Soul Searching

Fellow blogger Jessica at Jeweled Again By Jessica has had a couple of posts recently that have really resonated with me. While she’s been struggling to decide if she should continue with her art or throw in the towel, I’ve been struggling to make the same decision about my fiction writing. Writing has always brought me joy – or at least it used to. I’ve spent most of this year trying to decide how I want to proceed and am still no closer to a decision than I was in February.

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I fell in love with creative writing in high school and spent years wanting to write stories. However, I didn’t actually start until I was 47 and discovered the world of fan fiction. I wrote several stories based in the world of Mass Effect, my favorite video game series. The positive feedback I received on those stories gave me the courage to begin writing original stories. I decided to write under a pen name, Isabella Norse, since I write romance and worked in IT which is still a male-dominated field. I knew if any of my coworkers were to find out, I’d never hear the end of it and I didn’t want to have to hurt anyone, LOL. The decision to write under a pen name is one of those things that I would change if I could go back in time. I don’t like having to be two people, especially since, as a writer, I’m pretty much expected to be on all of the social media sites and I hate it. Izzy has FB, Twitter, IG, and Pinterest accounts, and even has a separate blog – pretty much all of them inactive. Sigh. It would be easier if I could just be Linda. However, I haven’t figured out the best way to combine me and Izzy into one. Double sigh.

One of my biggest problems has been “finding my tribe”. As best I can tell, this consists of being really good at tooting your own horn on social media. Since I’ve already said that Izzy’s SM accounts are pretty much inactive, it’s a safe bet that I ‘m not good at this. As a matter of fact, it would be safe to say that I completely suck at the marketing portion of writing. The whole “look at me, look at me, look at me” aspect of marketing is completely anathema to me. Triple sigh. Honestly, I don’t care if I’m ever a New York Times Bestselling Author but I would like to have some readers, LOL. (Thanks for reading my stories Jessica!🥰)

I’m a hybrid author which means I’ve self-published a few stories and have others published with a couple of small presses. One of the small presses recently returned the rights to my sweet paranormal romance series; their business took a hit during the pandemic so they are downsizing. I wasn’t the only author published with them impacted. However, my feelings weren’t hurt. I was already planning to ask them for my rights back; my stories just weren’t the best fit with with their imprint and I wanted the ability and freedom to rebrand and advertise my stories as I see fit.

Honestly, I miss writing for the joy of it. Now, even when I’m working on a story I enjoy, part of my mind is wondering if it’s even worth the trouble, if anyone will ever read it. Kenn tells me I should just write for myself and not worry about readers, etc. I wish I could. However, my brain just doesn’t work that way. Quadruple sigh.

I’ve considered stopping my creative writing and just continuing with this blog. I get to interact with people here! However, the thought of completely giving up on my stories has caused more than one panic attack. I guess that, in itself, is an answer. I’ve just got to come up with a way to muzzle the part of me that likes to put a damper on things with its negativity.

Thanks for listening while I vented. It helped and I appreciate each and every one of you!😘

15 thoughts on “Soul Searching

  1. Hi!! I completely and thoroughly understand this! There are so many factors that seem to add to “I may just quit.” A big thing that gets in my way is there are too many choices!! And, expectations. There are all these ‘have to’s’ that everyone is supposed’ to do. Like you were saying with social media. It’s like, we just can’t write a book or make art without the world’s ideas about what we need to do with something that ISN’T even finished yet!!! That can take the joy of simply creating right out of creating…

    What about just making an announcement on Izzy’s sites, then merging them? People are in such a search for self authenticity right now, that it may be the perfect timing. You could even talk about how wearing 2 different writing identities is and why you decided to choose to just be you.

    I think you could even give a Ted Talk on it actually. It’d be a great subject. Lessons learned while writing, thinking of giving it up, then finding your way back to authentic. People love that stuff. Think Eat Pray Love.

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  2. I understand! I enjoy writing so much. I like to think I write for myself. . . but I do want people to read what I write. That part is also very satisfying. I have “promoted” my posts on social media sometimes, but, like you, I really don’t enjoy that part. Do you think if you were to decide to “just blog” that you would wonder if that was worth it, too? I sometimes wonder that – because it does take a lot of time. And from reading other blogs, I think others wonder, too. But for now, I plan to keep plugging away – and trying some new things, too. If nothing else, I am using my brain and learning new things.

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  3. I write a blog because it’s all about the joy of writing and it’s a way to interact with people in real time. In the world of writing bloggers are sometimes perceived as lesser beings and that is not so; it takes a lot of effort and fortitude to keep a personal blog going. The thing about bloggers is that we’re writing in the moment and willing to make ourselves vulnerable without the [agent | editor | publisher] gatekeepers stopping us. You might find that *just* being a blogger is the very thing you need to feel whole.

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  4. Just listening is the part that is often hard for people, and yet we all want to be heard. Like you, we often already know the answer, but it is human to want others to understand you and “get” you. Being supported is important. Writing it out loud is helpful I think, because we have to think about what we want to say. May you continue to grapple, explore ideas, vent, hear options, and arrive at the next step in your journey. Somehow, I just had a vision of you counting weevil larvae with your left hand while your right hand was reaching for a muzzle. Rock on, sister!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think all writers go through a similar bit of soul-searching. I love writing fiction, but I also write for a living, so I find it hard to get motivated to write MORE in my spare time. The blog alone is time-consuming enough, but because of the interaction you mentioned, I find it scratches my itch pretty well.

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