Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
With nearly a year since I’ve released Shadow Assassins, I wanted to cover how far I’ve come since then. Shadow Assassins has been an idea in my mind since 2004, although ideas started before then. With all the work I’ve put myself through in order to journey this far (and by proxy, my friends and family, who have probably noticed that an active writer makes for a barren social life), I just wanted to express how thankful I am this Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a holiday I look forward to, strangely enough, and I try to support it like the good old underdog since it’s been squished between two colossal commercial giants, Halloween and Christmas. I see friends on my personal Facebook that do the 30 days of thankful posts, where they list something they’re thankful for every day of November. I wanted to do something similar, just not in as many posts, hehe.
For my friends and family that notice I randomly disappear or withdraw from the world, I’m sorry you have to endure such a frustrating kind of relationship, but it it something that does good. There are days where I cannot stand being bothered, cannot stand human interaction of any sort, no matter how much I love the person trying to get in touch. I tend to get frustrated if I can’t write over a long period of time, and when life gets in the way of work, my internal clock is ticking. It’s one that chimes that familiar, I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! sort of tune. It keeps reminding me that I need to write, like, right now. On the days that the compulsion can’t be ignored, I will drop everything and everyone to focus on that drive. That is also where I feel the most accomplished, when I can spend a good chunk of the day doing nothing but exploring the world I’m writing for. It’s a vicarious process, to breathe life into my characters and let them run free. For the patience it takes to stay in contact with me, I am ever thankful. I’m thankful for my family, although I may not keep in touch very well – and my better half’s family for accepting me as I am. As hardheaded and stubborn as I am, deep down, my heart is in the right place. It might not be easy to see that all the time, considering that I am a less than conventional person to work with.
I’m thankful for my better half, who can pull me out of a downwards hate spiral of anti-creativity. For the days that I lose confidence in myself and my writing, my man is able to re-focus me and tell it like it is. He points out harsh truth sometimes, but it’s harsh truth I need to hear (although sometimes I don’t want to), about my battles with perfectionism and impatience. He even understands my drive to be left alone, sometimes. We both work from home so we have a basic headphone rule: if the headphones are on, don’t bother unless it’s important. When my writing is in a serious mode and bothering me will result in me warping into some horrible, grumpy monster, those headphones come in handy. His understanding of my need to work uninterrupted has been incredibly helpful.
This might also sound weird, but I am very much thankful for music. Music is my main muse and one of my other main compulsions. The majority of Shadow Assassins and Warpath were written to artists like Two Steps From Hell, audiomachine and similar artists. I’ve never been particularly picky with what I write to until the Second Realm Trilogy came along. Usually I’ll just stick my music on shuffle and write to whatever randomly hits. This time, I’ve found that in order to build the Second Realm properly and portray it correctly, it needed the right atmosphere, the right environment and the right sense of wonder. In particular, TSFH’s Nero has been big on my mind.
Being a full time author is not an easy job, nor is it a conventional one. For those who support me in any way, you have my thanks. It can be a lonely job, but it’s incredibly satisfying not only to see those words on the page, but to see others reading it as well. Shadow Assassins was a thrill to write, while Warpath hammered down the meaning of hard work and dedication. I try to stay humble with my writing but dear lord, I am proud of how far I’ve come and of the unlimited potential that not only I, but all indie authors have in our heavily saturated field. Here’s to the indie industry, to other writers looking to get noticed just like me, to other authors who know of the difficulty it takes to chase inspiration and balance a social life (or family).
Of all things I am thankful for, I am thankful that I get to share my world with all of you out there. Casual browsers and those who have invested a lot of time into learning about the Second Realm (you know who you awesome people are) – you both mean the world to me and I just want to thank anyone who’s browsed through my site, picked up my book or interacted with me through social media. Being an author has been my dream since I started writing, and over time there has been a lot of negativity that rode on me while I explored my craft. Where I am now, I feel like I’ve hit bottom and bounced back. There’s only one way to go when you hit bottom, and that is simply upward.