Shall we ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in almost six months and I never wrote that promised post about The Three Thrones’ book trailer?
Yes, I thought so.
That aside, I can’t ignore other things: for example, I don’t at all know what I have to say in this space.
It’s not that I’m without words. I’ve been working on my next project since September, in fact, and I’m really starting to get into the thick of the story. This novel is stretching me more than any project before, mostly because it’s somewhat unfamiliar territory—a futuristic setting, multiple 1st-person POVs, and a main character who is (mild spoiler alert) mute. That last one’s the real kicker. By the end of the Reinhold books, dialogue had become something I felt confident in. One of my strong points.
And now I’m writing a main character who can’t deliver a single line. Yay.
*breathes deep* There it is. That, up there. That’s what I have to write about here.
Because in the past, I wouldn’t have said any of that. I’m known for tight-lipped secrecy about my projects until I’m almost to publication. But not anymore. Whether this project is different from the others, or I’m simply changing as an author, I have (from the beginning of this concept) been open with others about what I’m writing about. I casually drop the name of the working title: The Speechless.
Some of this is because the premise of The Speechless is just *so* easy to explain to people. But recently, I’m realizing the shift in my behavior may have its root in something less positive and (for me) deeply depressing.
It’s easy to keep secrets and slowly drip-feed plot details to readers when you have a crowd of readers who eat up everything you put out.
And the simple fact is, I really just…don’t.
The last Reinhold book, The Three Thrones, released in December with little ado. It’s probably my own fault: I drained all my energy on a cinematic-quality book trailer and had no effort left to do any real marketing. But it’s difficult to market to people you feel like aren’t really there. To speak when you feel you don’t have a voice. That book came and went, and feels like it’s run its course without ever taking a step.
There were a few book signings, of course. I did my first event at a Barnes & Noble, which (in the moment) felt like a huge deal. I’ve heard from several readers that they lost sleep reading the 600-page tome. The book has, at the time of writing, received a solitary review on Amazon (five stars, nonetheless).
Anyway. Enough wallowing. To share all these insecurities and depressions really is a deep level of vulnerability. Anyone would acknowledge that. But so is putting out 327,000 words of a story written from the deeps of my heart. It isn’t the same thing as venting my frustrations as an author on a blog. But it’s a deeper, fuller, more latent vulnerability, that very few people will ever have the chance to risk.
My mind is for sale on Amazon. Think about that for a moment.
And when you’re done thinking about it, you’re welcome to go to Amazon and purchase my mind. Free shipping on orders over $25.
If this all sounds like begging or self-pity, it’s not. Like all writing should be, it’s personal catharsis that—because I am a writer—cannot be processed any other way. Would I be this open if I knew hundreds of people would read this post? If I had the pressure of writing for an enormous audience? I really don’t know. Maybe this is preparation for when I do have that pressure. A developed practice of raw realness to build upon.
I’m moving forward with hope, fighting this constant battle of self-doubt and negativity. The most recent paragraph in my writing on The Speechless really sums it up:
Yet this is…something. A hope. A gentle touch as if to say, you are not alone in this world. You are not the only one.
That’s what that lone review is to me. A gentle touch that reminds me why I’m doing this.