Happy Independence Day!
I have been pondering what independence means, truly means and I suppose it’s different for everyone. For some, it’s being able to stand on their own two feet (or one if the case may be) and to be able to gain what they desire in their hearts. It’s being able to make choices and to live with those choices. Independence is about surviving.
Writers understand independence in ways that many others do not. As a writer, much of our craft is born within our minds, takes life in our thoughts, and is born through the keystrokes of our fingers. Being a writer is a very lonely place, existing solely in the mind until one brings it forward and dares to put to words what has been festering in the dark depths. Writers take the ideas that are a very private part of themselves and weave them into characters and stories and can take readers on a journey through their words.
I have recently become a published author for the first time (plug: Resurrection, a M/M Military Romance available through Amazon Click here) and I have had some very good reviews. Many have expressed amazement to the fact that this is my first book. What people tend to look over is that this is by far NOT my first book. I’m over 50 years old and I have been a writer my entire life! I have written short stories, poetry, plays, online role play, and countless stories and books over the years. Yes, this IS my first published novel and honestly, I am very proud of it.
But I am no different from so many authors out there. I read many posting on Facebook about the struggles, with feelings of giving up, and the frustrations with not being able to make ends meet. I get that. Being a writer is something that can be so emotionally draining and take so much out of a person yet pays so little and rarely gets the writer the kudos they deserve. If you’re lucky, you write that best seller that is seen by millions, but most of us, 99.999% of writers will never feel that sort of success. It does not mean we are not as good of a writer as that person is. It does not mean we do not have as good of ideas as that person. I mean, have you ever read Stephan King? That guy has some seriously messed up ideas! It just means it wasn’t meant to be.
I have never wanted to make a living with my writing. Maybe that’s why I never tried to become published before now. I have always figured that if I have to rely on what I love to do in order to pay my rent, then I will be forced to do it and writing does not always work that way. I write for myself first, for my own enjoyment and yes, to calm the characters that pop up in my head, make me lose sleep, and demand their story be written down. Now, that fact that others are also enjoying something I wrote not only boggles my mind but makes me very happy. To have a physical book with MY name on the spine is pretty damn mind-blowing.
Now, that is not to say that you shouldn’t love your job or be passionate about what you do for a living. Many people are able to combine the two and live quite happily. I am just not one of those people and I am sure there are plenty of creative individuals out there, writing until the wee hours of the morning or painting and drawing over and over until they feel it’s right who also believe that art and the creation is a very personal thing. Some people have amazing talent but the thought of showing that talent to the world is terrifying because it’s part of them in some way. The words, the strokes, the colors – it’s all a part of the creator in some way.
I suppose the aim of this posting and the focus I wanted to take today was that it is Independence Day. Celebrate it however you feel you should. In my family, it is a day of mourning because we lost a loved but troubled family member on this day so we all avoid festivities.
However, this year, I am able to celebrate something new. I am a writer and I have been successful in completing a full novel (not as easy of a task as you’d think! You should see all the story starters I have over the years!) and been lucky enough to not only get it published but have others enjoy it as well. So, for me, this Independence Day has taken on a bigger meaning. This Independence Day, I can celebrate my success in being able to wrangle those thoughts in my head, put them to paper, seek out a publisher, have them accept me, and see my dream available to others and have it received well. So, as you can see by that lengthy sentence, that this day means so much more to me this year. This is MY Independence Day because I made a dream come true. No one else but me. And that sounds like a reason to celebrate.
Happy Independence Day!