A physical and spiritual journey to putting my work out there.
In 2018, I moved in with my boyfriend, and we jointly moved across several states for him to take a new job. While he was off at work, I was home at work, writing Grimmfay (the new novel that had taken my creative brain by storm), editing, and sending out query letters. A new place meant a new life and new chances, and I was bound and determined to make my writing dreams a reality. For two years, I was the most proactive little bunny there ever was.
In November of 2019, a romance novel I’d been querying got a “thanks but no thanks” from a fairly big publisher. It wasn’t the first rejection, but for some reason, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It hurt. It broke me. I remember saying I was done trying to make people want my work and so tired of being told I wasn’t good enough—never good enough. I’d just gotten a new part-time job, and I was launching my editing business, and I wouldn’t have time for writing, anyway. And so it was with a broken heart and shattered spirit that I hung up my writing hat and threw myself completely into helping other writers. I had my MFA and years of experience making other people’s work better. I was just evidently incapable of making my own worthwhile.
I spent the next two years (give or take) avoiding anything I’d ever written and dodging my boyfriend’s casual inquiries about whether I’d sent anything out lately. I knew he meant well and was trying to help, but I didn’t care. I was done. No one wanted my work, and I wouldn’t let the rejection be part of my life anymore.
Then, mid 2021, I was working on a client’s manuscript, and it dawned on me that I hadn’t left a comment for a while. I’d gotten so enthralled in the story that my editor hat slipped off for a minute. Dutifully, I went back to my last comment and reread, leaving another comment to let them know I had to reread because the story had captured me.
My client was positively ecstatic about that comment. Sure, they were paying me to work on their book, but I was genuinely enjoying it. I was only one person, but I wanted their story.
Another ton of bricks fell on me, but this one wasn’t as painful as the last. One person wanted their work. One person. But one could lead to two, then three, and four, five, six… It had been a while since I took a math class, but I knew the numbers kept going and going, and that one could double, triple, ten, hundred times itself. It only took one person.
And that one person could be anyone.
I reopened my long-neglected Grimmfay file. The friend I’d sent chapters to as I was writing had enjoyed it. She was one person. I had one person. I could do this. I reread the book, got another reader to be sure, and launched my Patreon to publish. I wanted to share Grimmfay more than anything, and if only one person wanted it right now, that was okay. That could grow. I had the power to make my dream a reality, and now that I knew it, nothing was going to stop me.
Looking back, I wish someone had told me I had the power.
Why am I telling you this? It’s not to guilt you into rushing to Patreon to click the “become a patron” button. It’s not to make Grimmfay sound like it’s the greatest story ever told (even if my inner champion believes it is while my inner demon rages at how wrong my champion is). I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to do what I did. I gave up. I stopped. I fell into believing I’d never be good enough because I let my inner demon win.
But I am enough. Grimmfay is enough. And I have the power to put it out there for one or two or a hundred people to read.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. If you’d like to go farther, you can check out The Heights, a free-to-read short story set in Grimmfay’s world by clicking below.
And if you don’t feel like checking it out right now, hey, that’s okay. You’re only one person, after all.