My Love/Hate Relationship …(with my first novel)

It’s been eight years since I started writing this novel. (Holy crap!) It’s been through so many changes over the years, so many mood swings, so many depression episodes, so many relationships… just, a lot. And today I finally decided “you know what? Screw this, I’m uploading it!”
To be fair, I began uploading it chapter by chapter maybe three years ago. I kept going back and changing things but it never quite got to where I wanted it. But I’m sharing it now and I’m also going to share what this eight-year journey has been like.

Year 1 (2009) – For some odd reason I always associate me beginning this book with Hurricane Dean (2007), but truly this book was birthed out of a combination of boredom, a need to challenge myself as a writer, and a need to escape the hell that was my life at the time. I was severely depressed, I HATED school, my home life felt even worse, and I just needed a safe place in my mind to visit sometimes. And so I created Taj. Taj was everything I wished I could be: fearless, badass, attractive, confrontational, super protective. To put it simply, Taj was LIT (at least in my mind she was).

Year 2 (2010) – 11th grade, oh joy. The year I decided I should probably start taking school a tad bit more seriously. The year I decided I wouldn’t let depression win. The year I sent out God knows how many letters to publishing companies and got ONE call back! In the end, I decided not to go through with it (for varying reasons, mainly the cost factor), but for just a moment I felt like my work was good enough that a publishing company was willing to take a chance on me, and that felt GOOD.

Year 3 (2011) – The year my dad passed away. The year I thought to myself “daddy, I’m going to make you really proud one day.” The year I decided this book wasn’t going to be the thing that made daddy proud. The year I decided to hang up the creative writer dream and become a journalist(Ha!). The year I took an extended break from writing.

Years 4 & 5 (2012 -2013) – *Extended break continues* 

Year 6 (2014) – I added “Taj’s Memoir” as a back story to “Twisted Reunion”. I pretty much just fell in love with the character all over again. Maybe it’s because (again) I was going through a really crappy period in my life (I tend to write better when I’m depressed *shrug*) or maybe I just missed writing overall. Either way, “Taj’s Memoir” is my favourite part of the entire book. I wanted to know what made Taj the hardass, strict, amazing woman she was and so I decided to go back to Zefron (you’ll get it once you read the book).

(Late 2014) – I decided to publish “Taj’s Memoir” as a draft and prelude for “Twisted Reunion” on Wattpad. I won’t lie, I was proud of it. I was enjoying my writing style and just getting back to my first love. So, I swallowed every bit of fear that would scream at me that I wasn’t good enough and I published it.

Year 7 (2015) – I went through another period of horrible anxiety, scared that if I died no one would remember me. And I mean no one. That fear drove me to begin publishing chapter by chapter (after a bit of revision) with the thoughts of “I don’t want to be forgotten.” “I need to be remembered” driving each upload. 

Year 8 (2016) – I decided I didn’t care what people thought anymore. I knew “Twisted Reunion” wasn’t the best (actually in my mind I think it’s pretty bad, but hey), but I decided to let another narrative drive the reason I post: “You are good enough.” “This is a reference point.” “This is only the beginning.”

Year 9 (2017 & current) –  I wrote an entire book (49k words) as a teen with very little experience, horrible grammar (I was ok at spelling though lol…), and a need to escape reality. It’s time I switched things up on anxiety. I’ve gotten tremendous support from my friends and family (I’ll remember you all at the Oscars and Golden Globes), I have people who’ve been waiting YEARS for me to finish uploading this book and it’s time to deliver. I have decided that as much as I hate the ending (And Zillina annoys me to bits… I realise now why I wrote her the way I did but that’s for another blog), I will not change a thing more.

I’m ready to dive right back in and take it to a whole new level. With more experience and training now, I’m sure I can really outdo myself. I’m ready to take on the silver screen. But until then…

Ladies and gentlemen, Twisted Reunion: https://www.wattpad.com/story/26043178-twisted-reuinion