author page on Facebook, deciding to publish, putting together my first teaser. But the focus was always the writing.
This year, writing Heart has been so much more difficult. Maybe it’s because the story for Curve had been burning inside me for a couple of years. Maybe it’s because my other job has been so much more demanding this year. Maybe it’s because social media is the easiest way to procrastinate. It’s probably all of those things. However, this year has also been affected by knowing the scale of the undertaking. Last year, I only ever had to worry about the nest step; I had no concept of how many more there were going to be.
This year, I know what it takes to write and self-publish a novel. I know how many pieces have to be fitted in to complete the jigsaw – and this is one of those 1000 piece jigsaws. You know the ones – all sky and fields. The ones where, once you’ve got the straight edges sorted, you’re overwhelmed by the idea of how to get the bloody thing finished. The ones where you reach a point, several times over, when you consider packing it back in the box and hiding it at the back of the wardrobe.
Writing Heart, and it’s still not finished, has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. I’ve had to be honest with myself about my limitations and my weaknesses. I’ve had to take criticism, from both Curve reviewers and myself, that has made me doubt myself. Yes, I’ve thought about giving up writing and just getting back to being a reader. Many times.
But I know that writing is an important part of my personal jigsaw: without it, I wouldn’t feel complete. The lows of being a writer do not outweigh the highs: the days when the ideas come so fast, your typing can’t keep up or receiving a message from a reader. It’s just difficult to remember that sometimes, when all of the pieces are starting to look depressingly similar to each other.
So, thank you to everyone who has helped me find that next piece and keep going.
We’re almost done!