I'm sitting in my dining room/living room/kitchen (it's an old Japanese house).
The windows are open because it's finally above 70 degrees.
I've just arrived home from teaching a Mommy and Me English class for two year olds.
The kids are outside.
The husband is resting before returning to work.
Now that I've set the very simple, very ordinary scene for you, let me tell you about the complex, extraordinary things I'm feeling on the inside.
Exactly three weeks ago, the final book in the Slave series released. I look at my Kindle Publishing bookshelf, and I can't believe what I'm seeing. When did this happen? How in the world did I manage to write these novels? I don't ask those questions in search of affirmation. It's a genuine, strange feeling: the blur looking back on the insanity.
Now that a little time has passed, I'd like to share just how crazy the last two months were before the release.
It's important that you understand that YOU CAN achieve dreams. You can reach big goals.
But for those us who have done so already, it's important to be honest about the process. You see, if dreamers never see how much achievers struggle, they'll be completely blindsided when the hard moments come.
Here's the truth:
As of January, PART TWO of Remnant was a disaster. I couldn't get what was in my head into readable words. I couldn't get perspective on what to share and what to withhold.
THANK GOD FOR CRITIQUE PARTNERS.
Do not create in total isolation. That is to say, don't release your creation without letting trusted eyes take a peek and give you their honest thoughts. Trust me.
On February 16th, only SIX WEEKS before the scheduled release date, I sat staring at my computer screen, reading much needed feedback from a writer friend. The heart of the feedback essentially consisted of: You have a lot of work to do, but YOU CAN DO IT.
That same night, I created a new outline for Part Two, and over the next several weeks, I started from scratch, rewriting chapters, reusing some, creating new scenes, new plot points, new dialogue. I listened to all the playlists I'd used throughout the series, and reread chapters from the previous books.
I lived with bags under my eyes and fog in my brain. I went to bed at 3am and woke up at 8. My house was neglected. Our meals were lacking. Homeschool fell away for a number of those weeks, only consisting of Math and Language Arts.
This is the ugly side of creating, but also incredibly empowering! I honestly had no idea how I would manage to complete the story in the way I wanted to, but at the same time...I knew I would. I was determined.
The deadline came, and I released Remnant three days early, completely refreshed. And I love it. I'm happy. I'm fully satisfied with the end result.
I tell you this because you need to know that there will be rough days. There will be tears of defeat (I had many), tears of exhaustion (I had even more of those...), and moments of absolute victory.
Please don't quit after failure. Don't give up when the obstacles grow daunting. It would be irresponsible of me to pretend the creating process is always lovely. Always easy and free flowing. Sometimes it's so hard, I wonder why in the world I'm doing it.
That is normal. That is okay. Keep creating.
I'm so grateful to be looking at a completed series! And grateful for the connections I've made and lessons I've learned along the way. I'm still growing...still discovering who I am as a writer.
I'll still be posting commentary on Slave (Book One). That fell to the side a bit during the revision process, but I intend to see it through. :)
And I'm well on the way with my new story!! I even created a working cover for it, which I'm resisting showing you yet...but it's hard!
Thank you all for your support! And I'm happy to say that my house is consistently clean again!!!