The final chapter of my RID list has finally arrived. And it is taken long enough.
(Disclaimer: This is not an official update on Lady Justice. That is coming...)
Today I am going to write about the final RID I put on the list. Later this week I will post one more post about this topic. And then I will move on.
In 2010 I finally finished my first novel, thanks to the insanity of NaNoWriMo. PRISON NATION came into being. It wasn't perfect. It was a debut. But man I was proud of it.
I self-published it in 2011. Readers started to read it. And like it. Dare I say even love it.
It felt amazing.
During 2011 I also managed to write the rough draft of two other books. They have not been touched since.
Then in 2012 I decided to do something I had never planned.
You see, PRISON NATION was supposed to be a single standing book.
But readers begged for more. So I gave in. During NaNoWriMo 2012 I busted out the rough draft of the sequel to PRISON NATION. And that is when everything changed.
I loved the story I created. I wanted to share it. But I honestly can say that my heart wasn't in it.
Normally (not all the time, but I would dare say the majority of the time) when an author writes a series, they plan on it. They have the story arc, the drive to finish it, the desire to see the books all the way through. They can see it.
LADY JUSTICE was created for my readers. Not for me.
I was finished with the story on the final page of Prison Nation.
It was done. I loved its ending. I had no complaints.
So was this a mistake?
I am going to go out on a limb and say yes AND no.
Yes, because I had written other books I was ready to move onto. (I have written two other novels since I wrote Lady Justice, meaning I have four different WIPS waiting to be edited.) Yes because it wasn't my initial idea. Yes because it wasn't the story I wanted to tell. Yes because I gave in.
No because it managed to stretch me. No because authors don't always get to plan what they wrote. No because I learned so much. No because in the end, I ended up loving Lady Justice. No because I gave in.
Yet I kept finding reasons to NOT work on it.
And "why?" is my eternal question.
In all honesty, with all excuses aside: I held myself back.
I let my insecurities about LADY JUSTICE take over. I let all the YES reasons take over. I did the biggest taboo and read and reread the bad reviews. I doubted myself. I told myself it was crap and I shouldn't do it.
Instead of just pushing it aside and moving on to one of my other WIPS, I let it take over even more. I felt guilty every time I even thought about working on one of my other WIPS. Guilty because I had readers longing for THIS book. THIS book was ready and waiting. THIS book was expected. And it wasn't happening. So what right did I have to work on a different one?
My guilt of dragging my feet on LADY JUSTICE stopped me from working on anything else. Ever.
The pub date came and went. Readers started to ask me where it was. I felt guilty because I knew where it was...it was nowhere. Then I didn't work on it MORE because of THAT guilt.
What a viscious web...
To make matters worse: PRISON NATIO touches on police power. Guns. Prisons. Horrible Laws. Everything that is big in our country right now. People started to think I was making a political point. I was only making a creative story. But I got worried that LADY JUSTICE would stir even more of that thinking and people would think the stories inside were my honest opinion.
And I let it stop me.
Books are SUPPOSED to stir conversation. That means they are a success.
But my fear and my guilt took over.
And now, here we are. Four years ago I wrote LADY JUSTICE. Five years ago I published my one and only book. And here I am...with only that. I stopped myself right when my ball was rolling. All because of fear and guilt.
I blamed a book. A book I created. I put all the guilt on LADY JUSTICE.
When really: I was the one who was guilty.
But there you have it.
That is why LADY JUSTICE is on my RID list. This is quick and raw and true. It is just a tiny insight into the mind of an insecure author. It is that glimpse into what makes us stop instead of go. I can't go one any more than I have, because then I would be more explosed than I can afford to be. Writers a delicate creatures.
I am proud of LADY JUSTICE.
It is a piece of FICTION that does not reflect how I really feel. I made it up. Because that's what I do.
I am not going to let myself feel guilty anymore over it.
And I am going to write on.
Come back later this week for the final thoughts on my RID list