I am both excited and very nervous today. It’s that weird mixture of trepidation and adrenaline and doubts and confidence, and general craziness that sometimes hits an author when they’re about to begin writing something new. It’s the blank canvas effect I used to suffer when painting or drawing. You know what’s in your head, and you want it to look as amazing as it does there when you get it down onto paper, but you have these niggling voices that tell you it’s not going to… it’s going to suck.
My stomach is somersaulting better than most Olympians.
I know the way to overcome the nerves is to sit down, get a playlist together that suits my characters and the book, put that music on, scan my outline for the book and just let it flow, but it’s never as easy to do something as it is to say it… or think it.
I guess I’m writing this post mostly because I’m extremely excited about finally putting fingers to keyboard on a first draft of the first book in this series (and also extremely nervous) and also because I know a lot of writers out there will be able to empathise with me on this one, and it might help a lot of new authors if they know that if they get a case of the butterflies before or even during writing a book, it’s perfectly normal and even the most seasoned of writers experience it.
For me, the nerves this time around are there for several reasons. The Guardians of Hades series is one that I originally came up with back in 2008 and since then I’ve been working on it in dribs and drabs, never quite finding the time to sit down and write it. I wanted to be at the top of my game when I wrote this one. I wanted to have ironed out every little bump in my writing so I could do a fantastic job on it, because I REALLY wanted it to look on paper as it does in my head. I knew that back in 2008, I wasn’t at the level of writing to do that. I had some issues to overcome, and much more to learn. I’m constantly learning–from each book I write, each book I read, each article I scan over, and everything I hear. I never stop learning and I never stop trying to reach the top of this writing game, and I know that to reach that pinnacle, I need to keep learning and not stagnate and declare that I’m perfect and I don’t need to grow as a writer. Every writer needs to keep growing, keep learning, and keep reading. If you think you don’t, then you’re only hurting yourself.
The other reason I’m experiencing a bad case of the jitters is because I’m writing this series for a proposal. Yes, a proposal as in something that will become a submission to an editor at a publishing house. I have always maintained that this series was going to be the one I approached New York with and I stand by that, even in this age of indies. I’m a success as an indie writer, but I’m not one to count my chickens before they’ve hatched, meaning I don’t bank on indies being forever as successful as they are today. I want a slice of both pies, a foot in each pond, and any other metaphor you want to throw in there. I also still believe that to reach my maximum potential audience, I need to keep expanding and break out beyond where I am now, and to do that, I need some major backing. I’ve built myself a very good platform and I have fantastic readers who support me through thick and thin, but I want to take that to the next level. I want to reach new readers and there’s still a huge percentage of them who prefer paperbacks to ebooks, or who prefer published to indie. I don’t fall on one side of the argument or the other about indie vs published. Both are writers, and I’m a writer, and to reach my goals, I need to take advantage of every possible avenue open to me.
I was recently given the opportunity to speak to the wonderful agent of a very wonderful author who hooked me up with her. I honestly never expected the agent to email me, or for us to strike up a conversation about this series, or her to see the potential in it and my author brand. I can’t thank this amazing, friendly author enough for what she did for me, a relative stranger and also a kindred soul. She’s given me a boost up the ladder towards that star I’m trying to reach at the top. Now I just have to live up to my hype and produce a book and a series that will blow not only the agent away, but New York with her.
Wish me luck!