A year ago today I published my first full-length novel. It was something I'd always wanted to do. Since then, I've kept writing, but hadn't had a good idea to go off of. Just little scenes that would run through my mind with no connection to each other. I've also neglected this blog, big time. But I figured it felt right to say something about the anniversary of my self-publishing "success".
I say "success" because it was a personal victory to work on something and put it out in the world. I'm not rich. I made maybe, $50 total on the book. Truth is, I don't think it's my best work. But I put it out there, because at the time I was proud. I wanted to make something. I'm always open to the idea of improvement. I haven't released any other writing since this book, but that doesn't mean I've stopped writing.
In the time that I was on this "hiatus", I've written a one act play, a screenplay, a short story, poems, and now I'm working on a new book. But it's not easy to sit down and write. You have to channel it. Really immerse yourself in the world of your story. Get to know your characters, hell, have lunch with them if you'd like. Finding the time to do all of this is another factor; the dreaded hands of the clock tick away, and what have you got done? Nothing. You've been staring at that blank page for an hour, eaten half of the snacks in your pantry, checked Facebook and Twitter seven thousand times and all you have seen are the same dog videos, or you've been at your day job. But that's okay. Time sucks, and sometimes it isn't on our side. Pressure, stress, all of these things haunt us. Let the inspiration come to you. Soon, the time will too.
I'm not famous. I'm doing this because I love it, and I'm proud of the work I did. It's like I'm a singer, and I've posted my first cover up on YouTube. The work I put into it was a lot, and I need to keep doing it if I want to get somewhere. Artists need ways to get their art out, which is exactly what I did. Which is exactly what I encourage every artist to do. Write a blog, or at least start one. If you stay standing in one place, you go nowhere. In a literal sense, and a figurative sense. Upload your songs on YouTube, start a Bandcamp or Soundcloud. Find ways to well your artwork on your school campus. Offer your photography services. Make a really low-budget short film with your friends. You got this.
And last but not least, believe in yourself. Believe your art is good. Believe you can do it. Get out there, kid. The world is waiting for you.
(Picture of me in July 2016, after buying Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).