I just realized today that I haven’t written a blog post in over a month. A whole freaking month. And the worst part? It totally makes sense.
The other day I had a major freak-out. There were tears and other facial fluids that I’d rather not remember. But there were also questions. The ones that I’m trying to create (better) answers to in my life. The title question being one of them.
Because I’ve not only not written a blog post in over a month. I haven’t written anything. At all. I haven’t even been doing my daily tarot readings. That should have been my first clue.
When I first decided to write a novel, I believed it would help me make my mark on the world. I would share my thoughts and beliefs and whatever little wisdom I’d gained in my tumultuous life with my readers. I’d create something that would endure long after I was gone. And when people thought of me, they’d think of my stories, and reminisce about how much my words touched them in some way.
That hasn’t happened. And I’m beginning to doubt that it ever will.
So, when all the anxiety hit me and the dam burst, the question that kept banging through my skull was, “What will my legacy be?”
My immediate answer was, “Nothing.”
I felt like I couldn’t write anything else. I unfollowed all but a few book people on Twitter, because I couldn’t keep seeing all these people getting the things that I wanted but felt I couldn’t have.
Ever since I dipped a toe into the book community, I’ve seen nothing but all the reasons why I’d never get an agent, or a book deal, or a marketing budget. I’m a black female who doesn’t agree with how the majority is handling the issues of diversity in the book world. I’m a young female who writes fantasy, and doesn’t play D&D, and hasn’t read all the fantasy heavyweights. I’m terrified of actually getting a book deal, because it means I’ll have to do things that freak me out — public speaking, being in crowds, talking about my work as if I did it on purpose, and have this big grand scheme behind it.
That last part has gotten me lost in worldbuilding, which is both fascinating and frustrating. Because I love collecting and organizing information, but I get so confused because I’m trying to juggle way too many things at once.
Add all of this to the fact that I’ve only written two books and I’m struggling to make ends meet, it’s all that I can do not to burn all of my manuscripts and notes, and break my laptop in half.
But most of all, I’ve been struggling with the fact that I feel like I don’t have any stories left to write.
It’s why I haven’t been able to write a new story. It’s why I haven’t written a blog post. I feel like I have nothing left to say.
I mean, my first two novels were essentially about the same idea, the same thought that was in my head for years. And part of me feels like I still haven’t fully explored it. But another part of me feels like I can’t keep going over the same thing in story after story after story.
Yet, when I try to move on to a new book, a new idea, two things happen. One, none of the new ideas are nearly as exciting or fascinating. Two, I go right back to thinking about the old idea.
It’s gotten to the point where I’ve started outlining at least six different stories, started building three different worlds, started creating a language, a heraldry system, and even magical flora and metals. But I can’t seem to make anything pull together, because I don’t have an idea that is magnetic enough.
So then I just throw my hands up and walk away. I contemplate destroying all my work, and moving on to something else. Because maybe being a writer isn’t for me. Because it’s too exhausting, too draining. I get tired of trying. After my freak-out this weekend, I literally took a nap.
Within minutes of waking up, I started thinking about writing.
I don’t know if it’s because I feel compelled to prove that I can do it — get a book deal, become a traditionally published author — or because I just can’t not do it.
Am I destined (or doomed) to write? And if so, what am I supposed to say?
That’s the question that’s been killing me for months now. And I still don’t have an answer.