Normally publishing your first book is a time to celebrate, a time to look at oneself and breathe a sigh of satisfied relief, if just for a moment. But even after hiring an editor and cleansing Dregs of the Culver Waste of its many flubs, even after re-publishing the new addition and completing the first draft of my next work, Haliden’s Fire, I feel little relief in sight. I guess that’s what keeps me going as a writer, though. The day I sit back with an air of self-satisfaction is the day I die as a creative individual. It sucks, but it’s the way of it. Standing on the edge of a cliff and staring down with self-loathing and anxiety: the fuel that pumps my engines. But miraculously, in the end, it’s that same fear that gets the work done. It’s the driving force that keep me exploring my mind and hunting for the next tale.
I’m about to step away from Dregs for a time – a work that has been my creative life for almost seven years – and embark on my most personal novel to date. I’m scared as hell to go through the entire gut-wrenching process again. But I’m also excited as hell. Haliden’s Fire is my new passion, my new lover and I’m still well into that blessed honeymoon phase. I can’t wait to share it with someone, to get that first bit of feedback, negative or positive. It’s been like a movie rolling over and over in my head, a tale so exciting and personally gut-wrenching that I have to share it with the world.
But it takes time to get there, so much time. And so much self-doubt and fear. You worry if people will like it, if it will resonate the same with them as it has you. After all, it’s all about the reader’s experience, the reader’s enjoyment. As a write, I don’t really care about anything else. I hold no pretensions regarding my work or myself as an individual; I write for you, the reader, my reader. So I put down the champaign glass and flatten my smile. There’s no time to pat myself on the back. It’s time to keep banging away at this keyboard. Time to spit this new tale out into a world and hope someone gives a shit about it. Hopefully by year’s end, Haliden’s Fire will be ready for its maiden voyage. Until then, come join me and stare into the abyss. You never know what kind of tale you might find in that lonely, black expanse.