Turns out I’m bad at blogging even when it’s in secret. No lie, I haven’t updated my yoga blog in months. And I’m not that upset about it? The last few months have been fairly difficult for me, and I think a lot of why I’m doing better now is because of my words. Granted, a lot of the difficulty stems from things beyond my control, but I’m definitely handling it better now that I’ve been with Mason for a while.
For a while, I say, like it’s been OH MY GOD I STARTED THIS ON 11/26, ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
Okay, a quick moment of history. I write fanfiction like it’s going out of style. I wrote a 70k James Bond fic in three weeks, I wrote a 100k Avengers fic in about the same time, and I just roll these things out in the most insane fashion. Oneshots, chaptered, series–it’s ridiculous. I’ve been writing fanfiction since about 2004, and I haven’t slowed at all. This doesn’t always just apply to fanfiction. I wrote the second version of my second book in a month and a half. And while I’m proud of a lot of my fanfiction, I haven’t been proud of my Ronan novels in a long time.
I’m talking years.
And that hurts to admit.
Every version has had merit. Every version has seen me through something, and I’ve grown with each one. The last one? Not so much. I wrote six chapters in total, and while the journey was fun for the first two weeks, it quickly became not. At all. I just–don’t know if I’m ever going to write Ronan. And that’s okay, I’m realizing, because holy hot damn, my talents definitely lie in YA. Is anyone surprised? I’ve been writing fanfiction since I was 12, which has pretty much always been written in a YA style, and well–I started writing this novel on 11/26. Today is 12/11. In 15 days, I’ve written 52k spread out among 10 chapters. Wow.
This is happening.
This is real.
Really, this occurred to me on Friday. (Yes, that this was real.) I was printing out chapters to bring for Sunday’s writing club, and Jack had told me to bring everything I had so far. Well, that was eight chapters. It was about 80 pages, and it looked like the first half of a book. I’m writing a book, guys. I don’t think anyone, myself included, realizes how extraordinary this is. I’ve done nothing but rewrite the same story for 11 years, and I’ve felt stuck every single time. It takes months to write a single version, sometimes weeks to work around a single chapter. But this? I wrote half a book in two weeks. And I freaking love it. You know who else loves it? My editors. I have a system, which I talked about the last time I posted. Right now, Erin is editing scene by scene, Jack just got the first half of the book to edit by chapter, and then I’ll get it back from them. They’re mostly doing line editing, but then I’ll be handing it off to Matt for content editing. And I just asked my final reader, so I’ve officially got three readers lined up–Kelly, Hannah, and Joyce. After I finish Matt’s edits, they’ll get a final first draft, and then comes the scary part. Miriam. I have to keep writing.
When I posted at the beginning of December, I ended the blog, “I hope it keeps happening.” I was on chapter four. I have chapter eleven open right now. It’s still happening. I have three other individual books to write, and then a fourth when all of them are together, but it’s happening. It’s really and truly happening.
I’m so terrified.
I’ve never felt panicked like this about my writing before. Sure, handing it off to Jack and Erin was scary, but Jack’s been reading my writing since I was 12, and Erin reads all of my fanfiction, so I could predict their reactions. I have four strangers looking at my writing soon, and it’s so scary. More than that, though, what scares me is the idea of leaving Mason behind. Sure, I’ve only known him for about half a year, maybe longer (just checked, we met in April), and I’ve only truly been writing with him for two weeks, but I’ve grown so attached to him. Ronan felt like another version of myself, a child I had to protect maybe, or even just someone I loved dearly. Mason feels like an old friend. He feels like someone I’ve been writing over and over again without realizing it was him. And really, he is. He’s a troubled gay boy. Hello, that’s literally every fanfiction I write. But this time, he’s different. I’m different. It’s all different. Because it’s original, and it’s not Ronan (who is also a troubled gay boy). I went from writing adult high fantasy to YA urban fantasy. The fact that I was on Earth alone was a huge shift, but suddenly, the characters felt relatable. They felt like people I’d known all along.
My mom keeps saying that I had to go through all of these issues with Ronan to get here with Mason, and you know what, maybe she’s right. Maybe Mason needed to wait until right now. And maybe he had to come first even if he’s not chronologically first. And even though I’ve been stressing all day about how I don’t want to leave Madhouse and I don’t want to leave Mason, I’m not. He’ll be in all of the other books, and while Madhouse won’t, I can always revisit in my dreams.
It’s okay. It really is. I have great readers, I have amazing editors, and I have four other books to write. I’m not going anywhere, and neither is he.