On Writing – Paroxysms Regarding Sanity

“Jesus Christ, I might be insane.”

I know I usually feature quotes by famous authors and thinkers, but today I’m starting with my own utterance since it’s the basis for my thoughts this week. Beneath the Wood is on its true last legs: my editor got me back her revisions and my cover artist is doing the final steps of a cover design.

Getting the book ready for a print edition meant doing a spot check of its formatting for paperback layout and margins, and it was while I was scrolling through the 400-ish pages the print layout turned the book into that I uttered the above. I wrote approximately 150,000 words from the perspective of a traumatized teenaged girl.

I am none of those three things, so I’ve always had a certain amount of trepidation with whether I “should” write Beneath the Wood. Oddly enough, the fact that I asked the question was why I felt it was important and pursued it.

As for why I put it up on Kindle and am just now getting ready to publish the print edition, there was a mental hurdle I needed to cross with Beneath the Wood. The sense that a book could be “finished” and ready to put out there for people to read at will was a big step for me.

It was something like that moment in Lord of the Rings where Sam stops walking and says: “If I take one step farther, it’ll be the furthest I’ve ever been from home.” After taking that step, I’m fairly certain Sam never hesitated again. Here’s hoping I don’t either.

That having been conquered with Beneath the Wood, I’m absolutely planning on self-publishing Five Talents if no agents or publishers bite at it, but to get here to where my process is efficient, my undertaking the steps is clean and confident, I needed to conquer a lot of fears I had regarding my writing and the process with Beneath the Wood first.

I owe that struggling teenage girl a good amount of thanks.

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