In January I presented the first ten pages of two different books at a conference. I knew neither was completely ready but I wanted to get the feedback and face my extreme fear of speaking with agents face to face. One of the books was Sharing Strength, my book on PTSD. Obviously with the subject matter it is not a light and breezy book. There are intense moments, sad ones and some happy ones as well. Most of all there are times of healing. It is a book about recovery first and foremost.
Each character plays their role. Some have the support they need, others are praying for help. Some seem hopelessly doomed and others hide from those wishing to assist. I have known people in every aspect of what the characters are experiencing and the book is very personal for me. It is so personal, in fact, that when the books was still being written I took a sidestep to Survivor and shared a part of my past I buried for nearly half my life.
I am currently working on another book like Survivor called Fish. It is the story of another character in Sharing Strength and her story is just as tragic. It is understandable that any story that leads to a book about PTSD isn't going to be the happiest thing ever written but some of these revelations are especially emotional. When I was discussing this fact at a networking dinner one of the other writers looked me in the eye and asked, "Why don;t you just write something happier?"
He had attended the conference before and even won an Editor's Choice award the last day I was there. He writes everyday and felt the need to constantly tell me how I should be working, what I should be writing and how to move forward correctly. I temperamental, teenage type mind wanted to lash out and tell him to shut up. I don't write everyday, I can admit that. I make excuses and watch television instead of reading or writing. I go to the gym or camp for the weekend when I have time off. There are several things I do instead of writing. I am also not ashamed of this.
Everyone has their own process. I would love to get to the point where I am writing everyday, or at least five days a week as though it were a traditional job. Family will always be an important and I will always have things that get in the way of writing. Sometimes it is simply the emotions I am having to deal with because I don't write happier things. No matter what I will push forward and hopefully someday I will have more time to dedicate. Until then I am happy writing things that aren't and will continue to improve my personal process instead of feeling bad about my topics and the fact I don't work the way others think I should.