There is a woman I used to speak with, a woman who dreamt of becoming a successful author. This is not an unusual story in and of itself when it comes to authors. We dream of being as big as Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling, and Stephanie Meyers, those people who are actually quite rare in the writing world. For some reason, authors included, people have it in their heads that authors must be poor and remain poor, despite our ways to articulate the thoughts and visions in our minds. We’re talented, dedicated, but broke and working other jobs, pursuing other avenues of revenue because authors don’t equate into being worth the money for the joy they bring to readers. I watched this woman tear herself apart trying to become marketable, change her style and her genre at times, and to write in a style at one point that made me think her story had come straight from a Weis and Hickman novel. (To note here: The only people I ever want to see writing exactly like Weis and Hickman are Weis and Hickman. Otherwise, the author has completely destroyed a unique voice in writing.) All of this because people were trying to tell her how they had gotten themselves published, how they had gotten themselves agents, and from agent rejection. Also not unusual is the amount of time and energy people like myself put into encouraging her to keep going, to keep the faith, and to never give up on her dreams. She then claimed burnout, which, yes, is very real for everyone on this planet. Years later, she’ll still claim she’s still too burned out from trying to get things done the old-fashioned way to consider trying returning back to writing, to even consider trying things another way because the times have changed, and authors have more options when it comes to publishing, because Amazon has, indeed, changed the publishing world. I have encouraged her in the past to try a different critique forum – I tried her critique forum because she was claiming some success with them in finding her weak spots but found the atmosphere to be too toxic for my liking. I recommended the place that’s been working for me and why I wrote about finding critique sites that work best for the authors instead of feeling like one needs to be in one place only in order to succeed. I have even encouraged her to try self-publishing. What better way for someone who wants to be traditionally published at some point to try her mettle on the world by testing the indie market for viability? That’s part of why I started to self-publish in the first place. I have even asked to read her first novel she completed and queried out because it truly did sound fascinating to me.
I would reach out to her, ask her to try again, and that I would, for sure, buy her works if she decided to self-publish. Because, in truth, I would. I have indie authors in my Kindle cloud I would love to read. I have more I would like to discover. I believe with all of my heart and soul in supporting indie authors who are passionate about their stories, who continue to write because that’s what’s calling out to them, and because they care about their craft, they’re not just out to make a quick buck. However, past experience has taught me she’s unwilling to listen to my words and my encouragement, unwilling to even try because it’s stuck in her head things must be done a certain, and she’s an author this world needs. I know that she is. I feel it in my bones and in my soul. There are only so many times I can do this before I’m perceived as being pushy and overbearing instead of passionate and believing, yet, in spiritual terms, her guides have reached out to me repeatedly to get her back on that path. I have had to let this go time and time again, even as I know there are people out there who need her stories. I really do want to reach out to her, though, at times and just plead one final time for her to give my critique forum a try, to try self-publishing, to see where it can take her on that writing path. I want to know how her life is going as well because, at one point, I also considered her a friend, though I question whether she saw me the same or not. I will probably never know at this point, and I write this in an effort to once more let it go and be at peace with myself.
There is a man I used to call my dad. Once upon a time, I used to be a daddy’s girl. My parents are long since divorced, and my biological father has always had mental and emotional issues. I once told my counselor I thought he was manic-depressive due to his mood swings. He still suffers from depression, from feeling like his children don’t love him or care for him. I have dealt with tears over the phone because he’s gotten so emotional, from crying at the drop of a “I love you so much” and rolling my eyes at the display. Note: I possess zero doubts about my biological father loving me. However, I have spent hours upon hours trying to convince him that I do love him, that I do care about him, but my inquiries about his health was always met with a “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine” or a “I didn’t think it was that important”. I get brushed off on the important things. Most of 2017, when he reached out to me, it was to find out when I was going to retrieve my belongings. Maybe an inquiry or two about my health, but nothing about my job, my career, or anything else. When I finally could arrange the time, after gaining a new car and dealing with that new financial arrangement, I was treated like an inconvenience because he was entering his busy period for his new job, never mind it was still an inconvenience for me due to the type of work I’d maintained for two years along with gaining secondary employment.
He texted me about my grandmother’s death instead of calling, something that has not set well with anyone but me (I didn’t want to hear him blubbering over the phone about his mother’s death). I found out through Facebook and an email about my stepmother’s death. And I still retain my Michigan phone number. I’ve maintained that same number for two years now. I can even tell him that, and I’d be met with a “I wasn’t sure”. He’s so unsure that he doesn’t bother to try. And I know there are people who will gladly list the ways I can become a better daughter to him, a better friend to the woman who was so insecure about herself, despite all of her cockiness about her abilities, and I want those people to know this: I have tried all of those things and more. I have gotten on my biological father’s case repeatedly about his health, I have tried to express to the woman that I see her as more than just a wannabe author, and I have backed off. I have done everything I could, and I have been met with dismissal, neglect, and abandonment.
Meanwhile, as I have done all of this, backing off when and where needed, I have neglected my own writing career, my own emotional well-being. It has finally hit me that I have suffered for all of this energy I have sent out, so much so, my very spirit weeps at night as I lay down to sleep. The weeping has been an ongoing thing for two years now, and I now know the root cause. I have put more time into the care of others than I have for myself, and I could have accomplished so much more if I had put just as much effort into myself as I have them. I have yearned for people to do for me as I have done for them when it comes to love and positive energy. I have listened to others where my biological father has been concerned, about not severing ties because I might one day regret it when he dies, but the pendulum always, always, always
swings both ways.
I expect no change from my biological father. I also expect no change from the woman. For her, though, should she wish to try again, should she actually read this and hear with her soul and heart my words, my door is open. Change begins with us, and part of my change for myself is to feed my heart and soul with love, my mind with positive thoughts and energy, and to put as much effort, if not more, into my overall well-being and career as I have them. This is my purge of the negative harm I have caused myself.
I refuse to drain and hurt my spirit any further. I do love these people, but I have my own things to accomplish.
Here’s to a healing and restorative 2018.